Lopez in a 1942 advertisement
|Born||December 30, 1895|
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, US
|Died||September 20, 1975 (aged 79)|
North Miami, Florida, US
Early life and career
Vincent Lopez was born of Portuguese immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York and was leading his own dance band in New York City by 1917. On November 27, 1921 his band began broadcasting on the new medium of entertainment radio; the band's weekly 90-minute show on the Newark, New Jersey, station WJZ boosted the popularity of both himself and of radio. He became one of America's most popular bandleaders, and would retain that status through the 1940s.
He began his radio programs by announcing "Lopez speaking!". His theme song was "Nola", Felix Arndt's novelty ragtime piece of 1915, and Lopez became so identified with it that he occasionally satirized it. (His 1939 movie short for Vitaphone, Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra, features the entire band singing "Down with Nola".)
Lopez worked occasionally in feature films, notably The Big Broadcast (1932) and as a live-action feature in the Max Fleischer cartoon I Don't Want to Make History (1936). In 1940, he was one of the very first bandleaders to work in Soundies movie musicals. He made additional Soundies in 1944.
Noted musicians who played in his band included Artie Shaw, Xavier Cugat, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Mike Mosiello, Fred Lowery, and Glenn Miller. He also featured singers Keller Sisters and Lynch, Betty Hutton, and Marion Hutton. Lopez's longtime drummer was the irreverent Mike Riley, who popularized the novelty hit "The Music Goes Round and Round".
In the early 1950s, Lopez along with Gloria Parker hosted a radio program broadcast from the Taft Hotel called Shake the Maracas in which audience members competed for small prizes by playing maracas with the orchestra.
Big band / Swing-era music
- Early In The Morning, recorded by Vincent Lopez on Columbia Records, lyrics and music by Gloria Parker.
- Here Comes That Mood, recorded by Vincent Lopez, music and lyrics by Gloria Parker.
- In Santiago by the Sea, recorded by Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra, music and lyrics by Gloria Parker
- I Learned To Rumba', recorded by Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra, music and lyrics by Gloria Parker
- My Dream Christmas, recorded by Vincent Lopez, lyrics and music by Gloria Parker.
- Shake The Maracas, name of a radio program on WABC hosted by Vincent Lopez and Gloria Parker, lyrics and music by Gloria Parker.
- When Our Country Was Born, recorded by Vincent Lopez, lyrics and music by Gloria Parker.
- Alden Whitman (September 21, 1975). "Vincent Lopez, Bandleader, Dies at 80. Durable Maestro and Pianist Made 'Nola' His Trademark". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
Vincent Lopez, the orchestra leader whose popularity in person, on the radio and on television lasted more than half a century, died yesterday in the Villa Maria, a nursing home in North Miami, Fla. He was 80 years old. ...
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2008-04-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Distinguished Americans & Canadians of Portuguese Descent
- Pat Browne,The guide to United States popular culture. Popular Press, 2001, p.611. ISBN 0-87972-821-3
- Craig's Big Bands and Big Names, Lopez
- knightstemplar.org, Brother Vincent Lopez: Anatomy of a Band Leader
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