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04:26 PM ET (US)
Happy 102nd Birthday, Bill Earl ! Thank you for your service in World War II !
Gail Swartz
01:24 PM ET (US)
Hope Bill in UK got to wait h the new Mario DVD...Got mine yesterday and cried almost all the way through it...wished that they had used more photos.
Derek Mannering
12:07 PM ET (US)

I've met a number of exceptional people through my association with Mario Lanza's legacy over the years and high on that list is Bill Earl, vice-chairman of the British Mario Lanza Society. Bill turns 102 in May and what better way for him to celebrate that milestone than to co-author a book on his time as a member of the Royal Army Medical Corps during WWII.

The book is officially published tomorrow and Bill will be in attendance for the launch:


Bill is a remarkable man and I am proud to call him my friend. Bravo Bill!
Diane Cox
08:53 PM ET (US)
Looks like we've been discovered by the trolls network.
Deleted by topic administrator 04-25-2017 09:35 PM
01:36 PM ET (US)
Carolyn, sure Thelma deserved all the accolades. How good that she was able to "travel all over the world, yet came back to Mario each time. She will be missed.
Ed to Carolyn
09:46 AM ET (US)
I've just now seen your post about mom's passing, please accept my condolences. My postings here of about ten years has given me many friends, and many good fans have left us over the years now included is your mom. As long as someone turns on a Lanza recording we will be ok.
Carolyn Lambert
11:55 PM ET (US)
Thank you all for your kind and wonderful messages & terrific remembrances of mom. It really made my day, and I'm so glad I thought to look up the forum. I didn't know if you had to get pre-approved to be a member, but just took a shot at it and so glad I was able to post. Mom was a night owl as some of you could probably tell from her posting times (LOL), and a lot of times I would spend the occasional weekend w/her doing mom/daughter things and when she was moderator, she would be looking at the forum & keeping an eye on the "detractors". She was always saying I don't know why some people have to be so mean. Why can't they just enjoy the music and say nice things. I guess that was a bit of a challenging period at times, but in a way I look back fondly at that time because mom was at the height of her activity then traveling all over the world, enjoying her beloved music, and I remember thinking she was so cool 2 years shy of 80 years old & taking the train to Philly all by herself and how excited she was to go to all the Mario events. She had come up from Georgia in 1943 to meet her sister at that same Philadelphia train station & it brought back a lot of wonderful memories for her. She told me it was a beautiful station with lots of artwork, etc. The last 3 months have been a whirlwind & just getting some quiet time to reflect on how much I miss her, but even reading a lot of the posts on her & not knowing as much about Mario Lanza as she did, it makes me feel closer to her & I'd like to stop in from time to time & maybe get a different kind of musical education. When Mom was diagnosed with the ovarian cancer last summer, she had consultation, but decided to forego the major operation she would have to have and in her southern genteel lady fashion commented "I'm just going to let nature take its course" and I have to say I think she had a much better quality of life. She kept up her love of people up until the end. I'm sorry. Don't mean to be running on here. Guess it's therapeutic for me, but thank you all for your kindness. It means more than you could now.
Edited 04-24-2017 11:56 PM
06:42 PM ET (US)
Carolyn Lambert, thanks for updating us on your mom. She was such a treasure and I enjoyed so many posts from her. In fact, she was one that I had off-line email correspondence with because I admired her spirit and her love for music, including Mario Lanza's. She also did a conscientious job as moderator of this forum, although I know she was sorely irritated at times by some of the rare intemperate posts.

Yes, I know she was up in years, and some of our beloved older posters are fading away or already leaving this earth. But we were all blessed by such as she, and obviously she raised a considerate and thoughtful daughter. Thank you for your post.
06:37 PM ET (US)
04:20 PM ET (US)
We talk about the "chaotic" times of the past and Roland is right, let us hope they do not return. I remember one of those little debates that turned into a full scale argument (although very minor compared to some others). It involved someone complaining about Mario Lanza singing "sharp" during a particular song (heaven forbid!!). Here is part of my response and "contribution" to that big argument at the time.

The fact of the matter is Lanza did sing "sharp" now and then, especially at the start of his career. But I must tell you I would rather celebrate the good singing Mario did and include the "bad" only as part of the whole song analysis, instead of concentrating specifically on sharp or flat notes or otherwise what people would consider "off-pitch" singing. The reason is that we have to go further to explain to people that in some cases that is not a terribly bad thing, or at least not as bad as it sounds. Singing sharp or flat is not what singers want to do of course, however, in some cases, such as Corelli and Lanza (and to a lessor extent, Jussi Bjorling), it could often enhance the excitement of the performance.

One thing that makes tenor singing exciting is that they often sing "on the edge", especially in the upper reaches of their voices. It is a very dangerous place to be and hitting every note spot on is of course the ideal but in so doing it could be suppressing the enthusiasm of the overall performance in lieu of "correctness". Will that "correctness" be as exciting to the audience? Is it the goal of the singer to be perfect in a technically enhanced way (Bergonzi comes to mind), in order to demonstrate artistic proficiency above all else, or is the goal to be as communicative and exciting as possible to the listener, which I believe describes Lanza? After you make your stylistic choice based on your training and personality, you sing accordingly.

Lanza singing sharp was usually a direct result of being too exuberant and we all know that Mario, especially in the first stage of his career, was one of the most "exuberant" singers of all time. The emotion gets the best of you and when you sing the way Lanza did with his trademark unrestrained enthusiasm, you are bound to go sharp sometimes and certainly more often than going flat. It also results in some inconsistency from song to song, even during the same session. The ending of "Cielo e Mar" always struck me as a little sharp but still a glorious sound and wonderful rendition overall. His early "Core in grato" is bursting with this enthusiasm and the whole thing seems sharp but more noticeably towards the end. Yet who would trade that kind of enthusiastic singing for the more technically perfect but restrained renditions we hear today?

Lanza's singing is dotted throughout his career with "Marioisms" - certain vocal characteristics that in most singers would be condemned but in Lanza's case, they actually added to his style and overall appeal. Singing a little sharp sometimes was simply one of those little "Marioisms" that made him the singer he was. Lanza was seldom "too" far off pitch to be truly ear shattering and jarring, but just enough to show you he wanted to sing dangerously, on the edge and with all his heart and passion, not just with his technique. He was willing to risk it and that made him the exciting singer he was. He would not be the Lanza we know if he sang any differently and you just have to accept a little sharpness along the way.

I am not too bothered by this bit of Lanza inconsistency that seems to annoy some people because as far as I am concerned, as I said, he seldom sang SO sharp that it was a major distraction. Listen to Joan Sutherland if every once in a while you want to really cringe in your seat over "sharpness". Despite this episodic occurrence, overall, she was an incredible singer. In comparison you seldom "cringe" at the sound of Mario's "sharpness". It is there sometimes but appears like a halo around the note, more "squillo than" a defect.

I am not necessarily trying to justify anyone's singing off-pitch but only trying to explain that in some cases it might not be so bad as "singing sharp" sounds. For me, at least in Lanza's case, I can accept it as one of those little "Marioisms" and I consider it no big deal at all.
03:26 PM ET (US)
If I misspelled Chiachi, here is my correction: Chaichi.
03:25 PM ET (US)
Sorry to hear that Erin Moran passed away at 56. RIP. She played Richie Cunningham's(Ron Howard)sister, Joanie on "Happy Days" and was , later, on spin-off "Joanie Loves Chiaci" with Scott Baio. Happy 75th Birthday to Barbra Streisand ! I think TCM will have a salute to her. I wonder if she liked Mario Lanza ? I know she was a fan of Joni James. The Packard Theater, at Library of Congress, shows old movies, as does Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I hope , one day, they will show a Mario Lanza movie. I wish TCM would release "The Great Caruso" to movie theaters.
Derek Mannering
03:05 PM ET (US)
As the third member of that breakfast group in Philly referred to by Roland and David below, I too extend my condolences to Thelma's family. She was a kind lady and brought much-needed calm as moderator to the often volatile forum here back in the day.
Fred Day
03:02 PM ET (US)
Happy Birthday to the great Barbra Streisand, and many more - she turns 75 today. And her voice is still wonderful as ever. Ciao.
R L Bessette
02:33 PM ET (US)
I met Thelma at the Philly Pops tribute to Mario Lanza and was part of the breakfast group David mentioned. She was, in every sense, a lady. She was kind and quite complimentary toward me. Recalling the occasion brings a smile. As Martino noted, she was a voice of reason during some chaotic times on this forum - which should not taken as a hope of them returning.
She lived long and well. My sympathy to all concerning her passing.
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