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Lou Monte Sings for You

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Lou Monte 12/9/2013

Review

Many Italian homes in the '50s and early '60s had music by Lou Monte on the turntable -- and not just his big Top Five 1962 hit "Pepino the Italian Mouse," a foreign version of David Seville's Chipmunk songs. In April 1958, when Seville found fame with his "Witch Doctor" tune, a great voice went Top 15 the month prior with a remake of the 1938 Rudy Vallée tune "Lazy Mary." Though "Lazy Mary" was a novelty record of sorts, "Luna Mezza Mare" also helped bring the serious side of Monte to a wider American audience. The guitarist/singer's album Lou Monte Sings for You starts off with the humorous story of a woman who smokes in bed, sleeps late, and is ordered by the narrator to get off of the mattress because they "need the sheets for the table." Ably assisted by the orchestrations of Hugo Winterhalter (who worked with Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie, among others) and Joe Reisman (of Perry Como and Burt Bacharach fame), wonderful renditions of the classic "Mama," "I Have But One Heart," "Tango of Roses," and other titles found new popularity. Monte sings bilingual on these records in a combination of English mixed with Italian resulting in people from all walks of life repeating his pronunciation of both languages. The English he can drop on the listener clearly and cleverly makes for a quick course in Italian delivered with a touch of class. June Bundy's liner notes are amazingly on target, succinct, and informative -- the woman who penned for Steve Lawrence and the McGuire Sisters, among others, gets it right. "Roman Guitar" and "Non Dimentican" show this performer as serious as Jerry Vale, Perry Como, and other popular crooners -- a major talent on an impressive dozen tunes that stand the test of time. ~ Joe Viglione
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Lazy Mary (Luna Mezza Mare) Lou Monte 2:38
  3. 2 Don't Say Forever (O Sole Mio) Lou Monte 2:29
  4. 3 Just Say I Love Her Lou Monte 2:36
  5. 4 When I Hold You in My Arms Lou Monte 2:32
  6. 5 I Have but One Heart Lou Monte 2:40
  7. 6 Darktown Strutters Ball Lou Monte 2:40
  8. 7 Mama (Mamma) Lou Monte 3:22
  9. 8 Tango of Roses (Tango Del Rosa) Lou Monte 2:39
  10. 9 Now Is the Time (Torna a Sorrento) Lou Monte 2:14
  11. 10 Roman Guitar Lou Monte 2:47
  12. 11 Non Dimenticar (Don't Forget) Lou Monte 2:50
  13. 12 Italian Huckle-Buck Lou Monte 2:13
  14. 13 I Know How You Feel Lou Monte 2:9

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