Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Mario Lanza January 31, 1921 - October 7, 1959
His was a great voice, image and career. He died so young at only 38 years of age. His life was also one of excess in eating, drinking and sadly loosing control. His weight would go from one massive extreme to another. His life was just too much for his heart. He died of a heart attack on this day 50 years ago.
One wishes he could have lived and entertained and enriched many lives. One also wishes he could have lived to enjoy his children and his wife. His wife was also one of excess. She took pills of every kind and was dead a year after her husband. It was sad for the children as they lost not only their father, but also their mother and raised by their grandparents .
When I was a boy I first heard Mario Lanza. In fact I heard the voice of Lanza before I had ever heard Caruso. I remember it well, it was in 1971. I got a 78 record of "The loveliest night of the year" on a RCA Victor Red Seal.
I played it a lot I will admit. It was Lanza who brought me to my appreciation of opera and of course Enrico Caruso. His life was full of happiness and tragedy.
On this 50th anniversary I honor his memory.