Julius La Rosa, American pop singer and actor, Died at 86

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Julius La Rosa was born on January 2, 1930, in Brooklyn, New York and died on May 12, 2016.

He was an Italian-American traditional popular music singer.

Julius worked in both radio and television beginning in the 1950s.

La Rose attended P.S. 123K in Bushwick. At age 17, he joined the United States Navy after finishing high school, becoming a radioman.

He sang in a Navy choir, at the officers club, and at bars to pay for his drinks, his Navy buddies arrange to promote him to Arthur Godfrey, who was at the time one of America’s leading radio and television personalities, and himself a Naval Reserve officer.

After he was discharged from the Navy on a Friday, La Rosa went to Godfrey on the following Monday, in November 1951, a week later, he appeared on Godfrey’s variety show.

Julius went on Godfrey’s shows from November 19, 1951, to October 19, 1953.

After Archie Bleyer, Godfrey’s bandleader, formed Cadence Records in 1952, the first performer signed was La Rosa.

The group, Cadence’s first single, which was also La Rosa’s first recording, was “Anywhere I Wander.”

That song reached the top 30 on the charts, and his next recording, “My Lady Loves To Dance”, was a moderate success.

While Julius made hit recordings and his appearances on Godfrey’s shows, La Rosa’s popularity grew.

La Rosa had hired Rockwell as his manager, however Godfrey did not react well to receiving the formal notification.

That led to Godfrey firing La Rosa on the air, he announced, “that was Julie’s swan song with us.”

After La Rosa tearfully met with Godfrey after the broadcast and thanked him for giving him his “break.”

Julius La Rosa was then met at Godfrey’s offices by his lawyer, manager and some reporters.

Then Tommy Rockwell was highly critical of Godfrey’s behavior, angrily citing La Rosa’s public humiliation.

At the end Godfrey explained that La Rosa had been fired because he lacked “humility”, which comment backfired badly on Godfrey.

However Stanton himself later admitted “maybe (the on-air firing) was a mistake,” all over Comedians began working the phrase “no humility” into their routines.

Thye singer Ruth Wallis, known for her raunchy double entendre novelty songs.

However ays after firing La Rosa, Godfrey himself also fired bandleader Archie Bleyer, owner of La Rosa’s label Cadence Records, for producing spoken word records for Cadence featuring Chicago-based talk host Don McNeill, his rival Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club on ABC Radio opposite Godfrey’s morning show was considered a direct competitor, even though McNeill’s success was nowhere on a par with Godfrey’s.

Already well known, Ed Sullivan immediately signed La Rosa for appearances on his CBS Toast of the Town TV variety show, which sparked a feud between Sullivan and Godfrey.

Julius La Rosa appeared on a range of television shows including The Honeymooners in 1953, What’s My Line?, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, The Polly Bergen Show (two episodes, including the 1957 premiere), The Merv Griffin Show and Laverne and Shirley in 1980.

Julius starred in the 1958 film Let’s Rock.

During 1977, he hosted an unsold game show pilot for NBC called “Noot’s Game”.

His career has been long and fruitful.

He resided in Irvington, New York for over 40 years.

Julius La Rosa passed away at 86 yrs old.

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