Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ted Fio-Rito

Two dates. I'm impressed.  It must have been the uniform.

It's been awhile since I've posted one of these souvenir photo folders.  Unlike the others I have, this one is more about the artist, rather than the venue.  Ted Fio-Rito was born in 1900 in Newark, New Jersey as Teodorico Salvatore Fiorito and had his first job as a professional musician in 1919 for the Columbia recording studios in New York City as a keyboardist.  He would work with a number of bands and also began composing.  In 1921 he moved to Chicago and joined the Dan Russo Orchestra.  A year latter, he was the co-leader of  Russo and Fio-Rito's Oriole Orchestra.  In 1924, they became the house band of Chicago's Edgewater Beach Hotel.  Russo left in 1928, and the band would eventually be known as Ted Fio-Rito and his Orchestra.  In the 1930s, Fio-Rito was a major presence on American radio.  In 1934, he had two number one hits.  My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii, and I'll String Along With You.  By the 1940s, the group had lost a lot of it's popularity but still did well enough to stay in business.  Eventually, Fio-Rito would abandon the big band for small combos, and had a second bout of success in Las Vegas.  He died in 1971.  There is a lot more info on Fio-Rito out there, for anyone willing to comb the web, including some YouTube videos.  And if you're like me and own a 78 rpm turntable, with a bit of effort, one can find plenty of recordings.  I own a couple.

The Sacramento Memorial Auditorium opened in 1927 and is still going strong.  It's on the National Registry of Historical Places.

Printed on the back of the folder,  "Additional prints are $1.25 each.  Address: Capital Enterprises,  Photographic Dept., 921 K Street, Sacramento, 14 Calif.

Describe picture thoroughly, mentioning number of people in photo, all points of identification possible and date or name of Band featured."

I'll bet a lot of people had trouble getting their prints without some sort of number.  Dated "DEC 16, 1944"

Click on night clubs or souvenir photo in the labels section to bring up a number of other photos, including one from The Edgewater Beach Hotel.

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