*ARSC New York Chapter

OCTOBER 2016 Meeting

7:00 P. M. Thursday, 10/20/16

→At the CUNY Sonic Arts Center←
West 140th Street & Convent Avenue, New York

Or enter at 138th Street off Convent Avenue
Shepard Hall (the Gothic building) – Recital Hall (Room 95, Basement level)

An elevator is located in the center of the building


*“Forgotten Crooner: The extraordinary and short-lived career of Russ
Columbo” Presented by Dennis D. Rooney*

Born in Camden, NJ, the twelfth child of Italian immigrants, Ruggiero
Eugenio di Rodolfo Colombo (Jan. 14, 1908 – Sept. 2, 1934) made his
professional debut as a violinist calling himself Russ Columbo. He joined
Gus Arnheim’s Orchestra and appeared in motion pictures by 1928, first in
two-reelers. At the time of his death, he just completed his fifth feature
film and first leading role in Wake Up and Dream. Columbo’s voice was
essentially lyric and he disliked the term crooner, yet he was inevitably
categorized as such. For most people, “crooner” begins and ends with Bing
Crosby, but Columbo got the name first, and in the course of the “Battle of
the Baritones”, influenced his rival. By 1931, he enjoyed great success in
network radio (nicknamed the “Vocal Valentino” and “Romeo of Radio”), which
led to a Victor recording contract. The thirty sides he recorded for that
label included his signature tune, “You Call It Madness But I Call It
Love”, and his original compositions “Prisoner of Love” and “Too Beautiful
For Words”. His death was the result of the unexpected discharge of an
antique dueling pistol during a visit to a friend. He was struck above the
left eye and died six hours later. His death was ruled accidental. His name
rapidly fell into obscurity as Crosby’s career surged. Columbo’s artistry
will be illustrated by recordings and excerpts from his films.

Dennis D. Rooney is Co-Chairman of ARSC’s New York Chapter. Since 1996 he
has served on the ARSC Technical Committee, and reviews books and
recordings regularly for the ARSC JOURNAL. A professional career embracing
journalism, classical record production, broadcasting and narration has
been accompanied by over six decades as a record collector. Discs from his
collection are frequently used in CD historical reissues. As both a
producer, and Archival and Catalogue Exploitation Consultant to the
classical recording industry, he developed and contributed to important
classical reissue lines for Sony Classical, Universal Classics and Vox. His
writings on music have regularly appeared in THE STRAD for more than thirty
years. He has also contributed to BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, MUSICAL TIMES,

Our next program will be on November 17, 2016

Matthew Barton will present an expanded version of his talk about KHJ's
"History of Rock and Roll" broadcast of 1969.


Subway: Take the 1 train to 137th Street City College and walk north to
140th St. & Broadway,
then go east to 140th St. & Convent Avenue. Take the A, B, C, or D trains
to 145th St, go south on St. Nicholas to 141st St, (one long block), then
west one block to Convent Avenue, and south one more block to 140th &
Convent Avenue.

Bus: M4 and M5 on Broadway; M 100, 101 on Amsterdam Ave. (one block West of
Convent Avenue)


The Sonic Arts Center at CCNY offers 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees
in Music with a concentration in Music and Audio Technology. Their program
provides an in-depth curriculum emphasizing real-world skills with a
project-based approach. Students enjoy a well-rounded program, with
emphasis on audio technology, music theory, orchestration, and history to
help them compete in a field that today demands an ever-growing and highly
diverse skill set.

*All ARSC NY Chapter meetings are free and open to the public.*
*Voluntary contributions to help defray our expenses are welcome!*
*To join ARSC, visit <>*