Mario Lanza Was Born
With A Gifted Tenor Voice
By Frank E. Dee
There never was a more exciting tenor voice since Enrico Caruso, who died on August 2nd 1921, the same year that a new tenor, by the name of Alfred Arnold Cocozza, was born, in Philadelphia, Pa., on January 31, 1921.
Mario Lanza took his mother's maiden name (Maria Lanza) and became Mario Lanza, the golden voice, tenor, the legend who left us all with a beautiful legacy of music. He was noted to be called, 'The Lanza Bon-an-za', and 'the voice of the century', and when he sang, he sang from the heart and from the soul. Rarely have there been tenors who could sing a 'D' flat and sing this note ever so well like Mario did. A high 'C' came easy to this powerful voice, that Mario often times said was a gift from God. Indeed his voice truly was a gift from God.
Magnetic To Audiences
In 1947, even before Mario became a well known super star, it had been estimated, that Mario Lanza drew 76,000 people in Chicago's, Grant Park, during two concert appearances. The American public sat-up and began to take notice, and so did Hollywood.
Mario's First Movie
Mario was the first movie star in motion picture history that the cameras stayed on the close-up of an artist for the full length of an aria when Mario sang "Celeste Aida" in "That Midnight Kiss." In the movie credits of "That Midnight Kiss" it was Mario's first screen debut. He was introduced in this first film, and not introduced as the star of the film. Please see his film credits.
1. Three gold records for, "Be My Love."
2. Two gold records for "The Loveliest Night Of The Year."
3. Two gold records for "Because Your Mine."
4. Two gold records for "The Student Prince Album."
5. Three gold records for The Great Caruso Album.
Mario Lanza was the first classical opera singer to cross over into the field of popular song, and turn them into hits.. His recordings with RCA VICTOR were money makers for the recording company. He was the very first Classical, Opera, singer in recording history to sell two and a half million albums. He received the greatest royalty check ever given a singer for a ten month period of $746,000 in 1951.