Biography Frankie Carle
born Francis Nunzio Carlone (March 25, 1903 – March 7, 2001), was an American pianist and bandleader. As a very popular bandleader in the 1940s and 1950s, Carle was nicknamed "The Wizard of the Keyboard". "Sunrise Serenade" was Carle's best-known composition, rising to No. 1 in the US in 1938 and selling more than one million copies.
Carle was born in Providence, Rhode Island on March 25, 1903. Born the son of a factory worker who could not afford a piano, he practiced on a dummy keyboard devised by his uncle, pianist Nicholas Colangelo, until he found a broken-down instrument in a dance hall. In 1916, a teenage Carle began working with his uncle's band as well as a number of local bands in the Rhode Island area. To gain further popularity in an America which still held prejudices against many Italian Americans, Carle did what many singers, like Dean Martin and Jerry Vale did during this time period; he changed his name from Carlone to Carle.
Carle started out working with a number of mainstream dance bands. He received attention when he joined Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights in 1939. He later became co-leader of the band. The popularity he attained while with Heidt’s band allowed him to leave the band in 1944 and form his own band, The Frankie Carle Orchestra. When his daughter, Marjorie Hughes, sang with his band, he did not reveal their relationship until Walter Winchell published it. His band disbanded after 1955 and he performed mainly as a soloist thereafter. From the 1950's until the 1980's, Carle performed as a single artist and maintained a close following of loyal fans.
During World War II, he participated in the V-Disc program, making recordings which were released by the U.S. War Department. He introduced V-Disc No. 210A which featured his new composition "Moonlight Whispers". "Sunrise Serenade" was released as a V-Disc by the U.S. War Department in July, 1944 as No. 230A in a new recording by Frankie Carle and his Orchestra.