Made a rare mid-week record shop stop today and was able to have first pick on a box of 12" 78 albums. Every single one was classical (not into those but I have countless sets in my garage) but there was one lone jazz album which seemed sorely out of place.
The liner notes, by John Hammond, explain how these four sides were originally released as singles on the Keynote label (1302 & 1303) but for the first time, Mercury had gathered and released them in one set. He even wrote how Mercury had pressed these using new plates. (If you look closely at the photo below of 6 Cats And A Prince you can see the Keynote label underneath the Mercury one...hmm.)
Buck Clayton t / Dickie Wells tb / Lester Young ts / Count Basie p / Freddy Green g / Rodney Richardson sb / Jo Jones d.
Just received the press release from Miss Costello's niece, Maria:
Diosa Costello legendary star of Broadway, films , and
nightclubs has passed away peacefully in her sleep surrounded by family and
friends at the age of 100.
The award winning performer died at her estate in her
beloved Miami Beach on June 20, 2013 where she performed for
many years breaking all time records at the Lucerne Hotel.
Miss Costello was recently honored by the Smithsonian
Institution for being the first Latina
to star on Broadway and recognized for her unparalleled contribution to show
Born in Guayama, Puerto Rico with
dreams of stardom, she moved to New York City
where she became the toast of Broadway and the original "Latin
Bombshell" opening many doors for Latinos that have followed.
Diosa was a life long intimate friend of Desi Arnaz whom she
discovered and was instrumental in getting him his first role on Broadway in
"Too Many Girls."
Five months after I had originally posted this, I received an email from Maria Foley, daughter of actress Anna Navarro (she starred in Frank Sinatra's First Deadly Sin and Hitchcock's Topaz!) and great-niece of The Latin Bombshell herself, Diosa Costello.
First, a revision to the original post below is in order...Ms. Costello was born in 1913 (not 1917 as is listed in places on the net) meaning in three months, she will celebrate her 100th birthday!
Ms. Foley also told a very interesting story about the night "Titi Diosa" was performing a show in New York when Virginia Hill (the infamous girlfriend of the mobster, Bugsy Siegel) walked in. Ms. Costello mentioned to Hill how much she liked her dress, prompting Hill to disrobe then and there and give it to her. Hill watched the show in the audience wrapped only in her mink.
Diosa Costello in that very dress
Diosa & Desi Playbill
Anna Navarro and her Titi Diosa
Robert Wagner (Anna's date for her Sweet Sixteen given by Titi Diosa)
Anna in NBC's 1956 Deb Star Ball
Anna and Frank Sinatra in First Deadly Sin
Hitchcock's Vision of the Pieta with Anna from Topaz
Anna (on ground) on the set of Alfred Hitchcock's Topaz
Please check out Ms. Foley's website. All of the songs were recorded in one take!
Grabbed this album set on my last record hunt...and am so glad I did. The album looked new and so did each record.
Doing some quick research on Diosa Costello, I found that she was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico in 1917 1913 and soon moved to a house near El Morro in San Juan where she would dance on the street for pennies. She later moved to New York and eventually became the first Latina actress to appear on Broadway. It was in the 1939 Broadway production where she urged producer (and rhumba fanatic) George Abbott to create a role for an unknown, Desi Arnaz.
She appeared in the last Laurel & Hardy Hollywood movie, 1945's The Bullfighters, where she performed The Latin Bombshell dance routine that she was known for.
(Her performance starts at the 3:22 mark)
1950, she was persuaded to play the part of Bloody Mary in a stage production of South Pacific eventually replacing Juanita Hall in the Broadway production.
In a 2011 interview for Smithsonian, she was asked who she would want to portray her in a movie. She answered, "I would want
JLo to play me. She’s a Puerto Rican from the Bronx. I lived in the Bronx for a long time (in a Jewish, not Latina neighborhood). She married a skinny
musician, I was married to Pupi Campo, who was a skinny musician. She’s got the
tuchis; I have the tuchis—although mine is the original, the cutest."
Well...she could arch her back and dance all over the place with a glass of water sitting on her "tuchis" and not spill a drop.
Just got back from my most recent 78 hunting adventure...almost passed out from the heat searching every nook and cranny of an old outbuilding full of all kinds of records and vintage stereo equipment.
Came across this one buried deep in a bunch of maroon King labeled country 78s (for a change, I snatched those up too).
I may be wrong (sometimes Rust's Discographies trip me up on personnel from one recording session to the next) but I believe that Red Nichols is present on the Varsity Eight (a pseudonym for the California Ramblers) side. He allegedly played on a few of Paul Van Loan's (a former trombonist and arranger for Jean Goldkette) recordings but this isn't one of 'em.
Varsity Eight: Red Nichols t / Tommy Dorsey tb / Jimmy Dorsey cl, as / Arnold Brilhart cl, ss, as / Freddy Cusick ts / Adrian Rollini bsx, gfs / Irving Brodsky p / Tommy Felline bj / Stan King d, k.
Recorded in New York on June 4, 1925.
Paul Van Loan & His Orchestra: Paul Van Loan tb, a, dir / Allen McAllister, George Hall t / George Vaughn, Tom Kraus, Glen Wakeman cl, ss, as, ts / Joe Cirina p / Whitey Campbell bj / Ed Grier bb / George Sterinsky d.