Sunday, May 20, 2007

78s fRom HeLL: Vince Fiorino Trio - Red Canary

When looking up the definition of 'oddball', this record should be cited as an example.

A curious and somehow mysterious thing, released in 1953 on the Okeh label, both in 45 and 78 format. The arrangement; Bouncy organ, clattery percussion, and one shockingly agile tuba.

There's not too much information to be found regarding the artist;

Vincent Fiorino had been a tuba player with Paul Whiteman's band. He wrote songs that were hits for other artists, including 'Blue Canary' for Dinah Shore.

At some point he opened a supper club in Florida, where he performed and sold copies of his 'Golden Tuba' LP. ➔

(Many thanks for the LP cover image and some of this data to Raymondo's Dance-O-Rama, where you can also hear an excerpt from that LP)

A few points of confusion arise:

- 'Red Canary' is subtitled as 'Indian Song'. How so?
- Some folks have pondered if the 'red' canary was a McCarthy-era allusion to communism, mostly prompted by the lyric, " the future we'll be free".
- 'The Fiorino' is also a relatively recent new breed of frilled canary. Is there a connection? Would it be stranger if there wasn't?

Some things to consider while you enjoy this rockin' tune...

Listen to: Vince Fiorino Trio, vocals by Millie Coury & Lon Saxon - Red Canary (click for audio)

- - and on the flip side:

Listen to: Vince Fiorino Trio, with vocal by Arki, The Arkansas Woodchopper - Tuba Square Dance
(click for audio)

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