Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nick Apollo - Can I Depend On You (circa 1978-ish?)

In fact, I can't be sure exactly when this LP was released, except that it predates Nick Apollo Forte's 1984 appearance in Woody Allen's 'Broadway Danny Rose'.

He was cast in the second male lead role, as lounge singer Lou Canova, and it may have been this record that got him the part.

(click on image for ENLARGED text)

The legend goes that Nick Apollo Forte (born in 1938, Waterbury, Connecticut) didn't audition for the role, and that he'd 'never seen a Woody Allen film in his life'.
(via Anecdotage.Com)

Supposedly one of Woody's casting agents, in search of someone to play "an overweight, over-the-hill lounge singer" happened to spot Forte's picture on an LP in a record store bargain bin. Forte was sought out and deemed perfect for the role.

'Broadway Danny Rose' would (apparently) be Forte's first and only film appearance. He continued as an entertainer in clubs and on cruise ships, and in more recent years has divided his time between that and his own fishing charter business.

See also:
- The Nick Apollo Forte Official Website

- Three Shows A Night: The Consecration of Nick Apollo Forte, a show review at The Catalog of Cool

Album recorded at Trod Nosell Studio, Connecticut
Produced by Nick Apollo

Lyrics and Music by Nick Apollo

Nick Apollo - Vocals and Keyboards
Anthony DiLeonardo - Drums and Vocal
Nick Forte, Jr. - Guitar and Acoustic
Fred Lekowitz - Guitar
R. Blantz - Guitar and Vocal
David Wrenn - Bass

plus Three Great Gals

From Nick Apollo's 'Can I Depend On You' LP
(Fan Records, 197?),
Listen to:

Can I Depend On You
Mr. Music Play For Me
The Italian Delight (Scungilli Song)
I Love Country But I'm A City Slicken Guy
Beans And Sardines
Sticks And Stones
Why Go It Alone
Penny Marie

(click for audio)

- - OR download all 8 tracks in one 21.6 Mb zipfile.

ADDENDUM, 2/13/08:
Not too long after posting this piece, I had a nice note from CAD, the author of the Nick Apollo live show review from the 'Catalog of Cool' link above - -

"Stumbled across your blog from a link in Bedazzled. Really amazing stuff!

"Had to laff about the Nick Apollo Forte piece. I wrote the article for the "Too Cool" book that you have linked and also have another LP from him called "Images" on the same Fan label. Great shot of Nick on front cover with glass of red wine, leaning against a piano. I will try to burn it for you.

"I met Nick in Bridgeport, Connecticut, about 10 years ago when he was playing at some old supper club. Also saw him play at a few more bizarro spots. Always does a real gone show -- loads of weird covers and holidays songs.

"I heard he released a 45 in the 1950s -- some teen rocker that's impossible to find. But other than the two LPs, I haven't seen or heard from him in years."

Then just the other day, CAD came through with tracks digitized from the 'Images' LP! Hurray!

CAD added...

"I have to believe that this album caught Woody Allen's ear prior to Broadway Danny Rose, 'cause three of these tunes are featured in the movie (in different but close recordings), and there's no mention of the movie on the album cover itself.
So I'm guessin' about all this, but it sounds right.

"This album is pure brilliance in my opinion."

Agreed! Many thanks, many thanks!

From Nick Apollo's 'Images' LP
(Fan Records, 197?),
Listen to:

Mr. Music
Beans And Sardines
Robin's Song
A 'Git'a
The Skier's Prayer / Powdery Stuff

(click for audio)

Still having no exact clue as to the release date for either of these albums, I will venture a guess that 'Images' was released AFTER 'Can I Depend On You'...

1st clue: Though they are both released on the FAN label, 'Can I Depend..' has no trace of a matrix serial number, leading me to believe that at the time it may have been the label's first and only release.

2nd clue: Most of the songs on 'Images' were also on 'Can I Depend...', but the recordings are different. (A fact I find completely charming)
The arrangements and Nick's vocals on 'Images' seem to have a bit more gusto to them, as though they'd been worked over that much longer in performance.

(For now, I've included only the 'Images' tracks that are unique to that LP, plus a couple of the
re-recordings that display the most difference from the originals.)

3rd clue: The cover photos - - On 'Images' there seems to be more going on with Nick's hair.

Regardless, enjoy!


Anonymous said...

He's actually a pretty killer singer.

The In Crowd said...

Anonymous said...
He's actually a pretty killer singer.

No argument here!

A professional entertainer, in the truest sense...

Anonymous said...

You made my day, i was looking for Robin's song for over a decade with no luck, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Great post.

Dr. Andrey Roth

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for "Agita" FOREVER; thanks so much!!

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