Re: Al Capone - songwriter.
- View SourceThat's a really pretty song. I bet it will sell like hotcakes.:)) no pun intended. When it comes out you should play it on the Music Of The Stars!!
--- In MusicOfTheStars@yahoogroups.com, "mrcooby" <x779@...> wrote:
> CHICAGO - He never sang to the feds, but it turns out Al Capone had a
> song in his heart. All it took was a stint in Alcatraz to bring it out.
> Now, more than 70 years later, the tender love song that the ruthless
> crime boss penned while sitting in the pen is being recorded and
> released on CD. And an inscribed copy of the music and lyrics to
> ``Madonna Mia'' is up for sale at $65,000.
> LISTEN <http://podcast.kfwb.com/kfwb/1694155.mp3> (This is a
> promotional recording with baritone Mark Demmin singing ``Madonna Mia,''
> written by Al Capone.)
> ``It's a beautiful song, a tearjerker,'' said Rich Larsen of
> Caponefanclub.com, who helped line up musicians and singers to record
> The story of ``Madonna Mia'' begins in a cell in Alcatraz, where
> Scarface was sent after getting pinched for tax evasion. Capone, who
> loved opera and jazz and whose speakeasies hired musicians like Louis
> Armstrong, apparently had time to kill.
> Capone could read music and liked to play a banjo and a mandola, which
> is like a mandolin, only bigger. According to Larsen, who is working on
> a documentary about Capone's influence on music in the 1920s and '30s,
> the gangster begged the warden for permission to form a small band. The
> warden relented, the inmates sent away for instruments, and Capone made
> music behind bars.
> Enter Vincent Casey. As part of his training to become a Jesuit priest,
> Casey would visit Alcatraz to offer spiritual counsel to prisoners in
> the 1930s. Casey and Capone talked in the mobster's cell every Saturday
> for two years, becoming good friends, said Casey's son, Mike Casey, a
> retired airline employee in Temecula, Calif.
> ``My father spoke very highly of him,'' Casey said. ``It was incredible.
> This criminal murdered many people, but he told me when you got to know
> the man in the cellblock on Alcatraz, he was very humble and polite and
> One Christmas, Capone presented his friend with a piece of sheet music.
> The lyrics told of a man's undying love for his ``Madonna Mia.''
> ``With your true love to guide me, let whatever betide me, I will never
> go wrong,'' Capone wrote. ``There's only one moon above, one golden sun,
> there's only one that I love, you are the one.''
> The way Larsen tells it, the gangster who supposedly orchestrated the
> 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre - in which his henchmen pulled machine
> guns from violin cases, incidentally - was a religious man. So the song
> might be about the Virgin Mary.
> But Larsen thinks it is more likely that the song was Capone's valentine
> to his wife, Mae, who stuck by him, even after he went to prison and
> suffered the effects of syphilis, the disease that led to his death in
> The sheet music is inscribed, ``To my good friend Father Vin Casey with
> the best in all the world for a Merry Christmas always for you. Alphonse
> Casey took it home. Never ordained, Casey married and before he died in
> 1960 showed the gift to his son, suggesting that it may have more than
> just sentimental value.
> The younger Casey sold the sheet music to an auction house, though he
> would not say for how much. But today that piece of paper is on sale for
> $65,000 at the Boston location of Kenneth W. Rendell, a dealer of
> historical documents.
> For the past eight months or so, Larsen and a producer have been
> recording the song, with two singers - a man and a woman - backed by a
> mandolin, accordion, violin, piano and standup bass. Larsen said the CD
> should be on sale next month.
> The song, a clip of which was obtained by The Associated Press, sounds
> like a traditional Italian love song that was popular at the time.
> Capone's love of music was evident right up to the end of his life. In
> his research for a book about Capone, Chicago author Jonathan Eig found
> that even when Capone's mind was ravaged by syphilis and he was paranoid
> and delusional, he continued to play his mandola.
> That doesn't mean that Capone totally abandoned his preferred way of
> settling scores.
> ``At one point he got into a fight with an inmate named Lucas, and Lucas
> stabbed him in the back,'' Eig said. ``Capone responded by hitting him
> in the face with his banjo.''
> Eig joked: ``This may be the only time a gangster actually had an
> instrument in his instrument case.''