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Description - Making the Wiseguys Weep by David Evanier

The Mob couldn't live with Jimmy Roselli and it couldn't live without him. Roselli resisted their influence and succeeded in making a name for himself in the nightclubs where 'they used to have intermissions to take the wounded out' with his amazing vocal range and passion. passion and power .

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780413740700
ISBN-10: 0413740706
Format: Paperback
(200mm x 130mm x 19mm)
Pages: 260
Imprint: Methuen Publishing Ltd
Publisher: Methuen Publishing Ltd
Publish Date: 2-May-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Making the Wiseguys Weep by David Evanier

UK Kirkus Review » Only dedicated fans of 1940s and '50s popular music will recognize the name Jimmy Roselli. Many aficionados suggest that he had a better voice than that other Italian balladeer, Frank Sinatra - yet few people, especially outside America, have ever heard of him. The problem was, this biography suggests, that Roselli always refused to kowtow to the Mob - the Mafia who, especially via the gambling casinos of Las Vegas and elsewhere, made the careers of many entertainers, notoriously Sinatra. It was not that Roselli would not sing for the mafiosi - he was a professional, and would sing for anyone who paid him - but he refused to be controlled by them, and merely singing at the funerals of one or two assassinated mobsters was not enough. As a record-company director recalled, 'he hung out with people who killed people, but he never killed anyone. Never even carried a piece'. So radio programmes which might have made him famous were pulled from under him, he never got a real stab at TV, he was blacklisted even from cabaret and nightclub stages. He made enough money to live the good life and was always popular with audiences, but in the end it was the enormous gap between himself and Sinatra that really chafed him; the bitterness grew, and shows through even such a friendly biography as this one. Roselli is not a character to whom one can warm: he was jealous, caustic and badly behaved to wife and family. But his story makes a good rumbustious read, the characters never far from the world of Damon Runyon with Jimmy Durante, Tony Bennett and of course Sinatra himself playing bit parts, and larger-than-life mafiosi like Joe Colombo, head of the Profaci crime family, jostling even the subject of the book out of the way to take centre-stage. (Kirkus UK)

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