Joe Mooney

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 Joe Mooney
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For a period of time, Joe Mooney was a well-known jazz accordionist which is definitely a small field but he had a lengthy and a rather episodic career. He went blind in the early '20s but by 1926 was playing duets with his brother Dan on radio. They recorded from 1929-31 as the Sunshine Boys (also as the Melotone Boys); Joe played piano and both brothers sang while joined by some notable jazz all-stars. The siblings stayed together through 1936 (broadcasting on WLW Radio in Cincinnati). Dan slipped away from music, while in 1937 Joe became the pianist and arranger for Frank Dailey. He joined Buddy Rogers in 1938 and was soon contributing charts for Paul Whiteman, Vincent Lopez, Larry Clinton and Les Brown, plus vocal arrangements for the Modernaires. In 1943 he formed his own quartet, playing accordion and taking vocals; his group also included clarinet, guitar and bass. The swing-oriented combo became very popular during 1946-49. After the band ran its course, Mooney worked as a vocalist with the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, recorded with Johnny Smith in 1953, moved to Florida in 1954 and gradually switched to organ. Joe Mooney's Quartet recorded for Decca from 1946-47 and he also recorded for Carousel (two titles in 1951), Atlantic (1956) and Columbia (1963-65). Occasionally he would travel to New York for television work or to record, but he mostly worked in Florida, including at his club The Grate Joy. He died of a stroke in 1975 at the age of 64. Scott Yanow

 

            

 
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Met Jerry Brandow at a Hotel Lounge in Miami Beach. We had many adventures together.  Below are a few that I remember.

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Jerry was quite a guy. We were introduced by Bunnie, Frank Linale's wife. Frank was the bandleader and manager of the Vagabonds. Jerry and I became buddies. We went to the track together, called the bookies, borrowed from the shylocks, worked on a TV series together and shared some girlfriends. I last saw Jerry in 1997 in Las Vegas. We went to hear Sam Butera in one of the lounges. As I write these stories I will put them on the site. There is so much, I want to be sure I have it all in some order.

Some quick history about Jerry: He danced on Broadway with the Condos Brothers, Nick & Steve. Nick Condos, later married Martha Raye. Jerry was a boxer for a short time. He taught himself to play the piano, vibes and the trumpet. He had a show and used to dance on stage. He did a routine with steps that was fantastic. He was doing this act when I met him.

More about Jerry on the next page. 

Notes for stories.

The Pin-up, The Grate, and the Nite-Owl. Joe Mooney, Kaye Masters, Ella Fitzgerald, Zoot Simms, Flip Phillips, The Vagabonds.

Miami Undercover, Rocky Graziano  Jake LaMotta  Jill Corey, Howard Koch, Buddy Rich. Sarah Brockett.

*These are the original shots that i took for the magazines