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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA)

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John Primerano

Class of 1968

PO Box 51501 ~ Philadelphia, PA 19115 ~ (215)677-1843 ~

JOHN PRIMERANO is a singer, pianist and songwriter who has appeared throughout the Pennsylvania and New Jersey areas. He is a musical entertainer whose repertoire consists of a wide variety of standard, easy listening and original songs.
A strong, live performer equally at home performing ballads and sing-a-longs as he is with bossa novas and 1950's rock n' roll, John has worked with such performers as Vaughn Monroe, Woody Herman, Jimmy Durante, Mickey Shaugnessy and Guy Marks.
In addition to his musical career, John has acted in commercials, industrial films and has worked in feature films such as Unbreakable, Philadelphia, Two Bits, Mannequin, and the CBS series Hack

April 24, 2010 – Helping Hands Society Telethon, Mohegan Sun Casino at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (broadcasted on WYW-TV from 11:00AM to midnight.)
April 18, 2010 - Guy Steele's Sinatra, the Man and the Music, Hawaii Public Radio. John was interviewed for the fifth time on this program. The topic was an essay John contributed to Richard Gruden's book, Sinatra's Singing, which was published in Spring, 2009.
February 17, 2010 - Broadcast Pioneers Luncheon, Bala Golf Club.
John spoke and performed at a luncheon in honor of Al Alberts.
February 12, 2010 - Private function.
July 22, 2009 - Weekly concert series, Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square.
In an hour long concert, John performed a combination of his original works and well-known popular songs.

Don Giovanni's 2009 New Year's Eve show (WHAT 1340 AM, Philadelphia, PA)
Floyd Vivino's Italian Serenade (WRTN FM, New Rochelle, NY)
Mike Bane's Daytime at Night program (WRDV FM, Warminster, PA)
Jim Lowe and Company - Nationally Syndicated (New York, NY)
The Joey Reynolds Show - Nationally Syndicated (WOR, New York, NY)
The Guy Steele Show - Hawaii Public Radio (KIPO FM, Oahu, HI)
The Charles Schmitt Show (WHPC, Garden City, NY)
Coffee With Kahuna - Paul Baroli (WBCB, Levittown, PA)
The Jim Heston Show - Annual Live Christmas Performance (WBCB, Levittown, PA)
The Johnny Lerro Show - (WLVT, Vineland, NJ)
Italia Mia - Louisa Potenza (WALK, Long Island, NY)
The Tom Luciano Show (WALK, Long Island, NY)
The Jack Ellsworth Show (WALK, Long Island, NY)
The Al Monroe Show (WNTI, Hackettstown, NJ)
Good Morning Hudson Valley (WLNA/WBNR, Fishkill, NY)
Senator Bob Rovner Speaks to The Stars (WPGR, Philadelphia, PA)
The Bob Sacco Show (WQEQ, Hazelton, PA)

CD Info
John's CD, Somewhere South of Heaven, is now available for mail order. The CD contains five well known standards and five of John's original songs, including "Maybe Someday" and "Saloon Song". Both of these songs have received national and international airplay.
1. Maybe Someday 2. I Only Have Eyes For You
3. Hold Me In Your Arms Again
4. Somewhere South of Heaven
5. It Had To Be You 6. Ace In The Hole
7. Saloon Song
8. Again 9. Al Di La 10. Gone Without Goodbyes
The CD can be ordered for US$17.50 plus US$2.50 shipping. Click here to get the order form.The CD may also be purchased at Pat's Music Center in Northeast Philadelphia and the Barnes and Noble locations in Willow Grove, PA and Fairless Hills, PA

Other Coverage

In print...
Sinatra's Singing, by Richard Grudens, with a forward by Jerry Vale. John contributed an essay to this book. 2010.
Mr. Rhythm: A Tribute to Frankie Laine, by Richard Grudens, with a forward by Clint Eastwood. John contributed an essay to this book. 2009.
When Jolson Was King, by Richard Grudens, with a forward by Frankie Laine. John contributed an essay to this book. 2006.

On stage...
The Retirement Party. A one act play about the end of a mobster's career

News Coverage
Northeast Times, March 31, 2005
The American Rag, February 2002, page 19
The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 1, 2000, page E2
In Our Town - Saint James, Volume 15, Number 8 (June 2002)
Italian Tribune, March 29, 2001, page 6
Northeast News Gleaner, November 6, 1991, page 5
Northeast News Gleaner, June 23, 1993
Bucks County Courier Times, September 7, 2001, page 8
The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 8, 1999, "Nightlife" column
Bucks County Courier Times, September 21, 2001, "Entertainment" column

Album notes by Anthony DeFlorio III
February, 2007
Maybe Someday - This is one of John Primerano's more familiar recordings which has received significant airplay in the past few years. If this isn't a standard, then I don't know music! Primerano is at his very best with this lost-love ballad recording on which he wrote, arranged, produced, sung and played piano. All of his considerable talents are on display for all to hear and this recording will stay with you like, American Popular Standard. The vocalists who are complaining about good songs not being written anymore, open your ears and listen to this recording.
I Only Have Eyes For You - The eyes have it. Primerano and his crack rhythm section take a swing at this Dubin-Warren chestnut with a nod to the Red Norvo Trio of old. It's like a trip back to the swanky nightclubs of the '50's. John's easy swinging electric piano leads this multi-layered arrangement with a fine solo. He finds variations and modulations in this familiar melody which has been a favorite of jazzmen for over half a century. The Basie tag finishes out this enjoyable track.
Hold Me In Your Arms Again - This is a Primerano original. John gives this number a Latinesque beat, a driving Bossa Nova, on his favorite topic, love gone wrong. This track grabs you at the start and doesn't let go. John's lyrics are intelligent, never trite, and his piano solo is excellent work. What woman could resist this straightforward request?
Somewhere South Of Heaven - The album's title track, it is not just a clever phrase, but a trip to Primerano country. John's original melody and witty lyric proves that whether they're city or country, girls are hard to figure. This is the kind of material that Kenny Rogers should be looking for. Primerano doubles his own vocal to create a country harmony sound ala the Oak Ridge Boys with an added tasty bit of harmonica. This is not a country parody, but just John showing his versatility in the country idiom.
It Had To Be You - This great old standard is reinterpreted by John Primerano as the tender ballad it was intended to be. Join him at the piano bar as he deftly duets his own voice and instrument as if they were two different entities. John's version is closer to Sinatra than Connick, but also all Primerano as he deliberately pares down the arrangement to just his vocal and the piano. John includes the beautiful and rarely heard verse for this song and his lyrical interpretation is sensitive and direct. He doesn't croon, but sincerely delivers the straightforward declaration of love. John achieves what he set out to do on this song.
Ace In The Hole - Back in the 1960's, cult favorite Jimmy Roselli recorded two albums worth of "Saloon Songs". This was one of them. It evoked the memory of the old-time corner saloons of the early 1900's: dance hall girls, barrel house piano, nostalgic, sentimental sing-a-long songs. More about Mr. Roselli and Saloon Songs later. In this track, John draws on his thirty-plus years as an entertainer to demonstrate how to put over a crowd pleaser. He not only sings and plays old rag-timely piano but also throws in his W.C. Fields impression along with the tongue-in-cheek humor. The long verse leads into the Primerano trio playing with authentic sounds of clarinet and banjo and John's piano solo. John empathizes with this down on his luck gambler, and so will you.
Saloon Song - John Primerano's masterpiece. An almost five minute short story in song that takes you into the proverbial saloon. You can almost smell the stale smoky air, taste the watered down liquor but also hear the gifted, underrated piano player. This is the work of a man who has spent many a night playing in a real saloon. John is the real "piano man". Primerano takes what could have been a trite situation and truly puts you into the head of the poor guy who has lost the girl and has come to drown his sorrows in booze and music. I guarantee that he won't get a hangover from John's song. Although John admits he had Tony Bennett in mind when he wrote the song, I think it would be ideal for Mr. Roselli's fourth volume of Saloon Songs. Somebody please get on a plane to Florida with a lead sheet and pull Jimmy off the beach and into a recording studio!
Again - John uses a simple arrangement of piano and rhythm section to deliver a straightforward reading of this vintage love ballad. A nice piano solo allows Primerano to show off his keyboard chops.
Al Di La - John Primerano's nod to his Italian heritage is this version of Emilio Pericoli's huge Italian Language hit from 1962. It seems as if every singer with a vowel on the end of his name has taken a crack at this tune usually cooking in a sauce of 101 mandolins that obscure the English lyrics written by our mutual friend, Ervin Drake.
Gone Without Goodbyes - Another Primerano original composition, this tune has a contemporary "'70s" feel. The rhythm section lays down a driving bass beat over the memorable lyrics about, what else, a lost love. This recording puts back both the "adult" and "contemporary" in that dormant format. Are you listening, Englebert or Dionne Warwick?
More Impressions of John Primerano, by Richard Grudens
Maybe Someday - True John Primerano is done here so well with a mixture of orchestral backing piano and John's belief in his own lyrics that recount a simple story of lost love with a possible hope for a future, if there would be time, but maybe it's too late after all. This song would hold up on a life of its own if only the recording world would recognize its merits. John presents it as a featured selection to lucky listeners.
I Only Have Eyes For You - It is done with a flavored upbeat take. John has an adventurous time with a knack of bringing out nice meanings to old, familiar standards. It's like hearing these songs for the very first time to those of us unfamiliar with such tunes.
Hold Me In Your Arms Again - Here is a snappy Primerano composition recalling his other gem, Maybe Someday. However, this is a bouncy version with a delivery that is direct and outstanding, sung with chilling truth, flash...and deliberate vocal passion. I like this one a lot.
Somewhere South Of Heaven. John likes to sing this country-style composition that he has written in the truest Nashville tradition. This is the kind of stuff you find in time capsules down the road. He glides through it easily and you can sit back and enjoy this different Primerano material.
It Had To Be You - A perennial favorite with so many singers over the years. It is worked nicely by John with his own special piano and the often left out verse. Actually an important part of the performance. I love It Had To Be You, an honest, heartfelt version if ever there was one. The piano is fine support, too.
Ace In The Hole - Performed with spunk and a vaudeville touch - ala George M. Cohan. Even the rinky-tink piano certifies this neat little little novelty tune and John does it great justice. He has lots of fun, besides. Good effervescent performance!
Saloon Song - An open salute to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, two of the greatest saloon singers of our time and fully acknowledged by its author, John Primerano himself. Saloon Song is reminiscent of Sinatra's One For My Baby and Bennett's I Left My Heart In San Francisco. This is John's great song in both composition and performance, a nice contribution to the Great American Songbook existing there as well as any other song of its kind.
Again - Well performed in John's own special way, notably different from others who have performed it, like Vic Damone. "I did it in a quasi-'50s style to give it a a different touch," said John. A varied and impressive account of an old standard.
Al Di La - Written in part by my old friend Ervin Drake (I Believe, It Was A Very Good Year). It is performed beautifully. This is a good Primerano material, even surpassing other noted recordings of this timeless song. There is rare passion in this delicious musical treat. Great sincerity abounds here. John Primerano has found his niche with this treasured tune. A nice Italian-style accompaniment and vocal efforts to make it, for me, the best of the album.
Gone Without Goodbyes - Now here is a tune that tells a story of a love gone wrong with no goodbyes up front and John delivers it in his familiar style that has endeared him to thousands of fans.
Listen well and Enjoy!
Richard Grudens
Long Island, NY, 2007

To contact John Primerano please call (215) 677-1843 or fill in the form below with as much information as possible which will make it easier to expedite your request.

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