The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Lily Ann

Artist: Lily Ann Carol
Song: I Don't Know Any Better (a-side) (b-side is It's Been So Long)
Label: RCA Victor 47-4852 (Black label with silver printing)
Number: E2VW-6360
Songwriter: Irving Gordon
Time: 2:53
Released: 1953 (?)

There isn't much information out there in cyberland about Lily Ann Carol. About the only thing I could find was that she was a featured vocalist in Louis Prima's Orchestra in the mid- to late-1940's and that after that she did some solo work on Prima's own Robin Hood label and then the Bruce label. This single was not released on either of those labels, so she must have moved on to a different record company by this time.
From further research, I have found out that the number on this RCA disc was used right after another single featuring Hugo Winterhalter and his Orchestra, and his songs Hesitation/Tic-Tac-Toe were released in 1953. So, it's safe to assume that this 45 rpm of Lily Ann Carol's came out in 1953 also.
The only commercially-available recordings of hers appears to be on the same aforementioned Louis Prima records; actually she's featured on just a few cuts of one album that is currently for sale. Other than that, her works don't seem to be available anywhere. That's a shame, too, because she has a really powerful voice and persuasive inflection. But, don't take my word for it - see for yourself how moving her performance is by getting I Don't Know Any Better by Lily Ann Carol.

Oh, and if you like this song and want to hear more - please let me know. A short comment is all the impetus I need to post the b-side of this record, It's Been So Long, or any other sides I may have mentioned in the course of my blogging!

39 comments:

helen said...

Hi there! I worked in a night club on Long Island during the early 1970's.

Lily Ann and her husband, Joe Barone, were the house band. She was amazing! I must have heard her sing hundreds of times over the year I worked there. Her voice was much fuller, and richer, later in her life. She was a great performer and she had tons of fans. During the summer, the band played up in the Catskills. Joe Barone played sax and was the front man/ funny man. He chewed gum and smoked a fake cigarette (he quite smoking). I remember that they lived near Freeport on the water...

vintage735 said...

Hi all!! My name is Nicole and Lily Ann Carol is..was my great nana and joe barone is..was my great grandfather. They were amazing great grandparents and i only wish i could have hear them sing live back in the day! I have heard them sing in their older days and in recordings from their younger days. Unfortunately they have passed away.

Dexter de Sah said...

Hey Vintage735 (Nicole)- do you have a discography of Lily Ann Carol records?

HaarFager said...

Sorry, I don't have a discography for Lily Ann Carol. All my information was gleaned off the internet. This is all I know about her RCA output:

20-4658 - Lonesome And Blue/Raindrops
20-4736 - I'm Sorry/Please Be Kind
20-4852 - I Don't Know Any Better/It's Been So Long
20-4985 - My Favorite Song/It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You

Sorry I don't have a more complete discography, but maybe that will help a little bit!

Anonymous said...

Joe Barone is buried in Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale, NY

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSsr=81&GScid=174076&GRid=14518023&

Anonymous said...

I had the honor and pleasure of meeting joe. what a great man both on and off the stage. many of my dearest friends were very close with him and that is how i met him. never did i get the chance to meet his significant other, but did have the luck to hear her sing on a cd. a velvety voice that took my breath away. they certainly were amazing in every sense of the word, they dont make them like those 2 any more. thku for the smiles,music and great memories.

Vintage Fan said...

During the 1950s I listened to music on AM from Philadelphia. Once in a while a Lily Ann Carol record was played. I recall Its Been So Long and Please Be Kind. I would really enjoy hearing those songs again. Thanks for your blog.

HaarFager said...

Well, Vintage Fan, I don't have the recording of "Please Be Kind," but I do have "It's Been So Long." You can download it from here and listen to it to your heart's content! Enjoy!

Lily Ann Carol - It's Been So Long

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that greatly.

vintage735 said...

Hi everyone! Its Lilly Ann's Great Grand daughter Nicole. I really appreciate everyone sharing their memories. I could probably send whoever runs this sight a copy of what my family has on record. She really was amazing along with my great gramps they complimented each other well. We would love to shar what we have in their memory.

Vintage Fan said...

Nicole, that sounds like a very generous offer. The more of Lily Ann's music I hear, and there are a few items on the web, the better she sounds. She was much more than the plaintive balad singer, which I love. Wish I could have caught her live act.

HaarFager said...

Nicole, I would very much love to know more about your great grandmother Lily! And I'm sure her fans would love to as well. Please go to my profile, where you can find my e-mail address and contact me about this information you have. Thanks for offering it for the benefit of all her fans!

Charlie M said...

wow - how wonderful to see these comments about such beautiful people - LilyAnn and Joe ! I too had the pleasure of first knowing them from our nights together in the late 70's at Jilly's in NYC. I can still vividly hear Lily sing "Come in from the rain" alongside her beloved Joe on stage...occasionally Sinatra and his friends would stop in to hear them and always enjoyed seeing them perform. What made Lily and Joe B so special was their generosity of spirit and love of being around their great family and friends having a good time. I miss them and those trips to AC ...Nicole , please send a big hug to your family -- "Charlie the waiter"

Anonymous said...

Hi...I got to know Joe & Lily Ann very well when they played at the Holiday Inn (not the Hotel) on Northern Blvd, the Montclair Supper club in Jackson Heights, the San Su San on long Island & Norby Walters next door to the Copa. They were terrific!! When they got married, they went to Hawaii for their honeymoon. I was working for United Airlines at the time. I booked their reservations & had a bottle of champaign boarded especially for them. Both Joe & Lily Ann were very, very talented & also terrific people. They made an album(33 1/3 RPM) gave me a copy. I have it packed away. I have many fond memorys of them. JO Calabretta

Anonymous said...

Based on the Discography on louisprima.com, Lily Ann Carol was with the Prima band from 1940 to 1946 while he was on the Hit and Majestic label (I believe these labels were related). I have a number of these copies on these the two lables, perhaps, 6 or 7 including I Walk Alone.

Regards,
Benny in NJ

STANLEY said...

Lily Ann and Joe worked the Night Owl Lounge at the Concord Hotel in Kiamesha, NY. I worked with a band at a hotel nearby. When we were through we would hop over to the Concord to listen the their great music.
A few years ago I ran into Joe here in Fort Lauderdale. I reminded him of a bit he would pull - Since he never knew the lyrics to the break in "That's Life" he would sing, "I've been a Pipity, poppity, pippity, poppity, pippity, poppity......." He laughed and said that he hasn't done that shtick in a hundred years.
His comment about LilyAnn, with tears in his eyes was, "She was a good woman."

jukinjackson said...

hi,
I have a 45 rpm record by lilly Ann Carol on Cub record label# K9016 it is a disc jockey label meaning it was promotional use
sides are: yes sir that's my baby/ come back to sorrento. she sings in italian on the sorrento side and there is a honkin sax backup on yes sir, could that be her husband? hope you enjoy hearing this bit of info.
jack

HaarFager said...

Thanks for the information, Jack! It's good to see she's still got fans out there. I hope you enjoyed my article about her.

greeniiz111 said...

Hello everyone, my father John Pierini was the bass player in the Jan Raye Quartet who played with Lily Ann Carol. I recently found an entertainment flyer with their picture when they performed at the Grange Cafe Tavern. I often listen to their music, which I transfered to discs and I love to hear my fathers voice in the backround.

This month is 10yrs that he passed and I miss him everyday.

If anyone can remember the Jan Raye Quartet I would love to hear about it.

Thank you
Laura

Karel said...

Thanks to you now I know this wonderful singer! Thank you and best regards!
K.

Anonymous said...

My mother had an old 78 rpm of "My Favorite Song/It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You by Lily Ann Carol. She inherited it, along with a number of other 78's from my grandfather's collection, way back in the 50's. How she got them away from my grandmother, we'll never know. When both my parents died and we had to clean-out the family home, we couldn't find any of those 78's. I do remember those beautiful songs, with Lily Ann Carol's easy, clear voice, in what would definitely be the 40's style. She was backed on "My Favorite Song" by male singers with their "...do, do, do, do..." harmonies. Oh, how I wish I could hear these gems today!

HaarFager said...

I don't have either one of those two songs, but "My Favorite Song" does appear to be available on a collection called "Girls Allowed: 50's Girls Rarities." It is on the Jasmine record label and was released on July 19th, 2010. It should be fairly easy to locate.

Tina said...

Hi All, My name is Tina Henry Wrigley, my Father was a comedian..Pat Henry..who worked with, and knew Joe and Lily Ann very well. My parents were very close friends with them, so I grew up knowing these two lovely people. I cannot even tell you the fun they all had together...but I can tell you that Joe was a funny wonderful man, and Lily Ann was one of the sweetest women I ever met...also tremendously talented both of them. I particularly remember Lily singing Come in from the rain...just perfection. My parent are both gone now as wel...I miss all these great people...funny I was thinking about Lily today so I decided to wiki her to see what I could find ( musically) and found this...a special hello to Nicole, are you Richie, or Michaels daughter?

Tina

Anonymous said...

I have an autograph signed by LilyAnn when she was a singer for the Louis Prima Band. Probably from 1944 and, more than likely, the band was playing at the Steele Pier in Atlantic City. Thanks for all the posts.

Bill Canino
Murrells Inlet, SC

August 13, 2013

mrgoodfella said...


keith here from baldwin ( next to freeport) - joe and lilly lived across the street from me - Mike and Richie - where are you guys? lol My parents also ran into joe in florida as well. - They always practiced at their house - I remember them all dolled up pulling out of their garage every night at 10 pm to go do their show.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is Helen Fitzsimmons. I grew at 55 Custer Avenue in Newark, NJ. The beautiful Lily Ann Carrol and her family (whose last name I can't recall, but I knew Carroll was her stage name)lived two doors north of us. She was a most beautiful woman, but more importantly she had a truly sweet spirit. As a girl, I thought she was the most gorgeous creature I had ever seen. She was a celebrity but she was so friendly to everyone in the neighborhood tyhat we all loved her. She had a huge single hit in "I'll Walk Alone," which we all loved. I remember spending time at her house and being enthralled by her. If anyone knows if that song is still available for purchase anywhere, please write to me at 325 Tiller Avenue, Beachwood, NJ 08722. It holds such wonderful memories for me.

Lloyd Wagner said...

My name is Lloyd Wagner and in the summers of 1968-1969-1970, I was a waiter in the Concord Hotel's Night Owl Lounge with Ken Rosenberg, Bill Banfield, Bo Hanover and George Lipkowitz. Joe Barone and Lilly Ann Carol were a great team--- kind, funny and had a wonderful act. Our Lounge also featured Erskine Hawkins, Gerri Granger, and The Mike Cerrati Trio. THOSE WERE THE DAYS!!!!

Anonymous said...

My parents used to go to the San su San to see Joe Barrone and Lilly ann Carol. One time they convinced me to go with them. I do remember it being a lot of laughs and some really good music...Much better time than I thought it would be!

Anonymous said...

I was just listening to Everybody Knew but Me. I really love it. She was so talented. It's nice to read all these nice things about her and her husband. I actually knew (slightly) Mike Cerrati , whom someone mentioned in connection with Lily Ann.

Anonymous said...

I was stationed in Germany with the RAF during the Berlin Airlift in 1949. One of our favourite records played on the Malcolm Club (a sort of serviceman's club on the base) was Lily Ann Carol's recording of a very cheeky (for those days) song called I Wanna Get Married. Even after all these years I can remember the verse
Let others play the field
I'd rather choose one
I wanna order twin beds
And only use one

Very daring for those far-off days!

Anonymous said...

I had a 78 of lilyann's "please be kind FABULOUS!

Kerry Beary said...

Have a one off copy of her 45 "Raindrops" RCA 47-4658 that a fan who worked at RCA after WW2 pressed for himself. Interesting to hear all of the memories of her talent. Other side of this record is Pee Wee King, another major performer during the war years. Nice to finally know more about Lily Ann Carol. Here's a pic of "Raindrops":

http://kerrybeary.com/PopShop/Static/APS_Images/Records/RCA_Vanity_45B.jpg

HaarFager said...

Hey, thanks for posting the picture of that record, Kerry Beary! That colored vinyl is awesome looking. Plus, it looks like it's in mint condition! I had heard that RCA was the first label to use colored vinyl and that they started doing so just after WWII. That is such a beautiful record to have in your collection - thanks for sharing it!

Richard Seitz said...

Hi, I happened to find this thread and thought I'd mention that my father was the Bass player Bill Seitz for Joe and Lily Ann in the 70's I was at a few of those Concord Hotel gigs when I was kid. My father still plays Bass in Dallas TX. I'm really not in touch with him anymore though. Anyway just thought I'd mention that. Thanks

HaarFager said...

Well, Richard - thanks so much for mentioning that! I wonder if there are any recordings of Joe and Lily's live act from the 1970's? I'm a professional musician myself and always love hearing live shows of my favorite artists.

Richard Seitz said...

Years ago my father had a VHS tape of an appearance they did on the "Mike Douglas Show" I've searched for the particular episode but can't find it anywhere. Love to see it again.

Anonymous said...

Lily Ann Carol's "My Favorite Song" and "It wouldn't Be the Same Without You" were juke box favorites for sing-alongs in many Hawaii bars. When those songs were played, the whole house joined in. It was quite impressive and memorable

Alan Eichler said...

Lily Ann Carol and Joe Barone recorded a LP, "Live From Jupiter's," which you can still find on Ebay, www.discogs.com and other music websites.

HaarFager said...

Thanks for the name of that album, Alan! I had heard they recorded a live album, but never knew what it was called. I'm going to have to go and see if I can find it.