Happy Birthday Mama by the Hoboken Trio
THE HOBOKEN TRIO - Pete and Sibby Galastro - aka The Boys
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA"
This is Hoboken of the 20's, 30's, 40's.....where the kin of the hoboes were born and bred. This is urban country music.
As young men Pete, the tenor and accompanist, and Sibby, the baritone, went off on the vaudeville circuit and along with a friend, they called themselves the Hoboken Trio, singing pop songs of the day. After only a few months the group broke up and Pete and Sibby came back to Hoboken, back to mama/granma/Katie the Great. They missed home and they missed mama's cooking. They went to work in a Manhattan pencil factory and continued to appear as the Hoboken Trio (eventually the third member of the Trio drifted off) at all important city and church shindigs. On Saturday nites, Big Joe Brown (Branda) a good friend and union boss, picked them up, along with mama Katie and anyone else in the family who could fit into his big black Cadillac and off they went to one of Union City's best Italian restaurants - for mussels and pizza, homemade sausage and pasta and just about whatever Italian food you wanted, along with all the beer you could drink. It was all homecooked and delicious. After the eats, The Hoboken Trio - Pete and Sibby - or "The boys" as they were often called - sang their special ditties and Big Joe Brown paid the bill. Everyone in the Hoboken of that time knew Pete and Sibby and knew their songs. They sang for union parties, for church parties, for wedding parties - they sang wherever they were invited. If there wasn't a piano, Pete brought along his uke. After every dinner out, or Sunday dinner home, they sang their songs. Legend has it that young Frankie boy (ole Blue Eyes) hung around the house when he was a kid just to hear their songs.
This CD was originally recorded by Adolfas Mekas on a Wollensak tape recorder - in the basement apartment of the Galastro house on 7th Street in Hoboken on the evening of mama's (granma/Katie the Great) 85th birthday dinner party in 1966. A non-stop medley of vintage songs, with Pete on the piano - a piano that had been a "player piano" and had never been tuned since it was built in 1891. Pete (the tenor voice you hear) and Sibby (the baritone) then in their 70's sound like they always sounded - the splendid lively exuberant voices of the Hoboken Trio.
You are in for 50 minutes of a glorious celebration from the real Hoboken, the Hoboken of the waterfront union guys, the Washington Street May Day parades, the church bingos, the depression and Frankie boy and his mom Dolly. The centerfold photo is of a Hoboken May Day parade from the early 40's.
This CD has been digitally remastered by Fritz Schwarz from the only surviving copy of the 33rpm vinyl edition. The CD cover design is by Kisch. Production by Sir Speedy Printing.
Hoboken May Day parade from the early '40s
Happy Birthday Mama
The Boys - Pete Galastro, vocals & piano; Sibby Galastro, vocals
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA
WHEN YOU'RE SMILING
SMILE DARN YOU SMILE
IF YOU KNEW SUSIE
I DON'T WANNA GET MARRIED
THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE
I DON'T KNOW WHY I LOVE YOU LIKE I DO
BYE BYE BLUES
LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART - MAMA SINGS
WHO'S SORRY NOW
THERE'LL BE A CHANGE IN THE WEATHER
DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL
I WANT A GIRL JUST LIKE THE GIRL THAT MARRIED DEAR OLE DAD
UP A LAZY RIVER
SOMEBODY STOLE MY GAL
ROCK-A-BYE YOUR BABY
WHEN YOUR OLD WEDDING RING WAS NEW
I DON'T WANNA GO HOME
ROLL ON YOU MISSISSIPPI RIVER ROLL ON
I DON'T WANNA GO HOME - MAMA SINGS
DON'T BE A FOOL, YOU FOOL
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA
© 2006 by Pola Chapelle and released by Hallelujah Editions, PO Box 15, Annandale NY 12504 USA
Available on CD $16.00
(Note:If paying by check or Paypal, add $3.99 Domestic shipping/handling or
$5.00 International shipping/handling.)