Vincent Lopez (Dec.30,1895 – Sept.20,1975) was an American bandleader and pianist.
Vincent Lopez was born of Portuguese immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York and was leading his own dance band in New York City by 1917. On November 27, 1921 his band began broadcasting on the new medium of entertainment radio; the band’s weekly 90-minute show on Newark, NJ station WJZ boosted the popularity of both himself and of radio. He became one of America’s most popular bandleaders, and would retain that status through the 1940s.
He began his radio programs by announcing “Lopez speaking!”.His theme song was “Nola,” Felix Arndt’s novelty ragtime piece of 1915, and Lopez became so identified with it that he occasionally satirized it. (His 1939 movie short for Vitaphone, Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra, features the entire band singing “Down with Nola.”) Lopez worked occasionally in feature films, notably The Big Broadcast (1932). He was also one of the very first bandleaders to work in Soundies movie musicals, in 1940. He made additional Soundies in 1944.
Noted musicians who played in his band included Artie Shaw, Xavier Cugat, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Mike Mosiello and Glenn Miller. He also featured singers Keller Sisters and Lynch, Betty Hutton and Marion Hutton. Lopez’s longtime drummer was the irreverent Mike Riley, who popularized the novelty hit “The Music Goes Round and Round.”
Lopez’s flamboyant style of piano playing influenced such later musicians as Eddy Duchin and Liberace.
In 1941 Lopez’s Orchestra began a residency at the Taft Hotel in Manhattan that would last 20 years.
In the early 1950s, Lopez along with Gloria Parker hosted a radio program broadcast from the Taft Hotel called Shake the Maracas in which audience members competed for small prizes by playing maracas with the orchestra.
Vincent Lopez died in Miami Beach, Florida.
Vincent Lopez and his Casa Lopez Orchestra, Keller Sisters and Lynch vocal – A Lane In Spain (1927)