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The "Village", as it was called, is located in the northwest corner of the city of Taunton, Massachusetts U.S.A. It covers about 1 square mile with the center being School Street. A large portion of the Village population was Portuguese when I was growing up.

This blog covers a lot of the history of the Village, much to do with my years as a child there: 1940 through the late 1950's. I do have many wonderful photos and information prior to that that and will share those as well. Always looking for MORE PHOTOS AND MORE STORIES TO TELL.

If you would like to send photos or share a memory of growing up in the Village
e-mail me at
feel free to comment on the posts. Directions are on the right side of the blog posts. Jump in, the water is fine and it is easy!!!

I will be posting photographs but not identifying individuals unless I have permission or they are a matter of public record. It you wish to give me permission, please let me know.

I am looking for any and all photos of the Village...

Please note: the way blogs work is that the latest post is first. It you would like to start from the beginning of the blog, check out the post labels on the right of the blog and go from there. Thanks.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Famous Son of the Band

Little did we realize when we heard the band tuning up on School St. that its sounds had traveled far beyond our little village.  Travel they did: as far as the bright lights of
Las Vegas and New York.

This bit of Village folklore is brought to you by the late Joseph Rose, Arlene's father.
 She had recorded his story that now it reaches out to us.
This is a story of dreams and a belief in one's talents.

Mr. .Rose said that the greatest musician that the
 Taunton City Band produced was
 Joseph Crovello.

 Joseph's father, although non-musical himself,  encouraged him to take up the violin. He immediately excelled in it. When he became a part of the Taunton City Band he could play any instrument he picked up.  He gravitated, however, to the trombone. All his fellow band members recognized that a very special talent was among them.

In the twenties Joseph went to New York City seeking his musical fame and fortune.  He played in pit orchestras for many Broadway shows.  For a time he played with Phil Spitalny before Phil switched to an all girl orchestra, something more common in those years (Phil'sAll Girl Orchestra
 highlighted Evelyn and her Magic Violin if you would like to seek it on You Tube 
that,too is quite a story).

Joseph played in orchestras that broadcast live from ballrooms atop hotels such as the Astor.  He always sent Mr. Rose postcards alerting him as to when the broadcasts would take place.
 Her father, writes Arlene, stayed up very late to listen.  From little School St. to atop places like the Astor a strong and lasting link....  

   Listen in and get a flavor of it all. 
 It is very possible we are hearing the sound of Joseph's trombone.

                                                               Our tale continues.

Joseph married a beautiful Zeigfield follies girl named Sonja.  He adopted her son who became a well known artist in his own right.  The Taunton Gazette ran an article on his son some years back.  Try watching this YouTube video to get a taste of the world in which Joseph Crovello found himself....probably pinching himself to be sure it was true.

In reality, it was too good to be true. Tragically, in the early thirties, at the height of his career, Joseph Crovello died suddenly of "walking pneumonia".  Joseph died unexpectedly while talking to his mother in his apartment.  His mother was visiting from Taunton.

The Village was devastated.  Mr. Rose was heartbroken.  All the Taunton City Band could do was to play for Joseph at his funeral.

                                    Joseph Crovello had just formed his own band in New York.

Next post: more about the Taunton City Band and its history.
 Meanwhile, is it possible that there is
someone who recorded the early sounds of the Taunton City Band?  Hope springs eternal!

1 comment:

  1. Great info. Great blog. Sad to hear his career was short-lived. Norma