BiographySyracuse, New York, USA
Jimmy Cavallo was born in Syracuse, New York in 1927 and during high school played alto sax in a swing band, and then formed his own band, playing tenor sax and singing. During his time in the Navy during World War II, he often hung around clubs with his saxophone, and jammed with a lot of the performers. Jimmy returned home to Syracuse and also played on the Carolina beaches with his band the Jimmy Cavallo Quartet during 1948 and 1949, and played at clubs in Syracuse like DiCastros and Sorrentos (owned by his uncle) from 1950-53. Read more... group made a recording for the local BSD label called "Rock the Joint" with "Leave Married Women Alone." This may be the dawn of rock 'n' roll music, and these two recordings, with brass and saxophone solos complete with Howlin' Wolfman Jack-imitating yells by the band, are certainly rhythm and blues classics, now available in England and even Russia. Jimmy also recorded his signature song, "Fanny Brown." In 1954, after his group broke up in Detroit, Jimmy was appointed by his "so-called manager" as leader of saxophonist Joe Marillo's already-active band, and they were named "Jimmy Cavallo and the Houserockers." In 1956, they were heavily promoted by Alan Freed after an audition at the radio station where Freed had a show, WINS, in New York, appearing at Freed's legendary rock 'n' roll shows at the Brooklyn Paramount and Fox Theatres, as Freed signed the group to the Coral label for which they began recording a long string of singles, and also Jimmy and the Houserockers appeared in Freed's 1956 film "Rock, Rock, Rock," performing their Coral records "Rock, Rock, Rock" (the title song) and "The Big Beat." The white group also appeared with all-black artists at the Apollo Theatre in New York to promote the movie's release, making them the first white rock 'n' roll act to play the Apollo, even before Buddy Holly. In 1957, the group played in Wildwood, New Jersey and then played in Las Vegas and during 1959-63 recorded for lables such as Darcy, Sunnyside, and Romar, songs such as "Fanny Brown" and "Early In the Morning," and soon disbanded. Jimmy now lives in Florida but comes back to Syracuse every year to play a gig or two, and has finally played his first gig in England. In 2001 and 2002 he put out two CDs, a live album and "The Houserocker!" on which he is backed by Ron Spencer and Jumpstart.