30 July 2019

Chicago singer Marie Jordan

Singer Marie Jordan recorded four 7-inches on the obsure AIA-label.
Who was she, I wondered. Well, I found her orbituary .

She was Maria Rispoli, born 1920 in Sassano, Italy, she immigrated in 1923 into the US. She sang in Chicago in the 1940s and 50s as Marie Jordan. She died age 92 in 2013. An interesting article about mother Marie Jordan and her daughter Bobbi was written in 1990 by Bill Gringer in the Chicago Tribune. It tells of how Marie could have had her big break when music star Jimmy Durante wanted her in his program in Vegas, but Marie's boss/manager, Chicago gangster Jimmy Allegretti, refused to let her go as she was too good for his business.
In the mid 1960s, when Marie was 45 years old, she recorded a couple of songs for a label called AIA (American International Artists). At least four singles were released.
The AIA-discography of 45cat.com mentions these 4 records, all released in 1965. These records were pressed by RCA Custom Record Division. Produces, arrangers were musical aces like Stan Kesler, Charles Chalmers or Jim Hall.
AIA-670A-1580: Talk To Me b/w Don't Go To Strangers
AIA-670A-1581: I'll Remember April (DePaul, Johnston, Raye) b/w Somewhere In Your Heart (Faith, Kehner)
AIA-670A-1582: Magic Circle (Loudermilk) b/w Silver Dollar (Palmer, Van Ness)
AIA-670A-1995: I Can't Get You Out Of My Heart b/w Mala Femmena (Pennino, Gaudiosi)
It seems that no other artists have recorded for AIA. I could not find any other release between 670A-1582 and 670A-1995
Some of these songs are 1940s standards that Marie probably had sung all of her life, others were recent covers of Italian crooners' hits of the early 1960s (Sinatra, Jerry Vale, Al Martino).
But there is just one obscure song that intrigues me: her cover of the 1964 John D. Loudermilk song, "The Magic Circle". It's a beautiful ballad that probably has been brought to Marie's attention by RCA's Jim Hall who arranged the song for her. Loudermilk's song was released only once before, on a 1964 LP by 'obscure' Jana Louise. Though a strong and catchy song, it seems like it hasn't been recorded anymore.

Acetate of the original John D. Loudermilk demo.
If somebody can provide me the music of Marie Jordan's recording, please contact me, I'd love to hear it!  (thank you Ian for finding it!)