for Italian singers had been terrible for a long time. But then out of nowhere
came “That’s Amore,” “Mel Blu di Pinto di Blue,” and “Al di La.” And things got
very good for them.
And that’s when Macino Rapuchi, with his Maceo-esque
billing, “the International Continental Stylist,” hit Galveston
with his guitar and accordion, and found his way to headline at the Studio Lounge,
upstairs over the Turf Grill at 2214 Market Street.
For the first time
in a long time business at the Studio Lounge got really good, and it was because
Macino knew those songs, and he sang them over and over again as he paraded around
the room strumming his guitar or squeezing his accordion. Macino was tall and
good looking and was full of personality. He spoke broken English. The girls loved
When he’d finish a tune, he’d yell, “Ecco! Ecco!” That was notice
for the audience to clap their hands off.
Men had no choice but to take
their dates to the Studio Lounge to hear Macino Rapuchi, the International Continental
Stylist. Drinks were 75 cents a piece and you had to tip Macino a buck every time
he sang a line or two at your table. Macino could make it by your table with his
hand out at least a dozen times a night. Be prepared for that date to cost 30
you remember me telling you about wise guy Joe Pajucie with his cheap looking
girls in their Frederick’s of Hollywood bullet bras and their Carmen Miranda wedge
shoes, all piled in his two-payment past-due used red Cadillac convertible from
Child’s Motors, don’t you?
Well, on this Friday night around Christmas
time, Joe was in the mood for some loving. So he picked up his cheap looking girls
from the bar at the Derrick Club, loaded them in the red Cadillac convertible
and headed downtown to the Studio Lounge. He figured he’d finally be able to hit
a home run and get in some smooching with at least one of the three if he took
them to see Macino Rapuchi, the International Continental Stylist.
was singing “Al di La” when they walked in.
|Al di la, del bene
plu prezioso, ci sei tu, ci sei tu |
Al di la, del sogno plu ambizoso, ci sei
tu, ci sei tu
| Even though the Studio
Lounge’s carpet was worn thin, and the black light on the murals couldn’t hide
the years that had past since it had last been redecorated, and the odor of Pine
‘o Pine coming from the restrooms was far from subtle, nevertheless on the way
over, Joe Pajucie had convinced the girls that the Studio Lounge in its earlier
days had been the place where new talent was auditioned for the chance of a future
engagement at the Balinese
They sat down, ordered, and the waitress brought them their
drinks along with a small bowl of Goldfish crackers. Macino was on to “Volare,”
and he was whaling his lungs out and the accordion was huffing and puffing trying
its best to accompany him.
Macino finished, and went into his ending, “Ecco!
Ecco!” The audience, especially the women, started clapping their hands off.
And that’s when one of Joe Pajucie’s cheap looking girls, Madeleine was her name,
started slowly rising like a human Phoenix out of the banquette and she looked
Macino square in the eye and said for him and everyone else in the room to hear,
“I love you!”
With that and without saying a word, Macino set down his
accordion in front of him on the dance floor, went to the juke box, threw in a
quarter, and quickly punched up six tunes, one of them the real “Al di La” by
a fellow named Emilio Pericoli. Then he came to the banquette, took Madeleine
by the hand, and they walked out of the Studio Lounge arm and arm toward the elevator
as the audience, realizing what was probably going to happen soon, started laughing
and chanting “Ecco! Ecco!”
Pajucie and the two remaining cheap looking girls couldn’t believe their eyes.
In an attempt to save the night, Joe Pajucie said to them, “Let go to the Pirate
Club for an Oscar steak.” When they got downstairs and got into the two payment
past due red Cadillac convertible, wouldn’t you know that the battery was dead.
The girls caught a cab back to the Derrick Club.
Joe Pajucie started walking
toward the Watch Shop to see if Isadore Jansburg, Sonny Martini and Charlie Killebrew
would let him play a hand or two in the card game that they usually had going
on in the back room. When he got there, the place was dark.
Cherry's Galveston Memories
January 2, 2011column
Copyright William S. Cherry. All rights reserved
a Dallas Realtor and free lance writer was a longtime columnist for "The Galveston
County Daily News." His book, Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories, has sold
thousands, and is still available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com and other
Cherry's Galveston Memories|