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Jackie Gleason

Not only was he one of the finest comedians America has ever produced, Jackie Gleason applied his prodigious talents to music as well. With a strong jazz roots background (leaning to mesmerized idolatry when dealing with good trumpet players), Gleason developed a chart-topping series of mood music albums in the '50s, citing his reason for their existence: "Every time I ever watched Clark Gable do a love scene in the movies, I'd hear this really pretty music, real romantic, come up behind him and help set the mood. So I'm figuring that if Clark Gable needs that kinda help, then a guy in Canarsie has gotta be dyin' for somethin' like this!"

Gleason began making films in the '40s, but he rose to stardom in the early '50s, thanks to the late '40s/early '50s television series The Life of Riley and Cavalcade of Stars. His television stardom led to a contract with Capitol Records, who released his first album, Music for Lovers Only, in 1953. As a musician, Gleason favored lush, dramatically orchestrated instrumentals, patterned after the mood music of Paul Weston. Gleason wasn't a trained musician, but he was responsible for the musical direction of his records; when he did write a piece, he would dictate to someone who could read and write music.

Music for Lovers Only was a surprise hit, selling over 500,000 copies. Every subsequent Gleason album was a major hit, reaching the Top Ten and selling a large number of copies. Gleason continued to release albums into the '60s, but his popularity dipped dramatically after 1957. After that year, he no longer was able to make it into the Top 15, even though his records continued to appear in the lower regions of the charts. Gleason's records have continued to be popular cult items and they have come to be regarded as definitive mood music albums. ~ Cub Koda & Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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tinseltrolle y
How sweet it is!
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As an orchestra director myself I identify with Mr. Gleason. He could not play any instrument fluently but he fared well with the piano. The orchestra that played on the Jackie Gleason honeymooners was his own but was directed by Sammy Spears. Jackie had a passion for mood music and that passion shows in his arrangements . I met Jackie in Miami in 1967 and what a wonderful spirited individual. Miss his laugh, and his sense of humor.Live on my good friend.
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linda.rae301
Had no idea Jackie Gleason was so romantic. Wowee wow wow!!!
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bockie

I was raised on good music. Starting in the late 50's. Dixieland, Sinatra, and Gleason were the masters in my house growing up. We used to have an 8 track in the family car. Every time we got into the car we would have that 8 track wailing the good music. Now, even though they are all gone, their music and names live on for me. Even now, I have two dogs and every time I want to calm them down all I need to do is turn on Jackie Gleason music or Frank Sinatra and they are out!
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ron706
My sister picked me up from swimming in the summer of 1956. In the front of the car was a new album....Mus i c for Lovers Only. I've been hooked on his music ever since. Jackie Gleason was a mainstay on Saturday nights with my dad leading the laughter. The Honeymooners is always mentioned but he also did a number of other characters including Reginald Van Gleason' The Poor Soul' 'Joe the Bar Tender' and others. Television was never better.....a n d away we go!
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captjrj
I have been listening to Music for Lovers Only 50 years now. I do not believe any music is better. My wife and I enjoy it for background music when we are writing or just setting and listening. We love it!
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cbassett71
ipamer9, I just read your post. I lived at the CC of Miami back in the day. My husband was Gleason's personal golf pro. He actually sponsored Richard on the PGA Tour for a number of years. So I was incredibly fortunate to know Jackie. His writer/produ c e r (Jack Philbin) was my daughter's godfather. Those were the days, my friend...
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jpamer9
Jackie had a place up near the Country Club of Miami that had a floating dance floor for the June Taylor dancers to practice on. That was when the Country Club of Miami was in the boon docks... long time ago.
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bmelrose7
I was visiting daughter and family, they let me play my music, JACKIE
GLEASON,on Pandora. The whole family, plus the workmen remodeling the house, loved it. Today, they continue to play it. Thank you, Pandora.
Betty (2014)
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Jackie is missed by so many of us. His show was hilarious, the music he produced every bit as good as any love song that a man could want. Just hasn't been anyone close to his abilities in my book.
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Jackie Gleason was my dad's favorite! We'd watch Jackie's show every Saturday night and my dad just loved it, and would laugh until he cried! How Sweet It Is!!! P.S. Don't forget: Sammy Spear & his Orchestra, The June Taylor Dancers, Sheila McCrae, Jane Kean and Art Carney!!!! :D
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raghavan275
I love this music, it brings back memories from my younger years,
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... but what did he play? Kind of a key point, no? Was he a trumpet player?
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peter.gersba c h
Why is there a profanity warning on the Jackie Gleason station?
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dlowery428
Love Jackie Gleasonon Pandora
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lindavenezia 1
Such sadly beautiful music
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fspinetta
Jackie Gleason was also an accomplished pool player. In the movie The Hustler Jackie G made all his own shots while Paul Newman's shots were made by the world famous pool player, Willie Masconi (sp?).
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newsbn
I can listen to this great music all night. Jackie Gleason was a rare talent and still missed by manny of his fans....incl u d i n g this one.
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The National Enquire'er and other grocery check stand line rags that present a dying, emeciated celebraty in their weakest and most vulnerable conditions with the head lines, The brave last days of so and so is foul and dispicable in the extreme. Pandora has presented a very nice picture of Jackie Gleason that show his soul and this is how I would like to remember him....and thank God I do. DMB
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One of these days Alice....One of these days! To the moon! And away we goooooo! What are you going to have Mr Cuttahay? The Dean Martin roasts. There are a lot of people that Jackie never met that loved and remember him. I gess I'm one. DMB
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I had a couple of his Christmas tapes but they have been damaged. Does anyone know where I can get a CD of his Christmas music. It's wonderful!
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thomaskidwel l 1 9 4 6
Please, bring back all this geat music and the era too. Times were so awesome then.
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I love the romantic style of Jackie Gleason. I have listened to his music FOREVER
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I first of Jackie Gleason from my grandpa in 1963 a tern myself. Now I still listen so soothing.
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In answer to another poster, Jackie Gleason was the original Chester Riley on television; William Bendix was not available. Later on, when Bendix became available, he took over the role of Chester A. Riley, which he had originated on radio.
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I like this song
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Great music and entertainer. I once saw the June Taylor Dancers at the Country Club of Miami rehearsing while I was on the practice tee . . .
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As a young teenager I was introduced to Jackie Gleason's music do to my interest in music. I was a student of the trumpet and played in the high school dance band. I would listen to everything and one tune that use to stand out in my mind was Starliner and its up beat swing. The trumpets were a feature in the arrangement and I got hooked on Jackie's music. Smooth and very romantic. Jackie did it all.
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dfbergeron
One of these days, Alice.....On e of these days!
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how do i set to only hear jackie ??
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I don 't think he was in The Life of Riley, BUT he was in The Honeymooners
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djacksonfla
Great Music
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docscottseve n 4
I gonna barbeque yo a** in mollasses.
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dkb46
and there was Minnesota Fats from the Hustler
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To the moon Alice!
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And away we go, with the best music anywhere
Bob V.
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hpd2
This is the BEST!!!
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Ahhhhh. He takes me back to a more regal and tender America.
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While Gleason was a giant of a performer- he didn't actually write a note of the music on his albums, nor his theme Meloncoly Serenade He was on the business end of these projects, and there were many , many wonderful mi\usicians, directors, and arrangers who never got a lick of credit, nor studio pay.
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This is the style of music which will stand the test of time.
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bob.pope
Discovered The Great One in high school. Fifty years later I'm still listening to the same albums! Friends, that's good music....
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billktx
Truly The Great One
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JACKIE, THANKS FOR YOUR MANY TALENTS YOU GAVE US IN YOUR LIFE OF ENTERTAINMEN T ! !
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The horns and strings are amazing..... . . a n d a way we go ;)
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Now--this music--love it!!
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zenrose
YES!!! My all-time favorite music for mellowing out, getting romantic, and dreaming!
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margaretmccl a y
Music for lover's only is a master piece. So glad to be listening Jackie Gleason's mood music.
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I was about 19, home for the summer after my freshman year at Cornell University when I discovered my parent's collection of Jackie Gleason LPs (albums.)I loved them instantly. I rememberd that when I was younger, there was a time when my Mom used to play this music when my Dad came home from work and they would have cocktails before dinner. They'd sit and chat in the living room until dinner was done. We kids had to stay in our rooms doing homework until we were called for dinner. I recorded th
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My father idolized Jackie (and Sinatra). Never missed his hour variety show ("From the sun and fun capital of the world, Miami Beach...we bring you-the JACKIE GLEASON SHOW!!!") And yes, Mom and Dad had at least one of his mood music L.P.'s in their collection; along with Frank and Ella..
Gleason, with no formal education beyond grade school; was a genius.
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tc4j
I love this music! I rememeber listening to this when I was a teenager and feeling sooo romantic.
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