2003   SEPTEMBER 9   #252

Rocky Graziano - The Flying Guru, Maharishi Rocky

From the back of the LP:

"Mr. Rockwell Graziano, patron of the arts, gourmet, bibliophile and linguist extraordinaire has interrupted his social calendar to record this album on the passing scene. His timely and profound interpretation of the love children's interest in meditation will be welcomed by sociologists all over the world.

Mr. Graziano, when not playing polo or guest-conducting the Philharmonic, is a lecturer in constant demand as his command of English is only outdone by his fluency in ancient Greek and classical Latin.

The public side of Mr. Graziano's activities are will known to readers of the society page, but his private life has never been revealed. His famous book, "Sixty-Seven Ways to Prepare Chopped Steak" is believed to have been ghost written as no one can believe that such a busy man would take time out to create such a literary-culinary masterpiece. Mr. Graziano slips into an apron the minute he enters his home and is off to the kitchen before the butler has hung up his hat.

Mr. Graziano discovered "jogging" long before it became the popular fad it is today. He insists that a gentleman should wear gloves and in his earlier business days never went to work without them.

He is a familiar figure in the halls of the Museum of Modern Art and also at the fashionable Belmont. His collection of spode china is the envy of art dealers the world over.

Believing the art of Chaplin to be the greatest challenge a performer can accept he has, in this record, evoked pathos, laughter and suspense. The world of greasepaint and footlights can well mourn the loss of his refusal to play the role of the melancholy Dane in 'Hamlet' at Lincoln Center."

NOTE (not on the LP, just of general interest):

Rocky Graziano
World middleweight Boxing champion (1946-47)
Born: June 7, 1922
Died: May 22, 1990
Bouts: 83
Won: 67
Lost: 10
Drew: 6
KOs: 52

One of the most popular fighters of any era, Rocky Graziano was an adored champion until the day he died. The movie "Somebody Up There Likes Me" was based on his life.

Graziano, whose real name was Thomas Rocco Barbella, was a troubled youth growing up on the gritty Lower East Side of Manhattan. It can be said that boxing saved his life.

A crude puncher, Graziano mauled his opponents with a tireless attack and potent right hand. Another great asset Rocky possessed was the ability to take a punch. His opponents ultimately withered while trying to stop a man who appeared to made of Rock.

Graziano fought between the welterweight and middleweight divisions, but made his mark in 1945 when he knocked out welterweight contenders Billy Arnold and Al "Bummy" Davis. Then he scored consecutive 10th-round stoppages of welter champ Freddie Cochrane in non-title bouts and closed out the year by halting Harold Green in three rounds.

Graziano's three-fight series with middleweight champ Tony Zale defines his career. The three contests lasted a combined 15 rounds and saw seven knockdowns.

In the first fight, at Yankee Stadium in 1946, Zale recovered from a knockdown to stop Graziano in the sixth round. The rematch was in Chicago a year later because Graziano had his license suspended in New York for failing to report a bribe. Bleeding badly, Graziano knocked out Zale in six to win the title.

Zale ended the series and took back the title with a brutal third-round knockout in 1948. Graziano challenged Sugar Ray Robinson for the middleweight title in 1952 and scored a quick knockdown early in the third but Robinson recovered and knocked Graziano out before the round ended.

- Jef Stevens & Karl Hoffman

TT-5:49 / 8MB / 192kbps 44.1khz
from the LP, "Rocky Graziano as the Maharishi Yogurt" (RIC 9422 LP)
(no copyright date- appears to be late 60's)

(Images courtesy of Jef Stevens & Karl Hoffman)