Sunday, September 25, 2016

Two Cats & A Mouse

Mickey Mandolin

Saunders, Jim Jon Music ASCAP

Arr. & conducted by Frank Hunter

Sabena Records S-1/2
also issued as by Mickey Moreno

The flip, "Open Your Heart" was also issued on the Coed Records' subsidiary Companion label later in 1960. Song can be heard on YouTube.

Vincent James LaSpada  1920-1990

This is Vincent LaSpada, who recorded and sang with the big bands of the '40s as Jimmy Saunders
Jimmy Saunders, also known as Sonny Saunders and for a time as Marco Polo, sang with the bands of Harry James, Eddie Duchin, Ray Bloch, Sonny Kendis and Charlie Spivak. He co-wrote "Peach Tree Street" with Frank Sinatra and recorded such hits as "There Must Be a Way," "Santa Lucia," "You Belomg to My Heart," "I Love You for Sentimental Reasons" and "You Are Too Beautiful." He also was a featured vocalist on the "Lucky Strike Hit Parade" show.

The son of Philip Laspada, who ran a bakery at 9th and Cross streets, Jimmy was one of the first of a long line of pop singers to come out of the rich musical turf of South Philadelphia. He started singing on the street corner with the guys and quickly made a name for himself once he started entering amateur contests on stages of the Alhambra, the Earle and the Broadway theaters.

He won a contract with radio station WIP and starred on one of the few live shows originating in Philadelphia at the time. In 1942 he joined the Harry James orchestra, and it was James who changed his stage name from "Sonny" to ''Jimmy" Saunders.
As Vince La Spada, Jimmy Saunders, Sonny Sanders or Marco Polo, he recorded since the early forties for Columbia (Harry James orchestra), V Disc (Charlie Spivak Orch.), Rainbow, Hi Tone, Signature, Coral, Dragon, Mohawk, Laurie, Companion, Cameo and Music Factory. He signed a contract to Chess Records in 1956 but I'm not sure if the Chicago label issued anything.


  1. You forgot about AGON, a sister label to DRAGON.

    Saunders worked with Vince Gagliano beginning in the late 1950's and was Best Man at his wedding when he married Joyce Heath

  2. Recently got a hold of the Mickey Mandolin record. Even more recently, I got a copy of the Mickey Moreno release. While "Open Your Heart" is common to both as the S-1 side, the S-2 side on that was a different record by him called "Infatuation" (written by Sarnoff and Seflin). So far I can't find any connection to the song being released as by Jimmy Saunders (or Vince La Spada)

    Just thought you'd like to know... (It's showing now on