Joe Mooney Biography
Joe Mooney was born March 14, 1911, in Patterson, NJ. Blind from around age ten, he played accordion and organ singing jazz and pop with his brother Dan on radio broadcasts in the late 1920’s, and recorded between 1929 and 1931 as “The Sunshine Boys” and “The Melotone Boys“. They continued performing together on WLW in Cincinnati until 1936, after which Dan Mooney left the music industry. In 1937, Mooney started work as a pianist and arranger for Frank Dailey, a role he reprised with Buddy Rogers in 1938. Through the early 1940’s Joe Mooney arranged for Paul Whiteman, Vincent Lopez, Larry Clinton, Les Brown, and The Modernaires. he put together his own quartet in 1943 opening in New York to universal praise and rave revues and a Decca contract but commercial success did not follow and by 1948 it was all over. Big Bands, and the Big Band sound was considered passé.
Joe Mooney made a comeback in New York in 1950, on Hammond with Bucky Pizzarelli, sang with the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra and played with Johnny Smith in 1953. He recorded for Carousel (two titles in 1951), Atlantic in 1956 and Columbia (1963-65). After moving to Florida in 1954, he concentrated more on organ, mostly working locally, chiefly at his club “The Grate Joy“ and occasionally travelling to New York for recorings or television work.