Frankie Carle, 1903-2001, a native of Providence who became world famous as a pianist and composer, began studying the piano at the age of 5, and wrote his first song at age 13. He was the author of “Sunrise Serenade”, “Falling Leaves”, and “Lover’s Lullaby”.
Born Francis Nunzio Carlone on March 25, 1903 to a factory owner father who couldn’t afford a piano, Frankie was taught to play by his pianist uncle on a dummy keyboard and later practiced on a broken-down instrument he found at a dance hall. As a teenager, Frankie played with his uncle, Nicholas Colangelo’s, Providence band as well as other local bands. As an adult he changed his name to become more popular with the American public. Frankie Carle began his ascent to fame while playing with Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights in 1939, later becoming co-leader of the band. He left Horace Heidt in 1944 and started his own band, The Frankie Carle Orchestra. Carle remained with the band until 1955 and performed as a solo pianist, becoming popular from the 1950s-1980s. He died of natural causes in 2001.