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Frankie Carle

Frankie Carle, big-band leader best known from penning the still-popular standard “Sunrise Serenade,” died Wednesday in Mesa, Ariz. He was 97.

“Sunrise Serenade” rose to No. 1 in the nation and sold more than 1 million copies after its release in 1938.

Born Francis Nunzio Carlone in Providence, R.I., Carle performed as a piano soloist when he was 7 years old and had his first band 10 years later. He later played with such greats as drummer Gene Krupa and trombonists Jack Jenney and Jack Teagarden.

He performed through the 1980s, going on his final tour in 1983. He was best-known for his work in the 1940s and 1950s, with songs that included “Carle Boogie,” “Lover’s Lullaby,” “Sunrise in Napoli” and “Dream Lullaby.”

His song “Oh, What It Seemed to Be” was popularized by Frank Sinatra.

Carle is survived by a daughter, two grandchildren, a great-granddaughter and his companion, Betty Scott.

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