Special thanks to Richard Harris for his help with this page.

The Three Vagrants

"Frank would drag me along, and we'd play Italian christenings and weddings. We even played on street corners and in saloons, and I'd pass the hat around. I was getting a lot of experience, because the Italian people, when they get to feeling good, like to dance all night long, especially the tarantella. We played for hours and hours, and my wrists got very tired, but I was getting great practical experience that paid off years later." - Nick Lucas

from (Reader August 21, 1981 Vol 3 No. 43 Los Angeles's Free Weekly) "The New-Fangled Guitar Sound of 1922" by Mark Humphrey

John Bergamasco and Frank Lucanese 1920 - Photo courtesy of Richard Harris
John Bergamasco and Frank Lucanese 1920
Photo courtesy of Richard Harris

TELEscription of Nick performing a Neapolitan song, the type of which the young Nick Lucas and brother Frank sang for small coins in Newark.

Frank Lucanese was Nick Lucas' older brother that played accordion in a vaudeville troupe called The Three Vagrants. When he joined The Three Vagrants, around 1915, he composed much of the material they would record for Victor, Edison and Columbia.

In 1922 Nick Lucas and his brother Frank recorded for
Pathe Actuelle as the Lucas Novelty Quartet and the Lucas Ukulele Trio.

1922 Pathe recording of "Love Dreams" performed by the Lucas Novelty Quartet which included Nick Lucas and his brother Frank.

The Three Vagrants - 1912 - Photo courtesy of Richard Harris
The Three Vagrants 1912 -
Photo courtesy of Richard Harris

The Three Vagrants - 1928 - Josephine Bergamasco on Accordion - Photo courtesy of Richard Harris
The Three Vagrants 1928 -
(Josephine Bergamasco on Accordion)
Photo courtesy of Richard Harris

Three Vagrants Summary - by Richard Harris (PDF)

Richard Harris - March 4, 2011 -

Hi all, I have completed an admittedly incomplete summary of the Three Vagrants. See PDF attachment. I don't know if I will be able to take this any further. There is a big gap from 1920-1928 that I haven't been able to find information about.

For anyone who is interested, I also have about 13-14 of the group's recordings (I have sent this to most of you), a bunch of background information (clippings, reviews, etc.) and a bunch of pictures. Let me know if you are interested and I will send them to you.

Maybe someone will pick up the ball from here. There is probably more out there but I may not have the time to gather it all up.

Bottom line, the group had a long run, 20 years, over which it varied in composition and probably in quality and receptiveness by audiences. It may have had its heyday from 1910-1920 when it recorded a fairly respectable amount of Italian ethnic music. I just wish I had found some vocals, especially by my mom.

Hope that you enjoy this. Please pass it on to anyone who might be interested. Also, if you haven't already checked it out see www.nicklucas.com/threevagrants.html and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go3fu9SQcUU


Richard R. Harris, Ph.D, RPF 1961

The Three Vagrants

Festivita Mazurka ----Victor # 73101 (1917)

Tarantella Siciliana - Edison Record # 7455 (1920)

Return Of Spring ---- Edison Record # 7469 (1920)

This Song Is For You ---- Columbia # E3340-1

The Little Fishermaid ----Columbia # E3340-2

Frank Lucanese - Accordion

John Bergamasco - Harp-guitar

A. C. Mignella - Clarinet

The Three Vagrants - 1918 - John Bergamasco, Angelo Mignella and Frank Lucanese on accordion -  Photo courtesy of Richard Harris
The Three Vagrants - 1918 - John Bergamasco, Angelo Mignella and Frank Lucanese on accordion - Photo courtesy of Richard Harris

Source of this discography is from the book : Ethnic Music On Records by - Richard K. Spottswood

Columbia Discography

Recording under the name I Tra Vagabundi  
C3730, C3731 and C3732 under the name Murga Criolla
New York -  September, 1916
44399-1-------- La Quindicenna - Polka (Lucanese)-----------------------------------------Co E3146
                     La Jouna Filla-Polka -------------------------------------------------------------Co C3730
44400-2-------- Una Notta In Gondola-Mazurka (Lucanese)-------------------------------Co E3146
                     Une Nult Dans Une  Gondola - Mazurka-----------------------------------Co C3730
44401-1-------- Tarantella Siciliana (Lucanese)------------------------------------------------Co E3039, C3732
44402------------La Sirene - Mazurka (Lucanese) ---------------------------------------------Co E3187, C3731
44405------------Tristizia Valse (Lucanese)-------------------------------------------------------Co E3187
--------------------------------------Valse Triste----------------------------------------------------------Co C3731
44406-1---------La Capricciosa-----------------------------------------------------------------------Co E3039
Caprichosa ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Co C3732

Victor Discography
Recording under the name The Three Vagrants 
New York - March 5, 1917
B 19234-2-------- Parigina - Polka (G. Cioiani) ---------------------------------------Vi 69341, HMV R8857
B 19235-2-------- Amore - Waltz (S. Becucci. arr M.V. Cardilli) ---------------Victor reject
B 19236-2-------- Fragile - Schottische (L. Cuzzone) ------------------------------Victor reject
B 19237-2-------- Verita - Waltz (L.E. De Francesco) ------------------------------Victor reject

69612 is a Swedish release: 73156 (Polish) as Trzech Szubrawcow: HMV R8855, R8857, R8861 and R8863 as I Tre Vagabondi
New York - March 9, 1917
B 19236-4-------- Fragile - Schottische  (L. Cuzzone) ---------------------Vi 69612, 72378
B 19261-2-------- Fiori Alpini - Polka (F. Lucanese) ------------------------Vi 69611, HMV R8857
                                          Kwiat Goralski - Polka -------------------- Vi 73156
B 19262-1-------- Tarantella Siciliana  (F. Lucanese) -----------------------Vi 69341, HMV R8863
B 19263-3-------- Sincerita - Mazurka (F. Lucanese) -----------------------Vi 69611, HMV R8861
                                         Szczerosc - Mazurka  ---------------------- Vi 73156
B 19264-3-------- Bella-Tarantella  (F. Lucanese) ----------------------------Vi 69402, HMV R8863
B 19265-3-------- Spernnze Soavi-Mazurka (M.V. Gardilli) ---------------Vi 69402, HMV R8861                                        
B 19262-1-------- Tarantella Siciliana  (F. Lucanese) -----------------------Vi 69341, HMV R8863
B 19266-2-------- La Scintillante-Schottische (F. Della Rosa) -----------Vi 72212, HMV R8855

HMV R8853 and R8865 as I Tre Vagabondi 
New York - March 30, 1917
B 19235-4-------- Amore-Waltz (S. Becucci, arr M.V. Cardilli) ---------------Vi 69437                                         
B 19264-3-------- Verita-Waltz   (L.E. De Francesco) ----------------------------Vi 69612,  72378, HMV R8853
B 19431-2-------- I l Sognc Del Vagabondo (Vagrant's Dream) - Waltz (F. Lucanese) ---------------Vi 72212, HMV R8853                                        
B 19432-1-------- Anna-Polka Mazurka  (E. Lauwreryns) -----------------------Vi 73531, HMV R8865
B 19433-2-------- Festivita-Mazurka (F. Lucanese) --------------------------------Vi 73101, HMV R8865

HMV R8859 as I Tre Vagabondi 
New York - April 13, 1917
B 19479-1-------- Quadriglia -----------------------------------------Vi 69403, HMV R8859                                         
B 19480-2-------- Hungarian Polka   (J.M. Lander) --------------------------------Vi 69437
B 19481-2-------- 'O Silanio A Buordo-March  (A.C. Mignella)  ---------------Vi 69403, HMV R8859 
                                        'Giuseppe Dori - caller

Trio Dal "Tre Vagabondi"
New York circa, 1917
Serenata Napoletana --------Pat 2020, 02020
La Capricciosa------------------Pat 2020, 02020
Trento E Trieste-Marcia Militaire---Pat 2025, 02025
Inni Di Mameli E Garibaldi-Marcia----Pat 2025, 02025
New York late 1910s
Tarantella Nepolitana -----Pat 2049, 02049
Una Notte In Gondola-----Pat 2049, 02049

Edison Records Discography
Recording under the name The Three Vagrants 
New York July 21, 1920
7454------Una Notte Gondola  (Night In A Gondola) (F. Lucanese) ------Ed 51481
7455------Tarantella Siciliana (F. Lucanese) -------------------------------------Ed 51481, 4187(4 min)

New York August 2, 1920
7468----'Q Silenzio A Buordo (Silence Aboard Ship) -------Ed  50900
7469-----Return Of Spring-Waltz------------------------------------Ed 50862, 4152 (4 min)

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