"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
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.
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.