Larry Marino is the songwriter for the musical comedy, Pandora, and lyricist/librettist for the musical, Love Palace. He is also the writer of numerous love ballads. His dream was to have his songs performed by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Eydie Gormé.
Larry’s early childhood was all about music. When he was five years old, his mother and father heard him singing “Always” by Irving Berlin. His father began taking Larry with him to singing engagements in the community. He and his father took turns singing solos to the delight of their audiences.
During the Great Depression, his mother took him to radio station amateur hours. At age twelve, Larry won second prize, which was singing one song per night at the Loft Restaurant in Brooklyn. He recalls earning $32.50 in one week, feeling very rich indeed.
When Larry was a teenager, the legendary Apollo Theater was on his way to high school. Naturally, he skipped school to listen to music of Duke Ellington and other big name bands as well as the sultry voices of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. He was truly fascinated by the quality of all these artists.
When he was fifteen, he wrote his first song, a love ballad called “Happy Tonight.” It was then that he knew without a doubt that he could write songs. He continued to write lyrics to the melodies he heard in his head. When he would present his lovely ballads to musical publishers, they would admire the quality but complain that ballads didn’t sell. They requested “novelty” songs instead.
At age eighteen, Larry was asked to join a band that played at Tony’s Restaurant in Long Island. By this time he was playing guitar as well as singing. It was here he met the sweetheart whom he married at age nineteen. Although Larry continued to write songs for the duration of his life, family responsibilities took precedence over promotion of his music.
In the 1980’s Larry Marino and Lillian Nader teamed up to write Pandora. They obtained a copyright for the work in 1991. Although Larry is now deceased, Lillian is determined to see Larry’s songs performed on stage as he envisioned so long ago.