Musician, Academic, Entrepreneurial Expert: The Multi-faceted Career of Rudolph Phillip Lamone

Jan 15, 2024 274

Rudolph Phillip Lamone was born on December 20, 1931, in Wellsburg (population 6,398 in the 1930 Census), a town on the east bank of the Ohio River in the panhandle of West Virginia.  His parents, Domenico Lamone and Maria Branchi Lamone, had emigrated from the Abruzzi region of Italy. Like many Italian-American boys growing up in hardscrabble areas during the Great Depression, Rudolph and his younger brother Eugene acquired nicknames, Rudy and Beef.

As a teenager, Rudy became a proficient saxophonist and planned to be a professional musician. After he turned 16 and got his driver’s license, he would drive 45 miles to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Saturday evenings. Using the end of a burned Italian wine bottle cork, he would create a fake stubble on his face and lie about his age so that he could get into nightclubs through dimly lit rear entrances to sit in on jam sessions. 

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