Penna, Dennis 1947-

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Penna, Dennis 1947-
(Dennis Roy Penna)


Born March 24, 1947, in New York, NY. Education: Earned teaching credential from University of California, Los Angeles.


Office—c/o Author Mail, Feral House, P.O. Box 39910, Los Angeles, CA 90039.


Singer in nightclubs and on television; recording artist.


(With Joseph Lanza) Russ Columbo and the Crooner Mystique, Feral House (Los Angeles, CA), 2003.

Also author of screenplay, The Only Way to Spy.


Dennis Penna's book Russ Columbo and the Crooner Mystique, written in collaboration with Joseph Lanza, illuminates the life and death of singer Russ Columbo. Though his name has fallen into obscurity, Columbo once rivaled popular crooners such as Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee. The youngest of twelve children born to Italian immigrants, Columbo studied violin as a child and later made a living playing accompaniment for silent movies. He began singing on the nightclub circuit, and he later performed on the radio. The attractive baritone seemed poised to make a big break as a film star when he was shot by his close friend, Lansing Brown. The 1934 incident was ruled an accident, but Penna and Lanza raise some questions about the shooting. The book will appeal to those interested in Hollywood lore, according to Mike Tribby, who further noted in his Booklist review that "Lanza and Penna's rather ethereal style seems fully appropriate" for evoking the time and place in which Columbo lived and died. Library Journal contributor Barry Zaslow praised Russ Columbo as "fascinating" and added: "The period photos, supportive documentation, and catchy wording add to the impact."



Booklist, February 1, 2003, Mike Tribby, review of Russ Columbo and the Crooner Mystique, p. 963.

Library Journal, March 15, 2003, Barry Zaslow, review of Russ Columbo and the Crooner Mystique, p. 86.

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Penna, Dennis 1947-

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