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A Grand Street institution in New York's Little Italy since 1910, E. Rossi & Company has taken many different turns in its celebrated history. Now, just two years shy of its 100th anniversary and barely a block from its original store, the company is taking a bold move back to its roots.
Those beginnings included publishing music from the founder, Ernesto Rossi's, native Naples. Among those recording these songs was Connie Francis, in the 1960s. After that, the company moved away from music, but now it is singing a whole new set of songs, reports Ernie Rossi, the current and third generation owner, who added wholesaling to the retail business.
Three Italian stars head the long list of CDs available from E. Rossi now. One is Patrizio Buanne, who has completed a world tour and appeared at Lincoln Center, and the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. He sings in Italian and English and has developed a following here and in markets abroad, including Australia and South Africa.
Another headliner, Alfio, has a new release, "Alfio Classic Rewinds," which includes the many songs that have been performed by popular Italian American artists, such as Tony Bennett. Alfio also wrote and sings a song dedicated to Luciano Pavarotti. It is called, Voce Pura, which translates to, Pure Voice.
Ernie Rossi says he has also contracted a CD by Johnny Mandolin. "It's an instrumental of primarily accordion and mandolin, and includes old Italian music favorites." There are others, including Jimmy Alleva, who sings at a lot of Italian festivals, and La Sara, who sings popular songs in English. "We also have CDs, imported from Italy, of older stars," Rossi says.
The CDs range in wholesale price from $6 to $12, depending on artist, and the retail range is typically between $12.99 and $22.99. While these unique CDs are headliners from E. Rossi, the company also wholesales many other items.
Among the most popular are two by three foot cloths carrying maps of different regions of Italy. There are 20 different designs, each of a different region. The wholesale cost is $7.50, and the suggested retail price is $15.
E. Rossi also wholesales soccer jerseys from Italy, T-shirts, baby bibs and aprons carrying humorous Italian messages, good luck charms and the 40 card decks of playing cards that are popular in Italy. One of the aprons, for example, reads: "Approach with caution: Italian Temper."
The minimum order is $100, and can include an assortment of products. Rossi also says he will send samples to qualified retailers. Meanwhile, the retail store is open seven days a week, and songs by these stars of Italy pour out onto Grand Street, in the heart of Little Italy.
For more information, contact:
E. Rossi & Company
193 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
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