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"HITS!" What else would a self-respecting mob boss call his first album? Get outta here-I'm not kidding? Yes, "Uncle Junior" Soprano (a.k.a Dominic Chianese) is singing-and we don't mean to the Feds.

Some of you may have caught Uncle Junior serenading the family with "Core 'ngrato" (which means Ungrateful Heart) on "The Sopranos" series finale earlier this year. And so what if Tony Soprano's daughter Meadow, a little drunk and a little disgusted, threw rolls at him while he sang. It sounded great anyway, and was a big hit with audiences everywhere.

"HITS" is a mix of velvety Italian standards, choir-boosted hymns, country covers, and self-penned folk tunes with a comedic flair. The collection is aimed at several generations of listeners- those who remember "Santa Lucia" from their childhood, and others who only recognize Dominic as "Uncle Junior".

Without Uncle Junior's floppy hat, menacing ways, and wicked scowl, Dominic in person looks more distinguished than you might imagine, softer- even, dare I say it, kindly.

Dish caught up with the irrepressible Dominic one gorgeous evening at his CD release party on the BMI roof overlooking Music Row on one side and the famed Nashville skyline on the other. After the hubbub died down, autographs were signed and photos taken, and after he serenaded the crowd, Dominic and I found a quiet corner away from everybody and chatted for a while about his music, his acting career and his life. Here's what he had to say:

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 20 - September 9724
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