Sal Carson - Bay Area trumpeter and bandleader

October 30, 2007|By Jesse Hamlin, Chronicle Staff Writer


Sal Carson, a veteran trumpeter and bandleader who played all over the Bay Area, at 49ers games and summer resorts, has died in San Francisco of heart failure. He was 86.

A San Francisco native who grew up in Oakland and attended University High School there, Mr. Carson, who was born Carcione, began leading bands at the age of 15. Over a long career, he worked with everyone from Duke Ellington and Bob Hope to Helen O'Connell and Phyllis Diller.


For many years, his band performed at 49ers home games, when he often played "The Star-Spangled Banner" on solo trumpet while standing at the 50-yard line. One of Mr. Carson's tunes, "49ers So Proud and Bold," is in the music collection at the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Mr. Carson's band also played at North Beach's Columbus Day Parade for more than 30 years, at all the big hotels, and at civic functions honoring mayors and presidents. The orchestra was also in residence at Hoberg's Resort in Lake County for 25 summers from the 1940s to the '60s.

In addition to music, Mr. Carson devoted time to the Special Olympics and the Godfather Club at St. Vincent School for Boys in San Rafael.

"He was a character," said Mr. Carson's daughter, JoAnne, of Graeagle (Plumas County). "He was fun, quick-witted, and he loved people and life. He was always looking forward to the next day. Every bump in the road, he just rose above it."

Mr. Carson, who died Oct. 19, is also survived by his wife, Kathleen of Moraga; a daughter, Karen Loing of San Rafael; three sisters, Sylvia and Valeria of San Francisco and Gloria of Santa Rosa; six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service and celebration will be held for Mr. Carson in a few months on Cobb Mountain in Lake County. The family requests that donations be made to the Special Olympics or to St. Vincent's School for Boys, 1 St. Vincent Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903.

(C) San Francisco Chronicle 2007



October 26, 2007

Sal Carson (Carcione) Passed away peacefully on October 19, 2007 at the age of 86, surrounded by family, after a dignified and courageous battle with congestive heart failure. Sal was born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland where he graduated from University High School. He started his band at the age of 15 and became a very successful band leader. People remember his band at Hoberg's Resort, where he played for 25 plus years and his big band at the Forty Niners football games, where on many occasions he played, solo trumpet, the "Star Spangled Banner" on the 50 yard line. Sal devoted much of his time to the Special Olympics and the Godfather Club for the Saint Vincent School for Boys. Sal is survived by his wife of 65 years, Kathleen; his two daughters JoAnne Grasso, Karen Loing and was predeceased by his daughter Kathy Carcione. Father-in-law to John Grasso; grandfather to Kerry, Kathy, Krissy, Tom, Laura and Forrester plus 10 great grandchildren. Brother to Sylvia, Valeria and Gloria; uncle to Donna, Linda, Dianna and other nieces and nephews. Also Matthew Baumann, Linda's husband, who was a good and kind friend to Sal. Funeral Services and a celebration of his life will be held at a later date on Cobb Mountain in Lake County. In lieu of flowers a donation can be made to the Special Olympics, St. Vincent's School for Boys in San Rafael or a charity of your choice.