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Julius La Rosa dead at 86: Singer was fired live on Arthur Godfrey show

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Recording artist Julius LaRosa performs during the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon at CBS Television Studios on August 31, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Recording artist Julius LaRosa performs during the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon at CBS Television Studios on August 31, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Julius La Rosa, a pop singer known for hits including “Eh, Cumpari,” who was fired live on the air by Arthur Godfrey in 1953, has died at age 86.

His death at his home in Crivitz, Wisconsin, was confirmed Saturday by his daughter, Maria La Rosa Smith of Ridgefield, Connecticut, and the Rhodes-Charapata Funeral Home in Crivitz. Smith says her father died Thursday of natural causes.

La Rosa was in the Navy when Godfrey invited him onto his CBS TV show. La Rosa later became a star of Godfrey’s show from 1951 to 1953, recording several hits. The public firing boosted La Rosa’s TV career for a while.

La Rosa lived for 42 years in Irvington, New York, and toured and performed for decades. He moved to Wisconsin last November.