Pages in category "American crooners"
The following 39 pages are in this category, out of 39 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 39 pages are in this category, out of 39 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Paul Anka – Paul Albert Anka OC is a Canadian-American singer, songwriter, and actor. Anka became famous during the late 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s with hit songs like Diana, Lonely Boy, Put Your Head on My Shoulder and he was inducted into Canadas Walk of Fame in 2005. In 1983, he co-wrote the song I Never Heard with Michael Jackson and it was retitled and released in 2009 under the name This Is It. An additional song that Jackson co-wrote with Anka from this 1983 session, the song was also released by Johnny Mathis in 1984. Anka became a naturalized US citizen in 1990, Anka was born in Ottawa, Ontario, to Camelia and Andrew Emile Andy Anka, Sr. who owned a restaurant called the Locanda. His parents were both Antiochian Orthodox Christians, Ankas father was Syrian-American from ’Uyūn al-Wādī from the NaNou family and his mother was Canadian-Lebanese from the town of Kfarmishki, in Lebanon. Anka sang with the St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church choir under the direction of Frederick Karam and he studied piano with Winnifred Rees. He attended Fisher Park High School, where he was part of a trio called the Bobby Soxers. Paul Anka recorded his first single, I Confess, when he was 14, in an interview with NPRs Terry Gross in 2005, he stated that it was to a girl at his church whom he hardly knew. The song Diana brought Anka stardom as it rocketed to No.1 on the Canadian, Diana is one of the best selling singles ever by a Canadian recording artist. He followed up with four songs made it into the Top 20 in 1958, including Its Time to Cry, which hit No.4 and My Heart Sings. 15, making him one of the biggest teen idols of the time and he toured Britain, then Australia with Buddy Holly. Anka also wrote It Doesnt Matter Anymore – a song written for Holly, Anka stated shortly afterward, It Doesnt Matter Anymore has a tragic irony about it now, but at least it will help look after Buddy Hollys family. Im giving my composers royalty to his widow – its the least I can do, Paul Ankas talent included the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Anka composed Tom Joness biggest hit record, Shes a Lady, and wrote the English lyrics to My Way, Frank Sinatras signature song. In the 1960s, Anka began acting in motion pictures as well as writing songs for them, most notably the theme for the hit film The Longest Day, for his film work he wrote and recorded one of his greatest hits, Lonely Boy. He also wrote and recorded My Home Town, which was a No.8 pop hit for him the same year and he then went on to become one of the first pop singers to perform at the Las Vegas casinos. In 1960, he appeared twice as himself in NBCs short-lived crime drama Dan Raven, in 1960, Anka signed with RCA VictorPaul Anka – Anka at the 2007 North Sea Jazz Festival
2. Fred Astaire – Fred Astaire was an American dancer, singer, actor, choreographer and television presenter. His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films and several television specials, Astaire was ranked by the American Film Institute as the fifth greatest male star of Classic Hollywood cinema in 100 Years. Gene Kelly, another star in filmed dance, said that the history of dance on film begins with Astaire, later, he asserted that Astaire was the only one of todays dancers who will be remembered. Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of Johanna Ann, Astaires mother was born in the United States to Lutheran German immigrants from East Prussia and Alsace. Astaires father was born in Linz, Austria, to Jewish parents who had converted to Roman Catholicism, Astaires mother dreamed of escaping Omaha by virtue of her childrens talents, after Astaires sister, Adele Astaire, early on revealed herself to be an instinctive dancer and singer. She planned a brother and sister act, which was common in vaudeville at the time, although Astaire refused dance lessons at first, he easily mimicked his older sisters steps and took up piano, accordion, and clarinet. Despite Adele and Freds teasing rivalry, they acknowledged their individual strengths, his durability. Fred and Adeles mother suggested they change their name to Astaire, Family legend attributes the name to an uncle surnamed LAstaire. They were taught dance, speaking, and singing in preparation for developing an act and their first act was called Juvenile Artists Presenting an Electric Musical Toe-Dancing Novelty. Fred wore a top hat and tails in the first half, in an interview, Astaires daughter, Ava Astaire McKenzie, observed that they often put Fred in a top hat to make him look taller. The goofy act debuted in Keyport, New Jersey, in a tryout theater, the local paper wrote, the Astaires are the greatest child act in vaudeville. As a result of their fathers salesmanship, Fred and Adele rapidly landed a contract and played the famed Orpheum Circuit in the Midwest, Western. Soon Adele grew to at least three inches taller than Fred and the pair began to look incongruous. The family decided to take a break from show business to let time take its course and to avoid trouble from the Gerry Society. In 1912, Fred became an Episcopalian, the career of the Astaire siblings resumed with mixed fortunes, though with increasing skill and polish, as they began to incorporate tap dancing into their routines. Astaires dancing was inspired by Bill Bojangles Robinson and John Bubbles Sublett, from vaudeville dancer Aurelio Coccia, they learned the tango, waltz, and other ballroom dances popularized by Vernon and Irene Castle. Some sources state that the Astaire siblings appeared in a 1915 film titled Fanchon, the Cricket, starring Mary Pickford, by age 14, Fred had taken on the musical responsibilities for their act. He first met George Gershwin, who was working as a song plugger for Jerome H. Remicks music publishing company, Fred had already been hunting for new music and dance ideasFred Astaire – In You'll Never Get Rich (1941)
3. Gene Austin – Gene Austin was an American singer and songwriter, one of the first crooners. His 1920s compositions When My Sugar Walks Down the Street and The Lonesome Road became pop, Austin was born as Lemeul Eugene Lucas in Gainesville, Texas, to Nova Lucas and the former Serena Belle Harrell. He took the name Gene Austin from his stepfather, Jim Austin, Austin grew up in Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, located east of Shreveport. In Minden, he learned to play piano and guitar and he ran away from home at 15 and attended a vaudeville act in Houston, Texas, where the audience was allowed to come to the stage and sing. On a dare from his friends, Austin took the stage, the audience response was overwhelming, and the vaudeville company immediately offered him a billed spot on their ticket. Austin joined the U. S. Army at the age of 17 in hopes of being dispatched to Europe to fight in World War I and he was first stationed in New Orleans, where he played the piano at night in the citys notorious vice district. Thereafter, he served in France in World War I, on returning to the United States in 1919, Austin settled in Baltimore, Maryland, where he intended to study dentistry. Soon, however, he was playing piano and singing in local taverns and he started writing songs and formed a vaudeville act with Roy Bergere, with whom he wrote How Come You Do Me Like You Do. The act ended when Bergere married, Austin worked briefly in a club owned by Lou Clayton, who later was a part of the famous vaudeville team Clayton, Jackson and Durante. In the 1940s, Austin and his singers toured the country in a 14-truck caravan with its own power plant and he stopped in Minden, Louisiana, and performed there in a popular tent show on the grounds of the local Coca-Cola plant owned by the Hunter family. In 1925, Austin recorded his popular song When My Sugar Walks Down the Street for the Victor Talking Machine Company in a duet with Aileen Stanley, nathaniel Shilkret, in his autobiography, describes the events leading to the recording. In the next decade with Victor, Austin sold over 80 million records – a total unmatched by a single artist for 40 years, best sellers included The Lonesome Road, Riding Around in the Rain, and Ramona. Such later crooners as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Russ Columbo all credited Austin with creating the genre that began their careers. Gene Austin was an important pioneer crooner whose records in their day enjoyed record sales, the Genial Texan ex-vaudevillian and would-be screen idol, Austin constitutes an underrated landmark in popular music history. He made a number of influential recordings from the mid-1920s including a string of best-sellers. His 1926 Bye Bye Blackbird was in the top twenty records. George A. Whiting and Walter Donaldson’s My Blue Heaven was charted during 1928 for 26 weeks, stayed at #1 for 13 and it was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. Until Bing Crosbys White Christmas replaced it, it was the largest selling record of all timeGene Austin – Gene Austin
4. Gene Autry – Orvon Grover Gene Autry was an American performer who gained fame as a singing cowboy on the radio, in movies, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s. Autry was also owner of a station, several radio stations in Southern California. From 1934 to 1953, Autry appeared in 93 films and 91 episodes of The Gene Autry Show television series, during the 1930s and 1940s, he personified the straight-shooting hero—honest, brave, and true—and profoundly touched the lives of millions of Americans. Autry was also one of the most important figures in the history of country music and his singing cowboy movies were the first vehicle to carry country music to a national audience. The town of Gene Autry, Oklahoma was named in his honor, orvon Grover Autry was born September 29,1907 near Tioga in Grayson County in north Texas, the grandson of a Methodist preacher. His parents, Delbert Autry and Elnora Ozment, moved in the 1920s to Ravia in Johnston County in southern Oklahoma and he worked on his fathers ranch while at school. After leaving high school in 1925, Autry worked as a telegrapher for the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway and his talent at singing and playing guitar led to performing at local dances. While working as a telegrapher, Autry would sing and accompany himself on the guitar to pass the lonely hours, one night, he was encouraged to sing professionally by a customer, the famous humorist Will Rogers, who had heard Autry singing. As soon as he could collect money to travel, he went to New York and he auditioned for Victor Records, about the time it became RCA Victor. According to Nathaniel Shilkret, director of Light Music for Victor at the time, Shilkret explained to Autry that he was turned down not because of his voice, but because Victor had just made contracts with two similar singers. Autry left with a letter of introduction from Shilkret and the advice to sing on radio to gain experience, L. Watson, recorded My Dreaming of You and My Alabama. Autry signed a deal with Columbia Records in 1929. He worked in Chicago on the WLS-AM radio show National Barn Dance for four years, and with his own show, in his early recording career, Autry covered various genres, including a labor song, The Death of Mother Jones, in 1931. Autry also recorded many records in 1930 and 1931 in New York City. These were much closer in style to the Prairie Ramblers or Dick Justice and these late Prohibition-era songs deal with bootlegging, corrupt police, and women whose occupation was certainly vice. These recordings are not heard today, but are available on European import labels. His first hit was in 1932 with That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine, a duet with fellow man, Jimmy Long. He wrote Here Comes Santa Claus after being the Grand Marshal of the 1946 Santa Claus Lane Parade and he heard all of the spectators watching the parade saying Here comes Santa ClausGene Autry – Gene Autry circa 1940s
5. Tony Bennett – Anthony Dominick Benedetto, known professionally as Tony Bennett, is an American singer of traditional pop standards, big band, show tunes, and jazz. He is also a painter, having created works under the name Anthony Benedetto that are on permanent public display in several institutions and he is the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, New York. Born and raised in Astoria to an Italian-American family, Bennett began singing at an early age and he fought in the final stages of World War II as a U. S. Army infantryman in the European Theater. Afterward, he developed his technique, signed with Columbia Records and had his first number-one popular song with Because of You in 1951. Several top hits such as Rags to Riches followed in the early 1950s and he then refined his approach to encompass jazz singing. He reached a peak in the late 1950s with albums such as The Beat of My Heart and Basie Swings. In 1962, Bennett recorded his song, I Left My Heart in San Francisco. His career and his personal life experienced a downturn during the height of the rock music era. Bennett staged a comeback in the late 1980s and 1990s, putting out gold record albums again and he has won 19 Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards, and was named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree. He has sold over 50 million records worldwide, Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born on August 3,1926, in Astoria, Queens, New York, to grocer John Benedetto and seamstress Anna Suraci. In 1906, John had emigrated from Podàrgoni, an eastern district of the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria. Anna had been born in the U. S. shortly after her parents emigrated from the Calabria region in 1899. Other relatives came over as well as part of the migration of Italians to America. Tony grew up with a sister, Mary, and an older brother. With a father who was ailing and unable to work, the children grew up in poverty, John Sr. instilled in his son a love of art and literature and a compassion for human suffering, but died when Tony was 10 years old. The experience of growing up in the Great Depression and a distaste for the effects of the Hoover Administration would make the child a lifelong Democrat. Young Tony grew up listening to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Judy Garland, and Bing Crosby as well as artists such as Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden. His Uncle Dick was a tap dancer in vaudeville, giving him a window into show businessTony Bennett – Tony Bennett performing in 2003
6. Brook Benton – He made a comeback in 1970 with the ballad Rainy Night in Georgia. Benton scored over 50 Billboard chart hits as an artist, when Benton was young, he enjoyed gospel music, wrote songs and sang in a Methodist church choir in Lugoff, South Carolina, where his father, Willie Peay, was choir master. In 1948, he went to New York to pursue his career, going in and out of gospel groups, such as The Langfordaires, The Jerusalem Stars. Returning to his state, he joined a R&B singing group, The Sandmen. The Sandmen had limited success and their label, Okeh Records, decided to push Peay as a solo artist, changing his name to Brook Benton, Brook earned a good living by writing songs and co-producing albums. He wrote songs for such as Nat King Cole, Clyde McPhatter. He eventually released his first minor hit, A Million Miles from Nowhere, before switching to the Mercury label and he also appeared in the 1957 film, Mr Rock And Roll with Alan Freed. In 1959, he made his breakthrough with hits like Its Just a Matter of Time. Its Just a Matter of Time peaked at #3 on the United States Billboard Hot 100 chart, both of the first two hits were written by Benton with Clyde Otis. Benton followed this success with a series of hits, including So Many Ways, Hotel Happiness, Think Twice, Kiddio, in 1960, he had two top 10 hit duets with Dinah Washington, Baby and A Rockin Good Way. In the mid 1960s, Benton recorded for RCA Records and Reprise Records with minimal commercial success, a million-seller which topped the Billboard R&B chart. Benton recorded a total of five albums with Mardin, including a gospel album, Benton eventually charted a total of 49 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, with other songs charting on Billboard′s rhythm and blues, easy listening, and Christmas music charts. The last album made by Benton was Fools Rush In, which was released posthumously in 2005 and he also had records released on various other labels, including All-Platinum, Brut, Olde Worlde, Stax and Groove Records. Weakened from spinal meningitis, Brook died of pneumonia in Queens, New York City and he was survived by his wife, Mary Benton, and five children, Brook Jr. Vanessa, Roy, Gerald and Benjamin, all of Queens. Brook Benton Today also hit #4 on the US RnB LP charts in 1970. Soulwalking. co. uk – Brook Benton Fan Page VH1. com – Artist Listing Tsimon. com – Brook Benton Fan Page http, //www. shewins. com/bio. htm Brook Benton at Discogs Brook Benton at Find a GraveBrook Benton – Promotional photo of Benton.
7. Pat Boone – Charles Eugene Pat Boone is an American singer, composer, actor, writer, television personality, motivational speaker, and spokesman. He was a pop singer in the United States during the 1950s. He sold over 45 million records, had 38 top-40 hits, Boone still holds the Billboard record for spending 220 consecutive weeks on the charts with one or more songs each week. At the age of 23, he began hosting a half-hour ABC variety television series, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, many musical performers, including Edie Adams, Andy Williams, Pearl Bailey, and Johnny Mathis, made appearances on the show. His cover versions of rhythm and blues hits had an effect on the development of the broad popularity of rock. Elvis Presley was the act for a 1955 Pat Boone show in Cleveland. As an author, Boone had a bestseller in the 1950s. In the 1960s, he focused on music and is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. He continues to perform and speak as a speaker, a television personality. Boone was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the son of Margaret Virginia, Boone was reared primarily in Nashville, Tennessee, a place he still visits. His family moved to Nashville from Florida when Boone was two years old and he attended and graduated in 1952 from David Lipscomb High School in Nashville. His younger brother, whose name is Nick Todd, was also a pop singer in the 1950s and is now a church music leader. In a 2007 interview on The 700 Club, Boone claimed that he is the grandson of the American pioneer Daniel Boone. He is a cousin of two stars of Western television series, Richard Boone of CBSs Have Gun – Will Travel and Randy Boone, of NBCs The Virginian, pats siblings were notified and have acknowledged that the research one by The Boone Society is true. In November 1953, when he was 19 years old, Boone married Shirley Lee Foley, daughter of country music great Red Foley and his wife and they have four daughters, Cheryl Lynn, Linda Lee, Deborah Ann, and Laura Gene. Starting in the late 1950s, Boone and his family were residents of Leonia, in college, he primarily attended David Lipscomb College, later Lipscomb University, in Nashville. He graduated in 1958 from Columbia University School of General Studies magna cum laude and also attended North Texas State University, now known as the University of North Texas, in Denton and he began recording in 1954 for Republic Records. His 1955 version of Fats Dominos Aint That a Shame was a hit and this set the stage for the early part of Boones career, which focused on covering R&B songs by black artists for a white American marketPat Boone – Boone, February 2011
8. Buddy Clark – Buddy Clark was an American popular singer of the 1930s and 1940s. In the late 1940s, after his return from service in World War II, his career blossomed and he died in a plane crash in 1949. Clark was born Samuel Goldberg to Jewish parents in Dorchester, Massachusetts and he made his Big Band singing debut in 1932 as a tenor, with Gus Arnheims orchestra, but was not successful. Singing baritone, he gained notice in 1934, with Benny Goodman on the Lets Dance radio program. In 1936 he began performing on the show Your Hit Parade, in the mid-1930s he signed with Vocalion Records, having a top-20 hit with Spring Is Here. He continued recording, appearing in movies, and dubbing other actors voices until he entered the military, in 1946 he signed with Columbia Records and scored his biggest hit with the song Linda recorded in November of that year, but hitting its peak in the following spring. Linda was written especially for the daughter of a show business lawyer named Lee Eastman, whose client, songwriter Jack Lawrence. Upon reaching adulthood, Linda became famous as a photographer, a musician, and a prominent spokeswoman for animal rights. 1947 also saw hits for Clark with such titles as How Are Things in Glocca Morra. which made the Top Ten, Peg O My Heart, An Apple Blossom Wedding, and Ill Dance at Your Wedding. The following year he had major hit with Love Somebody and nine more chart hits. A month after his death, his recording of A Dreamers Holiday hit the charts, on the way back to Los Angeles after the game, the plane ran out of fuel, lost altitude, and crashed on Beverly Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Clarks last radio broadcast found him in high spirits, clowning with Maxene, LaVerne. He joined them for a rendition of Baby Face, during which Buddy amused the CBS studio audience, as well as the famous swing trio of sisters. He is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California in the Everlasting Love section, Lot 810, hes buried near his widow, Nedra Sanders Clark Broccoli, who married producer, Albert R. Broccoli two years after his death. Both are interred near their daughter, Penny, who was struck by an automobile in Brentwood, Clark had previously been married to Louise Hitz, stepdaughter of famed hotelier Ralph Hitz in 1935. They had two children together before divorcing in 1941, jerry Vales first album, I Remember Buddy, was a tribute to Clark. For his contributions to the industry, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 6800 Hollywood Boulevard. An Apple Blossom Wedding Baby, Its Cold Outside Ballerina Confess Dont You Love Me Anymore A Dreamers Holiday Girl Of My Dreams How Are Things in Glocca MorraBuddy Clark – Clark in a 1942 advertisement
9. Nat King Cole – Nathaniel Adams Coles, known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American singer who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. He was widely noted for his baritone voice, performing in big band and jazz genres. Cole was one of the first African Americans to host a television variety show. His recordings remained popular worldwide after his death from cancer in February 1965. Nathaniel Adams Coles was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 17,1919 and he had three brothers—Eddie, Ike, and Freddy —and a half-sister, Joyce Coles. Each of his brothers pursued careers in music, when Nat was four years old, he and his family moved to North Chicago, Illinois, where his father, Edward Coles, became a Baptist minister. Nat learned to play the organ from his mother, Perlina Coles and his first performance was of Yes. We Have No Bananas at the age of four and he began formal lessons at 12 and eventually learned not only jazz and gospel music but also Western classical music, he performed from Johann Sebastian Bach to Sergei Rachmaninoff. The family again moved to the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, where he attended Wendel Phillips High School, Cole would sneak out of the house and hang around outside clubs, listening to artists such as Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines and Jimmie Noone. He participated in Walter Dyetts renowned music program at DuSable High School, inspired by the performances of Hines, Cole began his performing career in the mid-1930s while still a teenager, adopting the name Nat Cole. Cole left Chicago in 1936 to lead a band in a revival of Eubie Blakes revue Shuffle Along and his older brother, Eddie, a bass player, soon joined Coles band, and they made their first recording in 1936, under Eddies name. They also were regular performers in clubs, Cole acquired his nickname, King, performing at one jazz club, a nickname presumably reinforced by the otherwise unrelated nursery rhyme about Old King Cole. He was also a pianist in a tour of Shuffle Along. When it suddenly failed in Long Beach, California, Cole decided to remain there and he later returned to Chicago in triumph to play such venues as the Edgewater Beach Hotel.00 per week. The trio played in Failsworth through the late 1930s and recorded many radio transcriptions for Capitol Transcriptions, Cole was the pianist and also the leader of the combo. Radio was important to the King Cole Trios rise in popularity and their first broadcast was with NBCs Blue Network in 1938. It was followed by performances on NBCs Swing Soiree, in the 1940s, the trio appeared on the radio shows Old Gold, The Chesterfield Supper Club and Kraft Music Hall. The King Cole Trio performed twice on CBS Radios variety show The Orson Welles Almanac in 1944, according to legend, Coles singing career did not start until a drunken barroom patron demanded that he sing Sweet LorraineNat King Cole – Cole c. June 1947
10. Russ Columbo – Ruggiero Eugenio di Rodolfo Colombo, known as Russ Columbo, was an American baritone, songwriter, violinist and actor. He is famous for romantic ballads such as his signature tune You Call It Madness, But I Call It Love and his own compositions Prisoner of Love, Columbo was born in Camden, New Jersey, the twelfth child of Italian immigrant parents, Nicola and Giulia Colombo. He attended Everett Grammar School and started playing the violin at a young age. He sang and played violin in numerous nightclubs, by 1928, at the age of 20, Columbo began to participate in motion pictures, including a Vitaphone short in which Columbo appeared as a member of Gus Arnheim and His Orchestra. Eventually, he did obtain some feature work in front of the camera, at the time of his death, Columbo had just completed work on the film Wake Up and Dream, he was on his way to stardom when his life was cut short. Among Columbos other films are, Woman to Woman, Wolf Song, The Texan, Columbo ran a nightclub for a while, The Club Pyramid, but gave it up when his manager told him he had star potential. In 1931, he traveled to New York City with his manager, songwriter Con Conrad, Conrad secured a late-night radio slot with NBC. This led to numerous engagements, a contract with RCA Victor records. Not long after arriving in New York, Columbo met actress Dorothy Dell at an audition for the Ziegfeld Follies, Conrad did his best to break the relationship up with a series of publicity-created ruse romances involving Columbo and actresses such as Greta Garbo and Pola Negri, it succeeded. The type of singing that was popularized by the likes of Columbo, Rudy Vallee, Columbo disliked the label, but it caught on with the general public. It gained popular credence, despite its use as a term of derision for the singers employing their low. Similarly, to reinforce his romantic appeal, he was called Radios Valentino, perry Como had a no.1 hit on Billboard with his recording. James Brown had a Top 20 pop hit and performed the song on The Ed Sullivan Show, on Sunday, September 2,1934, Columbo was shot under peculiar circumstances by his longtime friend, photographer Lansing Brown, while Columbo was visiting him at home. Brown had a collection of firearms and the two men were examining various pieces, quoting Browns description of the accident, I was absent-mindedly fooling around with one of the guns. It was of a design and works with a cap. I was pulling back the trigger and clicking it time after time, I had a match in my hand and when I clicked, apparently the match caught in between the hammer and the firing pin. Russ slid to the side of his chair, the ball ricocheted off a nearby table and hit Columbo above the left eye. Surgeons at Good Samaritan Hospital made an attempt to remove the ball from Columbos brainRuss Columbo – Russ Columbo
11. Perry Como – Pierino Ronald Perry Como was an American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century, he recorded exclusively for RCA Victor for 44 years after signing with the label in 1943, Mr. C. as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records for RCA and pioneered a musical variety television show. Como was seen weekly on television from 1949 to 1963, then continued hosting the Kraft Music Hall variety program monthly until 1967 and his television shows and seasonal specials were broadcast throughout the world. Also a popular recording artist, Perry Como released numerous hit records from the 1940s through the 1970s, Comos appeal spanned generations and he was universally respected for both his professional standards and the conduct in his personal life. Como was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania and he was the seventh of ten children and the first American-born child of Pietro Como and Lucia Travaglini, who both emigrated to the US in 1910 from the Abruzzese town of Palena, Italy. He did not begin speaking English until he entered school, since the Comos spoke Italian at home. The family had a second-hand organ his father had bought for $3, as soon as Como was able to toddle, he would head to the instrument, pump the bellows, and play music he had heard by ear. Pietro, a hand and an amateur baritone, had all his children attend music lessons even if he could barely afford them. He showed more talent in his teenage years as a trombone player in the towns brass band, playing guitar, singing at weddings. Como was a member of the Canonsburg Italian Band along with the father of singer Bobby Vinton, bandleader Stan Vinton, young Como started helping his family at age 10, working before and after school in Steve Fragapanes barber shop for 50¢ a week. By age 13, he had graduated to having his own chair in the Fragapane barber shop and it was also around this time that young Como lost his weeks wages in a dice game. Filled with shame, he locked himself in his room and did not come out until hunger got the better of him and he managed to tell his father what had happened to the money his family depended on. His father told him he was entitled to make a mistake, when Perry was 14, his father became unable to work because of a severe heart condition. Como and his brothers became the support of the household, despite his musical ability, Comos primary ambition was to become the best barber in Canonsburg. Practicing on his father, young Como mastered the skills well enough to have his own shop at age 14. One of Comos regular customers at the shop owned a Greek coffee house that included a barber shop area. Como had so much work after moving to the coffee house and his customers worked mainly at the nearby steel mills. They were well-paid, did not mind spending money on themselves, Perry did especially well when one of his customers would marryPerry Como – Perry Como on the Perry Como Show set, 1956
12. Harry Connick Jr. – Joseph Harry Fowler Connick Jr. is an American singer, big band leader, talk show host and actor. He has sold over 28 million albums worldwide, Connick is ranked among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 16 million in certified sales. He has had seven top 20 US albums, and ten number-one US jazz albums, Connicks best-selling album in the United States is his Christmas album When My Heart Finds Christmas. His highest-charting album is his release Only You, which reached No.5 in the US and he has won three Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards. He played Graces husband, Leo Markus, on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace from 2002 to 2006, Connick began his acting career as a tail gunner in the World War II film Memphis Belle. He played a killer in Copycat, before being cast as a fighter pilot in the blockbuster Independence Day. Connicks first role as a man was in Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock. His first thriller film since Copycat came in the film Basic with John Travolta, additionally, he played the violent ex-husband in Bug, before two romantic comedies, P. S. I Love You, and the man in New in Town with Renée Zellweger. In 2011, he appeared in the family film Dolphin Tale as Dr. Clay Haskett, Harry Connick Jr. was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. His mother, Anita Frances, was a lawyer and judge in New Orleans and, later and his father, Joseph Harry Fowler Connick Sr. was the district attorney of Orleans Parish from 1973 to 2003. His parents also owned a record store, Connicks father is a Catholic of Irish, English, and German ancestry. Connicks mother, who died from cancer, was Jewish. Connick has a sister, Suzanna, the siblings were raised in the Lakeview neighborhood of New Orleans, Connick is a first cousin of both Jefferson Parish District Attorney, Paul Connick, and State Representative Patrick Connick. Connicks musical talents soon came to the fore when he started learning the keyboards at age three, playing publicly at age five, and recording with a jazz band at ten. The song was Im Just Wild About Harry and this was recorded for a Japanese documentary called Jazz Around the World. The clip was shown in a Bravo special, called Worlds of Harry Connick. His musical talents were developed at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and under the tutelage of Ellis Marsalis Jr. Connick attended Jesuit High School, Isidore Newman School, Lakeview School, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, all in New OrleansHarry Connick Jr. – Harry Connick, Jr. in 2014
13. Bing Crosby – Harry Lillis Bing Crosby, Jr. was an American singer and actor. The first multimedia star, from 1931 to 1954 Crosby was a leader in sales, radio ratings. His early career coincided with technical recording innovations such as the microphone and this allowed him to develop a laid-back, intimate singing style that influenced many of the popular male singers who followed him, including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, and Dean Martin. Also in 1948, the Music Digest estimated that Crosby recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music, in 1963, Crosby received the first Grammy Global Achievement Award. He is one of only 33 people to have three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in the categories of motion pictures, radio, Crosby influenced the development of the postwar recording industry. He became the first performer to pre-record his radio shows and master his commercial recordings onto magnetic tape. In addition to his work with early tape recording, he helped to finance the development of videotape, bought television stations, bred racehorses, Crosby died at the age of 74 on October 14,1977, from a sudden heart attack in Alcobendas, Spain. Crosby was born on May 2,1903 in Tacoma, Washington, in 1906, Crosbys family moved to Spokane, and in 1913, Crosbys father built a house at 508 E. Sharp Avenue. The house now sits on the campus of Crosbys alma mater Gonzaga University and he was the fourth of seven children, brothers Larry, Everett, Ted, and Bob, and two sisters, Catherine and Mary Rose. His parents were Harry Lowe Crosby, Sr. a bookkeeper, Crosbys mother was a second generation Irish-American. In 1910, seven-year-old Harry Crosby Jr. was forever renamed, the Sunday edition of the Spokesman-Review published a feature called The Bingville Bugle. Written by humorist Newton Newkirk, The Bingville Bugle was a parody of a hillbilly newsletter filled with gossipy tidbits, minstrel quips, creative spelling, and mock ads. A neighbor, 15-year-old Valentine Hobart, shared Crosbys enthusiasm for The Bugle, and noting Crosbys laugh, took a liking to him, eventually, the last vowel was dropped and the nickname stuck. Crosby later described Jolsons delivery as electric, Crosby graduated from Gonzaga High School in 1920 and enrolled at Gonzaga University. He attended Gonzaga for three years, but did not earn a bachelors degree, as a freshman, he played on the universitys baseball team. The university granted him a doctorate in 1937. In 1923, Crosby was invited to join a new band composed of school students a few years younger than himself. Al Rinker, Miles Rinker, James Heaton, Claire Pritchard and Robert Pritchard, along with drummer Crosby, formed the Musicaladers, the group performed on Spokane radio station KHQ, but disbanded after two yearsBing Crosby – Bing Crosby, c. 1930s
14. Vic Damone – Damone was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Rocco and Mamie Farinola, Italian immigrants from Bari, Italy. His father was an electrician and his mother taught piano and his cousin was the actress and singer Doretta Morrow. Inspired by his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, Damone began taking voice lessons and he sang in the choir at St. Finbars Church in Bath Beach, Brooklyn, for Sunday Mass under organist Anthony Amorello. When his father was injured at work, Damone had to drop out of high school and he worked as an usher and elevator operator in the Paramount Theater in Manhattan. He met Perry Como, while at the Paramount Theater, Damone stopped the elevator between floors, sang for him, and asked his advice if he should continue voice lessons. And referred him to a local bandleader, vito Farinola decided to call himself Vic Damone, using his mothers maiden name. Damone entered the talent search on Arthur Godfreys Talent Scouts and won in April 1947 and this led to his becoming a regular on Godfreys show. He met Milton Berle at the studio and Berle got him work at two night clubs, by mid-1947, Damone had signed a contract with Mercury Records. His first release, I Have But One Heart, reached seven on the Billboard chart. You Do reached the same peak and these were followed by a number of other hits. In 1948, he got his own radio show, Saturday Night Serenade. He was booked into the Mocambo nightclub on the Sunset Strip in 1949, in 1951, Damone appeared in two movies, The Strip and Rich, Young and Pretty. From 1951 to 1953, he served in the United States Army and he served with future Northwest Indiana radio personality Al Evans, and country music star Johnny Cash. After leaving the service, he married the Italian actress Pier Angeli and he also made some guest appearances on Milton Berles television show in 1954. In 1955, Damone had one song on the charts, Por Favor, however, he did have major roles in two movie musicals, Hit the Deck and Kismet. In early 1956, he moved from Mercury to Columbia Records and his six original, long-playing albums on Columbia between 1957 and 1961 were That Towering Feeling, Angela Mia, Closer Than a Kiss, This Game of Love, On the Swingin Side, and Young and Lively. In 1961, he was released by Columbia, moving over to Capitol Records, he filled the gap left by Frank Sinatras leaving to help found Reprise Records. Other original Capitol albums included My Baby Loves to Swing, The Liveliest, Damone did limited acting on television in the early 1960sVic Damone – Damone in 1959
15. Bobby Darin – Bobby Darin was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor of film and television. He performed in a range of genres, including jazz, pop, rock n roll, folk, swing. He started as a songwriter for Connie Francis, and recorded his own first million-seller Splish Splash in 1958 and this was followed by Dream Lover, Mack the Knife, and Beyond the Sea, which brought him world fame. In 1962 he won a Golden Globe Award for his first film Come September, co-starring his first wife, during the 1960s he became more politically active and worked on Robert F. Kennedys Democratic presidential campaign. He was present on the night of June 4/5,1968 and that same year he discovered that he had been brought up by his grandmother, not his mother, and that the girl he had thought to be his sister was actually his mother. These events deeply affected Darin and sent him into a period of seclusion. Although he made a successful comeback - in television - his health was beginning to fail, as he had always expected and this knowledge of his vulnerability had always spurred him on to exploit his musical talent while still young. He died at age 37, following an operation in Los Angeles. Born Walden Robert Cassotto in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City, Bobby Darin was reared by his maternal grandmother, Darins birth mother, Vanina Juliette Nina Cassotto, became pregnant with him in the summer of 1935 when she was 17. Presumably because of the nature of out-of-wedlock pregnancies in that era, Nina. Darins maternal grandfather, Saverio Antonio Big Sam Curly Cassotto, was of Italian descent and his maternal grandmother, Vivian Fern Walden, who called herself Polly, was of English ancestry and a vaudeville singer. From his birth, Darin always believed Nina to be his older sister, but in 1968, when he was 32, Nina told Darin the truth, reportedly devastating him. By the time he was a teenager, Darin could play several instruments, including piano, drums and he later added harmonica and xylophone. Darin moved to the Bronx early in his life and graduated from the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, in later years he attributed his arrogance to his experiences at the high school, where he was surrounded by brighter students who would tease him. He then enrolled at Hunter College and soon gravitated to the drama department, after only two semesters, he dropped out to pursue an acting career. Darins career took off with a partnership, formed in 1955 with Don Kirshner. They wrote jingles and songs, beginning with Bubblegum Pop, in 1956 his agent negotiated a contract with Decca Records. The songs recorded at Decca had very little success, a member of the Brill Building gang of struggling songwriters, Darin was introduced to singer Connie Francis, for whom he helped write several songsBobby Darin – Darin in 1959
16. Cliff Edwards – He had a number-one hit with Singin In The Rain in 1929. He also did voices for animated cartoons later in his career, Edwards was born in Hannibal, Missouri. He left school at age 14 and soon moved to St. Louis, Missouri and Saint Charles, Missouri, as many places had pianos in bad shape or none at all, Edwards taught himself to play ukulele to serve as his own accompanist. He was nicknamed Ukulele Ike by an owner who could never remember his name. He got his first break in 1918 at the Arsonia Cafe in Chicago, Illinois, Edwards and Carleton made it a hit on the vaudeville circuit. Vaudeville headliner Joe Frisco hired Edwards as part of his act, which was featured at the Palace in New York City, the most prestigious vaudeville theater, Edwards made his first phonograph records in 1919. He recorded early examples of jazz scat singing in 1922, the following year he signed a contract with Pathé Records. He became one of the most popular singers of that decade and he recorded many of the pop and novelty hits of the day, including California, Here I Come, Hard Hearted Hannah, Yes Sir, Thats My Baby, and Ill See You In My Dreams. In 1924, Edwards performed as the headliner at the Palace, also in that year, he was featured in George Gershwin and Ira Gershwins first Broadway musical Lady Be Good, alongside Fred and Adele Astaire. As a recording artist, his hits included Paddlin’ Madeleine Home, I Cant Give You Anything but Love, and the classic Singin In The Rain, which he introduced. Edwardss own compositions included Losing You, Youre So Cute, Little Somebody Of Mine and he also recorded a few off-color novelty songs for under-the-counter sales, including Im A Bear In A Ladys Boudoir and Give It To Mary With Love. Edwards, more than any other performer, was responsible for the popularity of the ukulele. Millions of ukuleles were sold during the decade, and Tin Pan Alley publishers added ukulele chords to standard sheet music, Edwards always played American Martin ukuleles favoring the small soprano model in his early career. In his later years, he moved to the sweeter, large tenor ukulele more suitable for crooning, Edwards continued to record until shortly before his 1971 death. His last record album, Ukulele Ike, was released posthumously on the independent Glendale label and he reprised many of his 1920s hits, but his failing health was evident in the recordings. In 1929, Cliff Edwards was playing at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, California and his film company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer hired Edwards to appear in early sound movies. He appeared in a total of 33 films for MGM through 1933 and he had a small role as Mike, playing a ukulele very briefly at the beginning of the 1931 movie Laughing Sinners, starring Joan Crawford. Edwards was very friendly with MGMs comedy star Buster Keaton, who featured Edwards in three of his films, Keaton, himself a former vaudevillian, enjoyed singing and would harmonize with Edwards between takesCliff Edwards – Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards in 1947
17. Art Gillham – Art Gillham, was an American songwriter, who was among the first crooners as a pioneer radio artist and a recording artist for Columbia Records. With Billy Smythe and Scott Middleton he wrote Hesitation Blues, which he recorded as one of the first electrical recordings for Columbia Records. The song is heard in the following movies The Public Enemy, Of Human Bondage, with J. Russell Robinson he wrote In My Sweethearts Arms. As a song plugger for Ted Browne Music, Art Gillham traveled around the United States, when radio began he would stop at radio stations in his travels to promote the music by Browne and other music publishers. In 1923 Gillham was dared to sing over the radio, and he sang in a soft crooning voice, and in February,1924, while appearing on WSB in Atlanta, he was dubbed The Whispering Pianist by the stations general manager, Lambdin Kay. In 1924 he gave advice to Irene Beasley that encouraged her to begin her radio, on November 4,1924 he appeared with Will Rogers, Wendell Hall and Carson Robison during the Presidential Election Night broadcast of The Eveready Hour over WEAF and an 18-station hook-up. Before networks were formed Gillham appeared on over 300 radio stations, sometimes he broadcast from airfields with a portable keyboard on the field. In 1930 he had two CBS programs, Breakfast With Art and Syncopated Pessimism and he ended his radio programs with the question Have you got a cup of coffee in your pocket. From 1937 through 1954 Art appeared on radio in Atlanta, Georgia, in December 1939 he was featured in the first demonstration of television in the South at Atlantas Richs Department Store. World War II delayed the introduction of television in Atlanta until 1949. Gillham appeared frequently as a guest on WAGA-TV, from 1937 he had regular radio programs on Atlantas WSB, WGST and WQXI. He concluded his career in radio at WQXI after two heart attacks damaged his coordination in 1954, in October 1924, Gillham signed a contract with Columbia Records as an exclusive artist. On February 25–27,1925 Art recorded seven electrical masters, six of which were released, Columbia began using the new electrical process with its other artists beginning on February 27,1925. The first electrical master was 140125, You May Be Lonesome released on Columbia 328-D, Victor began using the electrical process in March 1925. Gillham was a popular artist with Columbia from 1924 through 1931 and his 130 recordings included Angry, Im Confessing, Shine On, Harvest Moon, Id Climb the Highest Mountain, Cecilia, Im Waiting for Ships That Never Come In, Thinking and Tenderly. Most of his recordings were vocals with his piano accompaniment, some recordings included small groups which included Red Nichols, Benny Goodman, Miff Mole, Jimmy Dorsey and others. His primary competitors were Gene Austin, Jack Little, Cliff Edwards, Jack Smith began recording for Victor in the Fall of 1925. Victor set him up as a competitor by calling him the Whispering Baritone or Whispering Jack SmithArt Gillham – Art Gillham (l.) and singer-songwriter Gene Austin at Atlanta 's WQXI (September, 1953).
18. Robert Goulet – Robert Gerard Goulet was an American singer and actor of French-Canadian ancestry. Goulet was born and raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts and his debut in Camelot marked the beginning of an award-winning stage, screen, and recording career. A Grammy, Tony, and an Emmy award winner, his career spanned almost six decades, Goulet was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on Greenvile St. in the Tower Hill section, the only son of Jeanette and Joseph Georges André Goulet, a laborer. His parents were both of French Canadian ancestry and he was a descendant of French-Canadian pioneers Zacharie Cloutier and Jacques Goulet. Shortly after his fathers death, 13-year-old Robert moved with his mother and sister Claire to Girouxville, Alberta, after living in Girouxville for several years, they moved to the provincial capital of Edmonton to take advantage of the performance opportunities offered in the city. There, he attended the schools founded by Herbert G. Turner and Jean Letourneau. Upon graduating from Victoria Composite high school, Goulet received a scholarship to The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, there, he studied voice with famed oratorio baritones, George Lambert and Ernesto Vinci. In 1952, he competed in CBC Televisions Pick The Stars and this led to other network appearances on shows like Singing Stars of Tomorrow, Opportunity Knocks, Juliette and the Canadian version of Howdy Doody in which he starred opposite William Shatner. Goulets first U. S. bookings were in stock theatre with the Kenley Players. He appeared in eight productions, including Pajama Game, Bells Are Ringing, Dream Girl, South Pacific, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Carousel. John Kenley came to his room after the opening of Pajama Game and gave him a raise, saying it was because he knew he could never afford to again. Goulet repeated his role in South Pacific for Kenley in a 1995 production, in 1959, Goulet was introduced to librettist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe, who were having difficulty casting the role of Lancelot in their stage production Camelot. Lerner and Loewe, impressed by Goulets talent, signed the virtual newcomer to play the part, opposite Richard Burton, Camelot opened in Toronto in October 1960. It then played an engagement in Boston, and finally opened on Broadway two months later. Goulet received favorable reviews, most notably for his show-stopping romantic ballad, after the run of Camelot, Goulet appeared on The Danny Thomas Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, which made him a household name among American audiences. On December 7,1962, Goulet made an appearance on The Jack Paar Show with Judy Garland to promote their animated film and he also would win a Grammy Award as Best New Artist in 1962. On May 25,1965, Goulet mangled the lyrics to the United States National Anthem at the opening of the second Muhammad Ali-Sonny Liston heavyweight championship fight in Lewiston, Maine. Goulet had never sung the anthem in public before, and replaced the lyric dawns early light with dawns early night, the gaffe was reported in newspapers nationwide the next morning, and Goulet was criticized in opinion columns for a lack of knowledge of the lyricsRobert Goulet – Goulet in 1988
19. Johnny Hartman – John Maurice Hartman was an American jazz singer who specialized in ballads and earned critical acclaim, though he was never widely known. Most of Hartmans career was spent recording solo albums, born in Louisiana but raised in Chicago, Hartman began singing and playing the piano by the age of eight. He attended DuSable High School studying music under Walter Dyett before receiving a scholarship to Chicago Musical College. He sang as an Army private during World War II, seeing potential in the singer, Hines hired him for the next year. Although Hartman’s first recordings were with Marl Young in February 1947, after the Hines orchestra broke up, Dizzy Gillespie invited Hartman to join his big band in 1948 during an eight-week tour in California. Dropped from the band one year later, Hartman worked for a short time with pianist Erroll Garner before going solo by early 1950. After recording several singles with different orchestras, Hartman finally released his first solo album, Songs from the Heart, releasing two more albums with small labels, neither very successful, Hartman got a career-altering offer in 1963 to record with John Coltrane. The saxophonist likely remembered Hartman from a bill they shared at the Apollo Theater in 1950 and later said, “I just felt something about him, I don’t know what it was. I like his sound, I thought there was something there I had to hear so I looked him up and did that album. ”Featuring all ballads, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman is widely considered a classic. This led to recording four albums with Impulse. and parent label ABC. With the 1970s being difficult for singers clinging to the pre-rock American songbook, Hartman turned to playing cocktail lounges in New York City and Chicago. Recording again with small labels such as Perception and Musicor, Hartman produced music of mixed quality as he attempted to be viewed as a versatile vocalist. Referring to his approach to interpreting a song, Hartman said, Well, to me a lyric is a story, almost like talking, telling somebody a story, try to make it believable. ”Returning to the combo format of his earlier albums, Hartman recorded Once in Every Life for Bee Hive. This was quickly followed up by his last album of recorded material titled This Ones for Tedi as a tribute to his wife Theodora. Hartman recorded new tracks for Grenadilla Records on their jazz label and these were dance tracks of Beyond the Sea and Caravan, with the latter also having an extended six-minute version. In the early 1980s Hartman gave several performances for festivals, television. His reputation grew considerably in 1995 when the soundtrack to Clint Eastwood’s Bridges of Madison County featured four songs from the then out-of-print Once in Every Life album. A biography, The Last Balladeer, The Johnny Hartman Story by Dr. Gregg Akkerman, was published in June 2012 by Scarecrow Press as part of their Studies in Jazz seriesJohnny Hartman – Jazz singer Johnny Hartman (right) at the Village Jazz Lounge in Walt Disney World
20. Frankie Laine – Often billed as Americas Number One Song Stylist, his other nicknames include Mr. Rhythm, Old Leather Lungs, and Mr. Steel Tonsils. His hits included Thats My Desire, That Lucky Old Sun, Mule Train, Cry of the Wild Goose, A Woman In Love, Jezebel, High Noon, I Believe, Hey Joe. The Kids Last Fight, Cool Water, Moonlight Gambler, Love Is a Golden Ring, Rawhide, and Lord, You Gave Me a Mountain. He sang well-known theme songs for many movie Western soundtracks, including 3,10 To Yuma, Gunfight at the O. K. Corral, and Blazing Saddles, although he was not a country & western singer. Laine sang a variety of song styles and genres, stretching from big band crooning to pop, western-themed songs, gospel, rock, folk, jazz. Laines enduring popularity was illustrated in June 2011, when a TV-advertised compilation called Hits reached No.16 on the British chart. The accomplishment was achieved nearly 60 years after his debut on the UK chart,64 years after his first major U. S. hit and he was also known as Mr. Rhythm for his driving jazzy style. Laine was the first and biggest of a new breed of singers who rose to prominence in the post–World War II era. This new, raw, emotionally charged style seemed at the time to signal the end of the previous eras singing styles and was, indeed, a harbinger of the rock n roll music that was to come. In the words of Jazz critic Richard Grudens, Franks style was very innovative and his 1946 recording of Thats My Desire remains a landmark record signaling the end of both the dominance of the big bands and the crooning styles favored by contemporary Dick Haymes and others. Often called the first of the soul singers, Laines style cleared the way for many artists who arose in the late 1940s and early 1950s, including Kay Starr, Tony Bennett. I think that Frank probably was one of the forerunner of…blues, a lot of singers who sing with a passionate demeanor—Frank was and is definitely that. I always used to love to him with Thats…my…desire. And then later Johnnie Ray came along that made all of those kind of movements, hes one of those singers thats not in one track. And yet and still I think that his records had more excitement, and I think that was his big selling point, that he was so full of energy. You know when you hear his records it was dynamite energy, — Herb Jeffries Frankie Laine was born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio on March 30,1913, to Giovanni and Cresenzia LoVecchio. His parents had emigrated from Monreale, Sicily, to Chicagos Near West Side, in Little Italy, Laines family appears to have had several organized crime connections, and young Francesco was living with his grandfather when the latter was killed by rival gangsters. He later attended Lane Technical High School, where he helped to develop his power and breath control by joining the track and fieldFrankie Laine – Jimmy Crawford (left) and Frankie Laine, ca. 1947. Photography by William P. Gottlieb.
21. Greg London – Greg London is an American singer, entertainer and impressionist. After a solo hit show in Londons West End, he enjoyed a residency in Reno. London was born in Northern California to an English mother and an American father, when he was a young boy he moved with his mother to England where he went to school, but they continued to travel back and forth between England and California. As a child he played the trumpet with his grandfather in the Salvation Army’s local brass band and he auditioned for film and television, gaining several small roles during this same time. His first recording release, Alive Again in Santa Cruz, sold a few thousand copies through East Records, Tokyo, London formed a band in 1984, playing many hundreds of dates in clubs all over California, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado. By the early 1990s he had known on America’s corporate entertainment circuit with his musical impressions-based comedic performance to showcase his talents. London then recorded Song of America at A&M Studios and this was a CD of old and new American patriotic music, arranged by Grammy Award-winning pianist and arranger Randy Waldman and mixed by another Grammy Award winner, engineer Jeffrey Woodruff. After this he went on a tour singing for the American troops, his performances received positive reviews, including Inspirational, truly great. - Clint Eastwood In winter 2007 he returned to England with his own show at The Venue in Londons West End, the ICONS in London opened to rave reviews by both media and audiences alike. Greg London has a gift for impersonating the pop worlds biggest artists. The Icons in London showcases his vocal talent. This human jukebox could perform a gig in any pop persona of his choosing. Its the music that moves and uplifts, London is the polished conduit for it, and the evening is best appreciated for a winter warm up, thank you to America for giving us the soundtracks to our lives. - Daily Telegraph He appeared and sang in the 2008 movie The Dukes, from July 2007 to the end of 2009 he performed at the Sammy Davis Jr Showroom at Harrahs Entertainment in Reno, Nevada. In January 2008 he was named the Show of the Year by the entertainment editor of the Sacramento Bee, by the end of 2008 he had become one of Renos longest-running solo entertainers ever. At the end of 2009 London garnered a best impersonation credit in The Huffington Post, in July 2011 he won Best Show of Nevada in the Nevada Magazine readers poll. On May 27,2010 the Las Vegas Review Journal announced a move to the Riviera and he was then moved to the Las Vegas Hilton in early 2011. It peaked at #40 on FMQB, London followed up with a cover of the David Gates song “Everything I Own”Greg London – Greg London of The ICONS in London
22. Barry Manilow – Barry Manilow is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, musician, and producer with a career that has spanned over 50 years. He is best known for a string of hit recordings such as Mandy, Cant Smile Without You. He has recorded and released 47 Top 40 singles, including 12 that hit number one and 27 of which appeared within the top ten, and has released many multi-platinum albums. He is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time, according to R&R and Billboard magazines, Manilow has been praised by several well-known entertainers, including Sinatra, who was quoted in the 1970s saying, Hes next. In 1988, Bob Dylan stopped Manilow at a party, hugged him and said, Dont stop what youre doing, as well as producing and arranging albums for other artists, including Bette Midler and Dionne Warwick, Manilow has written songs for musicals, films, and commercials. From February 2005 to December 2009, he was the headliner at the Las Vegas Hilton, since March 2010, he has headlined at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. He has sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the worlds best-selling artists of all time, Manilow was born Barry Alan Pincus on June 17,1943, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Edna Manilow and Harold Pincus. His father was born to a Jewish father and an Irish-American Catholic mother, Barry adopted his mothers maiden name, Manilow, at the time of his bar mitzvah. Manilow grew up in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and attended Eastern District High School and that same year, he enrolled in the City College of New York where he briefly studied before entering the New York College of Music. He also worked at CBS while he was a student in order to pay his expenses, according to one source, he married Susan Deixler that year, with the marriage lasting only one year. Another source says Manilow got an annulment from Deixler in 1966 after two years of marriage and he later studied Musical Theater at the Juilliard performing arts school. In 1964, Manilow met Bro Herrod, a CBS director, instead, Manilow wrote an entire original score. Herrod used Manilows composition in the Off Broadway musical, which enjoyed a run at New Yorks 13th Street Theatre. Manilow then earned money by working as a pianist, producer and arranger, during this time, he began to work as a commercial jingle writer, continuing well into the 1970s. Many of the jingles he wrote and/or composed he would perform, including State Farm Insurance. A1965 Polaroid Swinger commercial featuring Manilows Meet The Swinger jingle starred a young Ali MacGraw and his singing-only credits include commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, and the famed McDonalds You Deserve a Break Today campaign. Manilow won two Clio Awards in 1976 for his work for Tab and Band-Aid, by 1967, Manilow was the musical director for the WCBS-TV series Callback, which premiered on January 27,1968. He next conducted and arranged for Ed Sullivans production company, arranging a new theme for The Late Show, while writing, producing, and singing his radio and television jinglesBarry Manilow – Manilow performing live in 2008 at the Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota.
23. Dean Martin – Dean Martin was an Italian-American singer, actor, comedian, and film producer. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the century, Martin was nicknamed the King of Cool for his seemingly effortless charisma. He and Jerry Lewis were partners in the popular comedy team Martin. He was a member of the Rat Pack and a star in concert stages, nightclubs, recordings, motion pictures and he was the host of the television variety program The Dean Martin Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast. Martin was born on June 7,1917, in Steubenville, Ohio, to an Italian father, Gaetano Alfonso Crocetti, and an Italian-American mother, Angela Crocetti. His father, who was a barber, was originally from Montesilvano, in Abruzzo, Martin had an older brother named William Alfonso Crocetti. Martins first language was an Abruzzese dialect of Italian, and he did not speak English until he started school at the age of five and he attended Grant Elementary School in Steubenville where he was bullied for his broken English. He later took up the drums as a hobby as a teenager, Martin then dropped out of Steubenville High School in the 10th grade because he thought he was smarter than his teachers. He bootlegged liquor, served as a croupier, was a blackjack dealer, worked in a steel mill. At 15 he was a boxer who billed himself as Kid Crochet and his prizefighting earned him a broken nose, a scarred lip, many broken knuckles, and a bruised body. Of his 12 bouts, he said, I won all but 11, for a time, he roomed with Sonny King, who, like Martin, was starting in show business and had little money. It is said that Martin and King held bare-knuckle matches in their apartment, fighting until one was knocked out, Martin knocked out King in the first round of an amateur boxing match. Martin gave up boxing to work as a roulette stickman and croupier in an illegal casino behind a tobacco shop, at the same time he sang with local bands, calling himself Dino Martini. He got his break working for the Ernie McKay Orchestra and he sang in a crooning style influenced by Harry Mills, among others. In the early 1940s, he started singing for bandleader Sammy Watkins, in October 1941 Martin married Elizabeth Betty Anne McDonald. They had four children before the marriage ended in 1949, Martin worked for various bands throughout the early 1940s, mostly on looks and personality until he developed his own singing style. Martin flopped at the Riobamba, a nightclub in New York, when he followed Frank Sinatra in 1943, Martin was drafted into the United States Army in 1944 during World War II, serving a year in Akron, Ohio. He was reclassified as 4-F and discharged, possibly because of a double hernia, by 1946, Martin was doing well, but he was little more than an East Coast nightclub singer with a common style, similar to that of Bing CrosbyDean Martin – Studio publicity photo for Bells Are Ringing (1960)
24. Johnny Mathis – John Royce Johnny Mathis is an American singer of popular music and jazz. Mathis has sold well over 100 million records worldwide, according to Guinness Book of British Hit Singles writer and charts music historian Paul Gambaccini, Mathis also recorded six albums of Christmas music. In a 1968 interview, Mathis cited Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Mathis was born in Gilmer, Texas, United States, in 1935, the fourth of seven children of Clem Mathis and Mildred Boyd. The family moved to San Francisco, California, settling on 32nd Avenue in the Richmond District and his father had worked in vaudeville, and when he saw his sons talent, he bought an old upright piano for $25 and encouraged him. Mathis began learning songs and routines from his father and his first song was My Blue Heaven. Mathis started singing and dancing for visitors at home, at school, when he was 13, voice teacher Connie Cox accepted him as her student in exchange for work around her house. Mathis studied with Cox for six years, learning scales and exercises, voice production, classical. He is one of the few popular singers who received years of professional voice training that included opera. The first band he sang with was formed by his school friend Merl Saunders. Mathis eulogized him at his funeral in 2008, thanking him for giving him his first chance as a singer, Mathis was a star athlete at George Washington High School in San Francisco. He was a jumper and hurdler, and he played on the basketball team. In 1954, he enrolled at San Francisco State University on a scholarship, intending to become an English teacher. In San Francisco while singing at a Sunday afternoon jam session with a jazz sextet at the Black Hawk Club, Mathis attracted the attention of the clubs co-founder. After repeated calls, Noga finally persuaded Avakian to come hear Mathis at the 440 Club, after hearing Mathis sing, Avakian sent his record company a telegram stating, Have found phenomenal 19-year-old boy who could go all the way. At San Francisco State, Mathis had become noteworthy as a jumper, and in 1956 he was asked to try out for the U. S. Olympic Team that would travel to Melbourne, Australia. Mathis had to decide whether to go to the Olympic trials or to keep his appointment in New York City to make his first recordings, on his fathers advice, Mathis opted to embark on a professional singing career. His LP record album was released in late 1956 instead of waiting until the first quarter of 1957, Mathiss first record album, Johnny Mathis, A New Sound In Popular Song, was a slow-selling jazz album, but Mathis stayed in New York City to sing in nightclubs. His second album was produced by Columbia Records vice-president and record producer Mitch Miller, Miller preferred that Mathis sing soft, romantic ballads, pairing him up with conductor and music arranger Ray Conniff, and later, Ray Ellis, Glenn Osser, and Robert MerseyJohnny Mathis – Johnny Mathis in concert at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California, on May 25, 2006.
25. Duke Mitchell – Duke Mitchell was an American film actor, slapstick comedian, crooner and independent film director of 1970s gangster movies starring himself. Mitchell often performed his act in and around Palm Springs, California. Mitchell was born Dominic Salvatore Miceli in Farrell, Pennsylvania, in 1951, he teamed with teenaged comic Sammy Petrillo for a nightclub act. Mitchells cabaret-style crooning and Petrillos manic, rubber-faced clowning bore more than a passing resemblance to the team of Martin and Lewis. Movie producer Jack Broder intended to star Mitchell and Petrillo in a feature-length comedy, the resulting film was Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, a jungle-themed comedy. Mitchell had an appearance in the Martin and Lewis film Sailor Beware. In 1960, Mitchell provided the voice of Fred Flintstone for his friends William Hanna and Joseph Barbera on the The Flintstones episodes Hot Lips Hannigan. Stars would take the plunge into the Palm Springs scene. Sage wanted to purchase Gone with the Pope from Jeffrey Mitchell and he did, save for the musical rights, on December 2,1981, Mitchell died of lung cancer at the age of 55Duke Mitchell – Mitchell (left) opposite Sammy Petrillo in Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.
26. Elvis Presley – Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is referred to as the King of Rock and Roll. Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and relocated to Memphis and his music career began there in 1954, when he recorded a song with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was a popularizer of rockabilly. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, Presleys first RCA single, Heartbreak Hotel, was released in January 1956 and became a number-one hit in the United States. He was regarded as the figure of rock and roll after a series of successful network television appearances. In November 1956, Presley made his debut in Love Me Tender. In 1958, he was drafted into military service, in 1973, Presley featured in the first globally broadcast concert via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii. Several years of drug abuse severely damaged his health. Presley is one of the most celebrated and influential musicians of the 20th century and he won three Grammys, also receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, and has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame. Presley was born on January 8,1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Love and Vernon Elvis Presley, Jesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered stillborn 35 minutes before his own birth. Thus, as a child, Presley became close to both parents and formed an especially close bond with his mother. The family attended an Assembly of God, where he found his musical inspiration. Although he was in conflict with the Pentecostal church in his later years, rev. Rex Humbard officiated at his funeral, as Presley had been an admirer of Humbards ministry. Presleys ancestry was primarily a Western European mix, including Scots-Irish, Scottish, German, gladyss great-great-grandmother, Morning Dove White, was possibly a Cherokee Native American. Gladys was regarded by relatives and friends as the dominant member of the small family, Vernon moved from one odd job to the next, evincing little ambition. The family often relied on help from neighbors and government food assistance, the Presleys survived the F5 tornado in the 1936 Tupelo–Gainesville tornado outbreak. In 1938, they lost their home after Vernon was found guilty of kiting a check written by the landowner, Orville S. Bean and he was jailed for eight months, and Gladys and Elvis moved in with relativesElvis Presley – Presley in a publicity photograph for the 1957 film Jailhouse Rock
27. Jimmy Roselli – Roselli was born in Hoboken, New Jersey the son of Anna Bernadette Lovella, a seamstress, and Phillip Roselli, a boxer. His mother died two days after he was born and his father abandoned him, leaving him in the care of his aunts and he grew up five doors down from Frank Sinatra who was ten years his senior. In 1944, Roselli joined the United States Army, serving in the 66th Infantry Division, during the war he witnessed the sinking of the SS Léopoldville and served in northern France and Vienna. After the war, he returned to Hoboken where he married Angeline Guiffra and had a daughter, during this time he worked as a construction worker and a pianist. He received his first break in 1954 when Michael Trigger Mike Coppola arranged for him to appear with Jimmy Durante at the Boston Latin Quarter and he had success with the song Mala Femmena on his first album Showcase, Jimmy Roselli. It sold over three records in 1963. It never was a hit song for him, but is considered his signature song and his only pop hit was a remake of There Must Be A Way, a song previously recorded by Joni James. There Must Be A Way was an hit, reaching #13 in Billboard. The song was recorded in 1967 and he also had success with the song All The Time that same year. The song reached number 19 easy listening and his third and last hit song was Please Believe Me in 1968. That song was number 31 easy listening and those were his only U. S. hit singles, although his version of When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New twice appeared in the UK Singles Chart. It peaked at number 51 in 1983, and number 52 in 1987, at the beginning of his career, with appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, with Jimmy Durante, and at the Copacabana, critics were calling him a miracle. As the New Yorker Magazine states, guys were trying to put a stranglehold on him, although he was in good terms with a number of mob chieftains, he claimed that he had never done business with organized criminals. In 1970, Roselli refused Joseph Colombos offer to sing at a concert that supported the Mob-controlled Italian American Anti-Defamation League, after this incident, Roselli was blackballed from singing in clubs and venues owned or controlled by Mafia associates. At times, he was relegated to selling his music out of the trunk of his car parked in Little Italy in Manhattan, Jimmy Roselli is a favorite among Italian-Americans and his signature tune Mala Femmina is featured twice in Martin Scorseses Mean Streets. Roselli sang in perfect Neapolitan dialect, other Neapolitan songs recorded by Roselli include Core ngrato, Anema e core and Scapricciatiello. Jerry Lewis said of him that Roselli sings as an Italian should sing, later, as the influence of the Mafia waned, Rosellis career experienced a resurgence. In 1989, he found success in the United Kingdom when he played a series of concerts at the London Palladium, during the 1990s, he also headlined various shows at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic CityJimmy Roselli – Jimmy Roselli in 1965
28. Andy Russell (singer) – Andy Russell was an American popular vocalist, actor, and entertainer of Mexican descent, specializing in traditional pop and Latin music. He sold 8 million records in the 1940s singing in a romantic, baritone voice and he had chart-busters, such as Bésame Mucho, Amor, and What a Diffrence a Day Made. He also made appearances and performed on radio programs, most notably Your Hit Parade, in several movies. During this initial phase of his career, his popularity in the United States rivaled that of crooners Frank Sinatra, in 1954, he relocated to Mexico where he became the star of radio, television, motion pictures, records, and nightclubs. In the ensuing years, he continued to perform for his fans in the U. S. and around the world, occasionally recording new records, yet, although he was well-received, he did not achieve the same level of success as before. Russell was born on September 16,1919 as Andrés Rábago in Boyle Heights, at the time and his father was employed as an extra by Hollywood studios, while his mother was a housewife. As a child, he loved listening to American popular music and Big Band, such as Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and he idolized crooners Dick Powell, Bing Crosby, and Jack Leonard. As a child growing up in Los Angeles east side, he went wild over popular music and he knew all the hit tunes and was the neighborhood authority on the style and record of every name band leader in the country. Besides attending school, he worked as a newspaper vendor at a corner in downtown L. A. He grew up in a home, hearing and talking Spanish with his parents, while talking English with his brothers and sisters. Unlike Russell, his parents enjoyed listening to Mexican music, in particular, at this young age, Russell did not understand the music of Mexico, nor did he fully comprehend the Spanish language. He felt so ashamed about this that he asked his parents to speak to him in English, despite these growing pains, he was determined to follow in the footsteps of his idols. In 1934, as a 15-year-old student in high school. This band was composed mainly of Mexican and Mexican American musicians and he also sang with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and other groups, until one day he was told that he also would have to play an instrument to stay with the band. Russell recalled how he dealt with this dilemma, Russell also took drum lessons for 50 cents a lesson at the Phillips Music Company on Brooklyn Avenue in Boyle Heights. This neighborhood music store was owned by William Phillips, a Jewish-American Navy veteran, drummer, by practicing in the basement of his house and during breaks at his part-time job, he quickly became an excellent drummer. Stella Cruz, the sister of bandleader don Ramón Cruz, recalled in a YouTube video that Russell, as a child, had contracted polio and had some paralysis in his left arm and leg. When this came to the attention of don Ramón Cruz, he taught Russell to play the drum in order to strengthen those musclesAndy Russell (singer) – Andy Russell in 1947
29. Frank Sinatra – Francis Albert Sinatra was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the music artists of all time. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants, Sinatra began his career in the swing era with bandleaders Harry James. Sinatra found success as a solo artist after he signed with Columbia Records in 1943 and he released his debut album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, in 1946. Sinatras professional career had stalled by the early 1950s, and he turned to Las Vegas and his career was reborn in 1953 with the success of From Here to Eternity, with his performance subsequently winning an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Sinatra released several critically lauded albums, including In the Wee Small Hours, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice n Easy. Sinatra left Capitol in 1960 to start his own label, Reprise Records. It was followed by 1968s collaboration with Duke Ellington, using his Las Vegas shows as a home base, he toured both within the United States and internationally until a short time before his death in 1998. Sinatra forged a successful career as a film actor. After winning an Academy Award for From Here to Eternity, he starred in The Man with the Golden Arm and he appeared in various musicals such as On the Town, Guys and Dolls, High Society, and Pal Joey, winning another Golden Globe for the latter. Toward the end of his career, he associated with playing detectives. Sinatra would later receive the Golden Globe Cecil B, on television, The Frank Sinatra Show began on ABC in 1950, and he continued to make appearances on television throughout the 1950s and 1960s. While Sinatra never formally learned how to read music, he had a natural, intuitive understanding of it, a perfectionist, renowned for his impeccable dress sense and cleanliness, he always insisted on recording live with his band. His bright blue eyes earned him the popular nickname Ol Blue Eyes, Sinatra led a colorful personal life, and was often involved in turbulent affairs with women, such as with his second wife Ava Gardner. He went on to marry Mia Farrow in 1966 and Barbara Marx in 1976, Sinatra had several violent confrontations, usually with journalists he felt had crossed him, or work bosses with whom he had disagreements. He was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985, Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. After his death, American music critic Robert Christgau called him the greatest singer of the 20th century, Francis Albert Sinatra was born on December 12,1915, in an upstairs tenement at 415 Monroe Street in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was the child of Italian immigrants Antonino Martino Marty SinatraFrank Sinatra – Sinatra in 1957
30. Jerry Vale – Jerry Vale was an Italian-American singer and actor. During the 1950s and 1960s, Vale reached the top of the pop charts with his interpretations of romantic ballads and his renditions of Volare, Innamorata, and Al di là became classic Italian-American songs. Genaro Louis Vitaliano was born in the Bronx, N. Y. to Italian immigrant parents, in high school, to earn money, Vale took a job shining shoes in a barbershop, singing while he worked. His boss liked the sound so well that he paid for lessons for the boy. Vale started singing in school musicals and at a local nightclub. Still a teenager, he left school to work in a factory as an oiler alongside his father and his early nightclub performances led to additional shows in the early 1950s, including one lasting for three years at a club in Yonkers, New York. When Paul Insetta, heard him there, he signed him to a management contract, genaro changed his name to the Americanized Jerry Vale. Insetta arranged for Vale to record some demonstration records of songs hed written, guy Mitchell introduced Vale to Mitch Miller, influential executive at Columbia Records. Vale signed a contract, with Insetta as his manager for many years to come. Jerry Vale appeared on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour in 1950 singing It Isnt Fair. Vale’s first recording with the label, with accompaniment by Percy Faith and his band, was You Can Never Give Me Back My Heart, #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Vale frequently sang the song at Yankee Stadium. Additionally, he owned the Daytona Beach Admirals and he sang the Late Night with David Letterman anthem Its A Late Night World on the programs eighth anniversary special in 1990. He made cameo appearances as himself in the 1990 film Goodfellas, Vale reportedly suffered a stroke in 2002 and did not perform in his later years. In 1959, Vale married Rita Grapel, an actress who appeared in the 1952 film The Thief and his biography A Singers Life, by Richard Grudens, was published in 2000 by Celebrity Profiles. Jerry Vale died of causes in his sleep on May 18,2014, at his home in Palm Desert. He was survived by his wife, two children and three grandchildren and he is interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery, in Cathedral City, California. In the 2016 Disney animated film Zootopia, Nick Wilde finds a CD by Jerry Vole, as an actor, Vale appeared as himself in the movies Goodfellas and Casino as well as the television series The Sopranos. In 1998, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars was dedicated to Vale, list of artists who reached number one on the U. SJerry Vale – Vale in 1965.
31. Luther Vandross – Luther Ronzoni Vandross, Jr. was an American singer, songwriter and record producer. He later became the singer of the group Change, which released its certified gold debut album, The Glow of Love. After Vandross left the group, he was signed to Epic Records as a solo artist and released his solo album, Never Too Much. His hit songs include Never Too Much, Here and Now, Any Love, Power of Love/Love Power, I Can Make It Better and For You to Love. Many of his songs were covers of music by other artists such as If This World Were Mine, Since I Lost My Baby, Superstar and Always. Duets such as The Closer I Get to You with Beyoncé, Endless Love with Mariah Carey, during his career, Vandross sold over 35 million records worldwide, and received eight Grammy Awards including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance four different times. He won a total of four Grammy Awards in 2004 including the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for a song recorded not long before his death, Luther Ronzoni Vandross, Jr. was born on April 20,1951 at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, New York City. He was the child and second son of Mary Ida Vandross and Luther Vandross. His father was an upholsterer and singer, and his mother was a nurse, Vandross was raised on Manhattans Lower East Side in the NYCHA Alfred E. Smith Houses public housing development. At the age of three, having his own phonograph, he himself to play the piano by ear. Vandrosss father died of diabetes when Vandross was eight years old and his family moved to the Bronx when he was nine. His sisters, Patricia Pat and Ann began taking Vandross to the Apollo Theater and to a theater in Brooklyn to see Dionne Warwick, Patricia sang with the vocal group The Crests, and was featured on the songs 16 Candles and Sweetest One. In high school, Vandross performed in a group, Shades of Jade, during his early years in show business he appeared several times at the Apollos infamous amateur night and was booed by the audience. While a member of a workshop, Listen My Brother, he was invoiced in the singles Only Love Can Make a Better World. He appeared in the first series of Sesame Street during 1969, Vandross graduated from William Howard Taft High School in 1969, and attended Western Michigan University for a year before dropping out to continue pursuing a career in music. He added backing vocals to Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway in 1972, Vandross founded the first Patti LaBelle fan club, of which he was president. Vandross sang on Delores Halls Hall-Mark album and he sang with her on the song Whos Gonna Make It Easier for Me, which he wrote, and he contributed another song, In This Lonely Hour. Having co-written Fascination for David Bowies Young Americans, he went on to tour with him as a back-up vocalist in September 1974, Vandross wrote Everybody Rejoice for the 1975 Broadway musical The WizLuther Vandross – Vandross performing with Diana Ross in New York, July 2000
32. Kyle Vincent – Kyle Vincent is an American singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, and entertainer, labeled as the crown prince of soft pop, by Goldmine. His debut single, Wake Me Up peaked at #1 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, Barry Manilow has called Vincent, One of the best singer-songwriters to come along since the heyday of Tin Pan Alley. Along with being a trained vocalist, Vincent plays saxophone, piano. He was born and raised in Berkeley, California, U. S, Kyle Vincent began his music career at the age of 8, playing alto saxophone in Berkeley school jazz bands. At age 11 he appeared on stage with Donald Byrd, taking turns improvising with the legendary trumpeter and he took jazz sax lessons with famed Bebop saxophonist Hal Stein. Vincent studied voice with master vocal coach and opera singer Claudine Spindt for several years, after moving to Los Angeles, Vincent studied with renowned vocal coach Seth Riggs, his lessons being sandwiched between Barbra Streisands and Phillip Baileys. One of Vincents first jobs upon moving to L. A. was working for two years as assistant and driver for legendary rock n roll producer Kim Fowley. Vincent also performed on several of Fowleys recording projects, the album was produced by Jimmy Ienner, and featured Wally Bryson of the Raspberries as musical director. The video for the track was in rotation on MTV. The band toured extensively and is cited by many groups as an influence, Candy still has a strong following in Japan, and when Vincent performs there he does Candy songs with a Japanese backing band called, Candyrocks. He also enjoys popularity as a solo artist in Japan, while recording demos as a solo artist in an L. A. studio, Vincent began co-writing a song entitled Nature Girl, with eden ahbez, writer of the classic Nature Boy, popularized by Nat King Cole. Vincent had met Ahbez in an L. A. stereo store where Vincent had been working, Ahbez died before the two could finish the song. Vincents session work included backing vocals for The Ventures, Kill For Thrills, The Runaways, The Rubinoos and he also did some projects with famed video director Nigel Dick, his neighbor at the time in Hollywood. Signed to MCA as a solo artist, he recorded the album, Trust, the Trust album was produced by Vincent, Clif Magness, and Steve Levine, and featured co-writes with Magness and Steve Kipner, writer of Physical and Genie In A Bottle. Gerry Beckley from the group America played keyboards, guitar, Beckley would also appear on Vincents next 2 solo efforts. Robert Lamm from the band Chicago, and Gerry Beckley sang background vocals on 2 songs, in 1999, Vincent released Wow & Flutter on SongTree Records. Legendary photographer Henry Diltz shot the album cover, sweet 16, Solitary Road, Dont You Know, Gathering Dust, released on SongTree Records. In 2006 Vincent was signed to Universal which released Invisible Man, in 2007 the DVD Live & Unlive Too was releasedKyle Vincent – Kyle Vincent
33. Andy Williams – Howard Andrew Andy Williams was an American popular music singer. He recorded 44 albums in his career,15 of which have been gold-certified and he was also nominated for six Grammy Awards. He hosted The Andy Williams Show, a variety show, from 1962 to 1971. The Andy Williams Show garnered three Emmy awards, the Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri, is named after the song he is most known for singing—Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancinis Moon River. He sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 10.5 million certified units in the United States, Williams was born in Wall Lake, Iowa, the son of Jay Emerson and Florence Williams. While living in Cheviot, Ohio, Williams attended Western Hills High School in Cincinnati and he finished high school at University High School, in West Los Angeles, because of his familys move to California. Williams had three older brothers—Bob, Don, and Dick Williams and his first performance was in a childrens choir at the local Presbyterian church. Moving to Los Angeles in 1943, the Williams Brothers sang with Bing Crosby on the hit record Swinging on a Star and they appeared in four musical films, Janie, Kansas City Kitty, Something in the Wind and Ladies Man. A persistent myth is that as a teenager the future singing star dubbed the singing for Lauren Bacall in the 1944 feature film To Have and Have Not, according to authoritative sources, including Howard Hawks and Bacall herself, this was not true. Williams and some female singers were tested to dub for Bacall, but those fears were overshadowed by the desire to have Bacall do her own singing despite her less-than-perfect vocal talent. This myth is refuted in Leonard Maltins Movie Guide in the entry for this film, when Bob completed his military service, Kay hired all four brothers to sing on the soundtrack to Good News. They made their debut in Las Vegas in 1947 and became an overnight sensation, within a year, they were the highest paid nightclub act in the world, breaking records wherever they appeared. Williams revealed in his memoir Moon River and Me that he and Thompson became romantically involved while on tour, the act broke up in 1949 but reunited for another hugely successful tour from the fall of 1951 through the summer of 1953. After that, the four went their separate ways. A complete itinerary of both tours is listed on the Kay Thompson biography website, Williams and Thompson, however, remained very close, both personally and professionally. She mentored his emergence as a singing star. She coached him, wrote his arrangements, and composed songs that he recorded. Using her contacts in the business, Thompson helped Williams land his breakthrough television gig as a singer for two-and-a-half years on The Tonight Show starring Steve AllenAndy Williams – Williams in 1969