His own favourite singer Sinatra would say Vic Damone (1928-2018), has “the best pipes in the business.” Without hitting Sinatra-level fame and success Damone with his excellent vocal instrument on stage, recordings, singing movie theme songs and briefly in Hollywood musicals, mellow and boyishly handsome, was indeed one of the best. Born in Brooklyn his piano teacher mother discovered his talent early on. Dropping out of school due to his father being injured and not working, Damone worked as an usher. In a chance meeting with Perry Como in an elevator at the Paramount Theater he encouraged him to “keep singing” and referred him to a bandleader. Entering “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” he became a regular on radio, then in nightclubs now with a recording contract. In the next 20 years he would hit the Top 40 charts 38 times including the No.1 hit “You’re Breaking My Heart”, “I Have But One Heart”, “You Do”, “On the Street Where You Live”, “My Heart Cries for You”, "My Truly Truly Fair" and “Tzena Tzena Tzena.” With his own radio show, he was rarely off TV from ‘49 onward. Then signed by MGM he made his film debut as himself in the Rooney musical “The Strip.” He was well matched with Powell in “Rich, Young and Pretty.” Into the Army for two years kept him off screen but thanks to previously recorded music he was still on the charts. For his return to the screen it was with Powell for the “Maytime” segment in “Deep in My Heart”, with Reynolds in “Athena” and “Hit the Deck” before his final musical with Blyth, “Kismet.” A flop it came towards the end of the big musicals at MGM. If Damone was no longer to be seen on screen he could now be heard behind the opening credits of some of Hollywood’s biggest - “An Affair to Remember” and “Separate Tables.” Las Vegas, nightclubs, concert tours, TV guest roles, some acting on TV, hosting variety series and recording, offscreen marriages to Pier Angeli, Diahann Carroll, divorces, custody battles, mobster connections, turning down the role of Joey Fontane “The Godfather.” He rightly called his autobiography “Singing Was The Easy Part” which it was for this former choirboy with that easygoing, melodious, flawless voice.
5 days ago
I couldn't let the day go by without mentioning the death of singer Vic Damone, who was considered to "have the best pipes in the business (referring to singing, not smoking)" by none other than Frank Sinatra, no slouch in the singing department himself. Vic Damone died yesterday, February 11, 2018 at age 89.
Wikipedia: Vic Damone (June 12, 1928 – February 11, 2018) was an American traditional pop and big band singer, actor, radio and television presenter, and entertainer who is best known for his performances of songs such as "You're Breaking My Heart" (a number one hit), the number four hit "On The Street Where You Live" (from My Fair Lady), and "My Heart Cries For You" (also a number four hit). Damone suffered a stroke in 2002 and another health scare in 2008. He recovered from both, and lived until 2018.