Indeed, it is always saddening when an artist you like passes away. Vic Damone, one of the last crooners from the 1940s, has died at the age of 89. The world has lost a great singer. Frank Sinatra once famously mentioned that Vic Damone had ''the best set of pipes in the business'', and I couldn't agree more.
Vic Damone was born Vito Rocca Farinola in Brooklyn, NY, on June 12, 1928. His mother was a piano teacher and his father an electrician who also sang and played guitar. However, Farinola first developed an interest in popular music after hearing Frank Sinatra on the radio. His first performances came in a youth choir and at school events. When his father was seriously injured in a work accident, young Vic was forced to drop out of school to help support the family, and got a job at the Paramount Theater in Manhattan as an usher and elevator operator. One night, while taking Perry Como up to his dressing room, Vic gave a performance and asked the singer if he had any talent; Como encouraged him, referred him to a local bandleader, and became something of a mentor to him.
Vic adopted his mother's maiden name as pseudonym and in 1947 he won the first place on the Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts show. At the same time the 19-year old Vic Damone met Milton Berle, who helped him get gigs at prominent clubs and theatres. Soon Vic Damone had a record contract with Mercury. In a short period of time, he rose to the hall of fame of popular music. From 1948 to 1955, Vic Damone managed to score several top 10 record hits. From 1951 to 1953, he served in the United States Army, but before going into the service, he recorded a number of songs which were released during that time. After leaving the service, he married the Italian actress Pier Angeli
Along with being singer, Vic Damone also was a critically acclaimed actor who performed in countless films and television series. In 1957, with the rise of Rock and Roll, Vic Damone's chart successes were coming to an end. In the 1960s he became a prominent television personality and night club performer.
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Model turned actress Dihann Caroll was the first black actress to have her own T.V. show, Julia (1968-1971). A show about a widowed mothered who is a nurse whose husband was killed in Vietnam. She was one of the first celebrities to have her own Barbie styled after character role, Julia. Diahann has worked with Dorothy Dandridge in a small role in Carmen Jones (1954) and then starred in a movie with then lover, Sidney Poitier in Paris Blues (1961) also starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. And later starred in a movie with James Earl Jones titled Claudine (1974). Later she married recently deceased Italian singer Vic Damone in 1987 until 1996. And from 1981 to 1989 she costarred in Dynasty and she in her own words said "I want to be the first black bitch on television." She played Dominique Deveraux and got into with her onscreen nemesis Alexis Carrington played by English actress, Joan Collins. At the age of 82 she lives a quiet life.
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Sixties/seventies #pop singers, #VicDamone & #ConnieFrancis attend the Italian American Civil Rights League Event at Madison Square Garden, 11.20.70. Sadly, Damone passed away Sunday at the age of 89 due to complications of respiratory failure. Damones' velvety baritone voice was heard during the heydays of fellow singers, Sinatra, Como & Bennett. Frances, most famous for her single, "Mama," & now 80 years old continues her singing career. In 2010 she appeared in Las Vegas with Dionne Warwick in a show billed, "Eric Floyd's Grand Divas of Stage".
Born Vito Farinola, he took his musical inspiration from Frank Sinatra. He sang so well, “Ol blue eyes” called him the greatest of all time. The wonderfully smooth, irreplaceable Vic Damone. #vicdamone#singers#rip#music#crooner#bigband
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.