- 1903-05-29 - 2003-07-27
Showing 23 resultsAuthority record
- 1913 - 1989-11-16
- 1901-07-28 - 1986-07-04
- 1931-09-04 -
- 1886-05-26 - 1950-10-23
- 1919-08-17 - 2006-12-09
- 1938-01-11 - 2014-12-28
Born Franklin Joseph Lisbona, Frankie Randall was a singer, pianist, and actor. He first caught the attention of Frank Sinatra when he worked as a pianist for the star. He also appeared a number of times on the Dean Martin Show and hosted it on many occasions when Martin was not available, as well as starring in the 1965 movie Wild on the Beach. The majority of Randall’s solo recordings were issued in the 1960s, but he remained a staple performer in various clubs and cabarets. He had an open-ended contract at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, NJ for most of the 1980s. Randall received a significant portion of Sinatra’s personal arrangements shortly before the master crooner died in 1998, which Randall used to create a signature show called “Sinatra My Way” that he performed at various showrooms in southern California into the 2000s.
Randall married and divorced three times and had four children. He died from lung cancer in 2014 at the age of 76.
- 1911-07-06 - 1967-05-08
LaVerne Andrews was the oldest of the three Andrews sisters, the founder of the group, and usually sang the lowest harmony part in the trio. She died after a prolonged battle with cancer at the age of 55.
- 1916-01-03 - 1995-10-21
Maxene Andrews was the middle of the three Andrews sisters, and usually sang the higher harmony part in the trio. She had a successful comeback as a cabaret singer in the late 1970s and toured regularly through the 1980s, even releasing a solo album in 1985. She died from a heart attack at the age of 79.
- 1918-02-16 - 2013-01-30
Patty Andrews was the youngest of the three Andrews sisters, the lead singer for the group, and usually sang the melody part in the trio. She pursued a solo career after the group broke up, occasionally reuniting with Maxene for reunion tours in the 1960s and '70s. She died of natural causes at the age of 94.
- 1909-01-16 - 1984-02-15
- 1928-05-23 - 2002-06-29
Rosemary Clooney was an American singer and actress. Born in Kentucky, she and her sister Betty became radio performers in the early 1940s. Clooney's first recordings were with Columbia in 1946 with Tony Pastor's band; she began recording independently in 1949. Within a few years, she was a regular performer on CBS's "Songs for Sale" on both television and radio, and her career was firmly established. In 1954 she starred in "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby, one of her best-known roles. In 1956 she starred in her own television variety show, and continued acting and recording through the 1960s. Despite the declining fortunes of many other performers of her era, Clooney signed with Concord Jazz in 1977 to produce an album a year, an arrangement which continued until her death.
Clooney was also a noted philanthropist in her later years. In honor of her sister, who died in 1976 of a brain aneurysm, she created and chaired the Betty Clooney Foundation for the Brain-Injured. She died of lung cancer at the age of 74.
- 1912-05-18 - 2001-05-12
Pierino Ronald Como, known professionally as Perry Como, was an American singer and television personality that dominated the early broadcast era. Como continually hosted a music variety show from 1948 to 1967. He was famous for his insistence on keeping the content of his shows clean, as well as his natural demeanor on and off screen.
Como was the first American-born child of Italian parents who immigrated to Canonburg, Pennsylvania in 1910. He didn't learn English until he started school, but quickly learned to play a variety of instruments including the organ, piano, trombone, and guitar. Ironically, he never had formal voice lessons. Beginning at the age of 10 Como trained to be a barber; by the time he was 14, he had his own shop. He was extremely popular around town because he would sing while he worked. A career as a musician was not what Como had in mind for his life, but in 1933 he was offered a job as the vocalist for a traveling dance band headed by Freddy Carlone. Despite the fact that he would make only a quarter of what he did as a barber, Como's father urged him to accept, and he did.
Como toured with Freddy Carlone for the next 3 years. He then received an offer to become a vocalist for the nationally renowned Ted Weems Orchestra, which he accepted at Carlone's insistence. The position came with a raise and a change of location to Chicago, although the band also toured regularly. It was with the Weems orchestra that Como did his first recording work. Despite his incredible success as a vocalist, in 1942 Como left the music business and returned to Pennsylvania so that he could spend more time with his wife and young child. Offers for radio and recording contracts followed him all the way there. Como was reluctant to take any but was convinced by his wife to accept an offer for a no-sponsored radio show and recording contract from CBS. He went live in March 1943; he began performing at the Copacabana Night Club later that year, and signed a recording contract with RCA. The live performances didn't last very long, but in 1944 he moved to NBC to front the sponsored radio musical variety program "Chesterfield Supper Club". He would also continue recording with RCA for the remainder of his career, an arrangement that proved to be so profitable for the label that it eventually stopped trying to tally how many Como hits had been sold.
In 1948, NBC decided to try something new: they simulcast "Chesterfield Supper Club" on both radio and television. The experiment proved successful, and Como became a television staple for the next 20 years. In 1950, his show moved to CBS and became the "Perry Como Chesterfield Show". In 1955 he returned to NBC, where he would remain for the next 12 years with "The Perry Como Show" (1955-59) and "Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall" (1959-67). In addition to his regular shows, Como recorded constantly. Nearly every year, from 1948 to 1994, he recorded an annual Christmas special for broadcast. When "Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall" went off air in 1967, Como began limiting his television appearances until his holiday specials were his only major broadcasts. He returned to radio in the 1990s, but for the most part he enjoyed his later life out of the public eye.
Como died a few days before his 89th birthday.
- 1922-04-03 -
- 1925-12-08 - 1990-05-16
Sammy Davis Jr. was an American actor, singer, and dancer. He also had several comedic routines and was noted for his impressions of other celebrities. Born to and raised by vaudevillian parents, Davis learned to act, sing, and dance at a young age. He toured with his father for much of his childhood and performed as part of the Will Mastin Trio until World War II. During the war he belonged to an integrated entertainment unit. After the war he returned to performing with the Will Mastin Trio, and recorded blues albums for Capitol. In 1954 he performed the title song for the film "Six Bridges to Cross"; two years later he starred in the Broadway musical "Mr. Wonderful."
In 1959 Davis became a part of Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack" and appeared in several movies as part of the group, such as 1960's "Ocean's 11". They performed regularly together in Las Vegas, where Davis had to deal with the effects of continued segregation. He continued to act and record through the 1960s and '70s.
Davis was in a car accident in 1954 in which he lost his left eye. He wore a glass eye for the rest of his life. He also converted to Judaism in 1961. Davis died from throat cancer at the age of 64.
- 1926-08-03 -
Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born in Queens to Italian parents. He grew up poor and began singing for money in restaurants at age 13. He briefly attended New York's School of Industrial Art, learning painting and music, but dropped out at age 16 to work and support his family. Bennett was drafted into the US Army in late 1944 and was part of the military force that pushed the German army out of France and back into their homeland. He remained briefly as part of the occupying force after the end of the war, and was assigned to sing with a special services band entertaining American forces. He returned to the US in 1946 and studied at the American Theatre Wing. It was during this period that he developed the technique of imitating the style and phrasing of other artists that helped him learn to improvise while performing.
In 1949, Bennett was invited by singer Pearl Bailey to open for one of her shows. Bob Hope attended the performance and hired Bennett to perform with him on his tours. Bennett signed with Columbia Records the next year, and recorded his first hit "Because of You" a year after that. For the rest of the 1950s he continued to be a certifiable hit. In August 1956 he hosted a temporary television variety show, "The Tony Bennett Show," in Perry Como's NBC slot as part of a summer show series that also featured Patti Page and Julius La Rosa. Bennett would do so again in 1959.
Despite the arrival of rock'n'roll, Bennett continued to release a steady stream of popular and jazz albums and remained a highly popular nightclub performer. In 1962, he sang as part of the initial broadcast of the "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" and recorded one of his most famous songs, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". Unfortunately, however, the 1970s were not kind to Bennett. Attempts to get into acting, recording more contemporary songs, and even starting his own record label all failed; by 1979 Bennett was rarely performing outside of Las Vegas clubs, was all but bankrupt, and had developed a drug addiction. He turned to his adult children for help, and his oldest son Danny became his manager.
In the late 1980s and into the '90s, Bennett worked to reintroduce his music to a new generation of listeners back in New York City. He recorded several successful themed albums and even appeared on MTV in 1994. He continued to tour and record well into his 80s.
- 1903-05-03 - 1977-10-14
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby Jr. was an American singer, actor, and entrepreneur who remains one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. Crosby's career spanned almost 50 years, and in that time he recorded almost 400 charting singles, among which 41 reached #1—actually 43, since “White Christmas” reached #1 in 1945 and 1947 as well as 1942 (its original release). His most common recording partners were the Andrews Sisters, and onscreen he appeared in multiple films with Bob Hope.
Hope was born in Spokane, Washington. He got his famous nickname, Bing, at about age 7, from a parody hillbilly newsletter in the local paper. Although he graduated from high school and attended Gonzaga University, he never graduated. Instead, he sang in a series of singing groups and bands through the early 1920s until he and friend Al Rinker decided to try their fortunes in Los Angeles in 1925. In 1926, both were hired to sing with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. Touring with the band and his own singing group, The Rhythm Boys, cemented Crosby's reputation and eventually led to a solo recording contract with Brunswick and a weekly radio show with CBS. Crosby made his national broadcast debut in September 1931. Fame quickly followed.
Crosby would appear in his first full-length film, "The Big Broadcast", in 1932. He signed a recording contract with the brand-new company Decca, who he would remain with for much of his career, in 1934. In 1936 he became the host of NBC's "Kraft Music Hall", a post he would hold for the next decade. Crosby was one of the first singers to take advantage of the invention of the microphone, which enabled him to "croon" instead of "belt" and set the musical standard for the stars that followed him: Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin, among many others. As with many other singers of the era, Crosby toured extensively entertaining American troops during World War II. In 1942, Crosby starred in the movie "Holiday Inn" and recorded the song that still stands as the best-selling single of all time: "White Christmas". The song was issued and reissued so many times that Crosby had to rerecord it in 1947, as the original master had been damaged from repeated additional pressings.
In the 1950s and '60s Crosby continued to record and act, and appeared on nearly all of the television music variety programs of the era. He also changed the face of both radio and television broadcasting by, first in one medium and then the other, insisting on being able to pre-record his performances at times when each medium was typically performed live. As an avid investor in recording technology, Crosby appreciated and understood the value of being able to edit his performances to improve their quality. He pushed his contract studios to invest in the latest sound equipment and recording technology, particularly magnetic tape recorders, and his production studio pioneered many editing techniques that would be come industry standards.
Crosby died suddenly from a heart attack at the age of 74.
- 1922 - 2008-06-26
- 1909-05-27 - 2011-09-19
- 1956-09-07 -
Michael Jay Feinstein (born September 7, 1956) is an American singer, pianist, and music revivalist. He is an interpreter of, and an anthropologist and archivist for, the repertoire known as the Great American Songbook. He currently serves as Artistic Director for The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana.
Feinstein was born and raised in Columbus, OH, where he started playing the piano by ear at age 5. He worked in local piano bars after graduating from high school and moved to LA when he was 20, where he was introduced to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years; this assignment led to six years of researching, cataloguing and preserving the unpublished sheet music and rare recordings in Gershwin's home which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.
By the mid-1980s, Feinstein was a nationally known cabaret singer-pianist famed for being a dedicated proponent of the Great American Songbook. In 1986, he recorded his first CD, Pure Gershwin (1987), a collection of music by George and Ira Gershwin. He followed this in quick succession with Live at the Algonquin (1986); Remember: Michael Feinstein Sings Irving Berlin (1987); Isn't It Romantic (1988), a collection of standards and his first album backed by an orchestra; and Over There (1989), featuring the music of America and Europe during the First World War.
By 1988, Feinstein was starring on Broadway in a series of in-concert shows and in the early 1990s, Feinstein embarked on an ambitious songbook project wherein he performed an album featuring the music of a featured composer, often accompanied by the composer; he proceeded to release a number of albums on several labels through 1989. In 1999, Feinstein lent his name to a new nightclub in New York located in the Regency Hotel, as Feinstein's at the Regency became a venue for sophisticated cabaret entertainers including its namesake. In the late 1990s, Feinstein recorded two more albums of Gershwin music: Nice Work If You Can Get It: Songs by the Gershwins (1996) and Michael & George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin (1998).
In 2000, the Library of Congress appointed Feinstein to its newly formed National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to safeguarding America's musical heritage. Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” His Emmy Award-nominated TV special Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, aired across the country in 2011. Feinstein was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012 and made his conducting debut in June 2013 to celebrated critical acclaim. He launched an additional Pops series at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Florida in 2014. Feinstein's memoir The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs about working for Ira Gershwin was published in the fall of 2012, accompanied by a CD of Feinstein performing the Gershwin brothers' music discussed in the book. Feinstein opened his new nightclub, Feinstein's at the Nikko in San Francisco's Nikko Hotel in May 2013, Feinstein's/54 Below at New York's Studio 54 in 2015 and also plans for a future nightclub in London.