NEW YORK • Vic Damone was stated by Frank Sinatra to have the perfect voice within the business. Now, the favored 1950s pop crooner and nightclub star has died at 89.
Damone, whose creamy baritone and beauty fuelled his success on the jukebox and on-screen within the post-World War II period, and for 5 a long time extra in nightclubs and concert halls, died on Sunday at a hospital in Miami Beach. The trigger was issues of respiratory failure.
He made greater than 2,000 recordings, in addition to dozens of film and TV appearances, and bought out stay performances till he retired within the early 2000s after a stroke.
He made his skilled debut at 17, tying for first place in a radio contest, and his 1947 recording debut heralded an enviable new expertise.
“If I had one wish,” Sinatra was stated to have remarked, “it would be for Vic Damone’s tonsils. Vic has the best pipes in the business.”
Music critic Will Friedwald, in his quantity A Biographical Guide To The Great Jazz And Pop Singers, attributed to Damone all of the hallmarks of Sinatra’s early romantic balladeer section – “the beautiful voice, the light clear sound, the precise articulation, the impeccable phrasing”.
What Damone lacked, in Friedwald’s view, was the lived-in vocal shading that Sinatra cultivated over a turbulent lifetime of wine, ladies and ring-a-ding mischief.
It was not that Damone led a tumult-free life: He had a number of rocky marriages, together with to actress Pier Angeli and actress-singer Diahann Carroll, among the many 5 in complete. He was as soon as dangled out of a New York lodge window by a Mafia kingpin and struggled again from chapter after he was swindled by business companions.
But Damone’s earnest voice couldn’t match Sinatra’s wounded soulfulness or introspective depth, nor did he push the boundaries of the pop type together with his sunnily delivered requirements, hit-parade titles, present tunes and up to date Neapolitan love ballads with syrupy orchestrations.
Damone’s early hits included I Have But One Heart and Angela Mia, however he was particularly recognized for the ballad On The Street Where You Live from the musical My Fair Lady.
The creation of rock ‘n’ roll drove him from his perch atop the pop charts however he made two of his best albums throughout that section of his profession, that includes the singer relaxed with jazzy up-tempo requirements.
A favorite of then United States president Ronald Reagan’s, he sang on the White House at the very least 3 times throughout the 1980s.
Damone was born in Brooklyn on June 12, 1928. At 16, he left faculty to help his household as an usher and raise operator at a theatre whereas aspiring to a profession like Sinatra’s.
“I found the timbre of my voice was similar to his,” he advised the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel a long time later. “I was singing Sinatra songs to girls and they loved it. I thought this is what I want to do.”
After Damone’s triumph within the radio contest, comic Milton Berle helped him get a contract with Mercury Records.
Many years later, with writer David Chanoff, Damone wrote a memoir, Singing Was The Easy Part (2009), a title that alluded to his dramatic non-public life.
There was the lodge window incident, apparently provoked by his determination to name off an engagement to the daughter of a Mafioso. A sit-down brokered by Luciano crime household boss Frank Costello spared his life.
The singer subsequently squired a collection of display goddesses, together with the hard-living Ava Gardner. Once, the normally non-drinking Damone downed at the very least 4 double vodkas to maintain her .
He didn’t forsake training too. Long bothered by his lack of formal training, he accomplished the coursework for a diploma from his outdated Brooklyn highschool in 1997.
The similar 12 months, he obtained the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s lifetime achievement award.
In his sundown years, he settled in Palm Beach County, Florida, specializing in his golf swing and practising the Baha’i religion that he stated introduced him “balance”.
“You know, I never wanted to be a superstar,” he advised the Palm Beach Post in 2009. “The entourage, four or five guys walking everywhere with me. I just wanted to pack up the bag, go to the airport and go do my job. I was happy with what I was doing.”