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Archive for the ‘Easy Listening’ Category

RIP, Debbie Reynolds (December 28, 2016) Iconic American Entertainer

Posted by themusicsover on December 28, 2016

Debbie Reynolds (Born Mary Francis Reynolds)
April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016

Debbie Reynolds was an internationally revered star of stage, film and television.  She did however, make a mark on popular music as well.  Born in El Paso,  Texas, Reynolds moved with her family to Burbank, California as a child.  By the early ’50s, she was under contract with Warner Bros. for whom she starred in several musicals.  Her first hit record came in 1951 – “Aba Daba Honeymoon,” from the film, Two Weeks With Love.  The record reached #3 on the Billboard pop charts.  In 1957, Reynolds scored her biggest hit, “Tammy,” from Tammy and the Bachelor.  It spent five weeks atop the pop charts and was the biggest-selling record by any female that year. It earned Reynolds her first gold record.  In 1959, she signed to Dot Records in 1959 and continued to release hit records for the next couple of years.  On December 28, 2016, Reynolds, was rushed to a hospital after a 911 caller reported that she was having trouble breathing.  Debbie Reynolds passed away later that day of what initial reports were calling a stroke. She was 84.  Her daughter, actress and author Carrie Fisher, passed away the day before at the age of 60.

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Died On This Date (March 8, 2016) George Martin / Legendary Beatles Producer

Posted by themusicsover on March 8, 2016

George Martin
January 3, 1926 – March 8, 2016

george-martinGeorge Martin was a classically trained musician, record producer, and talent scout who most famously took a chance on the Beatles after they had been turned down by most other British record labels at the time.  What followed was a collaboration that changed not only the musical landscape of the era, but also what would become popular music and pop culture for decades to come.  With Martin as producer (and so much more) on the Beatles’ original albums, they scored 30 #1 singles in the UK and 23 in the US – and millions in sales, of course. Of the list of Beatles collaborators who were referred to as “the Fifth Beatle,” it was Martin who actually deserved the title.  That alone on a person’s resume is enough to cruise through the rest of his or her life, but not Martin.  Over the next six decades, he had a big hand in the success of the likes of Elton John, Dire Straits, Cheap Trick, ELO, and Celine Dion, to name a few.  Martin also worked extensively in film, either arranging, scoring or producing. Two of the most famous songs he produced for films were Shirley Bassey‘s “Goldfinger” for Paul McCartney‘s “Live and Let Die” from the James Bond movies of the same name.  He’s been recognized with six Grammys, an Academy Award, and countless other accolades.  George Martin was 90 when he died in his sleep on March 8, 2016.

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Died On This Date (May 18, 2014) Jerry Vale / Popular ’50s Crooner

Posted by themusicsover on May 18, 2014

Jerry Vale (Born Genaro Vitaliano)
July 8, 1930 – May 18, 2014

jerry-valeJerry Vale was a world-famous Italian-American singer who found his sizable audience by performing romantic ballads in a beautiful high tenor voice throughout the ’50s and early ’60s.  Born in the Bronx, New York, Vale was working as a shoe shine boy in a barber shop when his boss, impressed with his voice, paid for him to have music lessons.  That education along with his talent lead to performances in high school musicals and at local nightclubs.  Before long, he caught the ear of a manager who ultimately landed him a recording contract with Columbia Records.  Over the course of his career, Vale released over two dozen albums which included such charting hits as “You Don’t Know Me” and “Have You Looked Into Your Heart,” as well as his signature Italian classics, “O Solo Mia,” “Al Di La,” and “Volare.”  His version of “The Star Spangled Banner” was played at major league baseball games for many years.  Although his record sales dwindled by the late ’60s, he continued to be a very popular nightclub draw until his retirement.  He also made memorable cameos in Goodfellas, Casino, and The Sopranos.  Jerry Vale was 83 when he passed away on May 18, 2013.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus at Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.

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Died On This Date (August 10, 2013) Eydie Gormé / Pop Music Icon

Posted by themusicsover on August 10, 2013

Eydie Gormé (Born Edith Gormezano)
August 16, 1928 – August 10, 2013

Eydie-GormeEydie Gormé was an American vocalist who, with her longtime husband and singing partner, Steve Lawrence, made some of the most popular recordings of the mid-20th century.  Born in New York City, Gormé made her first record fronting the Tommy Tucker Orchestra in 1950.  During her early years, Gormé worked with several big bands including that of the great Tex Beneke.  In 1953, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen, which kicked her career into high gear.  She also met Lawrence who was also booked on the show that day.  The couple went on to become one of Las Vegas’ must enduring live acts while making countless television appearances and numerous albums.  She and Lawrence were presented with a Grammy in 1957 and Gormé earned a second one in 1967. Throughout her career, she released some 50 singles – solo and with Lawrence – many of which charted.  Her most popular recording was 1962’s “Blame It On The Bossa Nova.”  Gormé began blogging on her website in 2006 and continued to perform until she retired in 2009.  Eydie Gormé was 84 when she passed away on August 10, 2013.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus of Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.

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Died On This Date (January 30, 2013) Patty Andrews / The Andrews Sisters

Posted by themusicsover on February 1, 2013

Patty Andrews
February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013

patty-andrewsPatty Andrews, along with her two older sisters, Maxene Andrews and LaVerne Andrews were known professionally as the Andrews Sisters, the best-selling female vocal group in pop music history. Over their career, the Andrews’ recorded over 600 sides that sold over 75 million copies in all. They had 113 charted hits, 46 of which landing in the top 10, a feat that surpassed even Elvis Presley and the Beatles. The original group’s run came to an end when LaVerne died of cancer in 1967.  Patty was the last of the siblings to pass away on January 30, 2013.

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