The Business" He Still Is A Drawing Card Wherever He Appears
~ By Frank E. Dee ~
Vic Damone strong smooth baritone voice has always been a great Show Stopper. He has proved this time and time again. In Las Vegas he was noted to be one of the best singers to perform on the strip.
I remember having the honor of seeing this great talented singer at the Hilton Hotel Casino, in Las Vegas, in the late 80’s. Damone who performed for a full house audience for an hour, received a standing ovation, which was well deserved. Mr. Damone could sway any audience, with his voice, from the golden oldies up to the present. He indeed captivated the Las Vegas Audience. Today he still sings as beautiful as the day he first became popular with worldwide audiences.
Singer Vic Damone, was born Vito Farinola, June 12 1928, in Brooklyn, New York. Damone’s passion for music came from his parents. His father sang songs in the household while Vic’s mother accompanied Vic’s father to Italian songs, and Vic would sing along, expanding his activities to include school presentations and-at-15-radio, when he first made his major appearance on Radio Station WOR. Soon thereafter Vic got a job ushering at the Paramount Theater, where he watched and heard most of the great stars in popular music. As a youngster, Vic took singing lessons while employed as an usher and an elevator operator, and at that time, the young Vic Damone made a captive audience of PERRY COMO, who advised him to take his singing seriously.
Damone who, like many other singers starting out, paid his dues by appearing and singing every chance he got to achieve his goal as one of the best in the field of popular music. In his later years, before fame came to Vic Damone, he appeared on the popular TV talent scout show on Arthur Godfrey's, Talent Scouts, in which Milton Berle, happened to catch Vic’s performance. Berle, who promised to help Vic along with his career, and soon Vic was singing at La Martinique, a famous night spot where many young singers won their first major break.
When he started recording for Mercury records in 1947. He was known as "a nursery for young vocalists."
His first successful hit recordings was 'I Have But One Heart', 'You Do' and 'Say Something Sweet To Your Sweetheart' (with Patti Page). In 1949 he had two million-seller hits, titled: 'Again', and 'You're Breaking My Heart'. from the Ida Lupino film Roadhouse.
Later in the late 40s Vic Damone was serenading American audiences over the radio airwaves with his own CBS radio show, called "Saturday Night Serenade".
His many record hits during the 50s included 'Tzena, Tzena, Tzena' (adapted from an Israeli song), 'Cincinnati Dancing Pig', 'My Heart Cries for You', 'My Truly, Truly Fair', 'Here In My Heart' (a UK number 1 for Al Martino), 'April In Portugal', 'Eternally' (the theme from Charlie Chaplin's film Limelight), 'Ebb Tide', 'On The Street Where You Live' (Damone's third million-seller) and 'An Affair To Remember' (one of prolific film composer Harry Warren 's last songs). He was also in the album charts with ‘That Towering Feeling’. In 1956-to-1957, Vic Damone had his own popular television series.
Like many other great singers of the 40’s and 50’s Vic Damone, suffered from the changing musical times of the 60s and 70s. However in the 60’s and 70’s he did record some outstanding albums such as ‘Linger Awhile’ and ‘On the South Side’, and in 1965 he was riding high with another hit that was in the top 30 single slot 'You Were Only Fooling (While I Was Falling In Love)'. In the 80’s Vic came out with another great album titled: "Vic Damone Country Love Songs". On this album he sang some of the best popular songs written. ‘Someday’, ‘A Fool Such As I’, ‘Room Full Of Roses’, ‘Together Again’, ‘I Really Don’t Want To Know’, ‘Faded Love’, ‘You Don’t Know Me’, Bouquet Of Roses’, ‘Crazy’, and ‘You Win Again’.
Vic Damone’s musical career took another turn and a great comeback in the UK in the early 80s, chiefly because his back-catalogue was plugged incessantly by BBC Radio 2 presenter David Jacobs. Suddenly, he was in fashion again. Most of his old albums were reissued, and many of his hit singles, and others, were repackaged on Vic Damone Sings The Great Songs. Throughout the 80s he recorded several new albums, promoting them in the UK via regular concert tours.
In 1987 he was married, for the third time, to actress Diahann Carroll.
In 1991 Damone played Michael's Pub in New York, his first club appearance in the city for more than 10 years. Today Vic Damone still is popular and a strong headliner in Las Vegas Casinos.
Frank Sinatra hailed him as the best set of pipes in the business.