Was On The Verge Of Becoming One
The Worlds Top Superstar Vocalists...
Buddy Clark Was One Of The Most Popular
Admired Singers Of His Time
Frank E. Dee ~
Clark was a likable, versatile singer whose career was cut short at the
age of 37 by an airplane crash on October 2, 1949, at 9 p.m. PST.
In November Of 1946. Before His
Untimely Death, Everyone Was Humming Or Singing Buddy Clark’s Big Hit Song,
‘LINDA’. It Was The Number One Hit Song In America At That Era Of
Buddy Clark and five other friends
rented a small plane to attend a‘Sanford vs. Michigan’ football game. After
the game on the way back to Los Angeles, the plane developed a sputtering
engine problem, due to lack of gas, and lost altitude and crashed on Beverly
Boulevard, in California. Buddy was thrown from the plane. He did not survive
the crash. At that time, he was 37 years old reaching new heights
of popularity, when tragedy struck.
The True Story Of The Crash That
Took Buddy Clark’s Life, And Injured
Five Others On The Twin Engine Cessnas.
The strange part of this freaky
accident was that no one else on the plane was reported to have died, nor
was there any one on Beverly Boulevard reported hurt. James L. Hayter,
pilot of the chartered twin engine Cessnas plane who suffered chest injuries
gave his explanation of the crash: He was attempting to land the plane
at suburban Burbank, Ca., because of a low supply of fuel when it ran into
overcast. When it emerged. He said, he didn’t know where he was.
"I switched on the emergency fuel tank just before we got over Los Angeles."
he said. "When she started sputtering I thought the fuel line might have
been clogged, but later I figured we were out of gas. I just picked a spot
and set her down."
The plane clipped branches from
treetops and sheeredoff two power lines. Directly over Beverly Blvd.,
it lost its tailassembly and crashed. Four of the passengers were tossed
clear of thewreckage by the impact. Despite the heavy traffic on the Beverly
Blvd.,the California police regarded the crash a little short of a miraclethat
the plane landed on Beverly Blvd., without causing greater damage,and drivers
below pulled to the curb upon seeing the plane over-head.
One parked truck was hit by a piece
of the plane, but no one was in the truck
at the time about 9 p.m. PST.
Buddy Clark’s real name was "Samuel
Goldberg," he was born 1912 in Dorchester,
Mass., a suburban city of Boston, and grew up in the Westend,
of Boston. As a youngster, he expressed strong interests insports, body
building, exercising, and one of his big dreams was to become
a professional baseball player. Buddy even had plans to become alawyer.
He attended Northeastern Law School, in Boston. A Strong Love
For Music However, his love for music was stronger
than his dreams ofbecoming a pro baseball player or an attorney.
As a young boy Buddy sangas often
as he could at gatherings, and in what today’s times would becalled ‘joints’
-- local pubs, where the floors of the local pubs, andbarrooms were covered
with sawdust. He often times sang just to earnenough to pay for a square
meal. Neighbors, and friends, who heard thisyoung lad sing, were supportive,
whether he sang on the streets or in a pub…he
was well liked. It wasn’t long before Buddy was appearing withlocal Boston
bands, singing his heart out to supportive loyal Boston Fans.
At 17 years old the young Sam Goldberg
was singing at a local wedding in Boston,
when he was heard by David Lilienthal a proprietor of Boston’sleading furriers
I. J. FOX, located on Washington St., in Boston. Sambecame a protégé
of Mr. Lilienthal who arranged music lessons for him and
started him off on a professional career as a band vocalist andradio star.
He appeared for nine years on a Boston radio show, sponsoredby I.J. Fox,
the company owned by Mr. David Lilienthal. Sam made two evening
broadcasts, and sang six days a week on morning shows.
Sam was now on his way to a new
musical career with his own Boston radio show,
with a new name, where he was billed as BUDDY CLARK, … a name that had
more of a show business flair than his own. It wasn’t too long that the
Buddy Clark stylish unique baritone voice was catching on to local audiences
in his own home state of Massachusetts. Within a few years after his successful
Boston radio show, he was now ready to tackle the big ‘Apple’, … New York
City, where singers often went to seek their musical
careers, by joining the big bands…And Buddy was no exception.
In 1934, he made his big band singing debut career,
in earnest as a
vocalist, with the Benny Goodman
band on the "Let’s Dance" Radio Show.
Buddy was billed on several other
top radio shows. Including the "Hit Parade"
from 1936 to 1939. Buddy worked hard to achieve his musicalgoals. He even
supplemented his vocal activity by appearing, often timesunaccredited,
on the transcription discs recorded with such giants of the
big band era as Fred Rich, Archie Blyer, Freddy Martin, Lud Gluskin,
Nat Brandywynne, and other popular bands of the
radio stations thatcouldn’t afford to have a live music program of their
In fact, Buddy
Clark’s renown as a "Ghost Singer" was such that film producerDarryl F.
Zanuck hired him to do the singing for actor Jack Haley in "Wake
Up And Live," a 1937 movie about a popular radio singer who gets"Mike Fright."
The Hollywood welcome mat was now laid down for Buddy. Hewas offered his
own radio show, called, "Here’s To Romance," and he even played a small
cameo role in the 1942 film "Seven Days Leave," which starred two of Hollywood’s
leading stars, Lucille Ball and Victor Mature.
He also sang for actor Mark Stevens in the musical hit "I Wonder Who’s
Kissing Her Now."
Buddy made scores of hit records,
many of them with Xavier Cugat’s orchestra.
The balding Clark who didn’t care whether he lost his hair ornot, earned
the title of the "Contented Crooner," partly because of hisradio sponsor
on the "Carnation Contented" program, and also because of his
appeal to the bobby-sox fans. He didn’t care if his fans swooned
when he sang. He was noted in saying: "Just so
they keep buying myrecords. I’m getting old and bald, and I’m not the type
to make them squeal and I have no burning
ambition to be a movie hero."
Although fame and fortune came to
Buddy Clark, in the 30’s and 40’s, he was
one who never forgot where he came from as a struggling singer of Boston.
Every year he would return back to the West End of Boston andperform for
friends, and fans alike. Jacob Burnes at the time was an official
of the ‘West End House on Blossom St., in Boston, where Clark
was an alumnus of the famous West End House. Burnes
recalled: "The young singer was a good looking boy, an excellent debater
and a fine athlete. He was the catcher on the West End House baseball team
and was on the basketball team."
Buddy Clark put his career on hold
by enlisting into the U.S. Army for three
years during World War II. While serving his country, Buddy sangwith many
of the military bands until his discharge in 1945, in which heresumed his
career. For the last ten years of his singing career as a super
star in radio and a top ranking celebrity of the juke boxes, he
had lived in an aura of success while earning
over a $100,000 a year,which in those days would be equivalent to millions
of dollars topopular singers of the 1990’s and now of the 2000's.
My Special Sincere Thanks Go
To, Two Wonderful People.
Mrs. Lorraine Parretti, Of Milford,
Mass., And Raymond De Simone, of
Lexington, Mass., Who Helped
Make This Story Possible. Without their
assistance, this story would
not have been possible. They Both Donated
Their Time In Researching The
Archives Of Buddy Clark, With Me At ...
The Boston Public Library, In
Copley Square, Boston.
by Frank E. Dee