The time is getting short till the Concerts begin! The “Guys” are leaving for Russia this week, according to Gianluca’s tweet. I’m sure they’ll be safe in Moscow. The Crimea is a long distance away and I’m sure they’ll have good security. They were kept safe last year, despite some safety risks in some of the countries they visited. Il Volo will take Russia by storm just as they have everywhere else they’ve been. Their music transends everything, all people and all countries.
DID YOU KNOW????
Vic Damone (born Vito Rocco Farinola; June 12, 1928) is an American singer and entertainer.
Damone was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian immigrants based in Bari, Italy—Rocco and Mamie (Damone) Farinola. His father was an electrician, and his mother taught piano. His cousin was the actress and singer Doretta Morrow. Inspired by his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, Damone began taking voice lessons. He sang in the choir at St. Finbar’s Church in Bath Beach, Brooklyn, for Sunday mass under organist Anthony Amorello.
When his father was injured at work, Damone had to drop out of high school. He worked as an usher and elevator operator in the Paramount Theater in Manhattan. He met Perry Como, while at the Paramount Theater. Vic stopped the elevator between floors, sang for him and asked his advice if he should continue voice lessons. Impressed, Como said, “Keep singing!” and referred him to a local bandleader. Vito Farinola decided to call himself Vic Damone, using his mother’s maiden name.
Damone entered the talent search on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts and won in April 1947. This led to his becoming a regular on Godfrey’s show. He met Milton Berle at the studio and Berle got him work at two night clubs. By mid-1947, Damone had signed a contract with Mercury Records.
His first release, “I Have But One Heart”, reached #7 on the Billboard chart. “You Do” (released November 1) reached the same peak. These were followed by a number of other hits. In 1948 he got his own weekly radio show, Saturday Night Serenade.
In 1951, Damone appeared in two movies: The Strip and Rich, Young and Pretty. From 1951 to 1953 he served in the United States Army, but before going into the service he recorded a number of songs which were released during that time. He served with future Northwest Indiana radio personality Al Evans, and also country music star Johnny Cash. After leaving the service, he married the Italian actress Pier Angeli (Anna Maria Pierangeli), and in 1954 made two more movies: Deep in My Heart and Athena. He also made some guest appearances on Milton Berle’s television show in 1954.
In 1955, Damone had one song on the charts, “Por Favor,” which did not make it above #73. However, he did have major roles in two movie musicals, Hit the Deck and Kismet. In early 1956, he moved from Mercury to Columbia Records and had some success on that label with hits like “On the Street Where You Live” (from My Fair Lady, his final pop top ten) and “An Affair to Remember” (from the movie of the same name). His six original, long-playing albums on Columbia between 1957 and 1961 were That Towering Feeling, Angela Mia, Closer Than a Kiss, This Game of Love, On the Swingin’ Side and Young and Lively.
In 1961, he was released by Columbia, moving over to Capitol Records, where he filled in the gap left by Frank Sinatra’s leaving to help found Reprise Records. He lasted at Capitol only until 1965; however, he recorded some of his most highly regarded albums there, including two which made the Billboard chart, Linger Awhile with Vic Damone and The Lively Ones, the latter with arrangements by Billy May, who also arranged another of Damone’s Capitol albums, Strange Enchantment. Other original Capitol albums included My Baby Loves to Swing, The Liveliest, and On the Street Where You Live.
Damone did limited acting on television in the early 1960s. He played Stan Skylar in the 1960 episode “Piano Man” of CBS’s The DuPont Show with June Allyson. He was cast as Jess Wilkerson in the 1961 episode “The Proxy” of the ABC western series, The Rebel, starring Nick Adams. He played the crooner Ric Vallone in the 1962 episode “Like a Sister” of the CBS sitcom, The Dick Van Dyke Show. In the summers of 1962 and 1963 Damone hosted a television variety series on NBC called The Lively Ones, which showcased current jazz, pop and folk performers as well as comedians.
Other notable television work during this time included three guest appearances from 1963 to 1964 on CBS’s The Judy Garland Show. In addition to his solo performances, he and Garland sang duet medleys of songs from Porgy and Bess, West Side Story, and Kismet.
In 1965, Damone moved next to Warner Bros. Records with the albums You Were Only Fooling and Country Love Songs. On Warners he had one Top 100 chart hit: “You Were Only Fooling (While I Was Falling In Love).” The next year he moved again, to RCA Victor Records, releasing the albums Stay with Me, Why Can’t I Walk Away, On the South Side of Chicago and The Damone Type of Thing. In 1967, Damone hosted “The Dean Martin Summer Show”, which was rerun in 1971. In 1969 he released his last US chart record, a cover of the 1966 song “To Make A Big Man Cry”, which made the Billboard Easy Listening
On June 12, 2009, Vic Damone released his autobiography titled Singing Was the Easy Part from St. Martin’s Press.
In December 2, 2011, at the age of 83, Damone launched an official Facebook profile dedicated to his fans. In addition to posting recent photos Damone writes that besides spending time with his family he spends his retirement enjoying golf and football.
Damone has married five times and divorced four:
- The Italian actress Anna Maria Pierangeli (Pier Angeli) (1954–1958) (one son – Perry Damone)
- Judith Rawlins (1963–1971) Victoria, Andrea, and Daniella
- Becky Ann Jones (1974–1982), the American entertainer
- Diahann Carroll (1987–1996) The marriage produced their only child Charves Damone. (This relationship is referenced in the 1997 film Money Talks, in which Chris Tucker’s character claims to be Vic Damone Jr., the son of Damone and Carroll)
- Rena Rowan-Damone (1998 to present), the fashion designer and co-creator of Jones New York (Jones Apparel Group).
Damone has six grandchildren from his daughters (Tate, Paige, Sloane, Rocco, Daniella Grace, Grant).
He lives in Palm Beach County, Florida.
(This one is for Ann, she noted in one of her comments that she loved Vic Damome)
Lets take a look at Bari, Italy, where Damone’s parents were from.
Bari (Bari dialect: Bare; Latin: Barium; Ancient Greek: Barion) is the capital city of the province of Bari and of the Apulia (or, in Italian, Puglia) region, on the Adriatic Sea, in Italy. It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples, and is well known as a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas. The city itself has a population of about 320,475, as of 2011, over 116 km, while the fast-growing urban area counts 653,028 inhabitants over 203 km The metropolitan area counts 1 million inhabitants.
Bari is made up of four different urban sections. To the north is the closely built old town on the peninsula between two modern harbours, with the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, the Cathedral of San Sabino (1035–1171) and the Swabian Castle built for Frederick II, which is now also a major nightlife district. To the south is the Murat quarter (erected by Joachim Murat), the modern heart of the city, which is laid out on a rectangular grid-plan with a promenade on the sea and the major shopping district (the via Sparano and via Argiro).
Modern residential zones surround the centre of Bari, the result of chaotic development during the 1960s and 1970s replacing the old suburbs that had developed along roads splaying outwards from gates in the city walls. In addition, the outer suburbs have developed rapidly during the 1990s. The city has a redeveloped airport named after Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyła Airport, with connections to several European cities.
Odds and Ends:
Check Ignazio’s tweet and short Instagram video of him playing with his dog, Buddy. Ignazio tweeted “I love this dog” Hard to say who’s more adorable!!!
A new piece of news, speaking of Italian tenors. Andrea Bocelli married his girl friend of twelve years, Veronica Berti, in a private ceremony in Livorno, Italy. Andrea and Veronica are the parents of a 2 year old daughter and were married on her 2nd birthday.
God Speed Il Volo, on your trip to Russia!!