Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Couple of Obituaries to Note

Pop singer and pianist Buddy Greco, 90, a fixture especially in the 1960s, has died. He had a major hit with "The Lady is a Tramp."

Greco toured and recorded with famed bandleader Benny Goodman, performed on dozens of TV variety shows and was a popular act at The Desert Inn in Las Vegas. He often sat in with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. of The Rat Pack and collaborated with Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, Lena Horne and many others.

Born in South Philadelphia, Greco, whose father was an opera critic, began singing on the radio at age 4 and playing the piano at age 6. In 1946, he signed with the Musicraft record label and with his Three Sharps had his first hit with "Ooh! Look-a There, Ain’t She Pretty." He then spent a few years with Goodman.

In a 2007 interview, Greco said he was offered jobs for much more money but was urged by his dad to work with Goodman. "My father said, 'You go with Mr. Goodman and learn your craft, and you're going to thank me.'"

R&B singer Sylvester Potts (on the left in the photo), who was almost an original member of the Contours, stayed with them for decades until 2004, when he left and renamed another group the same name, thus precipitating a lawsuit, has died.

I saw Potts and his version of the Contours seven years ago at Hot August Nights.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Buddy Greco (along with Buddy Rich and George Carlin) was one of the stars of "Away We Go!," which was Jackie Gleason's 1967 summer replacement.