(Civil society)
Frankie Laine
(Movies & TV)
Frank Sinatra
Jo Stafford
White House

See also

Perry Como

Knowledge Identifier: +Perry_Como


Perry Como

American singer and television personality add

Category: Music

Born in 1912.

Countries: United States (43%), Ireland (11%), United Kingdom (8%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Christmas, Ray Charles (composer), Pennsylvania

Linked to: Decca Records, Billboard, Buckingham Palace, Life




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Perry Como was born in 1912 add something


In 1929, the 17 year old Como met Roselle Belline at a picnic on Chartiers Creek that attracted many young people from the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania area add something


In 1932, Como left Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, moving about 100 miles away to Meadville, Pennsylvania, where his uncle had a barber shop in the Hotel Conneaut add something


Perry and Roselle were married in Meadville, Pennsylvania on July 31, 1933; four days later, Como joined Freddy Carlone's band and began working with them add something


The teenage sweethearts were married July 31, 1933 add something


Como and Weems met in 1936 while the Carlone orchestra was playing in Warren, Ohio add something


Como's first recording with the Weems band was a novelty tune called "You Can't Pull the Wool Over My Eyes", recorded for the Decca Records label in May, 1936 add something


The Weems band had its own weekly radio program on the Mutual Broadcasting System from 1936 – 1937 add something


By the time Como had been with Ted Weems about a year, he was mentioned in a 1937 "Life" magazine NBC Radio ad for "Fibber McGee and Molly" as "causing cardiac flutters with his crooning add something


Frankie Laine - His next big break came when he replaced Perry Como in the Freddy Carlone band in Cleveland in 1937; Como made a call to Carlone about Laine


The Como's first child, Ronnie, was born in 1940 while the Weems band was working in Chicago add something


The weekly radio show, "Beat the Band", which ran on NBC from 1940 – 1944, was a "stump the band" type musical quiz show where Weems and his orchestra were the featured band from 1940 – 1941 add something


In late 1942, Como made the decision to quit the Weems band, even if it meant giving up singing add something


Como's Hollywood type good looks earned him a seven-year contract with 20th Century-Fox in 1943 add something


During a career spanning more than half a century he recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with them in 1943 add something


Perry went on the air for CBS on March 12, 1943 add something


Prior to this he had last appeared at New York's Copacabana in 1944 add something


On December 11, 1944, he moved from CBS to NBC for a new radio program, "Chesterfield Supper Club" add something


His preference for casual clothing did not keep him from being named one of the Best Dressed Men beginning in 1946, and continuing long after Como stopped appearing on weekly television add something


The April 5, 1946 broadcasts of the "Chesterfield Supper Club" took place 20,000 feet in the air; these were the first known instances of a complete radio show being presented from an airplane add something


The first of these events took place September 14, 1946, when Third Street, where Perry worked in the barber shop of Steve Fragapane, was renamed "Perry Como Avenue" add something


Jo Stafford - On April 5, 1946, the entire cast, including Stafford and Perry Como, participated in the first commercial radio broadcast from an airplane


Como had numerous Christmas television specials, beginning on Christmas Eve 1948, and continuing to 1994, when his final Christmas special was recorded in Ireland add something


His music director from 1948 – 1963, Mitchell Ayres, said, "Perry has a temper like everyone else add something


Ray Charles (composer) - Charles initially became associated with Perry Como in 1948 through being part of the vocal group "The Satisfiers"


Peggy Lee - In 1948 Lee joined Perry Como and Jo Stafford as a rotating host of the NBC Radio musical program "Chesterfield Supper Club"


Como was seen weekly on television from 1949 to 1963, continued hosting the "Kraft Music Hall" variety program on a monthly basis until 1967 add something


Como's comments during a 1949 interview were prophetic, as far as his success was concerned add something


While still in its experimental phase, Como and the television show survived an on location broadcast in Durham, North Carolina, North Carolina, on April 15, 1949 add something


On September 8, 1949, it became a weekly half-hour offering on Sunday nights, directly opposite Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town" add something


A wardrobe malfunction meant that viewers were seeing more of Esther than 1950s television considered to be in good taste; more live show mishaps followed add something


In 1950, Perry moved to CBS and the show's title was changed to "The Perry Como Chesterfield Show", again sponsored by Liggett & Myers' Chesterfield cigarettes add something


Hugo Winterhalter - In 1950, Winterhalter signed on with RCA Victor, where he arranged sessions for artists including Perry Como, Eddie Fisher and the Ames Brothers; he recorded several instrumental albums, among them 1952's "Great Music Themes of Television", one of the first collections of TV theme songs ever recorded


Mae West - West would not perform in radio for another twelve years until January 1950, in an episode of "The Chesterfield Supper Club" hosted by Perry Como


Tolchard Evans - In 1951, his career was boosted when Perry Como's version of "If" sold over a million copies


By 1952, it was evident that television would replace radio as the major entertainment medium add something


When Perry and Roselle became Knight Commander and Lady Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in 1952, it was a news item only after Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who had been honored at the same ceremony, mentioned it some time later add something


Ronnie Hilton - Perry Como had been very successful with the song in America, but his version was released much earlier in 1953, when "Me and Juliet" first opened on Broadway


Como was among those who filled in for Gleason on "The Jackie Gleason Show" in 1954 when the entertainer suffered a broken ankle and leg in an on-air fall add something


Ray Charles (composer) - Charles and his singers rejoined Como on television in 1954, while the singer was still doing "The Perry Como Chesterfield Show" for CBS three times a week


La Strada - Rota's main theme was adapted into a 1954 single for Perry Como under the title "Love Theme from "La Strada" ", with Italian lyrics by Michele Galdieri and English lyrics by Don Raye


That April, Perry Como signed a 12 year "unbreakable" contract with NBC. On his last CBS show, June 24, 1955, Como was in high spirits, bringing all those who worked off camera on the air for introductions add something


Como's CBS contract was to expire on July 1, 1955 add something


He moved back to NBC with a weekly hour long variety show featuring additional musical and production numbers, comedy sketches and guest stars called "The Perry Como Show", premiering Saturday, September 17, 1955 add something


On December 17, 1955, viewers were able to see first-hand what Perry did for a living before he was a professional singer add something


This version of his show was so popular that in the 1956 – 1957 television season, it reached ninth in the Nielsen ratings, the only show on NBC that season to land in the top ten add something


On September 15, 1956, the season premiere of "The Perry Como Show" was broadcast from NBC's new color television studios at the New York Ziegfeld Theatre, making it one of the first weekly color TV shows add something


In a rare 1957 interview, Como's mother, Lucia, described how her young son took on other jobs to pay for more music lessons; Como learned to play many different instruments, but never had a voice lesson add something


A 1958 nationwide poll of U.S. teenagers found Perry Como to be the most popular male singer, beating Elvis Presley, who was the winner of the previous year's poll add something


In 1958, the Comos celebrated their silver wedding anniversary with a family trip to Italy add something


When the television show began, there was not enough room for Gallop to appear on stage; he was an invisible "voice from the clouds" until the show's 1958 – 1959 season add something


Roy C. Bennett - In 1958, the popular singer and TV variety show host Perry Como had a top-10 hit with their "Kewpie Doll


In 1959, Como moved to Wednesday nights, hosting "Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall" weekly for the next eight years; the last four seasons from 1963 to 1967 were done as monthly specials alternating with "Kraft Suspense Theatre", "The Andy Williams Show", and finally "The Road West" add something


While "Mr. C." was having a holiday, viewers would see "Perry Presents", beginning in 1959 add something


Joey Heatherton - Heatherton began her career as a child actress, appearing in 1959 as a member of the ensemble and an understudy in the original Broadway production of "The Sound of Music", and received her first sustained national exposure that same year as a semi-regular on "The Perry Como Show", playing an exuberant teenager with a perpetual crush on Perry Como


Ray Charles (composer) - In 1959, Charles produced the summer replacement for "The Perry Como Show"


The Shirelles - In order to better promote the group, Greenberg asked songwriter Luther Dixon, who had previously worked with Perry Como, Nat King Cole, and Pat Boone and co-written the 1959 hit "16 Candles", to write for and produce songs for them


Hound Dog (song) - In 1960, Perry Como told "The Saturday Evening Post": "When I hear 'Hound Dog' I have to vomit a little, but in 1975 it will probably be a slightly ancient classic


Anne Bancroft - In 1961, Bancroft met Mel Brooks at a rehearsal for the Perry Como variety show


Jack Duffy - In 1961, he became a regular on " Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall", performing as one of the Kraft Music Hall Players, alongside Don Adams, Paul Lynde, Kaye Ballard and others


In late 1962, after the Cuban Missile Crisis had settled well enough to permit the evacuated servicemen's families to return to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara was eager to do more for morale there add something


In what must have been one of his favorite shows of his weekly series, Como's guests on the October 3, 1962 broadcast were Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player add something


Some highlights of the program, which was seen in the US on December 12, 1962, included Como's shaving a serviceman with a Castro-like beard and the enthusiastic participation when Perry asked for volunteers to come on stage to do the Twist with the lovely ladies who were part of the visiting dance troupe add something


Sally Ann Howes - She appeared on many TV shows including those of Perry Como, Dinah_Shore and Jack Paar in 1962, "The Tonight Show", plus appearing in "The Bell Telephone Hour", "The Kraft Music Hall", "The United States Steel Hour"


Between 1963 and 1986, Como's television appearances began tapering off, gradually becoming limited to seasonal and holiday specials with the emphasis being on Christmas add something


Filming for the "Kraft Music Hall" Christmas show that was aired on December 17, 1964 began at the Vatican November 7 add something


Ray Charles (composer) - By 1968, "The Perry Como Show" was now doing specials, so Charles could continue with Como while located in California


After 26 years of not making night club appearances, Como accepted an engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in June 1970, which resulted in his first "live" album, "Perry Como in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas" add something


Como suffered a debilitating fall from a stage platform in 1971 while taping "Perry Como's Winter Show" in Hollywood add something


In May 1974, he embarked on his first concert appearance outside of the United States, a show at the London Palladium for the Variety Club of Great Britain to aid children's charities add something


A second ceremony marking Perry Como Day took place August 24, 1977, but the most ambitious project began in 1997 – a statue of the singer add something


In 1982, Como and Frank Sinatra were invited to entertain Italian President Sandro Pertini at a White House State dinner when he made an official visit add something


Como said in an 1983 interview, "I thought I'd have my fun and I'd go home to work add something


In 1985, Como related the story of his first film role experience in "Something for the Boys" add something


The 1987 Christmas special was cancelled at the behest of Como; American Broadcasting Company was willing to offer him only a Saturday 10 PM time slot for it 3 weeks before the holiday add something


From 1989 until his death in 2001, Como co-hosted a weekly syndicated radio show with John Knox, called "Weekend With Perry" add something


Perry thoroughly enjoyed what he was doing, saying in a 1989 interview, "I got a kick out of live television add something


In 1993, he was successfully treated for bladder cancer add something


Adele King - In 1993 she was the guest act at a Christmas concert by Perry Como at Dublin 's Point Theatre, televised to a worldwide audience of 880 million


Como's final Christmas special was filmed in January 1994 in Dublin 's Point Theatre before an audience of 4,500 people, including Irish President Mary Robinson and Como's friend, the actress Maureen O'Hara add something


When Roselle died suddenly on August 12, 1998 at age 84, the couple had been married for 65 years add something


Gary Giddins, the biographer of Bing Crosby, said in 2001, "He came from this whole generation of crooners--Crosby and Sinatra, but he was the only one of them who figured out TV." Como's 15-minute television show was simulcast on radio via the Mutual Broadcasting System beginning on August 24, 1953; while the "Chesterfield Supper Club" broadcasts were simulcast on radio and television, this was the first instance of a simulcast between two networks add something

Perry Como died in 2001 add something


Como died in his sleep on May 12, 2001, at his home in Jupiter Inlet Colony, Florida, six days before his eighty-ninth birthday add something


Posthumously, Como received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2002; he was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006 add something


The Como celebration crossed the Atlantic in August 2002 add something


In 2007, the local McDonald's was totally rebuilt add something


Alfio - After touring the U.S. in 2007, Alfio recorded "Classic Rewinds", a tribute album to 15 Italian-American singers who influenced Alfio when growing up in Sydney: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Mario Lanza, Perry Como, Vic Damone, Al Martino, Louis Prima, Jerry Vale, Bobby Rydell, Tony Bennett, Frankie Laine, Bobby Darin, Frankie Valli, Bon Jovi, and Frankie Avalon