Here is a selection of songs performed by the great singer Vic Damone.
Vic Damone (born Vito Rocco Farinola in 1928) is an American singer, songwriter, actor, radio and television presenter and entertainer, of Italian descent, best known for his songs, including number 1# hit You're Breaking my Heart and My Heart Cries for You and On the Street Where You Live from My Fair Lady.
Damone was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian immigrants. Inspired by his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, Damone began taking voice lessons. 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. There he met Perry Como. 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.
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". 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. His distinguished group of musical guests over two seasons included Count Basie, Louie Bellson, Dave Brubeck, Chris Connor, Matt Dennis, Frances Faye, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Greco, Woody Herman, Jack Jones, Stan Kenton, Gene Krupa, Peggy Lee, Nellie Lutcher, Shelly Manne, Anita O'Day, Ruth Olay, Oscar Peterson, André Previn, Della Reese, Shorty Rogers, Cal Tjader, and Joe Williams.
Other notable television work during this time included three guest appearances from 1963 to 1964 on CBS's The Judy Garland Show. He also guested on UK television, inter alia, on Tommy Cooper's Christmas. 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 switched record labels again, moving to RCA Victor and 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 chart.
Also in 1965, he appeared on the Firestone album series, "Your Favorite Christmas Music, Volume 4", singing "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."
In 1971, Damone started touring Las Vegas casinos. He extended his geographical range, touring through the United States and the United Kingdom, and as a result of his popularity decided to record some albums again for RCA. In the UK, he appeared on Tommy Cooper's Christmas Special television show in 1974.
In 1972, he was offered the role of Johnny Fontane in the The Godfather. The role ultimately went to Al Martino as Damone turned down the role for a variety of reasons, reportedly including him not thinking the role had enough screen time or paid enough, but also due to a fear of provoking the mob and Frank Sinatra, whom Damone profoundly respected.
His final album was issued in 2002, with other albums being re-packaged and re-released. He has recorded over 2,000 songs over his entire career.
Damone has married five times and divorced four:
Pier Angeli (1954–1958), actress, singer, Judith Rawlins (1963–1971), Becky Ann Jones (1974–1982), entertainer Diahann Carroll (1987–1996), actress, singer Rena Rowan-Damone (1998 to present).
In 1997, Damone received the "Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Frank Sinatra said that Damone had "the best set of pipes in the business".
For his contribution to the recording industry, Damone has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1731 Vine Street in Los Angeles, California.
In 2014, Damone received the Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook’s first Legend Award in recognition of those who have made a significant contribution to the genre.
Enjoy Vic Damone’s style!
Jule Styne Medley (with Diahann Carroll)
On The Judy Garland Show: