In Memoriam: Perry Como's Fantastic Career
From a humble immigrant family and his barbershop to the top charts of music and his own television variety shows, Perry Como had an impressive career. The beloved Perry was a heartwarming presence on TV and Radio all across America.
American legend Perry Como was born May 18th, 1912 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania to Italian immigrants who moved to the US only a few years before he was born. Early on he was a very talented musician and would work odd jobs as a child to earn extra money for music lessons.
From Barber To Singer, Perry Como
He could play the organ, the trombone, the piano, the guitar, and taught himself how to sing. He had focused on becoming a barber until his friends and family encouraged him to sing.
Como once sang for Freddy Carlone and his orchestra for fun and ended up impressing Frank so much he offered him a job right then and there. He toured with many big bands perfecting his craft and forming a unique sound. Como was a music-making machine who earned over 100 singles on the Billboard charts with countless of them hitting #1!
His romantic and smooth songs melted hearts all across America, with his hits like "Long Ago and Far Away," "Prisoner of Love," "A' You're Adorable," and "Hoop-Dee-Doo." He went on to host radio shows and star in hit films and musicals for 20th Century Fox like Something for the Boys, Doll Face, If I'm Lucky, and Words and Music.
Perry Como, The Lovable Face And Sound Of Television
He much preferred working on television because he felt he could be more himself rather than portray someone else in movies. His radio show the Chesterfield Supper Club was moved onto TV which in 1949 was changed to the Perry Como Chesterfield Show. He helped popularized variety shows, and his show The Perry Como Show and Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall became some of the highest-rated TV programs along with the greats Ed Sullivan and Andy Williams.
In 1959 he won the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance and five Emmy Awards for his variety show! Como is one of the few people in the world that has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on all 3 forms of broadcasting, radio, television, and music.
Perry was so personable, charismatic, and relaxed that he left a wonderful impression on the hearts across the country. He continued to perform and record music through the 1990s until his passing in 2001. The Grammy-winner died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family on May 12th, 2001.