Perry Como

Pierino Ronald “Perry” Como (May 18, 1912 – May 12, 2001) was
an Italian American singer and television
personality. During a career spanning more than half a century he
recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with it in 1943.[1] “Mr. C”, as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records for RCA and pioneered a weekly musical variety
television show, which set the standards for the genre and proved to be
one of the most successful in television history. His combined success
on television and popular recordings was not matched by any other artist
of the time.

A popular television performer and recording artist, Perry Como produced
numerous hit records with record sales so high the label literally
stopped counting at Como’s behest. His weekly television shows and
seasonal specials were broadcast throughout the world and his popularity
seemingly had no geographical or language boundaries.[2] He was equally at ease in live performance and in the confines of a
recording studio. His appeal spanned generations and he was widely
respected for both his professional standards and the conduct in his
personal life. In the official RCA
Records
Billboard Magazine memorial, his
life was summed up in these few words: “50 years of music and a life
well lived. An example to all.”[3] One of the many factors in his success was Como’s insistence on his
principles of good taste; if he considered something to be in bad or
poor taste, it wasn’t in the broadcast or show.[4][5] While his performance of “Ave Maria” was a tradition of his holiday
television programs, Como refused to sing it at live performances,
saying, “It’s not the time or place to do it.”, even though it was the
number one request of his audiences.[6]

Composer Ervin Drake said of him, “… [o]ccasionally
someone like Perry comes along and won’t ‘go with the flow’ and still
prevails in spite of all the bankrupt others who surround him and
importune him to yield to their values. Only occasionally.”

Como received 3 Emmys (2 in 1956 and 1 in 1958), a Christopher Award (1956) and shared a Peabody
Award
with good friend Jackie Gleason in 1956.[7][8][9] He was inducted into the Academy of Television
Arts & Sciences
Hall of Fame in 1989[10] and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1987.[11] Posthumously, Como received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement
Award
in 2002;[12] he was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007.[13] Como has the distinction of having 3 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame-one each for
his work in radio, in television, and in music.[14] Bing
Crosby
once described him as, “the man who invented casual”.[15]


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3 Comments

  1. And yet another American music icon. My favorite Como tune: “And I Love You So”

  2. Thank you Mr Roth for taking the time to indulge me. I’ll be visiting “my site” often. We’ve definitely bonded!


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