Dick Haymes

Dick Haymes (September 13, 1918 – March 28, 1980) was an Argentine actor and one of the most popular male vocalists of the 1940s and early 1950s. He was the older brother of Bob Haymes, an actor, television host and songwriter.

He was born Richard Benjamin Haymes in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1918.[1] His Irish-born mother, Marguerite Haymes (1894-1987), was a well-known vocal coach and instructor. He became the vocalist in a number of big bands, worked in Hollywood on radio and in many films throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

He never became a United States citizen and avoided military service during World War II by asserting his non-belligerent status as a citizen of Argentina, which was neutral. Hollywood-based columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper seized upon this at the time, questioning Haymes’ patriotism. The story caused little more than a ripple in Haymes’ career at the time. At about that time he was classified 4-F by the draft board because of hypertension. As part of his draft examination he was confined for a short period to a hospital at Ellis Island, which confirmed his hypertension. [2]However, Haymes’ decision would come back to haunt him in 1953 when he traveled from California to Hawaii, then technically not part of the United States, without first notifying immigration authorities. Haymes was nearly deported to Argentina, but ultimately was allowed to remain in the U.S.

Haymes experienced serious financial problems later in life, as well as alcoholism, and at one point was forced into bankruptcy. [3]

Here’s Dick Haymes with Betty Grable from Billy Rose’s film, “Diamond Horseshoe”

Here’s a great duet featuring Judy Garland and Dick Haymes. Recorded in 1946. “Aren’t You Kinda Glad We Did?”

Haymes was married six times and had six children. His more notable marriages were to film actresses Joanne Dru (1941-1949), Rita Hayworth (1953-1955) and Fran Jeffries (1958-1964). He was also married to Nora Eddington, a former wife of Erroll Flynn. His daughter Stephanie Haymes was married to Sir Elton John‘s lyricist Bernie Taupin.

He died in Los Angeles from lung cancer at the age of 61.

Arguably one of the best singers of the twentieth century, Dick Haymes was born in Argentina to a Scots/Irish father and Irish mother, but brought to the U.S. as an infant. Dick inherited his vocal gift from his mother who made ends meet during the Depression as a singer and voice teacher. A music gig in 1931 caught the eye of a local band leader and soon Dick was moving up, but it was slow-going. In 1939, while Dick was trying to pitch his songwriting talents to band leader Harry James, he ended up his featured vocalist, instead. During the war years Dick hooked up with the Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey orchestras before deciding to go solo. Nabbing his own radio program in addition to a Decca recording contract, Twentieth Century Fox soon expressed interest in his musical talents. Among his many film leads were State Fair (1945) opposite Jeanne Crain and Vivian Blaine, Diamond Horseshoe (1945) and The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947) both paired with Betty Grable, One Touch of Venus (1948) with Ava Gardner, and All Ashore (1953), a second string version of On the Town (1949), with Mickey Rooney and Ray McDonald as his shore-leave buddies. For such a pleasant and unassuming man, Dick’s personal life certainly was a shambles aggravated by alcoholism and financial debt. Five marriages came and went (including actresses Joanne Dru, Nora Eddington, Rita Hayworth, and Fran Jeffries) before his sixth one finally stuck. By the 1960s, his life was all but ruined. He managed to travel to Europe and picked up the remnants of his career. His reputation had not tarnished there, and he enjoyed some renewed popularity; he never regained, however, the foothold in the business that he once had. Dick died of lung cancer in 1980. Though not as well remembered as other crooners of his time (Frank Sinatra, Tony Martin, Vic Damone), and not a particularly charismatic performer on film, this rich baritone’s legacy IS his music. Some of Dick’s more popular recordings include “The More I See You,” “How Blue the Night,” “For You, For Me, Forever More,” “Speak Low,” and “Another Night Like This.”

Hit records

Year Single Chart positions
U.S. U.S.
R&B
1941 “A Sinner Kissed an Angel”(with Harry James) 15
1942 “The Devil Sat Down and Cried”(with Harry James & Helen Forrest) 15
“Idaho”(with Benny Goodman) 4
“Take Me”(with Benny Goodman) 10
“Serenade In Blue”(with Benny Goodman) 17
1943 “It Can’t Be Wrong” 1 2
“In My Arms” 3
“You’ll Never Know” 1 1
“Wait For Me, Mary” 6
“I Never Mention Your Name” 11
“I Heard You Cried Last Night” 13 8
“Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey” 5
“For the First Time” 13
1944 “I’ll Get By”(with Harry James) 1
“Long Ago (and Far Away)”(with Helen Forrest) 2
“How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You” 27
“How Blue the Night” 11
“It Had To Be You”(with Helen Forrest) 4
“Together”(with Helen Forrest) 3
“Janie” 26
1945 “Laura” 9
“The More I See You” 7
“I Wish I Knew” 6
“Till the End of Time” 3
“Love Letters” 11
“I’ll Buy That Dream”(with Helen Forrest) 2
“Some Sunday Morning”(with Helen Forrest) 9
“That’s For Me” 6
“It Might As Well Be Spring” 5
1946 “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows”(with Helen Forrest) 7
“It’s a Grand Night For Singing” 21
“Oh! What It Seemed To Be”(with Helen Forrest) 4
“Slowly” 12
“Come Rain or Come Shine”(with Helen Forrest) 23
“In Love In Vain”(with Helen Forrest) 12
“You Make Me Feel So Young” 21
“Why Does It Get So Late So Early”(with Helen Forrest) 22
“On the Boardwalk” 21
1947 “For You, For Me, Forevermore”(with Judy Garland) 19
“How Are Things In Glocca Mora” 9
“Mam’selle” 3
“There’s No Business Like Show Business”(with Bing Crosby & Andrew Sisters) 25
“Ivy” 19
“Naughty Angeline” 21
“I Wish I Didn’t Love You So” 9
“And Mimi” 15
1948 “Teresa”(with Andrews Sisters) 21
“Little White Lies”(gold record) 2
“You Can’t Be True, Dear” 9
“Nature Boy” 11
“It’s Magic” 9
“Ev’ry Day I Love You” 24
1949 “Bouquet of Roses” 22
“Room Full of Roses” 6
“Maybe It’s Because” 5
“The Old Master Painter” 4
1950 “Roses” 29
“Count Every Star”(with Artie Shaw) 10
“Can Anyone Explain” 23
1951 “You’re Just In Love”(with Ethel Merman) 30
“And So To Sleep Again” 28
1956 “Two Different Worlds” 80

Sources: Imdb.com Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net also, Wikipedia, YouTube

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1 Comment

  1. On the duet piece “Aren’t you kinda glad we did” He sounded a bit like Bing Crosby!


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