This week we pay tribute to the late-great Jerry Vale, the popular Italian-American velvet-voiced crooner of the 1950s & 1960s who passed away this past Sunday in Palm Springs at 83 years old. Signed by Mitch Miller in the early-1950s to Columbia Records, the Bronx-born singer scored his first hit in 1953 with “You Can Never Give Me Back My Heart”.
By the mid-50s, Vale had convinced the famously conservative Miller to release an album of all-Italian songs to huge success. His timeless hits included renditions of Volare, Innamorata and Al Di La. Jerry Vale played to big audiences all over the world including a stint at Carnegie Hall and a famous gig at The Sands in Las Vegas courtesy of his buddy Frank Sinatra. He headlined 22 weeks straight, four shows a day. Vale performed on The Ed Sullivan Show and made several memorable cameo appearances in Scorsese films Goodfellas & Casino and in the HBO series, The Sopranos.
This week’s Top Tune was written by Cy Coleman & Carolyn Leigh and is a song from the hit Broadway musical, Little Me. Released as the b-side to the single “From the Bottom of My Heart” in 1962, Jerry Vale would visit the Coleman catalog again a few years later with “Too Many Tomorrows” from his Great Moments on Broadway album in 1966.
Vale continued to be a popular club act his whole life. Here’s to Jerry, forever and always.
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Publishing controlled by Carwin Music Co. Inc (Carolyn Leigh)
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