Ever since Richard Grudens put together the story of my own wondrous career “A Singer’s Life” in 2001, we have talked about the publication of this account of my fellow performers, sometimes known as crooners. Whenever I fly East to perform a show or visit my daughter and grandson, Richard and I get together, usually at a radio show or a bookstore or restaurant book signing. Well, this book, The Italian Crooners Bedside Companion, is a book we have talked about for some time. It is a series of vignettes filled with interesting stories and facts about all your favorite Italian singers, and I consider myself very fortunate to be a contributor.
Many of the subjects here, are or have been, my personal friends. Tony Bennett has been a friend for many years. In my opinion, Tony is a great star and deserves all the accolades he has earned. I’m happy to call him my ‘Buddy.’
And, I have always been a fan of my friend Perry Como, “Mr Class,” as he has always been called by his fellow performers and countless fans. I have always tried to be just like Perry Como, as many of us have.
And what about the great Frankie Laine, who hailed from Chicago, and who sang all his great songs: “Mule Train,” “Lucky Old Sun,” and “That’s My Desire,” Who sings better than Frank, and for so many years? He celebrated his 92nd birthday last March.
Of course, Frank Sinatra is certainly in a special class. He too was a good friend and a great guy. We spent many hours together doing the things friends do; having dinner, playing cards and sharing stories. Thank God for all the wonderful music he left for us to hear. Through his countless recordings, he will always be with us, and I will always remember him as the premier performer of all the great songs.
You will find Julius La Rosa here. You will read about Al Martino and Vic Damone, Alan Dale and Johnny Desmond, Buddy Greco and Bobby Darin - yes, Bobby was Italian too. They are all here for you to read and learn about. So read on and enjoy all the stories and ups and downs of all those Italian Singers we love.
Richard has even remembered my old friend Jimmy Durante, who wasn’t exactly a crooner, but he could deliver a great song too.
Jerry Vale (Genero Louis Vitaliano)
Palm Desert, California
P.O. Box 344 - Stony Brook - NY - 11790