On May 18th 1912, Perry Como was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania both his parent immigrated to the US in 1910 from the Abruzzese town of Palena, Italy, young Perry did not begin speaking English until he entered school, since the Como’s spoke Italian at home.
Como pursued a career as a barber before he launched his singing career. At 11, he was working after school cutting hair in a barbershop. Before long he had set his sights on owning his own shop even making monthly payments toward one. He enjoyed singing, however, and let go of his barbershop ambitions soon after high school and his marriage to his high school sweetheart, Roselle Beline.
It didn’t take long to prove that he had talent and soon landed a spot in the Freddie Carlone Orchestra, where he made $28 a week touring the Midwest. In 1937, he joined the Ted Weems orchestra and was featured on the band’s “Beat the Band” radio program. His career was on the rise. But, with the start of WWII and the eventual breakup of Weems’ band, Como found himself back in Canonsburg in a barbershop cutting hair — not for long, however. CBS radio soon offered him a weekly show at $100 a week and RCA signed him to a recording contract.
One my favorite songs from Perry Como, is that song called, “Papa Loves Mambo.” Today’s YouTube presentation is brought to you by user name jvjimenex8, from Perry Como’s 1954 Television show.
Perry Como was of one of thirteen children growing up, and he was the seventh son. The number seven is a sign of good luck among Italian culture.
Did you know Perry Como was the godfather to Debby Boone?
In 1981, Boone appeared with Como in a French Canadian Christmas. The 1981 Christmas Special was part of what was a yearly event starting in 1948 and lasting until 1994. Filmed in Quebec City, Perry Como’s French-Canadian Christmas gave Debby Boone the opportunity to sing a duet with her godfather.
Our Italian crooner always had laid back look to him, or should I say comfortable. He wasn’t very tall man; I would say average height because he was only 5 foot 6.
He sold over 50 million records and was so humble, that he never asked for certification of most of his records that achieved gold record status.
His only marriage was to Roselle Beline, whom he was married to from July 31, 1933 till her death on August 10, 1998.
Perry Como died on May 12, 2001 at Jupiter Inlet Colony, Florida. He was suffering from Alzheimer’s at the time of his death.
Here’s to Perry Como for giving us so many wonderful memories through his songs, “Happy Birthday Mr. Como.”
Written and Designed by JD Mitchell