Mel Tormé

Born Sep 13, 1925

Melvin Howard Tormé, nicknamed The Velvet Fog, was an American musician, known for his jazz singing. He was also a jazz composer and arranger, a drummer, an actor in radio, film, and television, and the author of five books. He composed the music for the classic holiday song "The Christmas Song" and co-wrote the lyrics with Bob Wells.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Mel Tormé.


1925 Birth Born on September 13, 1925.
1933 7 Years Old He played drums in the drum-and-bugle corps at Shakespeare Elementary School. From 1933–41, he acted in the radio programs The Romance of Helen Trent and Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy. … Read More


1942 16 Years Old From 1942–1943 he was a member of a band led by Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers. … Read More
1943 17 Years Old In 1943, Tormé made his movie debut in Frank Sinatra's first film, the musical Higher and Higher. … Read More
1944 18 Years Old In 1944 he formed the vocal quintet Mel Tormé and His Mel-Tones, modeled on Frank Sinatra and The Pied Pipers. … Read More


1946 20 Years Old He was discharged from the Army in 1946, and soon returned to a life of radio, television, movies, and music.
1947 21 Years Old In 1947, he started a solo singing career. … Read More
1949 23 Years Old In 1949, he moved to Capitol Records, where his first record, "Careless Hands," became his only number-one hit. … Read More
1955 29 Years Old From 1955 to 1957, he recorded seven vocal jazz albums for Red Clyde's Bethlehem Records, all with groups led by Marty Paich, most notably Mel Tormé and the Marty Paich Dek-Tette. … Read More


1956 30 Years Old …  He had two minor hits: his 1956 recording of "Mountain Greenery," which did better in the United Kingdom where it reached No. 4; and his 1962 R&B song "Comin' Home Baby", arranged by Claus Ogerman, which reached No. 13 in the UK. … Read More
1960 34 Years Old In 1960, Tormé appeared in the TV crime drama Dan Raven with Don Dubbins. … Read More
1963 37 Years Old In 1963–64, Tormé wrote songs and arrangements for The Judy Garland Show, where he made three guest appearances. … Read More


1976 50 Years Old …  In 1976, he won an Edison Award (the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy) for best male singer, and a Down Beat award for best male jazz singer. … Read More
1983 57 Years Old Tormé made a guest vocal appearance on the 1983 album Born to Laugh at Tornadoes by the progressive pop band Was (Not Was). … Read More


1991 65 Years Old In 1991 Tormé published Traps — The Drum Wonder, a biography of drummer Buddy Rich, who was his friend since Rich left the Marines in 1944. … Read More
1996 70 Years Old On August 8, 1996, a stroke ended Tormé's 65-year singing career.
In February 1999, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Original Authors of this text are noted oné.
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