Mel Tormé
American singer
Mel Tormé
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.
Mel Tormé's personal information overview.
News abour Mel Tormé from around the web
Twenty-Five Holiday Songs to get Warm to
Huffington Post - 2 months
Its that time of year again and its always nice to get in the spirit of the season with some great holiday music. Here are a few memorable if not typically played holiday songs, made a little hipper by these wonderful jazz artists. I hope you find some joy in them as I do. Happy Holidays to all my family, friends and followers. Looking forward to a swinging New Year! Guitarist John McLaughlin's beautiful Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel Ray Charles and Nina Simone: Baby It's Cold Outside Cyrille Aimee with Doug Munro and Le Pompe Attack : The Christmas Song Frank Sinatra: Let It Snow Tony Bennett and the Count Basie Orchestra: I'll Be Home For Christmas Fats Waller: Swingin' Them Jingle Bells Erroll Garner: White Christmas Bill Evans: Santa Claus is Coming to Town Dave Brubeck: Silent Night Jim Hall and Toots Theilemans: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Cassandra Wilson: The Little Drummer Boy Miles Da ...
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Huffington Post article
ASCAP's Top Thirty Christmas Songs: Wrapping With Paul Williams, Plus Beth Hart/Jeff Beck And Curtis Stigers Exlcusives
Huffington Post - 2 months
Wrapping Top Holiday Songs with Paul Williams Mike Ragogna: President of ASCAP Paul Williams! Christmas songs! Go! Paul Williams: Let me get myself in the mood. [sings:] “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." There it is! It's amazing how quickly you can connect to the emotion and the spirit of the season with this song. What amazes me is that you cannot find a business that has changed more and changes again and again and again than the music business through the years. Eleven months out of the year, the music business keeps changing, from the fifties rock 'n' roll through the seventies singer-songwriters into disco into rap, but you hit the twelfth month of the year and thirty of the top fifty songs were written in the fifties and forties. It's just amazing that these songs have the ability to endure. What a great annuity for the songwriters, but also what a great comfort to the people, because they love to hear them, obviously. MR: And some of them have such great stories. I l ...
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Huffington Post article
Harold Arlen at 110: Before It's Too Late
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Ten years ago, I was paid the most money I have ever been paid for a magazine article (still). The payer was Vanity Fair magazine; the subject was the composer Harold Arlen; the occasion, the centennial of his birth. My story was bought, paid for and then killed just before the issue went to press; bumped by the editor-in-chief Graydon Carter himself to make last minute space for late breaking coverage of some scandalous something in the dominion of gossip. I no longer remember what. Recently, my ten-year-old daughter Sara and I were talking about Harold Arlen while paging through a CD booklet about The Wizard of Oz. "I once wrote a very long article about Harold Arlen," I told her, reminded of it suddenly. "But nobody ever read it. I should publish it one day," I went on, heedlessly, "in the Huffington Post. On Harold Arlen's birthday, maybe." "Papa," Sara said, pointing to the CD booklet. "Harold Arlen was born in 1905. "This is his 110th birthday!" Sara looked at me. "You shoul ...
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Huffington Post article
Todd Rundgren: I Saw the Light
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
"Hello, it's me." Todd Rundgren can never escape that greeting and song title. Nor would he want to, I imagine. It's a signature song for him, one that was transcendent for American radio. Between that 1973 "Midnight Special" performance and the show I covered a few months back at BB King's NYC, Rundgren has traveled a long, winding road well and with grace. His bands, Nazz and Utopia with his eponymous, "Todd Rundgren" band and solo career displayed his talents as a musician but were in my opinion overshadowed by his strong artistic ability as a producer of other musicians' records. Rundgren worked with Robbie Robertson and The Band (spending a lot of time in Woodstock), Janis Joplin (on what would be taken over by another producer ultimately, to become the album "Pearl"), Jesse Winchester, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, New York Dolls, The New Cars, Hall & Oates, Badfinger, Sparks, Rick Derringer, Grand Funk Railroad, James Cotton Blues Band, Patti Smith Group ...
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Huffington Post article
Don We Never Our Hideous Apparel
Huffington Post - over 3 years
My kids' Halloween candy had barely gone stale before the first Christmas controversy roared into town, innocently enough in the form of a Hallmark ornament. The greeting card giant, you may have heard, received flak for trying to be tooooo politically correct, hence its idea to change the lyrics of a certain Christmas carol before slapping it on ornaments shaped like holiday sweaters. The line in question? "Don we now our gay apparel," from Deck the Halls, a carol that has been sung on front porches and at elementary school pageants and retirement home programs since the 1800s. Thinking the word "gay" might offend a portion of customers looking to purchase Hallmark's sweater ornament, the company changed "gay" to "fun." To Hallmark's surprise, nobody cared about the gay reference; quite the contrary. Many ranted on social media sites that Hallmark acted a bit audaciously by changing the lyrics without consulting anyone, although I'm not sure whom they would ask. Attention. This me ...
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Huffington Post article
WNYC Launches New 24-hour Home for Jonathan Schwartz and The American Songbook
Yahoo News - over 3 years
New 24/7 Music Stream Devoted to American Popular Standards, Curated by Jonathan Schwartz,To Launch Friday, November 1 at 12 noon ETNEW YORK, Oct. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The sounds of Sinatra, Nelson Riddle, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday and other masters of the American songbook will soon be heard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the world, when WNYC launches "The Jonathan Channel," a new music stream on Friday, November 1 at 12 noon ET. The stream will be available at ...
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Yahoo News article
Core Bites: Aug. 16
Blue Ridge Now - over 3 years
The Honeycutters to play at BRCC Aug. 25 The Honeycutters will perform from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 25 in the Music by the Lake concert at Blue Ridge Community College. The Honeycutters is the musical collaboration of singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt and lead guitarist/producer Peter James. Its sound has drawn comparisons to such artists as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris or Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Its most recent release, "When Bitter Met Sweet" (2012), hit No. 23 on the Americana Chart, and landed at No. 94 for the year. It was also one of the top 10 best-selling albums at Merlefest in 2012. Since the release of its first studio album, The Honeycutters has shared the stage with such Americana giants as Guy Clark, Tony Rice, The Seldom Scene, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Donna the Buffalo, Jill Andrews and Steep Canyon Rangers. The band includes Tal Taylor on mandolin, Rick Cooper on bass and Josh Milligan on drums. Admission to the concert is free, but bring picnics and l ...
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Blue Ridge Now article
Mike Ragogna: Smooth Jazz Cruisin': Conversations with ECP's Dane Butcher & Michael Lazaroff, Plus Brian Irving's "Garbage Man" Exclusive
Huffington Post - over 3 years
BRIAN IRVING'S "GARBAGE MAN" Brian Irving--aka Rawkus Records and UPROXX.COM co-founder Brian Brater--drops his debut album Radiant Things on July 16th. Brian, a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, synth and drum programmer, creates a lush atmosphere of conscious lyrics, and lo-fi/hi-fi computerized, neo-psychedelia with recent critical comparisons to Tame Impala, Pink Floyd, and Neon Indian. Check out this exclusive stream of his new song "Garbage Man" that features delayed guitar glitchiness, drum layers, and airy vocals and synths coupled with a clear environmental message about the dark side of our over-consumption. The song's opening lines, "Garbage Man, may your holy work be damned, Garbage Man, toxic waste is on your hands. What will you do, when the garbage starts eating you," shed light on the environmental and social consequences of our collective waste. Also enjoy Brian's recently released video for 'Eyes Wide'. It's an animated sufi mind-trip reple ...
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Huffington Post article
Georgia Jazz Musician Dies In Car Crash
Huffington Post - over 3 years
SAVANNAH, Ga. — Musician Ben Tucker performed with stars from Quincy Jones to Peggy Lee before he settled in the 1970s in Savannah, where the jazz bassist became one of the Georgia city's best-known working musicians. He was killed in a car crash Tuesday at age 82. Tucker was driving a golf cart across a road on Hutchinson Island when a car slammed into him at high speed, said Savannah-Chatham County police spokesman Julian Miller. Tucker was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The driver of the car that struck him was charged with vehicular homicide and other criminal counts. The news stunned musicians and jazz enthusiasts in Savannah, where Tucker had been a musical fixture for roughly four decades. Tucker made his living playing upright bass – an instrument he'd named Bertha and claimed was 240 years old – in all sorts of settings from jazz festivals to wedding receptions, from nightclub gigs to bar mitzvahs. "One of the most interesting things about pla ...
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Huffington Post article
PR Pioneer Daniel Edelman Dies In Chicago At 92
Huffington Post - about 4 years
NEW YORK -- Daniel J. Edelman, who built one of the world's top public relations companies and pioneered celebrity endorsements and media tours, has died at age 92. Edelman is credited with developing many of the methods now standard in the field, after transforming the firm he started more than 60 years ago with two people into a global marketing force with more than 4,500 employees in 66 offices worldwide. His son Richard Edelman said he died of heart failure on Tuesday at a Chicago hospital. Richard Edelman, president and CEO of the Edelman firm, said his father was "a marketing and public relations genius, because he really understood that PR could sell brands." The firm's clients include Microsoft, Pfizer, Wal-Mart and Royal Dutch Shell. Daniel Edelman, a New York City native and Columbia University journalism school graduate, worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Poughkeepsie, about 75 miles north. He was drafted into the Army during Wor ...
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Huffington Post article
Jon Chattman: A-Sides With Jon Chattman: Kimberley Locke's 'Free' From 'American Idol's' Shadow
Huffington Post - over 4 years
When it comes to American Idol alumni, Kimberley Locke doesn't really get the credit she deserves. Sure, she hasn't sold as many records as Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry or Carrie Underwood, but she's light years away from William Hung territory. Come to think of it -- her success places her way toward the top of the Fox juggernaut's finalist history, but somehow, she flies under the radar. Let's take a look see: The singer, who placed third behind Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken during season 2 of the show, has four #1 singles on the dance charts and seven Tip 10 singles on the Adult Contemporary Charts. She also became the first Idol finalist to have a #1 sales single with an original song with "8th World Wonder" a decade ago (sorry wrestling fans, that song had little to do with Andre The Giant). The Tennessee native also has three #1 Christmas songs in three straight years -- the first artist ever to accomplish that (sorry Mel Torme). Locke's successes don't stop there. ...
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Huffington Post article
Blue Moon Takes to the Sky Friday Night
Algonquin Patch - over 4 years
Just as the moon isn’t made of cheese, it isn’t usually blue either, but on Friday the phrase, "once in a blue moon" will apply. August will end with the second full moon of the month. The month of August started with a full moon, with the first one taking place on Aug. 1, and ends with the full moon Friday. Modern folklore has dubbed the occurrence of two full moons in a month as a blue moon, according to the science website The blue moon happens only every two to three years. The next blue moon isn’t expected until July 2015. The moon may be doubly blue Friday, which is when the funeral service for Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is scheduled, according to Politico. Armstrong died Saturday at age 82. A private service is planned for Armstrong in Cincinnati, Politico reported. And, while we may call it a blue moon, it is only a term and the moon is not really blue (or made of cheese) though sometimes conditions like smoke can make it app ...
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Algonquin Patch article
Liz Smith: Taylor Swift And Conor Kennedy's Summer Lovin': Stop Hating, You Haters
Huffington Post - over 4 years
"MAKE SOMEBODY happy today. Mind your own business," said Ann Landers. I suppose, being in the business I'm in, using such a quote at the top is rather contradictory. although naturally I like to hope I haven't been too big a busybody. I thought of Landers' quote as the romance began between 22-year-old country music sensation Taylor Swift and 18-year-old Conor Kennedy of that Kennedy family. The pair looks adorable. They've been paparazzi-ed kissing, swimming (she wore a sweet red two piece that showed just enough). She's taken him to Nashville to meet her family, and has supposedly bought a house near Ethel Kennedy's in Hyannis Port, Mass. They are both extremely attractive. What gets me are all the Kennedy-haters out there warning Taylor (in print) to "run don't walk" to the nearest exit; that Conor is a Kennedy and Miss Swift will surely end up in some tragic situation, because all Kennedy men are monsters. Given the size of the Kennedy clan, that's quite an overstat ...
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Huffington Post article
Ralph A. Miriello: Notes on Jazz Third Annual 4th of July Living Legends of Jazz Celebration
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Roy Haynes photo by Fran Kaufman © 2012 Notes on Jazz Third Annual Living Legends of Jazz 2012 Once again it is time for my annual Notes on Jazz listing of the Living Legend of Jazz .This is the third annual compilation, and with each year we gain some new members and sadly lose some old friends. The list is a celebration of those who have, for so long, graced us with their talents, their creativity and their love of the music. Last year, we saw the passing of some truly venerable legends. Musicians, performers, innovators, teachers and mentors who made an indelible mark on society at large and on the music in particular. Some were famous, some infamous and all will be missed. This fraternity of Jazz Legends lost two drummers. A onetime member of both the Ellington and Basie band's drummer Butch Ballard passed at the age of 92. The eclectic rhythm machine, Paul Motian, who together with bassist Scott LaFaro and pianist Bill Evans formed what was perhaps the mo ...
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Huffington Post article
Singers bring young energy to classic songs
The Palm Beach Post - over 4 years
The future of cabaret is in good hands if the reviews Carole Bufford and Nicolas King are collecting are any indication. Both are making their debuts at The Colony’s Royal Room in Palm Beach, where the summer season began this weekend with a show by Will and Anthony Nunziata. The series also includes returning performers Jennifer Sheehan, Wayne Hosford and Ariana Savalas. Summer is when the Royal Room typically presents younger artists. Both Bufford and King are under 30 and are consummate performers, entertainment director Rob Russell said. "I have an old-fashioned sound that’s more like the voices of the leading ladies of yore," Bufford said. She’s even created a show, titled speak easy, with tunes by Bessie Smith, Sophie Tucker and other stars of the Prohibition era. The show recently received a glowing review in The New York Times. She’s still an actress at heart. "My favorite thing to look for when I’m choosing a song is the characters behind them," she said. "That’s h ...
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The Palm Beach Post article
Blue Gypsy Watering Hole reopens with big changes
Blue Ridge Now - almost 5 years
The Blue Gypsy Watering Hole in downtown Saluda reopened Wednesday after being closed for the winter. Owners Chef Jesse Roque and her husband, Edson, opened their first restaurant, Never Blue, in 2007 on Main Street in Hendersonville. Customers can expect to see big changes for the little restaurant, the owners said in a news release. In addition to a revamped menu, with an emphasis on Mediterranean and Southern flavors, patrons will now find counter service and a celebrity "look-alike" announcement system to let diners know when their food is ready. "If you've always been told you're a dead ringer for Mel Torme, you just might hear it when we announce that your food is ready," said Jesse Roque. "We're all about fun and making the entire visit an experience." Menu items will include Roque's famous gypsy cheese, scornbread, ceviches and a variety of cocas or flat breads with combinations as unique as the chef. "Imagine Paula Dean and Mario Batali on vacation in Saluda," Je ...
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Blue Ridge Now article
Lea Lane: Isolated on an Island, Dealing With Grief
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
Recently I've faced a situation that challenged me. I needed to remind myself how I dealt with grief a decade ago, and how it changed my life: Two weeks after I had reserved a cabin on an island off the coast of New Brunswick, Canada, for a romantic getaway with my husband Chaim, he was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor, and three months later, he was gone. The next summer, when I got a call from the owners, I had forgotten all about the cabin reservation. To hell with it -- I decided to get away from everything and go to the cliff by myself. I loaded my black Miata, the one Chaim had gifted me. I brought few clothes, but I did haul Mel Torme, Bach, The Eagles, Dvorjak, Leo Kottke, and our favorite Alsatian wine, chocolate, biscotti and vinegar potato chips. At least I would enjoy our music and food. I kept the top down the whole way on the drive from Westchester County, and overnighted in Augusta, Maine in a Motel 6 as darkness fell. The only available room had ...
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Huffington Post article
Artie Shaw Big Band comes to Salisbury May 6
Salisbury Post - almost 5 years
As the United States prepared to enter World War II, Time reported that to the average German, the U.S. meant “sky-scrapers, Clark Gable and Artie Shaw.” Many years later, in 1983, Shaw made a brief return to launch a touring orchestra, led by Dick Johnson, and that band is still around and touring, now under the direction of clarinetist Matt Koza. Shaw died in 2004 at the age of 94. Sponsored by the Rowan County Concert Association, The Artie Shaw Big Band will make a stop in Salisbury at Catawba College’s Keppel Auditorium on Sunday, May 6 at 3 p.m. Shaw was a big part of the great swing era of 1935-45. His first big hit was “Begin the Beguine,” which helped him become known as the “King of Swing.” In the 1930s he hired Billie Holiday as his band vocalist and was the first white bandleader to employ a black female singer as a full-time member of his band. In the mid 1940s, his dance band featured vocalist Mel Torme. The program will include one of Shaw’s signature son ...
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Salisbury Post article
Music Review: David Basse - Uptown
Seattle Pi - almost 5 years
Music Review: David Basse - Uptown Seattle Post-Intelligencer Copyright 2012 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 11:12 a.m., Thursday, April 26, 2012 A fixture on the Kansas City jazz scene for 20 years, singer David Basse has been compared to the likes of a wide array of vocalists from Dr. John and Mel Torme to Ray Charles and Al Jarreau. The album features 12 tracks, more than half of which are originals: five by pianist Mike Melvoin, one by Mark Winkler, and one from Frank Smith. Listening to Basse is listening to a singer who has assimilated influences from more than a few of the finest jazz singers of the past. Grammy winner Phil Woods plays alto sax on four tracks and clarinet on two.
Article Link:
Seattle Pi article
Art & Creativity for Healing to Host the 2012 "Palette of Colors" in Dana Point
Laguna Niguel Patch - almost 5 years
LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif., April 24, 2012 – Art & Creativity for Healing, Inc. today announced that it will host its annual “Palette of Colors” dinner and auction on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at Stillwater at Renaissance located at 24701 Del Prado in Dana Point. Now under new ownership, Palette of Colors 2012 will be the first charity event to take place at the recently remodeled venue. “Palette of Colors” is Art & Creativity for Healing’s signature event. Over the years, the event has drawn hundreds of friends of the organization from across the Southland in celebration of Art & Creativity for Healing’s mission to support emotional healing through art and creative expression for those living with pain, grief, fear or stress. The theme of the 2012 “Palette of Colors” dinner and auction is “Art & Jazz.” Art & Creativity for Healing is expecting about 180 guests for “Palette of Colors: Art & Jazz.” The event will include a gourmet dinner, live music and entertainme ...
Article Link:
Laguna Niguel Patch article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Mel Tormé
  • 1999
    Age 73
    Another stroke on June 5, 1999 at age 73 ended his life.
    More Details Hide Details He is buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. In his eulogistic essay, John Andrews wrote: "Tormé's style shared much with that of his idol, Ella Fitzgerald. Both were firmly rooted in the foundation of the swing era, but both seemed able to incorporate bebop innovations to keep their performances sounding fresh and contemporary. Like Sinatra, they sang with perfect diction and brought out the emotional content of the lyrics through subtle alterations of phrasing and harmony. Ballads were characterized by paraphrasing of the original melody which always seemed tasteful, appropriate and respectful to the vision of the songwriter. Unlike Sinatra, both Fitzgerald and Tormé were likely to cut loose during a swinging up-tempo number with several scat choruses, using their voices without words to improvise a solo like a brass or reed instrument." Tormé's books include The Other Side of the Rainbow (1970), a memoir of his time as musical adviser for Judy Garland's television show; Traps, the Drum Wonder (1991), a biography of Buddy Rich; My Singing Teachers: Reflections on Singing Popular Music (1994); Wynner (1978) a novel; and It Wasn't All Velvet (1988), his autobiography.
    In February 1999, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1996
    Age 70
    On August 8, 1996, a stroke ended Tormé's 65-year singing career.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1991
    Age 65
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He also owned and played a drum set that drummer Gene Krupa used for many years. George Spink, treasurer of the Jazz Institute of Chicago from 1978 to 1981, recalled that Tormé played this drum set at the 1979 Chicago Jazz Festival with Benny Goodman on "Sing, Sing, Sing".
  • 1983
    Age 57
    Tormé made a guest vocal appearance on the 1983 album Born to Laugh at Tornadoes by the progressive pop band Was (Not Was).
    More Details Hide Details Tormé sang the satiric jazz song "Zaz Turned Blue" about a teenager who is choked as part of an erotic asphyxiation ("Steve squeezed his neck/He figured what the heck") – and who may or may not have suffered brain damage as a result ("Now he plays lots of pool/And as a rule/He wears a silly grin/On his chin").
  • 1976
    Age 50
    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.
    More Details Hide Details For several years, his appearances at Michael's Pub on the Upper East Side would unofficially open New York's fall cabaret season. During the 1980s and 1990s he performed often with George Shearing, recording six albums together for Concord Records. About this period Shering wrote: "It is impossible to imagine a more compatible musical partner... I humbly put forth that Mel and I had the best musical marriage in many a year. We literally breathed together during our countless performances. As Mel put it, we were two bodies of one musical mind." He reunited with Marty Paich for a tour and the albums Mel Tormé and the Marty Paich Dektette – In Concert Tokyo and Mel Tormé and the Marty Paich Dektette – Reunion. He performed with Rob McConnell's big band and recorded Mel Tormé, Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass. In 1995 he toured with Ken Peplowski.
  • 1963
    Age 37
    In 1963–64, Tormé wrote songs and arrangements for The Judy Garland Show, where he made three guest appearances.
    More Details Hide Details When he and Garland had a dispute, he was fired. A few years later, after Garland's death, his time with her show became the subject of his first book, The Other Side of the Rainbow with Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol (1970). Although the book was praised, some felt it painted an excessively unflattering picture of Garland and that Tormé had exaggerated his contributions to the program; it led to an unsuccessful lawsuit by Garland's family. Tormé made nine guest appearances as himself on the 1980s situation comedy Night Court. The main character, Judge Harry Stone played by Harry Anderson, was depicted as an unabashed Tormé fan, an admiration that Anderson shared in real-life; he would deliver the eulogy at Tormé's funeral. Tormé appeared in Mountain Dew commercials and on an episode of the sitcom Seinfeld ("The Jimmy"). He recorded a version of Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up and Fly Right" with his son, singer Steve March Tormé. He worked with his other son, television writer-producer Tracy Tormé, on Sliders. The 1996 episode, entitled "Greatfellas," featured Tormé as a version of himself from a parallel universe in which he is a country music singer who is also an FBI informant.
  • 1960
    Age 34
    In 1960, Tormé appeared in the TV crime drama Dan Raven with Don Dubbins.
    More Details Hide Details He had a role in a cross-cultural western entitled Walk Like a Dragon, starring Jack Lord. He played "The Deacon", a bible-quoting gunfighter who protects a female saloon-owner and teaches a young Chinese man the art of the fast draw. In one scene, he tells a soon-to-be victim: "Say your prayers, brother Masters. You're a corpse" and then delivers on the promise. Like Sammy Davis Jr. and Robert Fuller, Tormé was a real-life fast-draw expert. He also sang the show's theme song.
  • 1956
    Age 30
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The latter recording led the jazz and gospel singer Ethel Waters to say that "Tormé is the only white man who sings with the soul of a black man." "Comin' Home Baby" was later covered by Quincy Jones and Kai Winding.
  • 1955
    Age 29
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He became known for his arranging skills, and with his other talents earned the respect of musicians. In his 1994 book My Singing Teachers, Tormé cited Patty Andrews, lead singer of the Andrews Sisters, one of the most successful show business acts of the 1940s (second only to Bing Crosby), as one of his favorite vocalists, saying, "They had more hit records to their credit than you could count, and one of the main reasons for their popularity was Patty Andrews. She stood in the middle of her sisters, planted her feet apart, and belted out solos as well as singing the lead parts with zest and confidence. The kind of singing she did cannot be taught, it can't be studied in books, it can't be written down. Long experience as a singer and wide-open ears were her only teachers, and she learned her lessons well."
  • 1949
    Age 23
    In 1949, he moved to Capitol Records, where his first record, "Careless Hands," became his only number-one hit.
    More Details Hide Details His versions of "Again" and "Blue Moon" became signature songs. His composition California Suite, prompted by Gordon Jenkins's "Manhattan Tower," became Capitol's first 12-inch LP album. Around this time, he helped pioneer cool jazz. He had a radio program, Mel Torme Time, which appeared on the short-lived Progressive Broadcasting System in the 1950s.
  • 1947
    Age 21
    In 1947, he started a solo singing career.
    More Details Hide Details His appearances at New York's Copacabana led Fred Robbins, a local disc jockey, to give him the nickname "The Velvet Fog" in honor of his high tenor and smooth vocal style. Tormé detested the nickname. He self-deprecatingly referred to it as "this Velvet Frog voice". As a solo singer, he recorded several romantic hits for Decca Records and with the Artie Shaw Orchestra on the Musicraft label (1946–48).
  • 1946
    Age 20
    He was discharged from the Army in 1946, and soon returned to a life of radio, television, movies, and music.
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  • 1944
    Age 18
    In 1944 he formed the vocal quintet Mel Tormé and His Mel-Tones, modeled on Frank Sinatra and The Pied Pipers.
    More Details Hide Details The Mel-Tones, which included Les Baxter and Ginny O'Connor, had several hits fronting Artie Shaw's band and on their own, including Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love? " The Mel-Tones were among the first jazz-influenced vocal groups, blazing a path later followed by The Hi-Lo's, The Four Freshmen, and The Manhattan Transfer. 1=Tormé works with the most beautiful voice a man is allowed to have, and he combines it with a flawless sense of pitch...
  • 1943
    Age 17
    In 1943, Tormé made his movie debut in Frank Sinatra's first film, the musical Higher and Higher.
    More Details Hide Details His appearance in the 1947 film musical Good News made him a teen idol.
  • 1942
    Age 16
    From 1942–1943 he was a member of a band led by Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers.
    More Details Hide Details He was the singer, drummer, and also did some arrangements.
  • 1933
    Age 7
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He wrote his first song at 13. Three years later his first published song, "Lament to Love," became a hit for bandleader Harry James.
  • 1925
    Born on September 13, 1925.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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