Perry Como
American male singer
Perry Como
Pierino Ronald "Perry" Como was an American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century he recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with them in 1943. "Mr. C. ", as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records for Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and pioneered a weekly musical variety television show, which set the standards for the genre and proved to be one of the most successful in television history.
Perry Como's personal information overview.
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Stars on the Links - Palm Springs Life
Google News - over 5 years
By the time Colgate teamed up with Dinah Shore to bring LPGA golf to the desert in 1972, there was a celebrity golf circuit emerging from Bob Hope Classic regulars: Dean Martin, Gordon McRae, Perry Como, Jack Lemmon, Andy Williams, Jackie Gleason,
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Gerard Kenny set for Lichfield Garrick performance - Lichfield Live
Google News - over 5 years
Famed for hits such as New York, New York, I Could Be So Good For You and I Made It Through The Rain, Gerard has seen his music covered by the likes of Barry Manilow, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, Shirley Bassey, Sacha Distel, James Last, Jack Jones and
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Alzheimer's disease diagnosis need not be hopeless - The Tennessean
Google News - over 5 years
This week, Pat Summitt joined the ranks of Glen Campbell, Ronald Reagan, Perry Como, Rita Hayworth and other public figures, but a high quality of life is possible with an early diagnosis. Alzheimer's is a progressive, terminal illness, and it is not a
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Baltimore Left Mark on Legendary Songwriter Jerry Leiber -
Google News - over 5 years
The pop music charts were still dominated by bland Perry Como and Patti Page. But Leiber heard the sounds of early rhythm and blues—and it electrified him. “I was the only white boy that delivered to the black families in the neighborhood,” he
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Fifties Fair turns back time at Rose Seidler House - Cumberland Courier Newspapers
Google News - over 5 years
“I've seen (photos of) Perry Como years ago wearing a very similar outfit,” he said. “It's a Buddy Holly kind of style as well.” A swing dancer who has performed at the fair in previous years, Mr Miles, 22, said he thought numbers were down this year
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Jeanne Arland Peterson: A jazz genie - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
Performances with jazz stars George Benson, Sonny Stitt and Roy Eldridge, and entertainers Bob Hope, Perry Como and Red Skelton. Six albums in print (2009's "88 Grand" is her most recent, and it is grand). As she prepared for her 90th birthday concert
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Decrepit Purple Hotel in Lincolnwood overstays its welcome - Chicago Sun-Times
Google News - over 5 years
The Purple Hotel started out life in the 1960s as a Hyatt, a classy place to stay and to hear performers such as Perry Como or Roberta Flack. It slid down the demographic scale until it went independent, being unable or unwilling to meet the standards
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Canonsburg Road Work Set for August -
Google News - over 5 years
Also on the list is Franklin from Perry Como to Fifth. The next project—likely to take place in October—will be work on Franklin Avenue from Perry Como to Fifth, Park Drive from West Pitt Street to North Avenue, Church Way extension from its terminus
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King of BBQ victim in fatal accident - Martinez News-Gazette
Google News - over 5 years
“He went to concerts everywhere, he knew everyone from the newest, hippest bands to the Perry Como stuff,” Burgess said She explained she had met her dear friend at the first King of the County BBQ Challenge and had cheered him on when he won second
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City Slang: “Timeless Treasures” revisited - Detroit Metro Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
They pop up in chapter 3, when Carson is detailing the late '40s and early '50s, and the fact that Detroit's youth was tiring of 'safe' singers like Doris Day and Perry Como and were hungry for something edgier. Sexier, even
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HUCKABY: Singing for Kay Starr's birthday -
Google News - over 5 years
Her contemporaries were Dean Martin, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Patty Page and, of course, “Der Bingle.” That would be Mr. Bing Crosby. All of the above graced album covers stored in a place of honor in the cabinet under my parents' hi-fi set
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Jimmy Roselli, Hoboken's Other Crooner, Dies at 85
NYTimes - over 5 years
He was a skinny Italian-American kid from Hoboken, N.J., who could croon like an angel. Before long, his singing made women swoon and grown men cry. For decades, he sang standards to adoring crowds worldwide, including, notably, ''My Way.'' He had brown eyes. Jimmy Roselli, a pop singer widely known as the other crooner from Hoboken, spent his life
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Perry Como
  • 2001
    Age 88
    Gary Giddins, the biographer of Bing Crosby, said in 2001, "He (Como) came from this whole generation of crooners--Crosby and Sinatra, but he was the only one of them who figured out TV."
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  • 1999
    Age 86
    The planned statue had the blessing of Como's wife, Roselle, who died the year before it was unveiled on May 15, 1999.
    More Details Hide Details As part of the festivities, Como's stool and music stand from The Perry Como Show and the equipment he used at Steve Fragapane's barber shop were donated to the borough. Como was not present at the unveiling because of poor health. The inscription on the base, "To This Place God Has Brought Me", was a favorite saying of Como's; the musical feature was added in 2002. The Como celebration crossed the Atlantic in August 2002. Palena, Italy, the birthplace of Como's parents, had a long-standing week-long festival in honor of the singer. A smaller version of the statue was taken to Palena by the mayor of Canonsburg, Anthony Colaizzo. Perry's son, David, and his wife were also in attendance when the town of Palena renamed a street for Como. There is a marble plaque on a Palena town wall stating that Pietro and Lucia Como, parents of Perry Como, emigrated from this village to the United States which dates from these ceremonies.
    Como's older son, Ronnie, and his daughter, Terri, could not agree on their interpretations of Como's 1999 living will and it became a matter for the courts in the year before his death.
    More Details Hide Details His funeral Mass took place at St. Edward's Catholic Church in Palm Beach, Florida. Como and his wife, Roselle are buried at Riverside Memorial Park, Tequesta (Palm Beach County), Florida.
  • 1994
    Age 81
    Como's final Christmas special was filmed in January 1994 in Dublin's Point Theatre before an audience of 4,500 people, including Irish President Mary Robinson and Como's friend, the actress Maureen O'Hara.
    More Details Hide Details Perry Como's Irish Christmas was a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) production, made by an Irish independent production company in association with RTÉ. Como, appearing aged and unwell, had the flu during the show which took four hours to record. At the show's conclusion, Como apologized to his Dublin audience for a performance he felt was not up to his usual standards. During his visit to Dublin, Como visited a barber shop called "The Como" on Thomas Street. The owners, lifelong fans who named their business in his honor, had sent photographs of the shop and letters to Como inviting him to visit. Photos of Como with the barbers were framed in the shop. "The Como" closed in 2002 but it remains a household name in The Liberties.
  • 1987
    Age 74
    The 1987 Christmas special was cancelled at the behest of an angry Como; The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) was willing to offer him only a Saturday 10 PM time slot for it three weeks before the holiday.
    More Details Hide Details Perry filled the yearly gap for his fans with live Christmas concerts in various locations.
  • 1982
    Age 69
    In 1982, Como and Frank Sinatra were invited to entertain Italian President Sandro Pertini at a White House State dinner when he made an official visit.
    More Details Hide Details President Pertini enjoyed their performance enough to join them in singing "Santa Lucia". The pair reprised this routine the next year in California as part of the entertainment for Queen Elizabeth's Royal visit. Perry was on the program by special request of the Queen. The year 1984 found Como traveling the US with his 50th Anniversary tour. Having spent most of his professional life in radio or recording studios and on television soundstages, he was enjoying doing live performances. Even after his 80th birthday, Perry continued the concert tours. Gone, however, were the cardigan sweaters which had been a staple of his weekly television shows, and which he had actually hated having to wear. Como now performed in a tuxedo, saying, "It shows respect for the audience." The return to live appearances also provided Como with an opportunity to have a little fun with his "Mister Nice Guy" image in a song Ray Charles and Nick Perito his closest collaborator since 1963, wrote and composed for him: It doesn't take a guy equipped with ESP, to see what's cookin' with your curiosity! Is "Mister Nice Guy" just a press agent's pitch? his dearest friends say he's a You never thought you'd see me in Las Vegas 'live' I haven't played a "club" since 1885!It's spelled out in dollar signs (you better believe it!) I can almost read your minds!
  • 1977
    Age 64
    A second ceremony marking Perry Como Day took place August 24, 1977, but the most ambitious project began in 1997 - a statue of the singer.
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  • 1970
    Age 57
    Como had not made a night club appearance in 26 years when he accepted an engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in June 1970, which also resulted in his first "live" album, Perry Como in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas.
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  • 1967
    Age 54
    Beginning in 1967, Como began reducing his TV appearances, gradually becoming limited to seasonal and holiday specials with the emphasis being on Christmas.
    More Details Hide Details Como had numerous Christmas television specials, beginning on Christmas Eve 1948, and continuing to 1994, when his final Christmas special was recorded in Ireland. They were recorded in many countries, including the Holy Land, Mexico, and Canada, as well as many locations throughout the United States.
  • 1962
    Age 49
    Some highlights of the program, which was seen in the US on December 12, 1962, included Como's shaving a serviceman with a Castro-like beard and the enthusiastic participation when Perry asked for volunteers to come on stage to do the Twist with the lovely ladies who were part of the visiting dance troupe.
    More Details Hide Details Filming for the Kraft Music Hall Christmas show that was aired on December 17, 1964 began at the Vatican November 7. By special permission of Pope Paul VI, Como and his crew were able to shoot segments in the Vatican gardens and other areas where cameras had never been permitted previously. The show featured the first television appearance of the Sistine Chapel Choir, and also the first time a non-choir member (Como) sang with them. The choir performed a Christmas hymn in Latin written by their director, Domenico Bartolucci, called "Christ Is Born", as part of their presentation. Como asked his associate, Ray Charles, to write English lyrics for the song, using it many times on both television shows and his Christmas albums. The Carpenters also recorded the song on their first Christmas album, Christmas Portrait.
    In late 1962, after the Cuban Missile Crisis had settled well enough to permit the evacuated servicemen's families to return to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara was eager to do more for morale there.
    More Details Hide Details He asked Perry Como to bring his television show to the Naval base. Perry and his cast and crew were at Guantanamo when the loved ones began their return. The first entertainers to visit the base since the crisis, the Como show filmed there for eight days.
  • 1959
    Age 46
    Como received the 1959 Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male; five Emmys from 1955 to 1959; a Christopher Award (1956) and shared a Peabody Award with good friend Jackie Gleason in 1956.
    More Details Hide Details He was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1990 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1987. Posthumously, Como received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002; he was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006. Como has the distinction of having three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio, television, and music. In the official RCA Records Billboard magazine memorial, his life was summed up in these words: "50 years of music and a life well lived. An example to all." Composer Ervin Drake said of him, " occasionally someone like Perry comes along and won't 'go with the flow' and still prevails in spite of all the bankrupt others who surround him and importune him to yield to their values. Only occasionally."
    In 1959, Como moved to Wednesday nights, hosting Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall weekly for the next eight years; the last four seasons from 1963 to 1967 were done as monthly specials alternating with Kraft Suspense Theatre, The Andy Williams Show, and finally The Road West.
    More Details Hide Details Como became the highest-paid performer in the history of television to that date, earning mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. Como himself took part in none of this; his production company, Roncom, named for son Ronnie Como, handled the transaction along with all other Como business matters. Como also had control of the show which would replace his during the summer television hiatus. While "Mr. C." was having a holiday, viewers would see Perry Presents, beginning in 1959.
  • 1958
    Age 45
    A 1958 nationwide poll of U.S. teenagers found Perry Como to be the most popular male singer, beating Elvis Presley, who was the winner of the previous year's poll.
    More Details Hide Details At one point, his television show was broadcast in at least 12 other countries. Another way to judge the value of the Como show to the network can be found in the following: during sound checks at rehearsals, it was often difficult to hear Como's soft voice without having a large microphone ruin a camera shot. NBC had RCA design a microphone for the show, which was known as the "Como mike"; the microphone was able to pick up Como's voice properly and was small enough not to interfere with camera shots.
    In 1958, the Comos celebrated their silver wedding anniversary with a family trip to Italy.
    More Details Hide Details On the itinerary was an audience with Pope Pius XII. Como, who sat in a side wing of the Long Island church where he attended Sunday Mass in an effort to avoid attracting attention, was both puzzled and upset on returning home that photos from the visit made the newspapers throughout the world. A thorough check of both the Como and NBC publicity offices found that neither was responsible for the release of the photos to the media; it was done by the Vatican's press department. When Perry and Roselle became Knight Commander and Lady Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in 1952, it was a news item only after Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who had been honored at the same ceremony, mentioned it some time later. Como suffered a debilitating fall from a stage platform in 1971 while taping Perry Como's Winter Show in Hollywood. X-rays showed no serious injury to his knee, but by the next morning, it was twice its normal size. The ailing Como chartered a jet back to his home and doctors in Florida, where a second exam showed it had been seriously broken. His knee was re-set and placed in a cast with a recuperation time of eight months. In 1993, he was successfully treated for bladder cancer. When Roselle died suddenly on August 12, 1998, at the age of 84, the couple had been married for 65 years.
  • 1956
    Age 43
    An example of Como's popularity came in 1956, when Life conducted a poll of young women, asking them which man in public life most fit the concept of their ideal husband: it was Perry Como.
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    On September 15, 1956, the season premiere of The Perry Como Show was broadcast from NBC's new color television studios at the New York Ziegfeld Theatre, making it one of the first weekly color TV shows.
    More Details Hide Details In addition to this season premiere as a color television show, there was also a royal visit from Prince Rainier of Monaco and his bride of six months, Grace Kelly. Como competed with Jackie Gleason in what was billed as the "Battle of the Giants" and won. This is now rarely mentioned, in part because Como commonly downplayed his own achievements, and also because the two men were friends. The weekly ratings winner would phone the loser for some mock gloating. At the height of this television competition, Como asked Gleason a favor: to visit his home when his mother-in-law, a big Gleason fan, was there. Though Mrs. Belline spoke no English and Gleason no Italian, Roselle's mother was thrilled. Como's words to Gleason after the visit, "Anything you want, you got it. In fact, I'll even do one of your shows so the ratings will be better." Como was among those who filled in for Gleason on The Jackie Gleason Show in 1954 when the entertainer suffered a broken ankle and leg in an on-air fall.
  • 1955
    Age 42
    On December 17, 1955, viewers were able to see first-hand what Perry did for a living before he was a professional singer.
    More Details Hide Details Actor Kirk Douglas was one of Como's television guests; Douglas had grown a beard for his Vincent van Gogh role in Lust For Life, which finished filming that week. Como shaved Douglas' movie beard live on national television.
    He moved back to NBC with a weekly hour-long variety show featuring additional musical and production numbers, comedy sketches and guest stars called The Perry Como Show, premiering Saturday, September 17, 1955.
    More Details Hide Details This version of his show was also so popular that in the 1956 - 1957 television season, it reached ninth in the Nielsen ratings, the only show on NBC that season to land in the top ten. Como's "Dream Along With Me" became the show's opening theme song, "Mr. C." received the first of many "stacks and stacks of letters" requesting him to sing a specific song. It was also here where he began wearing his trademark cardigan sweaters. The "Sing to me, Mr. C." segment of the Como shows with Perry seated on a stool singing viewer requested songs had its roots in the first television broadcasts of Chesterfield Supper Club. When cameras entered the "Supper Club" radio studio, they found Como and his guests sitting on stools behind music stands. The show's closing theme was, "You Are Never Far Away From Me".
    On his last CBS show, June 24, 1955, Como was in high spirits, bringing all those who worked off camera on the air for introductions.
    More Details Hide Details Perry tried his hand at camera work, getting a picture on the air but one that was upside-down. In appreciation for the 11-year association, his sponsor, Chesterfield, presented him with all the musical arrangements used during this time as a parting gift.
    Como's CBS contract was to expire on July 1, 1955.
    More Details Hide Details The year before, he had been asked to be the master of ceremonies and narrator of the NBC Radio 35th anniversary special. That April, Perry Como signed a 12-year "unbreakable" contract with NBC.
  • 1953
    Age 40
    Como's 15-minute television show was also simulcast on radio via the Mutual Broadcasting System beginning on August 24, 1953; while the Chesterfield Supper Club broadcasts were simulcast on radio and television, this was the first instance of a simulcast between two networks.
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  • 1950
    Age 37
    In 1950, Perry moved to CBS and the show's title was changed to The Perry Como Chesterfield Show, again sponsored by Liggett & Myers' Chesterfield cigarettes.
    More Details Hide Details Como hosted this informal 15 minute musical variety series on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, immediately following the CBS Television News. The Faye Emerson Show was initially broadcast in the same time slot on Tuesday and Thursday. By 1952, it was evident that television would replace radio as the major entertainment medium.
  • 1949
    Age 36
    While still in its experimental phase, Como and the television show survived an on location broadcast in Durham, North Carolina, on April 15, 1949.
    More Details Hide Details On September 8, 1949, it became a weekly half-hour offering on Sunday nights, directly opposite Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town.
  • 1948
    Age 35
    Perry Como made the move to television when NBC initially televised the Chesterfield Supper Club radio program on December 24, 1948.
    More Details Hide Details A very special guest on that first television show was Como's eight-year-old son, Ronnie, as part of a boys' choir singing "Silent Night" with his father. The show was the usual Friday night Chesterfield Supper Club with an important exception—it was also being broadcast on television. The experimental simulcast was to continue for three Friday "Supper Club" shows, but had gone so well, NBC decided to extend the televised version through August 1949. Years later, Como admitted to being scared and feeling awkward initially, but somehow managed to just be himself. Said Como, "You can't act on TV. With me, what you see is what you get."
  • 1944
    Age 31
    Prior to this he had last appeared at New York's Copacabana in 1944.
    More Details Hide Details Como continued to do periodic engagements in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, limiting his night club appearances to Nevada. Performing live again brought Como a new sense of enjoyment. In May 1974, he embarked on his first concert appearance outside of the United States, a show at the London Palladium for the Variety Club of Great Britain to aid children's charities. It was here where he discovered what he had been missing when the audience cheered for ten minutes after he walked onstage. At the show's end, Como sat in a chair, delightedly chatting back and forth with his equally delighted fans. Perry returned to the United Kingdom (UK) in November for a Royal Variety Performance to benefit the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund with the Queen Mother in attendance. Como was invited to visit Buckingham Palace the day after the show. At first, the invitation did not extend to his associates traveling and working with him, and Como politely declined. When word reached the Palace regarding the reason for Perry's turning down the invitation, it was then extended to include all in the Como party and Como accepted this invitation. Soon after, he announced his first concert tour that began in the UK in the spring of 1975.
    On December 11, 1944, he moved from CBS to NBC for a new radio program, Chesterfield Supper Club.
    More Details Hide Details The April 5, 1946, broadcasts of the Chesterfield Supper Club took place 20,000 feet in the air; these were the first known instances of a complete radio show being presented from an airplane. Como, Jo Stafford, the Lloyd Shaffer Orchestra and the entire "Supper Club" crew made the flights for the shows. There were two "Supper Club" broadcast flights that evening: at 6 PM and again at 10 PM for the West Coast broadcast of the show. A total of three flights were made; there was an earlier rehearsal flight for reception purposes. In addition to the instruments for the band, the plane also carried a small piano. Because the stand-held microphones were not very useful on the plane, hand-held mikes were then used, but due to the cabin pressure, they became extremely heavy to hold after a few minutes. This mid-air performance caused the American Federation of Musicians to consider this a new type of engagement and issue a special set of rates for it.
  • 1943
    Age 30
    The crooning craze was at its height during this time and the "bobby soxer" and "swooner" teenage girls who were wild about Sinatra added Como to their list, a "swooners" club voting him "Crooner of the Year" in 1943.
    More Details Hide Details The line for a Perry Como Paramount performance was three deep and wound around the city block. Como's popularity also extended to a more mature audience when he played the Versailles and returned to the Copacabana, where the management placed "SRO-Swooning Ruled Out" cards on their tables. Doug Storer, who was an advertising manager with the Blackman Company at the time, became convinced of Como's abilities after hearing him on his non-sponsored CBS Radio show. Storer produced a demo radio program recording with Como and the Mitchell Ayres Orchestra which he brought to the advertising agency that handled the Chesterfield Cigarettes account. Initially, the agency liked the format of the show, but wanted someone else as the star, asking Storer to obtain the release of the singer they preferred, so he would be free for their new program. Storer decided to do nothing about getting the singer released from his contract. When he was contacted by the agency some weeks later, saying they were ready to put the program on the air on NBC, Storer bluntly told them the man for their show was the man they had heard on the demo recording. The program was scheduled to make its debut in about a week; the only option was to hire Como for the show. Storer then arranged for Como's release from his CBS contract.
    Rockwell's next move was to book Como into the renowned Copacabana Night Club for two weeks beginning on June 10, 1943.
    More Details Hide Details One week later he signed his first RCA Victor contract and three days after that cut his first record for the company, "Goodbye, Sue". It was the beginning of a 44-year professional relationship. He became a very successful performer in theater and night club engagements; Como's initial two weeks at the Copacabana in June stretched into August. There were times when Frank Sinatra would ask Como to fill in for him at his Paramount Theater performances.
  • 1942
    Age 29
    In late 1942, Como made the decision to quit the Weems band, even if it meant giving up singing.
    More Details Hide Details He returned to Canonsburg, his family, and his trade, tired of life on the road without his wife and young son. Como received an offer to become a Frank Sinatra imitator, but chose to keep his own style. While Perry was negotiating for a store lease to re-open a barber shop, he received a call from Tommy Rockwell at General Artists Corporation, who also represented Ted Weems. Como fielded many other calls that also brought offers; what was different was that he liked and trusted Rockwell, who was offering him his own sustaining (non-sponsored) Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) radio show and to get him a recording contract. The offers were also appealing because it meant staying in New York with no more road tours. As Perry pondered the job offer, Roselle told him, "You can always get another barber shop if it doesn't work out!" Until the radio show and recording contract offers, he did not really view singing as his career, believing the years with Carlone and Weems had been enjoyable, but now it was time to get back to work. Como said in an 1983 interview, "I thought I'd have my fun and I'd go home to work."
  • 1940
    Age 27
    The Comos' first child, Ronnie, was born in 1940 while the Weems band was working in Chicago.
    More Details Hide Details Como left the performance to be at his wife's side even though he was threatened with dismissal if he did so. Though Perry was now making $250 a week and travel expenses for the family were no problem, young Ronnie could not become used to a normal routine when they were able to stay in one place for a period of time. The radio program Beat the Band did not always originate from Chicago, but was often done from locations such as Milwaukee, Denver and St. Louis, as the band continued to play road engagements while part of the radio show cast. The Comos decided road life was no place to try raising a child, and Roselle and the baby went back to Canonsburg.
    The weekly radio show, Beat the Band, which ran on NBC from 1940 - 1944, was a "stump the band" type musical quiz show where Weems and his orchestra were the featured band from 1940 - 1941.
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  • 1937
    Age 24
    By the time Como had been with Ted Weems about a year, he was mentioned in a 1937 Life magazine NBC Radio ad for Fibber McGee and Molly as "causing cardiac flutters with his crooning."
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  • 1936
    Age 23
    Como's first recording with the Weems band was a novelty tune called "You Can't Pull the Wool Over My Eyes", recorded for the Decca Records label in May, 1936.
    More Details Hide Details During one of Como's early Decca recording sessions with the Weems orchestra, Weems was told to get rid of "that kid" (Como) because he sounded too much like Bing Crosby, who also recorded for Decca. Before Como could reply, Ted Weems spoke up, saying that Como was part of the session or it was over.
    Como and Weems met in 1936 while the Carlone orchestra was playing in Warren, Ohio.
    More Details Hide Details Perry initially did not take the offer to join Weems's orchestra. Apparently realizing it was the best move for his young vocalist, Freddy Carlone urged him to sign with Weems. Art Jarrett had just left the Weems organization to start his own band. Weems was in need of a vocalist; Como got a raise, as Weems paid him $50 per week, and his first chance for nationwide exposure. Ted Weems and his orchestra were based in Chicago, and were regulars on radio shows such as The Jack Benny Program and Fibber McGee and Molly. The Weems band also had its own weekly radio program on the Mutual Broadcasting System from 1936 - 1937. It was here where the young Como acquired polish and his own unique style, with the help of Ted Weems. Mutual's Chicago affiliate WGN radio threatened to stop carrying the Weems broadcasts from Chicago's Palmer House if Weems's new singer did not improve. Weems had recordings of some previous radio programs; one evening he and Como listened to them after the show. From listening to them, Como was shocked to realize that no one could make out the words to the songs he was singing. Weems told Como there was no need for him to resort to vocal tricks; what was necessary was to sing from the heart.
  • 1933
    Age 20
    Perry and Roselle were married in Meadville on July 31, 1933; four days later, Como joined Freddy Carlone's band and began working with them.
    More Details Hide Details Roselle returned home to Canonsburg; her new husband would be on the road for the next 18 months. Three years after joining the Carlone band, Como moved to Ted Weems's Orchestra and his first recording dates.
    The teenage sweethearts were married July 31, 1933.
    More Details Hide Details They raised three children, Ronnie, David, and Terri, with traditional, non-show-business values. Because Perry Como believed his professional life and his personal life should be kept separate, he declined repeated interview requests from Edward R. Murrow's Person to Person.
  • 1932
    Age 19
    In 1932, Como left Canonsburg, moving about 100 miles away to Meadville, Pennsylvania, where his uncle had a barber shop in the Hotel Conneaut.
    More Details Hide Details Around 80 miles from Cleveland, it was a popular stop on the itinerary for dance bands who worked up and down the Ohio Valley. Como, Roselle, and their friends had gone to nearby Cleveland; their good times took them to the Silver Slipper Ballroom where Freddy Carlone and his orchestra were playing. Carlone invited anyone who thought he might have talent to come up and sing with his band. Young Como was terrified, but his friends urged him and pushed him onto the stage. Carlone was so impressed with Como's performance that he immediately offered him a job. The young man was not certain if he should accept the offer Freddy Carlone had made, so he returned to Canonsburg to talk the matter over with his father. Perry expected he would tell him to stay in the barber business, but to his surprise, the senior Como told him if he did not take the opportunity, he might never know whether or not he could be a professional singer. The decision was also made with an eye on finances; Como earned around $125 per week from his barber shop while the job with Carlone paid $28 per week. Roselle was willing to travel with her husband and the band, but the salary was not enough to support two people on the road.
  • 1929
    Age 16
    In 1929, the 17-year-old Como met Roselle Belline at a picnic on Chartiers Creek that attracted many young people from the Canonsburg area.
    More Details Hide Details Como, who attended the cookout with another girl, did not spot Roselle until everyone was around the campfire singing and the gathering was coming to a close. When it came Como's turn to sing, he chose More Than You Know, with his eyes on Roselle for the entire song.
  • 1912
    Born on May 18, 1912.
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