1913 – He was born this year in Chicago.
1930 – He sang before a crowd of 5,000 at The Merry Garden Ballroom to such enthusiastic applause that he ended up performing five encores on his first night.
1937 – His next big break came when he replaced Perry Como in the Freddy Carlone band in Cleveland in this year.
1943 – He moved out to California where he sang in the background of several Hollywood films including The Harvey Girls, and dubbed the singing voice for an actor in the Danny Kaye comedy The Kid From Brooklyn.
1946 – He recorded “That’s My Desire” which remains a landmark record signaling the end of both the dominance of the big bands and the crooning styles favored by contemporaries Dick Haymes and Frank Sinatra.
1950 – As early as this year, he had more than 70 charted records, 21 gold records, and worldwide sales of over 250 million disks.
1951 – He began recording for Columbia Records, where he immediately scored a double-sided hit with the single “Jezebel”/”Rose, Rose, I Love You.”
1963 – He left Columbia for Capitol Records, but his two years there only produced one album and a handful of singles
1974 – He made his own of the title song for Mel Brooks hit movie “Blazing Saddles “won an Oscar nomination for Best Song.
1986 – He recorded an album, Round Up with Eric Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, which made it to the classical charts.
2005 – He appeared in the PBS My Music special despite a recent stroke.
2007 – He died of heart attack this year in San Diego, California.
Page last updated: 3:53pm, 08