One of the ‘Crooners’ (alongside the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby) Perry Como was one of the most popular vocalists between the end of World War II and the rise of rock ‘n’ roll in the mid-1950s. He started his working life as a barber at the age of 10 and eventually gained his own “chair” and was frequently heard singing whilst tending to his customers.
In 1933, Perry Como joined Freddy Carlone’s band and began working with them in dance halls but only 3 years later, Freddy Carlone encouraged Como to join Ted Weem’s Orchestra because there would be more wide spread exposure for him as the Orchestra had regular slots on radio. In the early 1940’s Perry Como was offered his own radio show and a recording contract and although reluctant, his wife encouraged him and he took up the offer and was signed to RCA Victor whom he stayed with for the rest of his career. He also starred in films during this period but he was never comfortable playing a character as he preferred just to be himself, which is why television and radio worked so well for him.
Perry Como’s songs are still popular today and are widely sung by performers whether famous or local pub singers. Perry Como passed away in his sleep on 12 May 2001 six days before his 89th birthday.