Vic Damone, teenage radio star, is seen, Dec. 1947. (AP photo)
The legendary singer Vic Damone died on Sunday at the age of 89, his family tells Fox News.
Of him, whose smooth baritone voice led Frank Sinatra and the famous declares that he “had the best pipes in the business”, died at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Fla. surrounded by several close family members.
Of him was a star of scores of tv shows and movies, but the singer has himself not as a showman in the form of Milton Berle and Sammy Davis, Jr.
“I had never thought of myself that way,” his wrote in his memoirs, “Singing Was the Easy .”
“That wasn’t my particular gift,” he wrote. “My gift was singing.”
With more than 2,500 recordings under his belt, he was part of the golden age of the lounge singers who become famous after the second world War, including Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin and Perry Como.
Of him it is the first major breakthrough came at the age of 14, Como help. He was forced to drop out of high school and take a job as an usher at the Paramount theatre in New York City, where he bumped into Como in an elevator. Damone stopped the elevator between floors, and began to sing.
He asked Como to the question of whether he should continue voice lessons and Como simply said, “Keep singing!”
Fate intervened for Him again in the summer of 1946, when Sinatra was playing poker at a friend’s apartment in Manhattan, and one of Sinatra’s classics, “Night and Day,” came on the radio. Sinatra was stunned when the singer turned out to be of Him, live in the studio. Sinatra phoned the radio station and told Him: “This is Frank Sinatra, and I want you to stop singing my songs.”
Damone thought that he was pranked and barked back, “Yes, if you’re Frank Sinatra, then I am the Pope.”
Months later, Sinatra ended up introducing Him in a charity fundraiser in Madison Square Garden.
“I would like to introduce to you Vic Damone,” Sinatra said. “This boy is a really great singer. He has stardust on his shoulders.”
He was born Vito Farinola on June 12, 1928, in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. His parents, Rocco and Mamie (of Him) Farinola, were immigrants from Bari, Italy. His father is an electrician and his mother taught piano.