Daughter: Popular crooner Vic Damone dies in Florida at 89

Vic Damone, whose mellow baritone once earned praise from Frank Sinatra as “the best pipes in the business,” has died in Florida at the age of 89, his daughter said.

Victoria Damone told The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday that her father died Sunday at a Miami Beach hospital from complications of a respiratory illness.

Damone’s easy-listening romantic ballads brought him million-selling records and sustained a half-century career in recordings, movies and nightclub, concert and television appearances.

After winning a tie on the radio show “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Hunt,” Damone’s career began climbing. His hit singles included “Again,” ”You’re Breaking My Heart,” ”My Heart Cries for You,” ”On the Street Where You Live” and, in 1957, the title song of the Cary Grant film “An Affair to Remember.”

Damone’s style as a lounge singer remained constant through the years: straightforward, concentrated on melody and lyrics without resorting to vocal gimmicks. Like many young singers of his era, his idol was Sinatra.

“I tried to mimic him,” Damone said in a 1992 interview with Newsday. “I decided that if I could sound like Frank maybe I did have a chance. I was singing his words, breathing his breaths, (doing) his interpretation, with the high notes, the synergy.”

Sinatra and Damone, along with Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Dean Martin and others — comprised a group of Italian Americans who dominated the postwar pop music field. Far from resenting the mimicry, Sinatra praised Damone’s singing ability.

Damone still drew crowds in nightclubs and concerts into his 70s, before illness prompted his retirement to Palm Beach with his fifth wife, fashion designer Rena Rowan.

Damone appeared in several MGM musicals and he was originally cast in “The Godfather,” but the role of a budding singer seeking mob help in a Hollywood career eventually went to Al Martino.

He wrote in his memoir, “Singing Was the Easy Part,” that he never considered himself a showman like Milton Berle or Sammy Davis Jr.

“That wasn’t my particular gift,” he wrote. “My gift was singing.”

Just Posted

Canyon Ski Resort season wraps up Sunday

Central Alberta skiers and snowboarders only have a couple more days to… Continue reading

Future space crunch is feared, as no new schools for Red Deer are in the budget

Only local modernization will be at Father Lacombe Catholic School in Lacombe

A million dollars for Red Deer hospital is not nearly enough, says Mayor Veer

Mayor is concerned Red Deer hospital is still not on province’s five-year capital list

No drug treatment centre, or additional shelter beds for Red Deer

But Red Deer will get more affordable housing and sustained capital funding

Hit and run adjourned to April

Crash into Papa Baldy’s Pizza

WATCH: Hundreds come to Red Deer Rebels Fan Fest

The Red Deer Rebels met with legions of their of fans just… Continue reading

Supreme Court rules former Stephen Harper aide guilty of influence peddling

OTTAWA — Canada’s highest court has upheld an influence peddling conviction against… Continue reading

2 killed, dozen hurt in French supermarket hostage-taking

PARIS — An armed man took hostages in a supermarket in southern… Continue reading

READER PHOTO: Red Deer students celebrate Canadian courage at Juno Beach

Teenagers from Red Deer’s Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School are learning about… Continue reading

UN report: Loss of plants, animals making a lonelier planet

WASHINGTON — New United Nations scientific reports diagnose that Earth is getting… Continue reading

Excavator frees dolphins trapped by pack ice in Newfoundland harbour

HEARTS DELIGHT, N.L. — A pod of dolphins trapped by pack ice… Continue reading

Structure fire destroys home in Mirror

A house in Mirror is completely damaged due to an overnight structure… Continue reading

Trudeau warns senators not to thwart will of Canadians on marijuana bill

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reminding senators that his government… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month