Perry Como

A Biography and Complete Career Record

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About the Book

Perry Como put aside his career as a barber to become one of the top American crooners of the 20th century and also one of the first multimedia stars. His record sales exceeded 100 million. In 1948, Como was the first popular singer to cross over to television and The Perry Como Show became the benchmark for a broadcast music and variety show. Como’s career illuminates developments in the music and television business in the middle of the last century. This biography features 73 photographs, a complete discography, a listing of all television appearances, and a year by year chronology of Perry Como’s life from 1912 to 2001.

About the Author(s)

Malcolm Macfarlane is also the author of Bing Crosby: Day By Day and is editor of Bing, the journal of the International Crosby Circle. He has studied American and British popular singers for over 40 years. He lives in the United Kingdom.

Ken Crossland is the author of The Man Who Would Be Bing: the Life Story of Michael Holliday. He has studied American and British popular singers for over 40 years. He lives in the United Kingdom.

Bibliographic Details

Malcolm Macfarlane and Ken Crossland

Foreword by Michael Feinstein

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 310
Bibliographic Info: 73 photos, discography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2009]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7166-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0024-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Michael Feinstein      1
Introduction      3

1. The Barber Business      7
2. Beat the Band—The Ted Weems Years      19
3. Till the End of Time      28
4. Hollywood and Bust      36
5. The Supper Club      45
6. First Contact      55
7. Hoop-Dee-Doing It      66
8. Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes      76
9. Old Silver Throat      88
10. Catch a Falling Star      99
11. Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall      108
12. The Scene Changes      120
13. It’s Impossible      131
14. The Barber Comes to Town      139
15. Charisma in Slow Motion      151
16. Final Curtain      162
17. You Are Never Far Away from Me      172

Appendix A: Perry Como on Record      175
Appendix B: Perry Como on Television, 1948–1995      192
Appendix C: Perry Como Year by Year      239
Chapter Notes      277
Bibliography      289
Index      293

Book Reviews & Awards

Winner, ARSC Award for Excellence
“a fabulous introspective that tells us what went on beyond the microphone, the recording studio, and the camera. It belongs on the bookshelf of all who would like to know details transpiring the life of a captivating artist who was for years at the top of his game”—Chattanooga Airwaves.