Friday, September 13, 2013

Sept. 13: The Velvet Fog, Mel Tormé was born on this day in 1925...

... he died on June 5, 1999.

Torme' was known for his jazz singing, and as a composer and arranger, a drummer, an actor in radio, film, and television, and the author of five books. He co-wrote the classic holiday song "The Christmas Song" (also known as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire") with Bob Wells.

Melvin Howard Tormé was born in Chicago, Illinois, to immigrant Russian Jewish parents, whose surname had been changed at Ellis Island from Torma. Mel first sang professionally at age 4 with the Coon-Sanders Orchestra, singing "You're Driving Me Crazy" at Chicago's Blackhawk restaurant.

He wrote his first song at 13, and three years later, his first published song, "Lament to Love," became a hit recording for Harry James. He played drums in Chicago's Shakespeare Elementary School drum and bugle corps in his early teens. While a teenager, he sang, arranged, and played drums in a band led by Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers.

Tormé's "scat" style mimicked that of his idol, Ella Fitzgerald. Tormé wrote more than 250 songs, several of which became jazz standards.

In February 1999, Tormé was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. On August 8, 1996, a stroke abruptly ended his 65-year singing career; another stroke in 1999 ended his life.

Highly Recommended:

The Best Of The Concord Years (2CD)20th Century Masters: Millennium CollectionJazz & Velvet

No comments:

Post a Comment