Dreamer's HolidayRCA CAMDEN CAL- 582 MONAURAL ( L3PP-1231/32 ) CDN-149 MONAURAL UK RELEASE ASSEMBLED 1960 / UK 1961
It is impossible to account for PERRY COMO’S success by calling attention to any one aspect of his abilities. Perry is one of the few singing stars to reach a peak and then not only retain but extend the bounds of his international fame. He is, in the best sense of the phrase, a modern entertainer since he has relied almost entirely upon the modern media of mass entertainment . . . records and television . . . to consolidate his position. His weekly television shows are screened not only throughout the United States but also in nine European countries (plus Great Britain), in Australia and in Cuba and other Lat American countries. The combined force of his RCA recordings and his T.V. appearances has been such that many millions of people have become devout Como fans without having witnessed a single live performance by their favourite singer. The fact that he has never had an opportunity to visit so many of the countries whose networks carry The Perry Como Show gives some idea of the impact made by his T.V. work and at the same time the reason for his inability to undertake stage commitments abroad lies in the tremendous amount of time and energy involved in the rehearsal and presentation of the series.
Perry Como radiates a totally disarming geniality; he creates by his informal approach an atmosphere of homely friendliness to such an extent that millions of television viewers are given the agreeable impression that they are in the personal company of a caller who has brought into their homes a gathering of other happy people to entertain. Grinning like a college-boy or skitting good-naturedly with his guests Perry strolls amiably through his programmes without once suggesting by word or deed that he rules over a highly commercial kingdom (controlling both his T.V. series and all allied Como ventures) where successful rating-reports and sales chart positions are urgently important to the wellbeing of a vast and high-geared business machine. The series has all the spectacular adornments which a top international television series ought to have . . . plus the incomparable magnetism of the Como personality. This is the same ‘plus’ which always makes a Como recording so wholly satisfying; and the ‘plus’ comprises a voice which is richly expressive and capable of transforming lyrics into a pleasurable listening experience; the style of a seasoned entertainer who has learnt to combine originality with humour and confidence with modesty.
Perry Como’s singing career began over 27 years ago when he began singing with a small-time Cleveland band. Vocalists in the thirties automatically took very inferior billing beneath the bands for whom they worked. This did not worry Perry since he was content to lie low and acquire knowledge and routine experience with the Freddy Carlone Band as they made their way from town to town, covering most of the flourishing or semi-flourishing spots throughout Ohio. Perry was never over-optimistic about his show-business potential; in fact, he was inclined to back into his shell whenever anyone suggested that he should make commercial use of his singing voice. His first job with Carlone was landed more as a result of his friends’ enthusiasm than his own. When he accepted a new offer from the better known Ted Weems Band in 1936 he still found it necessary to assuage his doubts and fears by keeping in mind the undoubted security of his thriving barbershop business back home in the small Pennsylvanian mining town of Canonsburg. Perry’s association with the Weems aggregation continued for six years until the band broke up in 1942. Now he was able to reap the benefits of almost ten years of maturing experience which had not only prepared him for solo work but had taught him to endure the bustle and hardships of a touring group’s unsteady existence. Already he had attended recording sessions (although his name only appeared in tiny type under the word ‘vocalist’) and he had taken part in various broadcasts.
By now Frank Sinatra was leading American youngsters towards the era of the singing idols and Como, despite his latest plan to return to barbering when the Weems unit folded, allowed himself to be persuaded into a contract which brought him his own radio series plus his first association with RCA. In the years which followed, Perry was caught up in the exciting swing which took the spotlight away from the bandleaders and gave headline billing to the balladeers. As early as 1945 he took the sales of Till the End of Time soaring over the million mark and since then he has averaged an annual figure of over four million records.
In May 1955 Perry signed an unprecedented twelve contract with N.B.C. and the hour-long Como shows took to the home screens four months later. He had consistently found himself the proud winner of poll titles like “The Year’s Most Popular Vocalist”; now he is voted the top T.V. personality. Despite the fact that he does not rely upon overseas tours, cross country ‘stand’ dates, theatre seasons or extensive film work (he claims that these would part him from his family for unreasonable periods) he has joined the chosen few all-time greats of the showbiz world. Perry lives in a rambling Long Island house with his wife Roselle and their three children; and he makes a point of spending a major part of his leisure time at home with his family and close friends. During the late Spring of 1960 Perry made one of his rare transatlantic trips to land upon British soil for the first time. In London he filmed a special edition of The Perry Como Show in which he introduced Dame Margot Fonteyn, Sirs Ralph Richardson, Harry Secombe, Russ Conway and other leading names of the British entertainment world.
© 1961 THE DECCA RECORD COMPANY LIMITED
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