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Your Grampa's Favorite Songs, Singers -- With 34 Music Videos

Graduated NYU 1963. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.

Below Are Biographical Sketches And Videos of 34 Great Singers -- Including One of Billy Eckstine Singing 'I Apologize'

Billy Eckstine

Billy Eckstine

Ben Selvin

Ben Selvin, known as “The Dean of Recorded Music,” was a musician and bandleader whose single recording of “Dardanella” sold 5 million copies. It was the biggest seller of the first quarter of the 20th Century. His output was both innovative and prolific, and he recorded under many different names and labels.

Roaring 20s: 'Broadway Melody'

Rudy Vallee

Rudy Vallee was a popular American singer and bandleader. He formed his own band, “Rudy Vallee and the Connecticut Yankees,” and – reluctantly in his thin, wavering tenor voice – he began singing vocals. His boyish looks and suave manner made him a hit with the ladies. He was credited with inspiring the crooning style of singing and influencing such greats as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como.

Rudy Vallee Sings 'I'm Just a Vagabond Lover'

The Andrews Sisters

The Andrews Sisters – LaVerne, Maxene and Patricia – were a very popular close harmony singing group. They became a household name in the late 1930’s notably with their Gold Record hit, “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön.” The sisters entertained Allied troops extensively during World War II and encouraged the sale of war bonds. They started their career as imitators of the Boswell Sisters.

Andrews Sisters Sing 'Rum and Coca Cola'

Al Jolson

Al Jolson was often referred to as “the world’s greatest entertainer.” His brash, extroverted style featured a sentimental, melodramatic approach. Bing Crosby and Bob Dylan were among those influenced by him. He was the most famous entertainer of the 1930’s. He had the leading role in the first talking movie, “The Jazz Singer.” In 1946 Larry Parks played the title role in “The Jolson Story."

Al Jolson Sings 'Toot, Toot,Tootsie Goodbye'

Whispering Jack Smith

Whispering Jack Smith, a popular radio and recording star in the 1920’s and ‘30’s, was a baritone singer who hailed from The Bronx, New York. His distinctive “whispering” style of singing combined talking with singing -- proving effective in contrast to the common style of “belting out” a song. The style came from a war injury from poison gas that suppressed his volume, but won him praise for his intimate delivery and stage presence.

Whispering Jack Smith sings 'Blue Skies'

Spike Jones

Spike Jones was a popular musician and bandleader who specialized in satirical arrangements of popular songs that were often punctuated by gunshots, whistles, cowbells and ridiculous vocals. The band, known as “Spike Jones and the City Slicker,” was popular on radio in the ‘40s and on television in the ‘50s and 60s. They had numerous hits, including “Der Führer's Face,” “Cocktails for Two” and “My Old Flame.”

Spike Jones: 'Sheik of Araby'

Connie Francis

Connie Francis was a chart topping pop singer in the 1950’s and ‘60s. “Who’s Sorry Now?” and “Where the Boys Are” were among her many hits. She debuted on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand television show. By 1967 she had 35 top 40 hits including three that made No. 1. She performed for the U.S. troops at the height of the Vietnam War.

Connie Francis Sings 'Who's Sorry Now'

Gene Autry

Gene Autry, “The Singing Cowboy,” was famous for more than three decades on radio, in movies and, later, on television. His signature song, “Back in the Saddle Again,” was among a large number of hits including “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Early in his career he performed on radio as “Oklahoma’s Yodeling Cowboy.” He made dozens of “B” movies with sidekick Smiley Burnett and Gene's horse, Champion.

Gene Autry Sings 'Back in the Saddle Again'

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday, known as “Lady Day,” was a jazz and pop singer and songwriter whose vocal style was inspired by jazz instrumentalists. Her intimate, personal approach to singing was widely admired. Her autobiography of her troubled life, “Lady Sings the Blues,” was ghostwritten by William Duffy and published in 1956.

Billie Holiday Sings 'I'll Be Seeing You'

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The Rhythm Boys

The Rhythm Boys were a singing group created by orchestra leader Paul Whiteman, who put Bing Crosby, Al Rinker and Harry Barris together as a trio in the late 1920s. They appeared in “King of Jazz” in 1930 singing “Mississippi Mud” and “So the Bluebirds and the Blackbirds Got Together.” Before disbanding in 1931 they performed at the Coconut Grove with Gus Arnheim’s orchestra.

Bing Sings 'So the Bluebirds and the Blackbirds Got Together'

Nat King Cole

Nat “King” Cole became prominent as a jazz pianist before becoming one of America’s most popular singers. He was the first black to host a television variety show. His career began in the 1930s when the King Cole Trio was formed. One of his first big hits was “Straighten Up and Fly Right” as well as “Sweet Lorraine.” Among his greatest hits are “Mona Lisa,” “Unforgettable” and “Nature Boy.”

Nat King Cole Sings 'Sweet Lorraine'

Ted Lewis

Ted Lewis, known as “Mr. Entertainment,” was a popular bandleader, singer and musician. His band offered schmaltzy sentimentality and hokey comedy. His famous catchword was "Is Everybody Happy?” He wore a top hat and featured sentimental, hard-luck tunes. Ted called himself “the high-hatted tragedian of song.” He often sounded like he was “speaking the song.”

Ted Lewis Sings (Or Speaks) 'When My Baby Smiles at Me'

Ruth Etting

Ruth Etting was a singing star whose signature tunes were “Ten Cents a Dance,” “Shine on Harvest Moon” and "Button Up Your Overcoat.” She made her Broadway debut in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927. She made a large number of movie shorts. She starred with Bing Crosby in “I Surrender Dear” in 1931. Her life was fictionalized in “Love Me or Leave Me” in 1955.

Ruth Etting sings 'Ten Cents a Dance'

Maxine Sullivan

Maxine Sullivan, an American blues and jazz singer, had a unique, intimate vocal style. She recorded numerous Scottish ballads after her successful reading of the song, “Loch Lomond.” Some of her songs were “Annie Laurie” and “Molly Malone” as well as “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “Blue Skies.” She was one of the first black stars to have her own radio show, with her husband, John Kirby.

Maxine Sullivan Sings 'When Your Lover Has Gone'

Tex Beneke

Tex Beneke, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, often worked with bandleader Glenn Miller. He was a singer, saxophonist and bandleader whose solos with Miller include the hit songs “In the Mood” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” He appeared with the Miller band in “Sun Valley Serenade” and “Orchestra Wives,” both movies helping to propel Tex to the top of the Metronome polls.

Tex Beneke Sings 'Chattanooga Choo Choo'

Les Paul and Mary Ford

Les Paul and Mary Ford were a popular husband-and-wife team. They had 16 top-10 hits in the early 1950’s. Les Paul was an innovative guitarist while his wife sang. Some of their big hits were “Tennessee Waltz,” “Mockin’ Bird Hill” and “How High the Moon.” Les Paul hosted a radio show in 1950. Later the “Les Paul and Mary Ford Show” was widely syndicated with “Vaya Con Dios” as their theme song.

Les Paul and Mary Ford perform 'I'm Sitting on Top of the World'

Boswell Sisters Sing 'Sleepy Time Down South'

The Boswell Sisters

The Boswell Sisters, a close harmony trio consisting of Martha, Connee and “Vet,” inspired the Andrews Sisters, who began their career by imitating the Boswells. The Boswells were noted for intricate harmonies and rhythmic experimentation. They began in radio and later had success in records. Their 1934 song “Rock and Roll” refers to the “rolling rocking rhythm of the sea.” The sisters had 20 hits during the 1920’s, including “The Object of My Affection.”

The Ink Spots

The Ink Spots, along with the Mills Brothers, define the genre that led to rhythm & blues and rock and roll. In the late 1930s the group had a smash hit with “If I Didn’t Care.” That was followed rapidly by “Whispering Grass,” “Do I Worry,” “Java Jive” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” Lead tenor Bill Kenny joined the group in 1936, Other hits were “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall,” “I’m Making Believe” and “The Gypsy.”

Ink Spots (featuring Bill Kenny) Sing 'If I Didn't Care'

Dame Vera Lynn

Dame Vera Lynn, nicknamed “The Forces’ Sweetheart,” was an English singer whose voice inspired millions during World War II. Her wartime version of “The White Cliffs of Dover” and “We’ll Meet Again” helped her career flourish. She sent messages to our troops on her radio program and toured Egypt, India and Burma entertaining the troops.

Dame Vera Lynn Sings 'The White Cliffs of Dover'

Frankie Laine

Frankie Laine, known as “Mr. Rhythm,” was one of the biggest hit-makers of the late 1940s and early ‘50s. He had more than 70 charted hits, including 41 Gold Records. The singer and songwriter’s career spanned 75 years. Among his many hits were “That’s My Desire,” “That Lucky Old Sun,” “Jezebel,” “Cry of the Wild Goose” and “Mule Train.”

Frankie Laine Sings 'Ghost Riders in the Sky'

Harry Lillis 'Bing' Crosby Sings 'My Ideal'

Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby was one of the most successful singers, recording stars, actors and entertainers in history. His career in radio, television, movies and personal appearances stretched for more than half a century and was unrivaled in record sales. He inspired most male singers of the century including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. He won the Academy Award in 1944 as Father O’Malley in “Going My Way.”

Bing Crosby Sings 'My Ideal'

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra, "Ol' Blue Eyes," was a popular singer, actor and entertainer who became a "bobby soxer" idol in the early to mid-'40s and remained highly successful until his death in 1998. The Hoboken, N.J., songster was known as "the chairman of the board" and was the leader of the "Rat Pack," which included Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

Frank Sinatra Sings 'My Way'

Dean Martin

Dean Martin was a singer, actor and comedian who reached great success throughout his career as a recording artist and on television and in movies. He gained fame as a comedian with Jerry Lewis before skyrocketing to success with his own television show. He was one of the members of Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack." Among his many hit records were "That's Amore" and "Everybody Loves Somebody."

Dean Martin Sings 'Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime'

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Sammy Davis, Jr. was a multi-talented entertainer, dancer, singer, recording star and actor who was a member of Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack." He started as a child vaudevillian. He was a headliner at the Frontier Casino in Las Vegas for many years. Among his many hit records were "The Candy Man," "I've Gotta Be Me," and "What Kind of Fool Am I."

Sammy Davis, Jr. Sings 'The Candy Man'

Billy Eckstine

Billy Eckstine was a smooth baritone singer and bandleader who was very successful from the 1940s to the '90s. He had a distinctive vibrato which accelerated in his later years. He had many hit songs, including "I Apologize," "Prisoner of Love," A Cottage for Sale" and "My Foolish Heart." He started with bebop and became a solo performer in 1947.

Billy Eckstine Sings 'I Apologize'

Rosemary Clooney

Rosemary Clooney, an American singer, jazz vocalist and actress, came to prominence in the early 1950s with such hit songs as "Come On-a My House," "Hey, There" and "Half as Much." She starred in Bing Crosby's 1954 movie "White Christmas." After a lull relating to depression and drug addiction, her career was revived in 1974 when Bing invited her to appear with him in his 50th Anniversary show at the Uris Theater in New York City.

Rosemary Clooney Sings 'Mambo Italiano'

The Sons of the Pioneers

The Sons of the Pioneers, an American cowboy singing group founded by Roy Rogers, is said to be the oldest continually performing private musical group in history. Led by Rogers and often featuring the lead vocal of Bob Nolan, the Pioneers had many hits including "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," "Cool Water" and "Blue Shadows on the Trail."

The Sons of the Pioneers Sing 'Tumbling Tumbleweeds'

Dennis Morgan

Dennis Morgan, a Wisconsin-born leading man at Warner Brothers through the 1940s, was an American actor and singer. He starred and sang in many movies, including “The Desert Song,” “God Is My Co-Pilot,” “Perfect Strangers,” “My Wild Irish Rose,” ”Captains of the Clouds” and “Christmas in Connecticut." He has a star on the Hollywood Boulevard "Walk of Fame."

'You Can Always Tell a Yank' (Dennis Morgan and Joe E. Brown)

Burl Ives

Burl Ives, whose hit songs included both popular and country, was an American folk singer, actor and writer. He began as an itinerant singer in the 1930’s playing banjo. His biggest hit songs were “Blue Tail Fly,” “Big Rock Candy Mountain” and “Lavendar Blue.” His movie credits include “East of Eden,” “Our Man in Havana” and “The Big Country,” for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Burl Ives Sings 'A Little Bitty Tear Let Me Down'

Red Foley

Red Foley, a major country music star for more than two decades, was an American singer and musician on radio and television. He sold more than 25 million records. A longtime Grand Ole Opry veteran, his 1951 gospel hit “Peace in the Valley” sold over a million copies. Other big hits include “Tennessee Saturday Night” and “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy.”

Red Foley Sings 'Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy'

Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker, nicknamed the “Bronze Venus,” was the first African-American to star in a major motion picture. The American-born French singer and dancer became a world-famous entertainer noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights movement in the United States. Born and raised in the slums of St. Louis, her career began at age 15 dancing on street corners. She became successful in Paris as a dancer in 1925. She later was featured in three films and became a star singer and dancer.

Josephine Baker Sings 'Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup'

Helen Morgan

Helen Morgan, a torch singer who began her career in the early ‘20s in Chicago speakeasies, was also an actress who starred on Broadway and in motion pictures. Her alcohol-plagued life was portrayed in 1957 by Polly Bergen in Playhouse 90 and, also in ’57, by Ann Blyth in the movie, “The Helen Morgan Story.” Her “draped-over-the-piano” signature style has been attributed to her alcoholism. Among her early hits were “Bill” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” performed in “Love Boat.”

Helen Morgan Sings 'Bill'

Andy Russell

Andy Russell, a Los Angeles native born to Mexican immigrants of Spanish descent, was a popular vocalist who began his career as a teenager with the local Don Ramon Cruz band. He worked as vocalist and drummer with several bands including Gus Arnheim's. Later he had his own radio show and signed with Capitol Records. Among his big hits were “Amor” and “Besame Mucho.” In 1946 he replaced Frank Sinatra on radio in “Your Hit Parade” and appeared in the early ‘50s on Sid Caesar’s “Show of Shows, later finding success in Mexico and Argentina.

Andy Russell Sings 'Besame Mucho'

Eddy Howard

Eddy Howard, a native of Woodland, California, was a popular band leader and singer of romantic ballads on radio. He started his own band in 1939 and had his first hit single two years later with “To Each His Own.” He also had hits throughout the '40s and '50s with “It's No Sin” and “Teen-Agers Waltz.” Earlier he had hits singing with other bands, including “My Last Goodbye” and “Careless,” which later became his theme song.

Eddy Howard Sings 'It's No Sin'

Other Hubs With Favorite Singers, Songs

More Grampa's Favorite Songs, Singers

Still More Grampa's Favorite Songs, Singers

Torpey's Favorite Vocalists With Videos


William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on June 13, 2011:

Your late father, your mother and your late aunt really could recognize talent, Trish_M. Bing Crosby, Al Jolson, Nat King Cole and Frankie Laine are huge favorites of mine. I've listened to them for many years -- and still do (as much and as often as possible.) Thanks.

Tricia Mason from The English Midlands on June 13, 2011:

Hi :)

I second Ethel!

Rudy Vallee, The Andrews Sisters, Al Jolson, Connie Francis, Gene Autry, Nat King Cole, Tex Beneke, The Ink Spots, Vera Lynn, Frankie Laine, 'Bing' Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr, Rosemary Clooney, Burl Ives.

All names I remember from childhood, because my parents played their music regularly.

My late father particularly loved Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby. My Mum loves them, too, but she is also a huge fan of Frankie Laine. My late aunt loved Al Jolson.

Strangely enough, I now have lots of these CDs, myself! :)

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on June 12, 2011:

Thank you, ethel smith. They were a huge part of my childhood as well. These days I can't listen to these great singers and songs enough.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on June 12, 2011:

My Dad had lots of these, mainly on old 78s. They were part of our childhood. Thanks for the memories Bill

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on May 10, 2011:

I'm glad you enjoyed these great singers and songs, mtsi1098. While Christina Aguilera's video reflects contemporary entertainment, it's clear to me that it was inspired the Andrews Sisters, who themselves were inspired by the Boswell Sisters (who also appear on this hub.) Thank you.

mtsi1098 on May 10, 2011:

the Christine A video of Candyman reminds me of the Andrews Sisters...excellent hub...thanks...btw...I stumbledupon this

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on January 06, 2011:

"When I Grow Too Old to Dream" is a great song, and Arthur Tracy sings it beautifully. I have his version on a CD, but I couldn't find it on Facebook. Here is the URL for the words to that great old song: And here is the URL for a youtube version by David Whitfield (You really have to hear Tracy sing it, though.) Here is the URL for my hub that has Arthur Tracy signing his bigggest hit titled, "Marta." Good luck.

Nora Hallberg on January 06, 2011:

I sing with a group of four ladies including myself and a gentlemen came up to me tonight and ask me if I knew the song When I Grow too old to Dream. I have never heard it but i would like to hearfind the words and hear the tune so we maybe could sing it for him.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on December 07, 2010:

Thanks, Peggy W. It's my kind of music, too. I hope you'll take a look at the two follow-up hubs I've published called "More Grampa's" and "Still More Grampa's" songs and singers. There were many great artists back then. I've replace the Andrews Sisters video -- thanks, again.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 06, 2010:

Oh my gosh...I have to bookmark this and come back again. My parents as well as grandparents liked this kind of music and I grew up hearing much of it. BTW...the Andrews Sisters video has been taken down. Perhaps you can find another one to replace this? Thanks for this most enjoyable hub. Beautiful, useful and up rating!

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on November 04, 2010:

I'm delighted that you enjoyed this hub, Dolores Monet. Rosemary Clooney is one of my biggest favorites. I love her voice and her personality. She worked with Bing Crosby very closely over the years, and I got to see them work together "live" at the Uris Theater in New York in 1977. I hope you'll take a look a my three followup "grampa" hubs.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on November 04, 2010:

William - WOW what a great hub filled with fabulous music. You have featured so many wonderful singers here. I love Rosemary Clooney's last recording, from a live show when she was about 80 years old. Of course her voice was not the same, but she chose perfect songs and her rendition of the September Song is perfect.

replica louis vuitton handbags on July 17, 2010:

"The Andrews Sisters" is the big name in music industry. The ladies music group all over the world has taken theme of music from this group.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on July 16, 2010:

I'm so happy that you enjoyed these great songs and singers, Peggy W. I hope you've had time to check out the two followup hubs "More Grampa's" and "Still More Grampa's" as well as "Torpey's Favorite." If you liked these songs and singers I'm sure you'll enjoy all of them. Thanks.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2010:

Oh my gosh, I grew up hearing the likes of Bing Crosby, Sons of the Pioneers, Perry Como and so many others you mentioned. In some cases I was unfamilar with the names but knew the songs. My parents loved good music and I am so glad that I was exposed to this type of timeless great music. Thanks for this journey down memory lane.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on June 28, 2010:

Thank you, somali music. These are indeed great talents. I, too, like the work of Ben Selvin -- very much!

somali music on June 28, 2010:

This post is all in one. The writer of this post has gathered the world best collection on a single page.I like the work of Ben Selvin.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on June 23, 2010:

There sure was a great deal of talent in the old days, mquee. I could listen to Bing Crosby and the Ink Spots for hours and hours (and actually I did exactly that when I lived in Connecticut.) Thank you.

mquee from Columbia, SC on June 23, 2010:

Thanks William. I must say that I like Bing also. It seems that when he sang something he took his time and did it right. I have seen the Ink Spots in some old films and enjoyed the music very much. It seems like there was so much talent in those days. I will check out Doris now.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on June 22, 2010:

You're right, of course, mquee. Doris Day is on my "Still More" Favorites hub. Here's the URL:

I love all these singers, but my top favorites are Bing Crosby and the Ink Spots (especially Bill Kenny.) I got to see the Ink Spots and talk with the bass singer live in the early '60s.

mquee from Columbia, SC on June 22, 2010:

Hi William, was just looking through your hubs. I was looking for Doris Day, I know that you must have her someplace, because she was a multi-talented person. Two of my favorites here are Nat King Cole and Dean Martin. With this list though, truly it is difficult to say who is the favorite. Connie Francis has a special place in every one's heart, going through so much. Thanks William.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on June 18, 2010:

I'm glad you enjoyed these great singers, Ladybird33. I hope you also listen to the followup "More Favorites..." and "Still More Favorites..." and "Torpey's Favorites," which have links at the end of the hub. I view and listen to these youtube videos whenever I want to "chill out" for a while. Thanks for watching and listening.

Ladybird33 from Fabulous USA on June 18, 2010:

This was a little before my time but I knew some of them...seems to be a great collection and I learned a thing or two here, so thank you! Hope you are doing good.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on June 09, 2010:

You and I are definitely on the same page, Contagious! I love all good music, but these old songs and singers are my big favorites. I like the stress on melody, and I like singers who express a song in their own unique way.

Contagious! on June 06, 2010:

Absolutely agreed about Bob Nolan! I sooo miss when music was used to create so many moods, pictures and actual PLACES your spirit could go to...I really, really hope that that part of music stays with us and passes on to new generations. I do love hip-hop, rock, punk, metal and ALL kinds of music...but I pray, so hard, that this music you post here isn't swept away...Actually, I wish the music BUSINESS were different...and such a low "bottom line" weren't created which so narrows what is heard on the airways. But....maybe this is a time to appreciate technology and the ability for music to be spread WITHOUT the all knowing (bottom-line-lowering) music business having the final say? It's OUR (lovers of a broad variety of music) chance to have an funny, that such advanced technology could be the start of a grass roots movement! Ironic, in a good way! Anyway, I look forward to checking out your two follow-ups!

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on June 01, 2010:

We obviously have a similar taste in music, Contagious! I love this music so much (including the two follow=up hubs and "Torpey's Favorite Vocalists")that it is my fervent hope that the younger generations will listen to these videos. If they do, I'm sure they'll appreciate these great talents. I think Bob Nolan of the "Pioneers" is one of the most underrated vocalists ever.

Contagious! on June 01, 2010:

Awesome, awesome, awesome! Such GREAT music and performers! Thank you, so much for this! It is so great that young people can now be exposed to so much more because of what you and others post online...and priceless jewels such as The Sons of the Pioneers and The King Cole Trio can be discovered again, for the first time!

You have a new fan, brother!

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on May 30, 2010:

Thanks for visiting, Nellieanna. If you haven't seen my follow-up hubs title "More Grampa's..." and "Still More Grampa's..." you'll find more old favorites. I took a look at your site and it's awesome. I'll be exploring it further in the days ahead.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on May 30, 2010:

Those are certainly some of the great singers. My musical heritage covers even longer than my - ahem - longer than your years, because my siblings went even further back and I heard their favorites growing up too. However, I've found favorites in every decade since my own hey-days, as well.

I've checked some of your blogs and besides HubPages and you have an impressive personal history! Nice to have met you (on De Greek's site).

mquee from Columbia, SC on May 06, 2010:

That's great, I forgot to mention the old radio shows. I have a forty minute commute to work so I listen to old radio shows. Anyone who likes these shows should try you can play a wide selection of old shows on your commputer.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on May 05, 2010:

I'm a fan of Peggy Lee, too, mquee, and I agree she got better with age. I also have satellite radio and enjoy the good old music along with the great old radio shows on Channel 118. I'm up in Maine today visiting my daughter, and I do find some local radio stations here that occasionally play some of the old classics.

mquee from Columbia, SC on May 05, 2010:

Hi William. Wondered what you thought about Peggy Lee, I thought she got better with time. I went to satellite radio so that I could listen to old standards. No local radio stations here play them.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on May 02, 2010:

Lady Day and Nat King Cole: Two terrific talents, ericsomething. My father played piano all his life, so I can appreciate your recognition of Nat Cole's nimbleness with the keys. I have a place in my heart for each of these great musicians.

ericsomething on May 01, 2010:

William, some excellent choices. Lady Day was probably my favorite of that era -- and probably of all time. Nat Cole was a great argument-starter between myself and my parents. They loved his vocals, but it was his piano work that really turned my head. Truly underrated there.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on April 14, 2010:

I agree, Jane. In fact, this hub has been so popular that I have prepared a follow-up hub to add more than 30 other great singers and songs. I will publish the follow-up in a few minutes. I already had Al Bowlly on it, but, thanks to your suggestion, I've added Chick Henderson. Thanks for the suggestion, and thanks for your nice comment.

Jane Bovary from The Fatal Shore on April 13, 2010:

Love this hub William. I'd have to add Al Bowley to this list though [my dad's favourite] ...he did some great work with Ray Noble.

Oh and Chick Henderson....

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on April 11, 2010:

Sorry to hear about your grandmother, compu-smart. I think the grandchildren will like them, too, if only they take the opportunity to listen to them. I have more coming in another hub this week.

Tony Sky from London UK on April 11, 2010:

I had to pop back to listen to these songs again after I just heard my Grandmother died yesterday..I think these songs are so good that grand children as well as grand parants must enjoy them too!!

thanks for sharing!!

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on April 09, 2010:

Thanks, Kaie. I am preparing a new hub containing a couple dozen more songs and singers of this earlier era. For many it's grampa's music, but for some of us it's just dad's music. The generations are passing by very quickly these days. I appreciate your visit and your comment.

Kaie Arwen on April 09, 2010:

Whoa......... not so much my grandpa's, but you hit on an awful lot of my father's favorites.

Thank you,


William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on April 04, 2010:

You are very kind, lisadpreston. You can subscribe to my blogs, but it isn't necessary. All you need to do is click on my link. Here is the URL for my blog about my Uncle Bill (and below that is my post about my grandfather): I don't know a lot about blogging either but I get a lot of help from other hubbers (a whole lot of help!)

lisadpreston from Columbus, Ohio on April 03, 2010:

Just one more question, sorry. Why did you become a reporter instead of a musician like your father? You seem to really love and enjoy music so much. I know you must have inherited some genes for the ability. Just curious.

lisadpreston from Columbus, Ohio on April 03, 2010:

I look forward to the new hubs and it is a good idea to space them. I would love to read the story about your father. If he's half as interesting as you are then it will be a dandy. I must say that I don't know much about blogging, but I need to start reading your blogs. Do I have to subscribe or do I just click on the link anytime I want to read? I guess I could go experiment instead of asking so many dumb questions. Thank you and I think the idea of telling your fathers story is a great one.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on April 03, 2010:

I don't know whether or not you've seen the hub I did on my own personal favorites, lisadpreston. If not, here's the URL:

As to a hub about my father, his story is an interesting one, I think, but insofar as he only played piano at a few local pubs in Yonkers (and later in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at a hotel or two, I decided not to write a hub about him. Also, I have no photos or, of course, no videos of him at the piano. Nevertheless, you've given me a good idea, and I think I will write about him in my blog. Thanks for the idea! I've gathered all the information and links I need for my follow-up on Grampa's Favorites so I'll be publishing it probably sometime next week. (I don't want to publish it too early because I want to give people a chance to see and hear the songs on the first hub. I keep going back to the Crosby hub myself just to listen to some of the videos. Thanks for your interest.

lisadpreston from Columbus, Ohio on April 03, 2010:

Oh, your father was a musician! Have you written a hub on him yet? I read the one on Bing crosby that you did a long time ago. Even though I'm 45 I still love the oldies that were before my time. Of course I would love to read and listen your future musician hubs. Thank you so much.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on April 02, 2010:

I'm very glad that you found these songs and singers interesting, lisadpreston. Because my father was a musician I got to know these artists early in life. I really love this old music. I've published a couple of other hubs about my favorite music and musicians, including one about my all-time favorite, Bing Crosby. There were so many great musicians and songs that I've decided it's necessary to publish at least another two hubs to put a spotlight on a number of other old-time greats. I'll be doing that soon, and I hope you'll take a look and a listen. Thank you for your nice comment.

lisadpreston from Columbus, Ohio on April 01, 2010:

I have heard of some of these people but many I had not. Wow, this was a fun and interesting hub. Most of the songs i have heard, but never knew the singers names. Isn't it amazing how times have changed? The styles, the words, the actual singing and what they were singing about? I really enjoyed this. Thanks.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 25, 2010:

I have a CD by Arthur Tracy, which I treasure, maven101. He was an incredible talent. He starred with Bing Crosby in "The Big Broadcast" of 1932. Tracy had numerous hits, but "Marta' was his signature song. Some of the 23 great songs on the CD are: "When I Grow to Old to Dream," "Shake Hands With a Millionaire," "Where Are You?" and "Dance, Gypsy, Dance." He will definitely be the first video on my follow-up hub on Your Grampa's Favorite Songs, Singers.

Larry Conners from Northern Arizona on March 25, 2010:

William...That's the guy...Arthur Tracy the Street Singer...He had this melodious voice that put you in the mood for slow dancing with your squeeze of the week...I think his big hit was " Marta " or " Martha "...Thanks again, Larry

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 25, 2010:

These great artists indeed provide great memories, Linda Myschrall, for those of us lucky enough to be familiar with them. I hope some of the younger folks take the time to give a listen. I'm sure they will appreciate this wonderful music.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 25, 2010:

If you remember all of these singers, kowality, maybe you are playing the back nine. Thanks for commenting.

kowality from Everywhere on March 25, 2010:

omg.. Am I really that old? Great hub and memories William. Thank You for the awesome vids especially Les Paul and Mary Ford.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 24, 2010:

I appreciate your comment and compliment, Mardi. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub. It's always wonderful to have a personal connection to the past. I know I am very proud of my grandfather's exploits as a prize fighter (He fought under the name of Shamus O'Brien, and I've written about him in my blog.) I'll bet the story of your uncle Jim Ross as a stunt double is fascinating. Thanks.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 24, 2010:

Thanks, maven101, for the compliment and for your very valuable comment. There were a number of wandering minstrels in the old days, but I don't know if you were referring to any one in particular. But my big favorite is/was Arthur Tracy, "the street singer." I wish I had included him in this hub. However, your comment and my lapse of memory in not including Tracy has been decisive for me: I will definitely create a follow-up hub to include some more oldtimers. There are so many of them that even with another hub there will still be many deserving singers omitted. I'll also include Louis Prima and Keely Smith. Thanks, again!

Mardi Winder-Adams from Western Canada and Texas on March 24, 2010:

Excellent hub, thanks so much for adding the videos beside the artist's information. My great uncle Jim Ross was a stunt double in some of the Gene Autry shows but he isn't an artist you hear much of anymore!

Larry Conners from Northern Arizona on March 24, 2010:

William...What a great Hub with wonderfully researched and descriptive bios...the videos were perfect accompaniment to the profiles given...Listening to Rudy Vallee brought back a lost memory of some one called the Wandering Minstrel...Do you remember this singer..?

Growing up in the late 40's and early 50's I fell in love with the Misty June Christie, and my namesake, Chris Conner...Remember Keely Smith with Louis Prima..? Her big hit was " I wish you love "....

Thanks for this wonderful stroll down memory lane...Larry

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 23, 2010:

My father played piano, and I heard this music since I was an infant when friends around the piano sang the old songs from the first four decades of the 20th Century. It seems we owe a great debt of gratitude to our parents, pmccray, for exposing us to this great music. As a boy I favored Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers over Gene Autry, but in my later years my appreciation for Gene has grown. I love all these singers! Thanks for commenting.

pmccray on March 23, 2010:

My Mother raised me with the classics especially jazz. I love Lady Day, Billy E and Nat King Cole. I also love Gene Autry, it's not Christmas until I hear his version of Rudolf the Red Nose Raindeer. Great Hub

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 23, 2010:

You were lucky to have parents that raised you to listen to these great singers, Nancy's Niche. These videos stir memories for me, too. Thanks for listening, and for commenting.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 23, 2010:

They sure were good singers, sheila b. I only wish they could be heard on radio today. Even satellite radio, which I listen to often, doesn't have a station that plays this kind of music -- even though it does have more than 100 channels (But they do have Frank Sinatra and Elvis channels.)

Nancy's Niche on March 23, 2010:

Now this is good music! My grandparents raised me listening to and enjoying the 30’s and older music. Some of the artists listed here were popular when I was a teen. The videos stir some very happy and comfortable memories...

sheila b. on March 23, 2010:

My parents and grandparents listened to these singers, only a few were in my time, so by my count it's been 5 and 6 generations since many of these singers recorded their songs. That's a long life - because they were all so good.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 22, 2010:

Sorry, GmaGoldie, Wayne King was certainly worthy of inclusion in my hub, but i had to leave out lots of great talents to keep it workable. The number of big bands and big band singers is enormous, and all I could do it choose a few. Perhaps I'll do another, similar hub in the future so King and some others can be represented. Thanks for the compliment.

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on March 22, 2010:

What no Wayne King? I am not familiar with these but a client mentioned Wayne King and then I found out Wayne King was from my late husband's home town! Is Wayne too old? Or wasn't as popular? Great Hub! You are terrific!

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 22, 2010:

Thanks, compu-smart. I knew my mother's relatives a lot better than my father's, no doubt because I lived with my mother's mother for some eight years. I believe my father's mother died around the year that I was born. I saw my father's father rarely after I was about five years old. I've written about my mother's father, Shamus O'Brien, on my blog. I hope these singers and songs help you get a better feeling for your grandparents.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 22, 2010:

The singers before 1960 lived in a very different era, Dottie. Our grandfathers lives were different from ours in many ways, and listening to their music helps us get the feel of how they looked at the world. Radio, movies and television were only invented during that time, and space travel and the Internet were science fiction. It's difficult for the younger generations to understand how big radio was in the '30s and '40s. The music gives us a closer look at what it was really like. Thanks for your nice comment.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 22, 2010:

Al Jolson was one-of-a-kind, kartika damon. I was introduced to him by way of "The Jolson Story" (1946) and "Jolson Sings Again" (1949), two great movies with Larry Parks in the title role. Jolson also was a guest on lots of radio shows, including Bing Crosby's, and he worked really well with Bing and the others. I liked Sinatra a lot, especially in his early years before his 1953 comeback with "From Here to Eternity."

Tony Sky from London UK on March 22, 2010:

Hi William, and Dottie1 above!:)

I met my grand mother and grand dad from my fathers side just once and found out my grand dad died yesterday..

I never met my grand parants from my mothers side as they died before I had the chance too..

I guess it's nice to know what they listened to!

Thnaks for sharing!

Dottie1 from MA, USA on March 22, 2010:

Since I live in the house that my grandfather built it's easy for me to keep his memory alive. I love to learn more about him and you have done just that William, through this hub. Out of the 25 you listed, I have never heard of 14 of them, including Bing Crosby.... only kiddin-how could I not with you on hubpages. Thanks for the fun and memories.

kartika damon from Fairfield, Iowa on March 22, 2010:

When I was a little girl, I listened to my mother's Al Jolson's records - loved em! My brother, who is 13 yrs older than I, was a big fan of Frank Sinatra and had all of his records - so, of course I grew up listening to him. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Mighty Mom!

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 22, 2010:

And I thank you, Micky Dee. It's not surprising that you're not familiar with some of these old stars because you almost never hear them anymore... anywhere! It turns out that by visiting this hub, and my other hub called "Torpey's Favorite Vocalists With Videos," I can listen to them easily whenever I want -- not to mention my Bing Crosby hubs. HubPages is great.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 22, 2010:

Thanks, Hello, hello. I only wish we could hear more of this great music on radio, tv, movies, etc.

Micky Dee on March 22, 2010:

Great stuff here Sir! Thank you. About half I knew.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on March 22, 2010:

Thank you for the trip down memory lane. These were real musician tha is why they still live on.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 21, 2010:

Al Jolson was a favorite of mine, too, Putz, especially when he got together with Bing Crosby. I'm glad you mentioned your friend because it reminded me that I used to imitate Billy Eckstine singing, "I Apologize," and I somehow didn't include a video of him here -- but I will correct that oversight now! Thanks.

William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 21, 2010:

I'd sure love to have a radio station that played the good old music, OldFirm. An old friend of mine had some of those really old, inch-thick one-sided records and a record player with Caruso records, et al, but I haven't seen him in years.

I keep hoping that some of the young folk will lend an ear to these great old songs and artists but it's a tough sell. I'd love to hear your old 78's if you ever get them on the Internet.

Putz Ballard on March 21, 2010:

William, always like Al Jolson and we had a fellow in our high school chorus that could do a really cool Swanee.

The Old Firm from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on March 21, 2010:

Well, William, I played most of these artists on our local radio station as a DJ a couple of years back. In fact, that style is pretty much all I had on the computer (out of copyright!) along with my own cds and tapes. - No Boswell sisters, though.

I have hundreds of LPs from the sixties and seventies next to me as I write, as well as more than 100 78s going back to God knows when, some cut on one side only - Regals before they became Regal-Zonophone (got the Zonophones too, I think)

My project for a wet year - Store them on hard drive.

One of my friends in town (another disgruntled ex community DJ) has an equally large collection, mostly classical, which he's filing at the present.

Shall we set up an internet radio station - WFTOF wireless Wireless; Steam-driven Nostalgia for the Vintagely Advantaged?



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