Vic Damone, a popular crooner who was once described by Frank Sinatra as having “the best set of pipes in the business,” has died. The New York Times reports that Damone died Sunday in Miami Beach of complications from respiratory failure. He was 89.
“Mr. Damone suffered a mild stroke in 2000 but recovered and retired in 2001 after a farewell tour that included appearances at the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall. He came out of retirement a decade later to give one last performance in Palm Beach, Fla., where he lived,” The Times reports.
“For anyone old enough to remember the age of phonograph records, the velvet baritone of Vic Damone was an unforgettable groove in a soundtrack that also included Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and Tony Bennett, singers who arose in the big band era and reached peaks of popularity in the 1950s,” The Times adds. “Mr. Damone, a decade younger than Sinatra, never quite became the pop music institution that the others did. Critics said he did not possess Sinatra’s vivid personality or Bennett’s range and sheer energy, although his smooth, unruffled delivery was similar to Como’s.”
Damone reportedly recorded about 2,500 songs over the course of a 54-year career, including well-loved renditions of standards such as “In the Still of the Night,” “You’d Be So Easy to Love,” “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.”
Here’s a vintage sample …