Rudy Vallee

Rudy Vallée

Background information
Birth name(s): Hubert Prior Vallée
Date of birth:July 28 1901(1901--)
Birth location:Island Pond, Vermont
Date of death:July 3 1986 (Aged 84)
Death location:North Hollywood, California
Genre(s):singer, actor, bandleader, and entertainer
Spouse(s):Leonie Cuachois (anul)
Fay Webb (div)
Jane Greer 1944 (div)
Eleanor Norris 1946-86
Rudy Vallée (July 28, 1901 - July 3, 1986) was a popular American singer, actor, bandleader, and entertainer. Born Hubert Prior Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont, he grew up in Westbrook, Maine. In high school, he took up the saxophone and acquired the nickname "Rudy" after then famous saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft.

Having played drums in his high school band, Vallee played clarinet and saxophone in various bands around New England in his youth. In 1917, he felt that Uncle Sam needed one more brave young man in World War I, but was discharged when the Navy authorities found out that he was only 15. He enlisted in Portland, Maine on March 29, 1917, under the false birthdate of July 28, 1899. He was discharged at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, on May 17, 1917 with 41 days of active service (source: Maine Military Men, 1917-1918 [database online available through [1]. This database was abstracted from "Roster of Maine in the Military Service of the U.S. and Allies in the World War, 1917-1919." Vol I-II. Augusta, ME, U.S.A., n.p., 1929]). From 1924 through 1925, he played with the "Savoy Havana Band" in London. He then returned to the States to obtain a degree in Philosophy from Yale and to form his own band, "Rudy Vallee and the Connecticut Yankees." With this band, which featured two violins, two saxophones, a piano, a banjo and drums, he started taking vocals (supposedly reluctantly at first). He had a rather thin, wavering tenor voice and seemed more at home singing sweet ballads than attempting vocals on jazz numbers. However, his singing, together with his suave manner and handsome boyish looks, attracted great attention, especially from young women. Vallee was given a recording contract and in 1928, he started performing on the radio.

Vallee became the most prominent and, arguably, the first of a new style of popular singer, the crooner. Previously, popular singers needed strong projecting voices to fill theaters in the days before the electric microphone. Crooners had soft voices that were well suited to the intimacy of the new medium of radio. Vallee's trombone-like vocal phrasing on "Deep Night" would inspire later crooners such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como to model their voice on jazz instruments.

Vallee also became what was perhaps the first complete example of the 20th century mass media pop star. Flappers (the predecessors of "bobby soxers"), mobbed him wherever he went. His live appearances were usually sold out, and even if his singing could hardly be heard in those venues not yet equipped with the new electronic microphones, his screaming female fans went home happy if they had caught sight of his lips through the opening of the trademark megaphone he sang through.

In 1929, Vallee did his first film, The Vagabond Lover. His first films were made to cash in on his singing popularity, but despite Vallee's early wooden performances, his late 1930's and 1940's performances greatly improved. Also in 1929, Vallee began hosting The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour. Performers first introduced to the American public on that program included Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor and Kate Smith.

Vallee's recording career began in 1928 recording for Columbia's cheap labels (Harmony, Velvet Tone, and Diva). He signed to victor in February 1929 and remained through December 1931, when he recorded for the short-lived, but extremely popular Hit Of The Week label. In August 1932, he signed with Columbia and stay with them through 1933 when he signed back with Victor in June 1933. His records were issued in the new Bluebird cheap Victor label until November 1933 when he was moved up the full priced Victor label. He stayed with Victor untuil signing with ARC in 1936, who released his records on their Perfect, Melotone, Conqueror and Romeo labels until 1937 when he signed back with Victor!

Vallee continued hosting popular radio variety shows through the 1930s and 1940s. The Royal Gelatin Hour featured various film performers of the era, such as Fay Wray and Richard Cromwell in dramatic skits.

Along with his group, The Connecticut Yankees, Vallee's best known popular recordings included: "The Stein Song" (aka University of Maine fighting song) in the early part of the decade and "Vieni, Vieni" in the latter '30s. A note of trivia: "Vieni, Vieni" can be heard in the background as Jimmy Stewart enters the restaurant in Frank Capra's holiday classic, It's a Wonderful Life. Remarkably for an American, Vallee sang fluently in three Mediterranean languages, and always varied the keys, thus paving the way for later pop crooners such as Dean Martin, Andy Williams and Vic Damone. Another memorable rendition of his is "Life Is Just A Bowl of Cherries", in which he imitates Willie Howard's voice in the final chorus. Vallee was also entertaining in George Gershwin's witty "Kitty from Kansas City", not to mention the first recording of tipsy laughter in "There is a Tavern in the Town", decades before Elvis Presley was to use that gimmick on stage in "Are You Lonesome Tonight?".

Vallee's last significant hit song was the reissue of the melancholic ballad "As Time Goes By" from the soundtrack of Casablanca in 1943, which he had recorded fifteen years before it was used in this classic movie. During World War II, Vallee performed with the Coast Guard Band, entertaining U.S. troops with this forty-piece orchestra until 1944.

When Vallee took his contractual vacations from his national radio show in 1936, he insisted his sponsor hire Louis Armstrong as his substitute (this was the first instance of an African-American fronting a national radio program). That same year, Vallee also wrote the introduction for Armstrong's book "Swing That Music". In 1937 Vallee attended Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts.[2]

Vallee acted in a number of Hollywood films in the 1930s and 1940s. One of his best acting roles is as the millionaire playboy on whom Claudette Colbert relies in the 1942 screwball comedy directed by Preston Sturges, The Palm Beach Story. His other best performances were in I Remember Mama, Unfaithfully Yours and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer.

In 1955, Vallee displayed his comedic abilities in Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, co-starring Jane Russell, Alan Young, and Jeanne Crain. The production was filmed on location in Paris. The film was based on the Anita Loos novel that was a sequel to her acclaimed Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Gentlemen Marry Brunettes was popular throughout Europe at the time and was released in France as A Paris Pour les Quatre ("Paris For The Four"), and in Belgium as Tevieren Te Parijs.

In middle age, Vallee's voice matured into a robust baritone. (In his later years he told a collector of his early records that "Everything I did before 1950 you can shit on.") He performed on Broadway in the show How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and appeared in the film of the same name. He appeared in the campy 1960s Batman television show as the character "Lord Marmaduke Fogg". He toured with a one-man theater show into the 1980s. He occasionally opened for the Village People.

His reputation in Hollywood was that of a tightwad, but he wasn't the only one. He also had a reputation for being one of the most difficult people in show business to work for. It was said that the two happiest days in a performer's life were 1) when they signed a contract to work for Rudy Vallee and 2) when their contract finally expired so that they could stop working for him. On several occasions, Vallee was known to have rushed into his audience in order to punch audience members who booed. He was married briefly to the much-younger and sexy actress Jane Greer, but that ended in divorce in 1944. His previous marriage to Leonie Cuachois was annulled and the one to Fay Webb ended in divorce. After divorcing Jane Greer, he married Eleanor Norris in 1946, who wrote a memoir, My Vagabond Lover. Their marriage lasted until his death in 1986.

Rudy Vallee died on July 3, 1986 at the age of 84, and he was interred in St. Hyacinth's Cemetery, Westbrook, Maine, from which his headstone was stolen. Famous last words: "I do love parties", while watching a TV show.

Filmography

Listen to

External link

July 28 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 1540 - Thomas Cromwell is executed on order from Henry VIII of England on charges of treason.

..... Click the link for more information.
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1870s  1880s  1890s  - 1900s -  1910s  1920s  1930s
1898 1899 1900 - 1901 - 1902 1903 1904

Year 1901 (MCMI
..... Click the link for more information.
Island Pond, Vermont
Located in Essex County, Vermont
Location of Vermont with the U.S.A.
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Vermont
County Essex
Town Brighton

..... Click the link for more information.
July 3 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 324 - Battle of Adrianople Constantine I defeats Licinius, who flees to Byzantium.

..... Click the link for more information.
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1950s  1960s  1970s  - 1980s -  1990s  2000s  2010s
1983 1984 1985 - 1986 - 1987 1988 1989

Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI
..... Click the link for more information.
North Hollywood is a district in the San Fernando Valley region of the City of Los Angeles, California.

History

North Hollywood, like most of the rest of the San Fernando Valley, was once part of the vast landholdings of the Franciscan Mission San Fernando Rey de España,
..... Click the link for more information.
Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism.
If you are prevented from editing this page, and you wish to make a change, please discuss changes on the talk page, request unprotection, log in, or .
..... Click the link for more information.
For the gay men's lifestyle magazine, see Genre (magazine).
A genre [ˈʒã:rə], (French: "kind" or "sort" from Greek: γένος (genos)) is a loose set of criteria for
..... Click the link for more information.
A singer is a musician who uses their voice to produce music. Often the singer is accompanied by musicians and instruments. While many people sing for pleasure, vocal skill is usually a combination of innate talent and professional training.
..... Click the link for more information.
actor, actress, or player (see terminology) is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity.
..... Click the link for more information.
A bandleader is the director of a band of musicians. The term is most commonly used with a group that plays either a popular music dance band or a big band, such as one which plays swing music.

Most bandleaders also were performers with their own band.
..... Click the link for more information.
Jane Greer (September 9, 1924 – August 24, 2001) was a film actress who was perhaps best known for her role as femme fatale Kathie Moffat in Out of the Past (1947).

The five-foot five Greer began life as Bettejane Greer in Washington, D.C.
..... Click the link for more information.
July 28 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 1540 - Thomas Cromwell is executed on order from Henry VIII of England on charges of treason.

..... Click the link for more information.
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1870s  1880s  1890s  - 1900s -  1910s  1920s  1930s
1898 1899 1900 - 1901 - 1902 1903 1904

Year 1901 (MCMI
..... Click the link for more information.
July 3 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 324 - Battle of Adrianople Constantine I defeats Licinius, who flees to Byzantium.

..... Click the link for more information.
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1950s  1960s  1970s  - 1980s -  1990s  2000s  2010s
1983 1984 1985 - 1986 - 1987 1988 1989

Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI
..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
..... Click the link for more information.
A singer is a musician who uses their voice to produce music. Often the singer is accompanied by musicians and instruments. While many people sing for pleasure, vocal skill is usually a combination of innate talent and professional training.
..... Click the link for more information.
actor, actress, or player (see terminology) is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity.
..... Click the link for more information.
A bandleader is the director of a band of musicians. The term is most commonly used with a group that plays either a popular music dance band or a big band, such as one which plays swing music.

Most bandleaders also were performers with their own band.
..... Click the link for more information.
Island Pond, Vermont
Located in Essex County, Vermont
Location of Vermont with the U.S.A.
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Vermont
County Essex
Town Brighton

..... Click the link for more information.
State of Vermont

Flag of Vermont Great Seal of Vermont
Nickname(s): The Green Mountain State
Motto(s): Freedom and Unity
Before Statehood Known as
The Vermont Republic

Official language(s)
..... Click the link for more information.
Westbrook, Maine

Seal
Motto:
Location of city of Westbrook in map of Maine
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Maine
County Cumberland
Area
..... Click the link for more information.
State of Maine

Flag of Maine Seal
Nickname(s): The Pine Tree State
Motto(s): Dirigo

Official language(s) None
(English and French de facto)

Capital Augusta
Largest city Portland
..... Click the link for more information.
The saxophone (colloquially referred to as sax) is a conical-bored instrument of the woodwind family.

It is usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece like the clarinet.
..... Click the link for more information.
Rudolph "Rudy" Cornelius Wiedoeft (January 3, 1893 - February 18, 1940) was a U.S. saxophonist.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of German immigrants, at a young age Wiedoeft started playing with his family orchestra, first on violin, then on clarinet.
..... Click the link for more information.
The Drum kit

1 Bass drum | 2 Floor tom | 3 Snare | 4 Toms | 5 Hi-hat | 6 Crash cymbal and Ride cymbal
Other components
China cymbal | Cowbell | Sizzle cymbal |
Splash cymbal | Swish cymbal |
Tambourine | Wood block | Rototom
A drum kit (or
..... Click the link for more information.
clarinet is a musical instrument in the woodwind family. The name derives from adding the suffix -et meaning little to the Italian word clarino meaning a particular type of trumpet, as the first clarinets had a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet.
..... Click the link for more information.
The saxophone (colloquially referred to as sax) is a conical-bored instrument of the woodwind family.

It is usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece like the clarinet.
..... Click the link for more information.
New England

Political history
Chartering as Plymouth Council for New England 1620
Formation as United Colonies of New England 1643
Formation as Dominion of New England 1686
Admission to U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.


This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.