Perry Como

From Academic Kids

Perry Como, born Pierino Ronald Como (May 18 1912May 12 2001) was an Italian-American crooner during the latter half of the 20th century. His exclusive recording contract with RCA Victor in 1943 began an association that would last for almost fifty years. He sold around 60 million records in his long career.

Como was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Although he always liked to sing, his first great ambition was to be the best barber in Canonsburg. After graduation from high school, he opened his own barber's shop. In 1933 he married his teenage sweetheart Roselle Belline.


Professional singer

In 1933 he joined Freddy Carlone's band in Ohio, and three years later moved up to Ted Weems' Orchestra and his first recording dates. Their first recording was a novelty tune titled "You Can't Pull the Wool over My Eyes", recorded for the Decca Records label.

In 1942 Weems dissolved his band and Como went on to CBS, where he sang for a couple of years without any conspicuous success. By this time the erstwhile barber had definitely decided to return to Canonsburg, his family, and his barbering. Just as he was about to abandon his singing career once and for all, two NBC producers stepped in, returning him to show business — specifically for the NBC "Supper Club", followed by very successful theatre and night club engagements.

In 1945, Como recorded the pop ballad "'Til the End of Time" (based on Chopin’s "Polonaise"), which marked the beginning a highly successful career. Como was the first artist to have ten records sell more than one million copies. Likewise his television show has achieved a much higher rating than that of any other vocalist to date.

By the 1980s, the atmosphere of recording had changed dramatically from his early days at RCA Victor. Como's recording sessions, previously filled with laughter and joy, had deteriorated into much more sombre occasions. For this reason he walked-away from his final studio-produced recordings in the early 1980s, but returned to record a final album with his trusted friend and associate Nick Perito in 1987. His recording of "The Wind Beneath My Wings'" was almost autobiographical, and a fitting end to a long and successful recording career. Como would record only once more in 1994, but privately, for his well-known Irish Christmas Concert.


He had numerous Christmas television specials, beginning on Christmas Eve, 1948, and continuing to 1994 when his final Christmas Special was recorded in Ireland. Following his weekly series, ending in 1963, Como's television specials changed to bi-monthly, then monthly, followed by seasonal specials celebrating Easter, Spring, Thanksgiving, and Christmas festivities, ending in 1987. They were recorded from many parts of the world, including England, Rome, Austria, France, and many locations throughout North America. Como's Christmas Concert in Ireland would be his final special and the last of his commercial recordings, although not for his original label RCA Victor.

His regular television show, at first a spin-off from the Chesterfield Supper Club, continued through the early 1950s, becoming The Perry Como Show, and then for five years The Perry Como Kraft Music Hall; he became the highest paid performer in the history of television to that date, earning mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. Prior to this, Como battled against Jackie Gleason in what was billed the "Battle of the Giants", and won. This is rarely mentioned, because Como commonly played down his own achievements. He recorded many albums of songs for the RCA Victor label between 1952 and 1987, and is credited with numerous gold records. Como had so many recordings achieve gold record status that he refused to have many of them certified. It was this characteristic which made him so different from his peers, and which endeared him to legions of fans throughout the world. Over the decades, Como is reported to have sold millions of records, but he commonly suppressed these figures.

A farewell concert from Ireland

In January 1994, Como travelled to Dublin, Ireland, for what would be an auspicious moment in his long career of more than sixty years. The year 1993 would have marked his fiftieth anniversary with the RCA Victor label, now owned and controlled by Bertelsmann and operated under the BMG logo, as well as his forty-fifth year of television specials celebrating Christmas and its importance throughout the world to people of all faiths. Como's Irish Christmas was produced for the American PBS public television system, and has been re-broadcast annually since 1994.

Como died on May 12 2001 at his home in Jupiter, Florida, six days before his eight-ninth birthday.

Selected RCA Victor Recordings

















  • Papa Loves Mambo
  • Pa-paya Mama
  • Pardon My English (Samba Torto)
  • Patricia
  • People
  • Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
  • Pianissimo
  • Pigtails and Freckles
  • Please Mr Sun
  • Prayer for Peace
  • Prisoner of Love (1945) (1970)


  • Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)


  • Rambling Rose (1947)
  • Regrets
  • Roamin' through the Countryside
  • Rollin' Stone
  • The Rose Tattoo
  • Round and Round


  • Santa Lucia
  • Save Me the Dance
  • Say You're Mine Again
  • Scarlet Ribbons
  • Seattle
  • The Second Time
  • Send in the Clowns
  • The Shadow of Your Smile
  • She's a Lady (with Betty Hutton)
  • Silver Bells
  • Slightly out of Tune (Desafinado)
  • So Far
  • So It Goes
  • Some Enchanted Evening
  • Sonata
  • The Songs I Love
  • Somebody Cares
  • Somebody Makes it So
  • Somebody up There Likes Me
  • Somebody Somewhere
  • Some Children See Him
  • Someone is Waiting
  • Souvenir d'Italie
  • Stand Beside Me
  • Stay with Me
  • A Still Small Voice
  • Stop! and Think It Over
  • The Story of the First Christmas (1959)
  • Summer Me, Winter Me
  • The Summer Wind
  • Sunrise, Sunset
  • Sunshine Wine
  • Surrender
  • Sweet Adorable You
  • The Sweetest Sounds


  • Take a Look at Me
  • Take Me Home
  • Temptation (1945) (1974)
  • That Ain't All
  • That's All this Old World Needs
  • That's the Beginning of the End
  • That's Where I Came In
  • There Is No Christmas Like a Home Christmas (1950) (1968)
  • There'll Never Be Another Night Like This
  • There'll Soon Be a Rainbow
  • There Never Was a Night So Beautiful
  • There's a Big Blue Cloud (Next to Heaven)
  • There's No Boat Like a Rowboat
  • They Say It's Wonderful
  • The Things I Didn't Do
  • This is a Great Country
  • This is All I Ask
  • Till the End of Time
  • Tina Marie
  • Together Forever
  • To Know You (Is to Love You) (with Betty Hutton) (1952)
  • To Know You (Is to Love You) (with the Fontane Sisters) (1952)
  • To Know You (Is to Love You) (with Ray Charles) (1959)
  • Tomboy
  • Toselli's Serenade (Dreams and Memories)
  • Toyland
  • Traveling Down a Lonely Road (Love theme from La Strada)
  • Try to Remember
  • Tulips and Heather
  • Turnaround
  • Turn Around
  • Two Lost Souls
  • Two Loves Have I


  • Un giorno dopo l'altro (One Day is Like Another)


  • Wanted
  • Watermelon Weather (duet with Eddie Fisher)
  • What Kind of Fool Am I?
  • What Love Is Made Of
  • What's New?
  • What's One More Time?
  • When
  • When I Lost You
  • When She Smiles
  • When You Come to the End of the Day (1952) (1958)
  • When You're In Love
  • When You Were Sweet Sixteen
  • Where Does a Little Tear Come From?
  • White Christmas (1947) (1959)
  • Whither Thou Goest
  • Wild Horses
  • The Wind Beneath My Wings
  • With All My Heart and Soul
  • Winter Wonderland (1946) (1959)
  • A World of Love (That I Found in Your Arms)
  • Wrong Rainbow


  • Yellow Beach Umbrella
  • Yesterday
  • You Alone (Solo Tu) (1953) (1961)
  • You'll Always Be My Lifetime Sweetheart
  • You Are My World
  • You Are So Beautiful
  • You Made It That Way (Watermelon Summer)
  • You're Following Me
  • You're Just in Love (I Wonder Why)
  • You're Nearer (1968) (1987)
  • You Won't Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart)


  • Zing Zing —Zoom Zoom

See also

Best selling music artists

External links

Template:Livedde:Perry Como fr:Perry Como it:Perry Como


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