- The Lady Is A Tramp
- Like Young
- Something's Gotta Give
- This Could Be the Start of Something
- I Love Being Here with You
- Around the World
- Roses of Picardy
- Teach Me Tonight
- My Kind of Girl
- At Long Last Love
- Mr. Lonely
- The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
- Call Me Irresponsible
- She Loves Me
- You Win Again
- It Had Better Be Tonight (Meglio sta sera)
Buddy Greco is a performer with an engaging personality and irresistible style. This collection is filled with some of the songs that made him one of the most popular stars on the charts and nightclub circuit during the late 1950s.
16 Most Requested Songs is a midline-priced collection that spotlights many of Buddy Greco's best-known and most popular performances for Columbia Records, including "The Lady is a Tramp," "This Could Be the Start of Something Big," "Around the World," "My Kind of Girl," "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," "Call Me Irresponisble," "She Loves Me" and "You Win Again." Although it's far from a perfect retrospective of his career, it's still a nice sampler of familiar items, and it may satisfy the needs of some casual fans who only want the hits. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music GuideВ
There have always been (and always will be) great performers who never quite reach superstar status but who hold on to the loyal, enthusiastic admiration of hundreds of thousands of fans and enjoy longer careers than many of their more celebrated colleagues. Among popular singers of the past 40 years, Buddy Greco is certainly near the top of any such list.
For years he has headlined shows in the smartest rooms of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Hollywood, Las Vegas, Tahoe, and Toronto (to name just a few) where stars like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Sammy Davis, Jr., have come to hear him and join the audience applause and cheers. Quite a few of his recordings have placed within the top 30 on the weekly 'Billboard' charts, although none ever made it to the hallowed number one spot. On radio stations that specialize in jazz and classic pop, his voice and piano stylings continue to be heard virtually every day. This collection of 16 of his biggest hits is just part of an ongoing recorded treasury that only scratches the surface of the versatility and performance pizzazz that have been his lifelong trademarks.
Buddy Greco was born on August 14th, 1926, in Philadelphia, the city that during the same decade also gave the music world Mario Lanza (1921), Sarah Vaughan (1924), and Eddie Fisher (1928). As a youngster, Buddy grew up speaking both Italian and English, and played bit parts in Italian soap operas being broadcast from the local radio station for which his father worked. His father also freelanced as an opera critic and encouraged Buddy's early interest in music. Even before the family could afford to buy a piano, the elder Greco painted a keyboard on the kitchen table so his son could practice correct fingering.
As Buddy became a teenager, however, it was clear that his first love was jazz, not opera or the classics. By his late teens he was playing and singing with his own jazz trio in the Philadelphia area.
In 1948 the trio attracted the attention of Benny Goodman's manager, Elliott Wexler. He helped Buddy make his first record, "Ooh! Looka There Ain't She Pretty" - and it quickly soared to hit status. Goodman himself came to hear the trio and lost no time hiring Buddy as a pianist, arranger, and rhythm vocalist with the Goodman orchestra. Buddy stayed with Goodman for three busy years.
Then, inspired by the success of Nat King Cole as both a pianist and singer, Buddy decided to go out on his own. For the next few years he played jazz clubs and hotel supper rooms, sometimes singing to his own piano accompaniments, sometimes singing with the house bands. He was also signed as a featured male vocalist on the NBC-TV late-night variety show "Broadway Open House" and began recording, first for Coral and Kapp, and then for many years for Epic, a CBS affiliate.
In 1963, at the peak of his popularity both on records and in personal appearances, Buddy confined to jazz historian and critic John S. Wilson in a 'New York Times' interview: "I always wanted to be a jazz pianist, but it's easier to make a living as a singer. Even Oscar Peterson, who is probably the greatest jazz pianist today, is not accepted as a star."
Buddy may have thought singing was "easier" but that doesn't mean he's ever cheated or given less than his all to his vocal stylings. "I do good songs and I don't use funny hats," he once told an interviewer. In his club acts and on recordings he has usually specialized on the best songs from Broadway and Hollywood - singing and swinging them with unique blend of virile verve and a refreshing kind of smilling intimacy. Underlying everything, of course, is his wonderful rhythmic sense and his basic respect for a composer's melodic line.
"I used to be what you could call a 'note singer'," he once told 'Metronome' editor and critic George T. Simon. "I was only interested in the music. The words came second. I'd sing the notes a jazz musician would play and it didn't make much difference if the words that went with them made any sense."
He altered that view over the years, of course. But, like Frank Sinatra, he can sometimes get playful with the lyrics of a song, cleverly updating their references to people and places or otherwise giving them an ear-catching hipness - as he does with some of the songs in this collection.
As his popularity steadily rose, Buddy was also approached about acting jobs. He was considered, for example, for the Johnny Fontaine character (a singer) in 'The Godfather', but Al Martino got the role. Buddy was also approached about a movie biography of the late blacklisted actor John Garfield (whom Buddy physically resembles in many ways), but the project never got off the ground. He also once told an interviewer that he would love to play the title character in a stage revival of Rodgers and Hart's 'Pal Joey' - a terrific suggestion that nobody has yet taken him up on.
By the 1970s, the rock revolution had so overturned the music business that most of the top singers of classic pop were struggling just to maintain precarious week-to-week career footholds. Buddy found himself neglected by the record companies and in less and less demand for club engagements. At the same time, his private life fell apart - including a headline-making divorce case. As he later told music chronicler Leonard Feather for the 'Los Angeles Times': "I was a wreck. I was broke and depressed. I just had to get away." He moved to Europe. Gradually, he began performing regularly again, with audiences in England, France, Italy, and then Australia playing a major role in rebuilding his confidence.
For a while he made Toronto his home base with his second wife. Then, with the resurgence of interest in classic pop and its best practitioners in the late '80s early '90s, Buddy - grayer on top but with his voice as vibrant as ever - made it clear he still has more to give the music scene. We can all be glad about that!
(Original notes by Roy Hemming, longtime 'Stereo Review' and 'Video Review' critic, and author of 'The Melody Lingers On: The Great Songwriters & Their Movie Musicals')
Known by his colleagues as a "singer's singer" and a "musician's musician," Buddy Greco has sold more than one million records. He is well-known for releasing songs from every genre, from jazz to country to pop music. He has performed on stage, on film and on television.
Born Armando Greco in Philadelphia, Buddy Greco began singing and playing the piano at the age of four. He used his talents performing on the radio. By the age of 16 Buddy Greco had more than a decade of musical experience behind him. He was playing in the nightclub Philadelphia's Club 13 when he was spotted by Benny Goodman. Bandleader Benny Goodman was impressed by Buddy Greco's talents and hired him as a pianist, a singer and an arranger. At the age of 16 Buddy Greco was traveling the world with one of the most popular big bands of the '30s, the Benny Goodman Band. He stayed with the band for four years.
At the ripe age of 20 Buddy Greco decided to pursue a solo professional music career. He began singing and performing in nightclubs and concerts. Some of his hit recordings include the popular favorites "Oh Look at Her, Ain't She Pretty," "The Lady Is A Tramp" and "Around the World." During his musical career he has made more than 65 albums including an album of he and the London Symphony Orchestra, in which he conducted and played.
In the '60s Buddy Greco's music career had been very successful. He appeared with the popular '60s rock group the Beatles in a performance for Queen Elizabeth the second. It was also in the '60s when Buddy Greco seriously began a career in film and television. In 1967 he was a regular performer on the TV series Away We Go. This nationwide television program gave Buddy Greco enormous exposure as a talented singer and pianist. He followed this series with a part in the 1969 film, The Girl Who Knew Too Much. His talents have taken him to great heights recording more than 100 hit singles. During the '70s and '80s, Buddy Greco concentrated on recording and performing. His hits included jazz, country and pop music. Audiences are astounded at the many styles of Buddy Greco.
Even after more than four decades of performing, Buddy Greco still remains one of the most widely-known singers of his time. In the early 90s he toured with "The Salute to the Benny Goodman Band." The ensemble performed 72 shows, each garnering a standing ovation. He performed for two years at The Desert Inn Hotel in Las Vegas and in 1996 ended two world tours at CafГ© Royale in London.
With all his musical credits, Buddy Greco is an inductee of the Philadelphia Music Alliance's Walk of Fame and has entries in both the Encyclopedia of Great Musicians and the Encyclopedia of Great Jazz Singers and Musicians. Buddy Greco's musical abilities live on in his more than 60 albums and more than 100 hit singles. He writes and records scores for film and television. ~ Kim Summers, Rovi