Don Cherry (singer)
|Birth name||Donald Ross Cherry|
January 11, 1924 |
Wichita Falls, Texas, United States
|Genres||Big band, traditional pop|
|Website||Don Cherry site|
Cherry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. He started as a big band singer in the orchestras of Jan Garber and Victor Young. In 1951 he recorded his first solo hits, "Thinking of You" and "Belle, Belle, My Liberty Belle". In 1955 came his biggest hit, "Band of Gold", which reached #5 on the Billboard chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The track peaked at #6 in the UK Singles Chart. He had three more hits in 1956 ("Wild Cherry", "Ghost Town" and "Namely You"), all backed by orchestra leader Ray Conniff. He was also the voice of the Mr. Clean commercials during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Throughout his singing career, Cherry was also a top-ranked amateur golfer, and was in contention to win the 1960 U.S. Open before eventually finishing tied for ninth along with Ben Hogan, four strokes behind winner Arnold Palmer. Cherry played on three Walker Cup teams (1953, 1955, and 1961) and in nine Masters Tournaments, making the cut seven times with a best finish of T-25 in 1959. He captured the Canadian Amateur Championship in 1953 and the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur title in 1954.
In 1962, Cherry decided to turn professional and "Pro" became his nickname among fellow entertainers. His volcanic temper on the golf course (which, according to Cherry, "...made Tommy Bolt look like a choir boy!") was in startling contrast to his velvety-smooth singing voice and pleasant stage persona.
Cherry published his biography, Cherry's Jubilee, with co-writer Neil Daniels He is a good friend of Willie Nelson and has collaborated on three albums with him, Augusta (1995), The Eyes of Texas (2002), and It's Magic (2007). Cherry was married four times, once to 1956 Miss America Sharon Ritchie, before wedding his present wife, Francine Bond Smith, in 1993. They live in Las Vegas, Nevada. His son, Stephen, was a casualty of the 9/11 attacks when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. Stephen left behind four sons.
- "Thinking of You" (1950)
- "Vanity" (1951)
- "Band of Gold" (1955)
- "Wild Cherry" (1956)
- "Ghost Town" (1956)
- "Theme From Will Penny" (1962)
- "Mona Lisa" (1952)
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 72. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 103. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- 1960 U.S. Open results
- "Don Cherry". Golf Major Championships. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
- Cherry, Don; Daniels, Neil (2006). Cherry's Jubilee: Singin' and Swingin' Through Life with Dino and Frank, Arnie and Jack. Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-57243-834-7.