Perry Como discography

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Perry Como discography
Perry Como the recording studio, circa mid 1970s.
Perry Como in the recording studio, circa mid 1970s.
Releases
Studio albums 38
Live albums 2
Compilation albums 32
Singles 150
Perry Como Decca Recordings 21
RCA Victor 10" 8
RCA Victor 12" 40
RCA Camden 12" 18
Compilation albums 4
Live albums 1

Perry Como 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.[1]

Como was also well known for his recordings and performances of religious music of Christian and Jewish faiths. His first religious recordings, "Ave Maria" and "The Lord's Prayer", were recorded in 1949 in a church, with Como asking his parish priest to sit in on the recording sessions, to make certain they were done in the proper reverential tone.[2][3][4] While his performances of "Ave Maria" became traditional on his holiday shows, Como would not perform it for live appearances, despite the requests of his audiences, saying, "It's not the time or place to do it." [5] In 1953, Perry Como recorded "Eli, Eli" and "Kol Nidrei", and performed the latter on his television shows each year at the appropriate time on the Jewish calendar.[6] His pronunciation and phrasing in both Hebrew and Yiddish were learned from a member of the Mitchell Ayres Orchestra, who was the son of a rabbi.[4][7][8]

Perry Como received five Emmys from 1955–1959,[9] a Christopher Award (1956) and shared a Peabody Award with good friend Jackie Gleason in 1956.[10][11] He was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1990[2][12][13] and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1987.[14] Posthumously, Como received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002;[15] he was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007.[16][17] Como has the distinction of having three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio, television, and music.[18]

Recordings[edit]

When Perry Como signed his first RCA Victor recording contract on June 17, 1943 and made his first recording for the company three days later,[19][20][21] the 1942–44 musicians' strike (also known as the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) recording ban) was in full force. Union musicians were allowed to play for live appearances and radio programs, but not to participate in any recording sessions; it was a means to force the record companies to pay royalties to their musical performers. While Como and other vocalists were able to have the backing of a band for a live concert or radio show, that would disappear when they entered the recording studio.

RCA Victor promotional pinback for Perry Como Week.
September 2 – 9, 1946

One way the recording industry of the time found to circumvent the problem was to replace the bands with various vocal groups. Como's first Victor record, "Goodbye, Sue", was produced in this manner, along with other Como releases during the strike.[22] The only exception to the musicians' strike or ban was for V-Discs after October 27, 1943, which were distributed to the Armed Forces. Two versions of "Goodbye, Sue" were produced: one using a vocal chorus for backup and another made in 1944, with full orchestral accompaniment, available as a V-Disc only.[19][23] Prior to the strike, popular music had been focused on the big bands, where vocal performers were merely featured as part of their performances.[24] Singers came into their own, most likely to some extent because of the strike, and the situation was reversed, with the bands becoming a "backdrop" for vocalists-a very positive career boost for Como and his counterparts.[25] Where previously Como needed to be hired by Freddy Carlone and Ted Weems, by 1948 he was now in the position to hire the band. Mitchell Ayres, who was Como's musical director from 1948 until 1963, was offered the job during a game of golf.[2]

In 1945, Como recorded the pop ballad "Till the End of Time"[26] (based on Chopin's "Heroic Polonaise"), which marked the beginning of a highly successful career.[27] He also became the first pop singer to reach the two million sales mark with two records in release at the same time - "Till the End of Time" and "If I Loved You", that same year.[28] Como was the first artist to have ten records sell more than one million copies. Como's average yearly record sales were four million, beginning in 1943; RCA turned out four million Perry Como records in one week in 1946, setting a record at the time.[29][30] Just three years after Como's first record for RCA Victor, "Goodbye, Sue", his records were selling so well, the company declared the week of September 2 – 9, 1946 "Perry Como Week". Six new Como songs were released along with six new versions of some of his older songs, as well as re-issuing 14 of his previous hit records.[31][32]

There was a second strike of the American Federation of Musicians in 1948. Due to the advent of television; royalties for the new medium were the issue. Most record companies had once more stockpiled recordings of their artists as had been done in advance of the 1942–1944 strike, and again used vocal groups to replace striking musicians when recording new material. RCA Victor kept Perry Como busy in advance of the strike; he produced three years worth of recordings during that time.[33] With this strike lasting less than a year, Como's only recording during it was "N'yot N'yow" (The Pussycat Song), with the Fontane Sisters from his radio and television shows.[34] When the 1948 Musicians' strike ended on December 14, 1948, a race began between the record companies, each trying to have the first post-strike record on the market.[35] RCA was the winner with Como having recorded "Missouri Waltz" in the evening and RCA had it in the shops by noon the next day.[2][36][37] Como went from the gala recording at RCA Victor of "I'm Just Wild About Harry" for President Harry Truman celebrating the end of the strike, into another of their studios to record "Missouri Waltz".[38][39]

In 1956, he recorded his first movie theme song, "Somebody Up There Likes Me", for the Rocky Graziano film of the same name.[40][41] In the same year, long-time Como associate Mickey Glass found Perry a hit through a late-night subway ride home. Riding along with him in the same car was songwriter Dick Manning. As the two men talked, Glass mentioned the need for a novelty song for Como. Manning replied that he had just done a demo recording like that which had yet to be heard by anyone. They arranged to meet the next day; the result of the chance meeting was Como's "Hot Diggity".[42]

On March 14, 1958, the RIAA certified Como's hit single, "Catch a Falling Star" as its first ever Gold Record.[43] "Catch a Falling Star" was written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss. The pair were also responsible for penning "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini".[44] Como won the 1958 Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, male for "Catch a Falling Star". His final Top 40 hit was a cover of Don McLean's "And I Love You So", recorded in 1973. Quoting Como (who in 1979, signed a 10 year extension of his RCA contract) regarding his last two hits ("It's Impossible" and "And I Love You So"), "I wasn't looking for such big hits at that point in my career." [45] For "It's Impossible", Como learned the details on Top 40 music from his young neighbors: "But the kids in our neighborhood came out and said, 'Well, we're finally glad you made it to our list.' I didn't know what they were talking about. They have all kind of Top 40s. How they grabbed onto this is a little beyond me."[2] The record was nominated for a Grammy in three categories.[46] "And I Love You So" was such a hit that RCA prevailed on him to record it again, this time in Spanish. When Como said he didn't speak the language, David Franko, the head of RCA International, provided personal language lessons to get the recording made.[47] The song was also Como's biggest hit in England, staying in the UK Top 20 for close to a year. After Como performed some concerts in the UK, the album went back to number one once again.[48] In 1974, Como recorded a song called "Christmas Dream" for the soundtrack of the movie, The Odessa File.[49]

By the 1980s, the atmosphere of recording had changed dramatically from his early days at RCA Victor. Como's recording sessions had previously been filled with laughter and joy. In his 1959 recording of "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town", listeners with headphones can hear him burst into laughter during one orchestra passage. But in later years, the sessions deteriorated into much more sombre occasions. For this reason, he walked away from his final New York based studio-produced recordings in the early 1980s.[citation needed] He returned to record a final album for RCA, Today, with his trusted friend and associate Nick Perito.[48][50] in 1987 at Evergreen Studios, Burbank, California.[51] His recording of "The Wind Beneath My Wings" was almost autobiographical, a fitting end to a long and successful recording career. Como recorded only once more, privately, for his well-known Christmas Concert in Ireland in 1994.[52]

Singles, albums and hits[edit]

Como had, according to Joel Whitburn's compilations of the U.S. Pop Charts, fourteen songs that reached #1 on at least one of the three Billboard charts (sales, disc-jockeys, jukeboxes): "Till The End Of Time" (1945); "Prisoner of Love" (1946); "Surrender" (1946); "Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba" (1947); "A - You're Adorable" (1949); "Some Enchanted Evening" (1949); "Hoop-De-Doo" (1950); "If" (1951); "Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes" (1952); "No Other Love" (1953); "Wanted" (1954); "Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)" (1956); "Round And Round" (1957); and "Catch a Falling Star" (1957).[53]

Selected compilation albums[edit]

Selected compilation albums
1953 Perry Como Sings ~ Evergreens By Perry Como[123]
1975 The First Thirty Years[124]
1975 Perry Como -Superstar[125]
1975 A Legendary Performer - Perry Como[126]
1976 This Is Perry Como[127]
1979 1940-41 Broadcast Recordings[128]
1981 Young Perry Como[129]
1982 Collector's Items[130]
1983 Christmas With Perry Como[131]
1984 The Young Perry Como[132]
1984 Perry Como[133]
1984 Crosby & Como[134]
1986 The Best Of Times[135]
1988 Jukebox Baby[136]
1995 World Of Dreams[137]
1995 The Perry Como Shows: 1943-Volume 1[138]
1995 The Perry Como Shows: 1943 -Volume 2[139]
1995 The Perry Como Shows: 1943 ~ Volume 3[140]
1997 Perry Como: V-Disc Recordings: A Musical Contribution By America's Best For Our Armed Forces Overseas[141]
1998 The Long Lost Hits Of Perry Como[142]
1998 Perry-Go-Round[143]
1999 The Essential 60's Singles Collection[144]
1999 Greatest Hits[145]
1999 I Want To Thank You Folks[146]
1999 Class Will Tell[147]
1999 The Greatest Christmas Songs[148]
2000 The Very Best Of Perry Como[149]
2001 Perry Como Sings Songs Of Faith & Inspiration[150]
2001 The Perry Como Christmas Album[151]
2001 Perry Como With The Fontane Sisters[152]
2006 Juke Box Baby[153]
2006 One More Time ~ Perry Como & The Fontane Sisters[154]

On The Radio - The Perry Como Shows 1943[edit]

On November 10, 2009, On the Air issued a three disk box set of recordings made from Como's CBS radio show Columbia Presents Como called On the Radio - The Perry Como Shows 1943. Como was the host of this radio show from March 12, 1943 until December 11, 1944, when he moved to NBC as the host of The Chesterfield Supper Club.[155][156] The Raymond Scott Orchestra was heard with Como while he was on CBS.[157] These recordings were originally issued individually in 1996 as The Perry Como Shows-1943: Volume 1, The Perry Como Shows-1943: Volume 2, and The Perry Como Shows-1943: Volume 3.[158][159][160]

Chesterfield Supper Club[edit]

On September 21, 2010, Sounds of Yesteryear issued a compact disk compiled from transcripts of The Chesterfield Supper Club made for the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) in May 1946. A second compilation compact disk with transcriptions from 1946 and 1947 was issued on March 15, 2011, and a third compilation disk was issued on August 16, 2011.

Chesterfield Supper Club
2010 At the Supper Club
2011 At the Supper Club Part II
2011 At the Supper Club Part III

Hit Records[edit]

(Songs that reached the top of the US or UK charts)

Between 1944 and 1958, Perry Como had 48 hits on Billboard's charts.[161]

Year Single Chart positions
US US
AC
UK US Country
1943 [A-Side] "Goodbye, Sue" 20
[B-Side] "There'll Soon Be a Rainbow" 18
1944 "Have I Stayed Away Too Long?" 14
[A-Side] "Long Ago (and Far Away)" 8
[B-Side] "I Love You" 16
"Lili Marlene" 13
1945 [A-Side] "I Dream of You" 10
[B-Side] "Confessin'" 12
"More and More" 14
"Temptation" 15
[A-Side] "I'm Gonna Love That Gal" (gold record) 4
[B-Side] "If I Loved You" 3
[A-Side] "Till the End of Time"(gold record) 1
9 weeks
[B-Side] "(Did You Ever Get) That Feeling In the Moonlight" 9
[A-Side] "Dig You Later (A Hubba Hubba Hubba)"(gold record) 3
[B-Side] "Here Comes Heaven Again" 12
1946 [A-Side] "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"(gold record) 5
[B-Side] "You Won't Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart)" 5
[A-Side] "Prisoner of Love"(gold record) 1
3 weeks
[B-Side] "All Through the Day" 8
[A-Side] "They Say It's Wonderful" 4
[B-Side] "If You Were the Only Girl In the World" 14
[A-Side] "Surrender" 1
1 week
[B-Side] "More Than You Know" 19
"A Garden In the Rain" 22
"If I'm Lucky" 19
"Winter Wonderland" 10
1947 [A-Side] "Sonata" 9
[B-Side] "That's the Beginning of the End" 19
[A-Side] "I Want To Thank Your Folks" 21
[B-Side] "That's Where I Came In" 21
[A-Side] "Chi-baba, Chi-baba (My Bambino Go To Sleep)"(gold record) 1
3 weeks
[B-Side] "When You Were Sweet Sixteen" 2
"I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now" (with Ted Weems) 2
[A-Side] "So Far" 11
[B-Side] "A Fellow Needs a Girl" 25
"Two Loves Have I" 21
"White Christmas" 23
1948 "Pianissimo" 21
"Because"(gold record) 4
"Haunted Heart" 23
"Laroo, Laroo, Lilli Bolero" 20
"Rambling Rose" 18
1949 "Far Away Places" 4
"N'yot N'yow (The Pussy Cat Song)" 20
"Blue Room" 18
[A-Side] "Forever and Ever" 2
[B-Side] "I Don't See Me In Your Eyes Anymore" 11
"A--You're Adorable" 2*
[A-Side] "Some Enchanted Evening"(gold record) 1
5 weeks
[B-Side] "Bali Ha'i" 5
[A-Side] "Just One Way To Say I Love You" 23
[B-Side] "Let's Take An Old Fashioned Walk" 15
"Give Me Your Hand" 23
"A Dreamer's Holiday" 3
"I Wanna Go Home" 18
[A-Side] "The Lord's Prayer" 28
[B-Side] "Ave Maria" 22
1950 "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo" 14
[A-Side] "Hoop-Dee-Doo" 2*
[B-Side] "On the Outgoing Tide" 16
"I Cross My Fingers" 25
"Patricia" 7
"A Bushel and a Peck"(w/ Betty Hutton) 3
"You're Just in Love" 5
1951 [A-Side] "If"(gold record) 1
6 weeks
[B-Side] "Zing Zing Zoom Zoom" 12
"Hello, Young Lovers" 27
[A-Side] "There's No Boat Like a Rowboat" 20
[B-Side] "There's a Big Blue Cloud (Next To Heaven)" 25
[A-Side] "Rollin' Stone" 24
[B-Side] "With All My Heart and Soul" 28
"It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas" 19
1952 [A-Side] "Tulips and Heather" 16
[B-Side] "Please Mr. Sun" 12
"Noodlin' Rag" 23
"One Little Candle" 18
[A-Side] "Maybe"(w/ Eddie Fisher) 3
[B-Side] "Watermelon Weather"(w/ Eddie Fisher) 19
"My Love and Devotion" 22
"To Know You (Is To Love You)" 19
[A-Side] "Don't Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes"(gold record) 1
5 weeks
1
5 weeks
[B-Side] "Lies" 30
1953 [A-Side] "Wild Horses" 6
[B-Side] "I Confess" 17
[A-Side] "Say You're Mine Again" 3
[B-Side] "My One and Only Heart" 11
[A-Side] "No Other Love" 2*
[B-Side] "Keep It Gay" 30
[A-Side] "Pa-Paya Mama" 11
[B-Side] "You Alone (Solo Tu)" 9
1954 [A-Side] "Wanted"(gold record) 1
8 weeks
4
[B-Side] "Look Out Of The Window (And See How I'm Standing In The Rain)" 24
"Idle Gossip" 3
[A-Side] "Hit and Run Affair" 15
[B-Side] "There Never Was a Night So Beautiful" 21
[A-Side] "Papa Loves Mambo"(gold record) 4 16
[B-Side] "The Things I Didn't Do" 22
"Home For the Holidays" 8
1955 "Ko-Ko-Mo (I Love You So)" 2
[A-Side] "Chee Chee o-Chee"(w/ Jaye P. Morgan) 12
[B-Side] "Two Lost Souls"(w/ Jaye P. Morgan) 18
[A-Side] "Tina Marie" 5 24
[B-Side] "Fooled" 20
[A-Side] "All At Once You Love Her" 11
[B-Side] "The Rose Tattoo" 79
1956 [A-Side] "Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)" 2* 4
[B-Side] "Juke Box Baby" 10 22
[A-Side] "More" 4 10
[B-Side] "Glendora" 8 18
[A-Side] "Somebody Up There Likes Me" 18
[B-Side] "Dream Along With Me" 85
[A-Side] "Moonlight Love" 42
[B-Side] "Chincherinchee" 59
1957 [A-Side] "Round and Round" 1
[B-Side] "Mi Casa, Su Casa" 50
[A-Side] "The Girl With the Golden Braids" 13
[B-Side] "My Little Baby" 48
"Dancin'" 76
[A-Side] "Just Born (To Be Your Baby)" 12
[B-Side] "Ivy Rose" 18
"Jingle Bells" 74
1958 [A-Side] "Catch a Falling Star"(gold record) 2* 9
[B-Side] "Magic Moments" 4 1
8 weeks
[A-Side] "Kewpie Doll" 6 9
[B-Side] "Dance Only With Me" 19
"I May Never Pass This Way Again" 15
"Moon Talk" 28 17
[A-Side] "Love Makes the World Go 'Round" 33 6
[B-Side] "Mandolins In the Moonlight" 47 13
1959 "Tomboy" 29 10
"I Know" 47 13
1960 [A-Side] "Delaware" 22 3
[B-Side] "I Know What God Is" 81
"Make Someone Happy" 80
1961 "You're Following Me" 92
1962 "Caterina" 23 6 37
1963 "(I Love You) Don't You Forget It" 39 16
1965 "Dream On Little Dreamer" 25 3
"Oowee, Oowee" 88 18
1967 "Stop! And Think It Over" 92 1
1968 "The Father of Girls" 92 10
1969 "Seattle" 38 2
1970 "It's Impossible" 10 1 4
1971 "I Think of You" 53 5 14
1973 "And I Love You So" 29 1 3
"For the Good Times" 7
"Walk Right Back" 33
1974 "I Want To Give" 31
"Christmas Dream" 92
  • When the peak position is marked with an asterisk, the song reached #1 in one (or two) of the three specific Billboard charts (sales, disc-jockeys, jukeboxes), but not on the overall Top-100. Regarding the peak positions of the songs between 1940 and 1955, priority was given to the sales chart, since an overall chart does not exist.

Final recordings[edit]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Special Perry Como RCA Victor 10th Anniversary section (pages 18-24). Billboard. 4 July 1953. Retrieved 4 April 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Songs of All Faiths-a brief history of these recordings". Kokomo. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Bark, Ed (23 November 1986). "Como Gets The Christmas Spirit". Beaver Country Times. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Telecasts Get Underway Today-Perry Como Show". Pittsburgh Press. 21 September 1958. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Kol Nidrei". Kokomo. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
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  9. ^ "Primetime Emmy Database". American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
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  13. ^ "Hall of Fame Lists Inductees". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. 12 December 1989. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
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  18. ^ "Perry Como Hollywood Star Walk". LA Times. Retrieved 4 April 2010. 
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  21. ^ "Perry Como Gets More 'Swoons' Than Anyone". St. Petersburg Times. 25 July 1943. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
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  28. ^ Hemming, Roy; Hajdu, David, eds. (1999), Discovering Great Singers of Classic Pop:, Newmarket Press, pp. 130–133, ISBN 1-55704-148-2, retrieved 13 April 2010 
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  30. ^ McManus, Margaret (2 January 1955). "Como Handles Kid Fans Same as Own Children". Miami News. Retrieved 7 June 2010. 
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  32. ^ Constance, Jinny (1 September 1946). "Speaking of Records". The Miami News. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  33. ^ Yoakley, Sara (1 December 1947). "Record Companies Waxing Fast And Hot To Beat Petrillo's Ban On Canned Music". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  34. ^ "N'yot N'yow". Kokomo. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  35. ^ Music: One For Harry. Time. 27 December 1948. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  36. ^ "James C. Petrillo". WTTW-TV. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
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  40. ^ Lyons, Leonard (14 June 1956). "The Lyons Den". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
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  49. ^ "Christmas Dream". Kokomo. Retrieved 22 December 2010. 
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  58. ^ "Supper Club Favorites". AllMusic. 
  59. ^ "Hits from Broadway Shows". AllMusic. 
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  63. ^ "So Smooth". AllMusic. 
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  67. ^ "I Believe". AllMusic. 
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  69. ^ "We Get Letters". AllMusic. 
  70. ^ "Saturday Night With Mr. C". AllMusic. 
  71. ^ "When You Come To The End Of The Day". AllMusic. 
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  73. ^ "Como Swings". AllMusic. 
  74. ^ "Season's Greetings From Perry Como". All Music. 
  75. ^ "For The Young At Heart". AllMusic. 
  76. ^ "Sing to Me, Mr. C". AllMusic. 
  77. ^ "By Request". AllMusic. 
  78. ^ "The Best Of Irving Berlin's Songs From Mr. President". AllMusic. 
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  80. ^ "The Songs I Love". AllMusic. 
  81. ^ "The Scene Changes". AllMusic. 
  82. ^ "Lightly Latin". AllMusic. 
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  84. ^ "The Perry Como Christmas Album". AllMusic. 
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  86. ^ "Look to Your Heart". AllMusic. 
  87. ^ "Seattle". AllMusic. 
  88. ^ "Perry Como In Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas". RCA. 
  89. ^ "This is Perry Como". RCA. 
  90. ^ "It's Impossible". AllMusic. 
  91. ^ "I Think of You". AllMusic. 
  92. ^ "This is Perry Como Vol. 2". RCA. 
  93. ^ "And I Love You So". AllMusic. 
  94. ^ "Perry". AllMusic. 
  95. ^ "Just Out Of Reach". AllMusic. 
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  97. ^ "The Best Of British". RCA. 
  98. ^ "Where You're Concerned". AllMusic. 
  99. ^ "Perry Como". RCA. 
  100. ^ "Perry Como Live On Tour". RCA. 
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  102. ^ "So It Goes/Goodbye For Now". AllMusic. 
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External links[edit]