Greco in 1962
|Birth name||Armando Joseph Greco|
August 14, 1926|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||January 10, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, traditional pop, country, soundtrack|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, musician, arranger|
|Labels||Bainbridge, Kapp, London, Epic, Fontana, Reprise, Pye|
|Associated acts||Benny Goodman|
|Oral History, Buddy Greco reflects on learning his craft with Benny Goodman. Interview date October 4, 2007, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Library|
Armando Joseph "Buddy" Greco (August 14, 1926 – January 10, 2017) was an American jazz and pop singer and pianist, who had a long career in the U.S. and U.K. and was good friends with the Rat Pack. His recordings, in several genres including jazz, pop, and country, have sold millions of records, including "Oh Look A-There", "Ain't She Pretty", "Up, Up and Away" and "Around the World". His most successful single was "The Lady Is a Tramp", which sold over one million copies. During his career, he recorded over sixty albums. He conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, performed for Queen Elizabeth II, and with the Beatles.
Buddy Greco was born Armando Greco in Philadelphia. His mother introduced him to piano at the age of four. At an early age he was singing and performing on radio and, during his teens, in Philadelphia clubs. When he was 16, he was hired by Benny Goodman and toured worldwide. He spent four years with Goodman's orchestra, singing, playing piano, and arranging.
After leaving Goodman at the age of 20, he returned to nightclubs, singing and playing piano, and launching his recording career.
In the 1960s his career expanded into movies and television. He appeared often in the TV series Away We Go and had a role in the movie The Girl Who Knew Too Much. He worked with Ron Escheté from 1969–1970. The duo appeared in several TV shows, including The Mike Douglas Show.
Las Vegas and Palm Springs
Greco met fifth and last wife Lezlie Anders while she was performing in Las Vegas. Their first meeting was when they stepped out on stage together, as she was a support act for him at the Desert Inn. After marrying, they worked and toured together.
In 1992 Greco began a 13-week act in Las Vegas at the Starlight Room at Stars' Desert Inn. This brought about his second big period of fame. The following year he was added to the Philadelphia Music Alliance's Walk of Fame. Shortly after, he toured Italy, France, Australia, and England.
While living in Palm Springs, Greco opened a small club. On the walls were pictures of Greco, the Rat Pack, and other celebrity friends, the room arranged by his wife. He often performed at his club, and it was a popular place for stars to dine before he closed it and moved to England.
Life in England
Greco became acquainted with the UK in 1949. He spent years performing in clubs around England. He moved to Essex, though he still owned his house in Palm Springs, California, where he often spent vacations.
In 2008 Greco toured the UK with Anders. Together they performed with the BBC Big Band and played at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. Greco was the first Las Vegas headliner to star at a British casino when he performed in cabaret in August 2008 at the Circus Casino, Star City, Birmingham. In April 2010, he performed a salute to Frank Sinatra for BBC Radio 2 with the 42-piece BBC Concert Orchestra. He toured the UK for over 30 dates from July 2010 with the Swinging Las Vegas Legends Show.
In 2010 Greco and his wife produced the stage show Fever! The Music of Miss Peggy Lee, which met with critical acclaim and opened in London's West End. The inspiration came from his wife, who was a friend of Lee. The show tells of the life and music of Peggy Lee. Greco plays piano and conducts the orchestra while his wife sings. The show received positive reviews and toured the U.S.
In 2013 Greco celebrated his 80th year in show business in a concert in Southend, Essex. Stars such as the Rat Pack cast, Atila, Kenny Lynch, Paul Young and Michelle Collins were present to celebrate his career and also took part throughout the evening. Greco and his wife performed together.
Awards and honors
- Inductee, Walk of Fame, Philadelphia Music Alliance
- Appears in Encyclopedia of Great Musicians and the Encyclopedia of Great Jazz Singers and Musicians
Greco married five times. Greco was married to Sally Baionno in 1947. They divorced in 1962. Greco was married to Dani Crayne from 1961 until they divorced in 1974. From 1974 through 1977 Greco was married to Margret Kinley until they divorced. Greco later married Jackie Sabatino in 1977. They eventually divorced. He married Lezlie Anders on 14 April 1995. Greco had three children with Baionno, one with Kinley and three more with Sabatino.
- Around the World (Epic)
- Lady Is a Tramp (Epic)
- Buddy Greco at Mister Kelly's 1956
- My Buddy (Epic) 1959
- Broadway Melodies (Kapp) 1960
- Buddy (Kapp) 1960
- Songs for Swinging Losers (Epic) 1960
- All Time Favorites (Sutton-Stereo) 1960
- Back in Town (Epic) 1961
- I Like It Swinging (Epic) 1961
- Buddy and Soul (Epic) 1962
- Let's Love (Epic) 1962
- Sings for Intimate Moments (Epic) 1963
- Soft and Gentle (Epic) 1963
- Buddy Greco on Stage! (Epic) 1964
- My Last Night in Rome (Epic) 1964
- I Love a Piano (Studio 2 Stereo) 1965
- In a Brand New Bag (Reprise) 1966
- Big Band and Ballads (Reprise) 1966 
- Away, We Go (Reprise) 1966
- Let the Sunshine In (Wand) 1970
- It's My Life (Pye) 1972
- Movin' On (Pye) 1973
- Buddy Greco 'Live' (Pye) 1974
- Live at the Sands (Picc-a-Dilly) 1980
- Ready for Your Love 1984
- It's Magic (Prestige) 1990
- Round Midnight (Bay Cities) 1992
- All-Time Favourite's Featuring Buddy Greco (Sutton)
- Buddy Greco Sings (Boulevard)
- Buddy Greco (World Record Club)
|1947||"Ooh! Look-A There, Ain't She Pretty"||15||—|
|1951||"I Ran All the Way Home"||30||—|
|1960||"The Lady Is a Tramp"A||—||—|
|1961||"Around the World"||109||—|
|1965||"That Darn Cat"||—||36|
|"I Can't Begin to Tell You"||132||27|
|1966||"Put Yourself in My Place"||—||24|
|"Walking on New Grass"||—||21|
|1967||"Love's Gonna Live Here Again"||—||19|
|"There She Goes"||—||14|
|1972||"From Atlanta to Goodbye"||—||34|
- A "The Lady Is a Tramp" peaked at No. 26 in UK Singles charts.
- Summers, Kim. "Buddy Greco | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 135. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 43. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "My Hols". The Sunday Times, 7 April 2013: 27, Print.
- "I Would Die If I Quit". Liverpool Daily Echo, 13 August 2010: 11, Print.
- Unknown. "Ron Escheté - Biography." Roneschete.com, 2014. Web. 20 Jan 2014.
- "Rat pack legend tells Peggy's story". Croydon Advertiser, 4 November. 2011: 49, Print.
- "Six decades and 62 albums later, this showman goes on". St. Petersburg Times, 24th January. 1997: 5, Print.
- "Performer finds heavenly Springs". The Gold Coast Bulletin, 8 September 2007: 123, Print.
- Davis, Rick (November 1, 2005). "Dinner Club Due in Desert: For Buddy Greco, it's show business as usual". The Public Record. Desert Publication, Inc. and Sharon Apfelbaum.
- "Palm Springs Follies Opens". Inland Empire Business Journal. Daily Planet Publishing, Inc. November 1, 2004. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- "Palm Springs Follies pays tribute to the golden age of burlesque". Redlands Daily Facts. Los Angeles Newspaper Group. August 4, 2004. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- "Legend Buddy Is Back On Stage". Thurrock Gazette, 15 April 2012: Print.
- "An Evening With Buddy Greco". Brentwood Gazette, 25 January 2012: 3, Print.
- "Interview with Buddy Greco." Personal interview. 28 December 2013.
- "Buddy Greco : Biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- Mike Barnes (January 10, 2017). "Buddy Greco, Jazz Pianist, Vocalist and Las Vegas Mainstay, Dies at 90". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
- "Buddy Greco." Discogs, 2014. Web. 19 Jan 2014.
- Billboard Dec 22, 1984 - Page 72 "BUDDY GRECO Ready For Your Love PRODUCERS: Buddy Greco. Art Clausen Bainbridge BT 6255 With a full orchestra dotted with top L.A. players, Greco tackles a program of newer, lesser-known, adult pop titles, with the lone recent hit ..."
- Show Music - Volume 4, Issue 1 - Page 43 1985 "Jazz singer Buddy Greco's READY FOR TOUR LOVE (BT 6255) features nine recent vintage songs, with "The Hungry Years," "Love Won't Let Me Wait," "Me and Mrs. Jones," and "Ready For Your Love" included on the album. I AM WHAT I AM ..."