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Dick Haymes

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Dick Haymes
Haymes in the 1940s
Richard Benjamin Haymes

(1918-09-13)September 13, 1918
Buenos Aires, Argentina
DiedMarch 28, 1980(1980-03-28) (aged 61)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
Years active1935–1978
Edith Harper
(m. 1939; ann. 1939)
(m. 1941; div. 1949)
(m. 1949; div. 1953)
(m. 1953; div. 1955)
(m. 1958; div. 1965)
Wendy Smith
(m. 1966)

Richard Benjamin Haymes (September 13, 1918 – March 28, 1980) was an Argentine singer, songwriter and actor. He was one of the most popular male vocalists of the 1940s and early 1950s. He was the older brother of Bob Haymes, an actor, television host, and songwriter.


Haymes was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1918.[1][2] According to Haymes's obituary in the New York Times, "His father was a rancher of English descent and his Irish mother had been a musical comedy singer. His parents traveled widely and he grew up in France, Montreal, California and Switzerland."[3]


At the age of 17, Haymes moved to Los Angeles where he initially worked as a stunt man and film double. At the age of 19, he moved to New York City, where he worked as a vocalist in a number of big bands.[4] On September 3, 1942, Frank Sinatra introduced Haymes on radio as Sinatra's replacement in the Tommy Dorsey band.[5][6] Prior to joining Dorsey's group, Haymes sang with the Harry James orchestra.[7]

Dick Haymes in State Fair (1945)

In 1945, Haymes co-starred with Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews and Vivian Blaine in the musical State Fair. He teamed with female vocalist Helen Forrest for many hit duets during World War II, including "Together," "I'll Buy That Dream," and "Long Ago and Far Away"; he sang with Judy Garland on two Decca recordings of songs from the film The Shocking Miss Pilgrim, in which he appeared with Betty Grable. From 1944 to 1948, he had his own radio program, The Dick Haymes Show, first on NBC and later on CBS.[8]

He paired repeatedly with the Andrews Sisters on a dozen or so Decca collaborations, including the Billboard hit "Teresa," "Great Day," "My Sin," and a 1952 rendering of the dramatic ballad "Here in My Heart," backed by the sisters and Nelson Riddle's lush strings. His duets with Patty Andrews were also well received, both on Decca vinyl and on radio's Club Fifteen with the sisters, which he hosted in 1949 and 1950. He also joined Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters for 1947 session that produced the Billboard hit "There's No Business Like Show Business," as well as "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)". His popular renditions of tender ballads such as "Little White Lies" and "Maybe It's Because" were recorded with celebrated arranger Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra and chorus.[9]

World War II and attempted deportation[edit]

Haymes's birth in Argentina to non-U.S. citizens meant he was not an American citizen. In order to avoid military service during World War II, Haymes asserted his nonbelligerent status as a citizen of Argentina, which remained neutral until almost the end of the war. Hollywood-based columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper questioned Haymes' patriotism, but the story had surprisingly little effect on his career. About that time, he was classified 4-F by the draft board because of hypertension. As part of his draft examination, he was confined for a short period to a hospital on Ellis Island, which confirmed his diagnosis of hypertension.[10]

In 1953, Haymes went to Hawaii (then a territory and, technically, not part of the United States) to visit Rita Hayworth (who he later married).[11] On returning to the mainland United States, he was arrested in August for deportation under the McCarran–Walter Act on the basis that Haymes refused to sign up for military service and therefore was not entitled to live in the United States.[12] After appeal, he won his battle to remain in the United States in 1955 on the basis that Hawaii was a geographical part of the United States so he had never left the country.[13]

Later years[edit]

Dick Haymes in 1966

Haymes experienced alcoholism and had serious financial problems later in life, by the early 1960s declaring bankruptcy with $500,000 in debts.[14]

He appeared as unscrupulous doctor Elroy Gantman in a 1974 episode of the TV show Adam-12.

Through his mother's nationality, Haymes spent his last years as an Irish citizen.[citation needed]


Haymes was married six times. His first marriage to Edith Harper (1939) occurred when she claimed to be pregnant but was annulled by Haymes after he discovered that she was not.[15] Haymes wives included film actresses Joanne Dru (1941–1949), Nora Eddington (a former wife of Errol Flynn) (1949–1953), Rita Hayworth (1953–1955), and Fran Jeffries (1958–1964). Haymes had a total of six children—three with Joanne Dru, one with Fran Jeffries, and two with his sixth and final wife, British model Wendy Smith (1966).[3]


Haymes died from lung cancer on March 28, 1980, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 61 years old.[4]


78rpm albums[edit]

Dick Haymes Sings – Carmen Cavallaro at the Piano – Irving Berlin Songs (1948 Decca Record)

Original LPs[edit]

LP compilations[edit]

Live LP albums[edit]

Selected CD compilations[edit]

  • (2016) Dick Haymes You'll Never Know His 53 Finest 2 CDset (Retrospective)
  • (1990) Richard the Lion-Hearted – Dick Haymes that is! (1990) re-issue of the vinyl album
  • Imagination (1992)
  • The Very Best of Dick Haymes, Vol. 1 (1997)
  • The Very Best of Dick Haymes, Vol. 2 (1997)
  • The Complete Columbia Recordings – with Harry James and Benny Goodman (1998)
  • Little White Lies: 25 Original Mono Recordings 1942-1050. Living Era. ASV Mono. CD AJA 5387 (2001)
  • Christmas Wishes (2002, radio transcriptions)
  • Golden Years of Dick Haymes (2003)
  • The Complete Capitol Collection (2006)


Hit records[edit]

Year Single Chart positions
U.S. U.S.
1941 "A Sinner Kissed an Angel" (with Harry James) 15
1942 "The Devil Sat Down and Cried" (with Harry James & Helen Forrest) 15
"Idaho" (with Benny Goodman)[17] 4
"Take Me" (with Benny Goodman) 10
"Serenade in Blue" (with Benny Goodman) 17
1943 "It Can't Be Wrong"[18] 1 2
"In My Arms"[18] 3
"You'll Never Know"[18] 1 1
"Wait for Me, Mary" 6
"I Never Mention Your Name" 11
"I Heard You Cried Last Night" 13 8
"Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey"[18] 5
"For the First Time" 13
1944 "I'll Get By (As Long as I Have You)" (with Harry James) 1
"Long Ago (and Far Away)" (with Helen Forrest) 2
"How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You" 27
"How Blue the Night" 11
"It Had to Be You" (with Helen Forrest) 4
"Together" (with Helen Forrest) 3
"Janie" 26
1945 "Laura" 9
"The More I See You" 7
"I Wish I Knew" 6
"Till the End of Time" 3
"Love Letters" 11
"I'll Buy That Dream" (with Helen Forrest)[19] 2
"Some Sunday Morning" (with Helen Forrest) 9
"That's for Me" 6
"It Might as Well Be Spring" 5
1946 "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" (with Helen Forrest) 7
"It's a Grand Night for Singing" 21
"Oh! What It Seemed to Be" (with Helen Forrest) 4
"Slowly" 12
"Come Rain or Come Shine" (with Helen Forrest) 23
"In Love in Vain" (with Helen Forrest) 12
"You Make Me Feel So Young" 21
"Why Does It Get So Late So Early?" (with Helen Forrest) 22
"On the Boardwalk" 21
1947 "For You, For Me, For Evermore" (with Judy Garland) 19
"How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" 9
"Mam'selle" 3
"There's No Business Like Show Business" (with Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters) 25
"Ivy" 19
"Naughty Angeline" 21
"I Wish I Didn't Love You So" 9
"And Mimi" 15
1948 "Teresa" (with The Andrews Sisters) 21
"Little White Lies" (gold record) 2
"You Can't Be True, Dear" 9
"Nature Boy" 11
"It's Magic" 9
"Ev'ry Day I Love You" 24
1949 "Bouquet of Roses" 22
"Room Full of Roses" 6
"Maybe It's Because" 5
"The Old Master Painter" 4
1950 "Roses" 29
"Count Every Star" (with Artie Shaw) 10
"Can Anyone Explain? (No! No! No!)" 23
1951 "You're Just in Love" (with Ethel Merman) 30
"And So to Sleep Again" 28
1956 "Two Different Worlds" 80

Musical theatre[edit]

The Big Broadcast of 1944, - A Lee Gruber, Shelly Gross off Broadway production, fall of 1979 – Devon, PA, Detroit, MI, and Westbury, NY

Radio appearances[edit]

Year Program Episode/source
1944-48 The Dick Haymes Show
1948 Lux Radio Theatre Irish Eyes Are Smiling[20]
1948 Screen Guild Players Up in Central Park[21]
1953 Suspense Pigeon in the Cage[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Prigozy, Ruth (June 2006). The Life of Dick Haymes: No More Little White Lies. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-57806-551-6.
  2. ^ See also Social Security Death Index for Richard Haymes (SS#113-05-9919). His birthdate was frequently incorrectly given as 1916.
  3. ^ a b "Singer Dick Haymes Dies". Washington Post. March 30, 1980. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Dick Haymes, 61, Dies of Cancer". Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. Daytona Beach, Florida. March 30, 1980. p. 2C.
  5. ^ Jonathan Schwartz program. August 31, 2013. WNYC-FM.
  6. ^ Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854. Tape 1, side A.
  7. ^ "Orchestra Notes" (PDF). Billboard. January 3, 1942. p. 12. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  8. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 198–199. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  9. ^ Sforza, John: "Swing It! The Andrews Sisters Story;" University Press of Kentucky, 2000; 289 pages
  10. ^ Prigozy, The Life of Dick Haymes, op cit, p. 48
  11. ^ "Haymes Rebuffed in Ouster Battle". The New York Times. November 6, 1954. p. 36. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  12. ^ "U.S. Decision Due Today On Dick Haymes Matter". Variety. August 26, 1953. p. 2. Retrieved March 12, 2024 – via Internet Archive.
  13. ^ "Haymes Wins Fight Over Deportation". The New York Times. June 1, 1955. p. 34. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  14. ^ Prigorzy, The Life of Dick Haymes, op cit, p. 177. "By the early sixties I was a desperate alcoholic. I had been forced into bankruptcy with a half million dollars in debts and no assets."
  15. ^ Godfrey, Andrew (May 22, 2012). "Dick Haymes: Great Singer Wed Six Times, Plagued By Alcoholism and Debt". wordpress.com. Nostalgia and Now by A. Godfrey - Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Retrieved December 31, 2023.
  16. ^ The 16 minute film, I Am an American, was featured in American theaters as a short feature in connection with "I Am an American Day" (now called Constitution Day). I Am an American was produced by Gordon Hollingshead, written and directed by Crane Wilbur. Besides Haymes, it featured Humphrey Bogart, Gary Gray, Danny Kaye, Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan, Knute Rockne, and Jay Silverheels. See: I Am An American at the TCM Movie Database and I Am an American at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata.
  17. ^ "Pop Chronicles 1940s Program #7". 1972.
  18. ^ a b c d "Pop Chronicles 1940s Program #9". 1972.
  19. ^ Gilliland, John (October 10, 1972). "Pop Chronicles 1940s Program #12". UNT Digital Library.
  20. ^ "Irish Eyes". Harrisburg Telegraph. Harrisburg Telegraph. March 13, 1948. p. 22. Retrieved August 8, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  21. ^ "Those Were The Days". Nostalgia Digest. Vol. 40, no. 1. Winter 2014. pp. 32–39.
  22. ^ Kirby, Walter (May 24, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved June 28, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon

Further reading[edit]

  • Prigozy, Ruth (June 2006). The Life of Dick Haymes: No More Little White Lies. University Press of Mississippi.

External links[edit]