Guy Mitchell

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Guy Mitchell
Background information
Birth name Albert George Cernik
Born (1927-02-22)February 22, 1927
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died July 1, 1999(1999-07-01) (aged 72)
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Genres Big band, traditional pop, rock and roll, country
Years active 1947–1999
Labels Decca, King, Columbia, Philips
Website Official website

Guy Mitchell (born Albert George Cernik; February 22, 1927 – July 1, 1999) was an American pop singer, successful in his homeland, the UK and Australia. He sold 44 million records, including six million-selling singles.

In the fall of 1957, Mitchell starred in ABC's The Guy Mitchell Show. He appeared as George Romack on the 1961 NBC western detective series Whispering Smith, with World War II hero Audie Murphy in the leading role.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Born of Croatian immigrants (Crnic is the Croatian spelling of the last name), in Detroit, Michigan, at age 11 he was signed by Warner Brothers Pictures, to be a child star, and performed on the radio on KFWB in Los Angeles, California.

After leaving school, he worked as a saddlemaker, supplementing his income by singing.

Dude Martin, who had a country music broadcast in San Francisco, hired him for his band.

He served in the United States Navy for two years in World War II, then sang with Carmen Cavallaro's big band.

In 1947 he recorded for Decca with Cavallaro's band, but left due to food poisoning.

He went next to New York City and made records for King Records as Al Grant (one, "Cabaret", appeared in the Variety charts).

He won on the radio show Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in 1949 as a soloist.[2]

Mitch Miller, in charge of talent at Columbia Records, noticed Cernik in 1950. He joined Columbia and took his new stage name at Miller's urging: Miller supposedly said, "my name is 'Mitchell' and you seem a nice 'guy', so we'll call you Guy Mitchell." Bob Merrill wrote hits for Mitchell.[3]

In the 1950s and 1960s Mitchell acted in movies with Teresa Brewer, Pat Crowley, and Rosemary Clooney, Red Garters (1954), and with Brewer in Those Redheads From Seattle (1953). He acted in "Choose a Victim", a 1961 episode of Thriller, and sang in the Braemor Rooms, Churchtown, Dublin, Ireland.

His first hit was "My Heart Cries for You" (1951). He ventured into rock with songs including "Heartaches by the Number", "Rock-a-Billy", "The Same Old Me", and his biggest hit, "Singing the Blues", which was number one for 10 weeks in 1956.[4]

Personal life[edit]

He married three times, first to Jackie Loughery, a former Miss USA, then to Elsa Sorensen, who had been a Miss Denmark.[5] His third wife, Betty, survived him after 25 years of marriage.


He died on July 1, 1999, aged 72, of complications from cancer surgery.


In 2007, to commemorate what would have been his 80th birthday, the English division of SonyBMG released The Essential Collection CD.

His song "Heartaches by the Number" was part of the soundtrack of the 2010 video game Fallout: New Vegas.

Hit songs[edit]

Year Single Chart positions
US CB UK[6] US Country US
1950 "My Heart Cries for You"(gold record) 2 1
"The Roving Kind" 4 2
1951 "You're Just in Love" (with Rosemary Clooney) 24
"The Place Where I Worship" (with Rosemary Clooney) 6
"Sparrow in the Treetop" 8 3
"Christopher Columbus" 27
"Unless" 17 3
"The House of Singing Bamboo" (with Rosemary Clooney) 3
"My Truly, Truly Fair"(gold record) 2 1
"Belle Belle My Liberty Belle" 9 4
"A Beggar In Love" 6
"Sweetheart of Yesterday" 23 12
"There's Always Room At Our House" 20 8
"I Can't Help It" 28
1952 "Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania"(gold record) 4 2
"Wimmin'" 17
"Day of Jubilo" 26 4
"Feet Up (Pat Him on the Po-Po)" 14 18 2 2
"'Cause I Love You, That's a Why" (with Mindy Carson) 24 25 8
1953 "She Wears Red Feathers" 19 14 1 5
"Tell Us Where the Good Times Are" (with Mindy Carson) 23
"Pretty Little Black Eyed Susie" 2 17
"Look At That Girl" 1
"Chicka Boom" 16 4 14
"Cloud Lucky Seven" 2 19
1954 "Sippin' soda" 11 5
"Strollin' Blues" 18
"The Cuff of My Shirt" 9
"A Dime and a Dollar" 8
1956 "Ninety Nine Years" 23 19 26
"When Blinky Blows" 22
"Belonging" 25
"Give Me a Carriage with 8 White Horses" 42
"Singing the Blues" 1 1 1 4 1
"Crazy With Love" 53 42
1957 "Knee Deep in the Blues" 16 15 3 13
"Take Me Back Baby" 47 38 30
"Rock-a-Billy" 10 13 1 10
"In the Middle of a Dark Dark Night" 25 49
"Sweet Stuff" 83 51 flip
"Call Rosie On the Phone" 17
1958 "The Lord Made a Peanut" 56
"C'mon Let's Go" 71
"Honey Brown Eyes" 92
1959 "Butterfly Doll" 87
"Heartaches by the Number" 1 1 5 19 3
1960 "The Same Old Me" 51 103
"My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You" 45 106 63
1961 "Your Goodnight Kiss" 106 100
1962 "(I'd Like to Be In) Charlie's Shoes" 110 143
"Go Tiger Go" 101 123
1967 "Traveling Shoes" 51
1968 "Alabam" 61
"Frisco Line" 71

Best known songs[edit]

Re-recorded songs[edit]

In February 1982 he re-recorded 20 of his popular songs with new musical backings (in stereo) at the Audio Media Studio in Nashville, Tennessee for Bulldog Records (No. BDL 2041 in the UK).[8] The album was entitled "20 Golden Pieces of Guy Mitchell" (not to be confused with "20 Golden Greats" by Guy Mitchell released in 1979). The songs on the album are:-


  1. ^ Cromelin, Richard (1999-07-03). "Guy Mitchell, Singer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  2. ^ Obituary, New York Times, July 5, 1999.
  3. ^ The Independent; Obituary: Bob Merrill; February 20, 1998
  4. ^ Obituary, The Guardian, July 5, 1999.
  5. ^ "Elsa Mattingly Obituary - Sebastian, Florida". Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 371–372. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g The Independent; Obituaries: Guy Mitchell 5 July 1999
  8. ^ Album sleeve notes

External links[edit]