Saturday, July 24, 2010

Guy Mitchell

The last 78 for a while, this is a catchy pop hit from the 50's by Guy Mitchell who had many hits back then. I bought a CD compilation of his best work recently in a charity shop and realised just how many of the songs I knew from my childhood , listening to the radio. Knee Deep In The Blues has a nice rockabilly swing to it as did many of his later songs.

Wikipedia says -

"He was born Albert George Cernik, son of immigrants from Croatia, in Detroit, Michigan. At the age of eleven, he was signed by Warner Brothers Pictures, to be groomed as a child star, and he also performed on the radio on Station KFWB in Los Angeles, California. After leaving school, he worked as a saddlemaker, but supplemented his income by singing whenever he could. At this point in his life, Dude Martin, who had a country music broadcast in San Francisco, noticed him and hired him to perform with his band. He served in the United States Navy for two years, and after leaving the service became a singer with Carmen Cavallaro's big band. In 1947 he made recordings for Decca with Cavallaro's band, but had to leave due to food poisoning. He eventually went to New York City, and made records for King Records under the name Al Grant (one in particular, "Cabaret", appeared in the Variety magazine charts). He won on the radio show Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in 1949 as a soloist.

Mitch Miller, who was in charge of talent at Columbia Records, noticed Cernik in 1950, and he joined Columbia and got his new stage name at Miller's urging: Miller is supposed to have said, "my name is 'Mitchell' and you seem a nice 'guy', so we'll call you Guy Mitchell." Bob Merrill wrote a string of top hits for Mitchell.

In the 1950s and 1960s he acted in movies as well as singing. He did movies with Teresa Brewer, Pat Crowley, and Rosemary Clooney (Red Garters). In 1957 he had his own television show on the ABC network. He also sang in the Braemor Rooms, Churchtown, Dublin, Ireland.

His first hit was 1951's "My Heart Cries for You".

Though he is a pre-rock pop singer, many of his songs have a decided rock beat to them, including "Knee Deep in the Blues", "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.

Mitchell was an alcoholic. By 1984 he had been divorced three times and was a cancer survivor.

He died on July 1, 1999 of surgical complications due to his cancer."

Guy Mitchell - Take Me Back Baby

Guy Mitchell - Knee Deep In The Blues

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