Friday, November 7, 2014

Rudy Vallée

Rudy Vallée was born Hubert Prior Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont, the son of Charles Alphonse and Catherine Lynch Vallée. Both of his parents were born and raised in Vermont; however his grandparents were immigrants. The Vallées were francophone Canadians from neighboring Quebec, while the Lynches were from Ireland. Vallée grew up in Westbrook, Maine.

After playing drums in his high school band, Vallée played clarinet and saxophone in various bands around New England as a teenager. From 1924 through 1925, he played with the Savoy Havana Band at the Savoy Hotel in London, where his fellow band-members discouraged his attempts to become a vocalist. He then returned to the United States to obtain a degree in philosophy from Yale, where he played in the Yale Collegians with future New Yorker cartoonist Peter Arno.

After graduation, he formed his own band, "Rudy Vallée and the Connecticut Yankees", having named himself after influential saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft. With this band, which featured two violins, two saxophones, a piano, a banjo and drums, he started singing (supposedly reluctantly at first). He had a rather thin, wavering tenor voice and seemed more at home singing sweet ballads than jazz numbers. However, his singing, together with his suave manner and boyish good looks, attracted great attention, especially from young women. Vallée was given a recording contract and in 1928, he started performing on the radio.

Vallée became the most prominent and, arguably, the first of a new style of popular singer, the crooner. Previously, popular singers needed strong projecting voices to fill theaters in the days before the electric microphone. Crooners had soft voices that were well suited to the intimacy of the new medium of the radio. Vallée's trombone-like vocal phrasing on "Deep Night" would inspire later crooners such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Perry Como to model their voices on jazz instruments.

On the Air 1933


Don't Play With Fire  Test Pressing


Deep Night 1929















My Time Is Your Time  1929 






Confessin' (That I Love You) 1930  







Makin' Whoopee 1929

By the Sycamore Tree Hit of the Week Record





Love Is The Sweetest Thing  1933






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