Jerry Vale Passes Away at the Age of 83

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Jerry Vale, the romantic crooner, known for many hits in the 1950’s and 1960’s has passed away.

In high school, to earn money, Vale took a job shining shoes in a barbershop in New York City. He loved to sing while shining shoes, his employer was so impressed he financed music lessons for the young boy. This led to Vale singing in High School musicals at a local night club.

This led to additional club dates, including one that lasted for three years at a club in the suburb of Yonkers, New York, This led to being noticed by Paul Insetta, (road manager for Guy Mitchell and a hit songwriter) heard him and promptly signed him to a management contract. This led to the decision to change his name, record demos and get them to the A&R department. He then arranged for Vale to record Columbia Records. Vale then signed a recording contract with Columbia, and resulted with Insetta managing him for many years to come.

Vale was a friend of fellow Italian-American crooner Frank Sinatra, and he was an honorary pallbearer at Sinatra's funeral on May 20, 1998.  "While performing at the Sands in Las Vegas, Nevada, I befriended a number of fellow entertainers. There was Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis, Jr., Nat King Cole and, of course, I worked alongside one of my early idols, Frank Sinatra, whose generous recommendation landed me the job in the first place," Vale told Palm Springs Life in 2000.

"I had heard so many negative stories about Frank that I was somewhat apprehensive to approach him. To my absolute surprise, he would up being quite amiable and the most caring individual that I have ever known."

In 1963 he recorded a version of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ became a fixture tune at many sporting events for years. This awarded him a gold record and is displayed at at the National Baseball Hall of Fame located in Cooperstown, New York. He also frequently sang the song at Yankee Stadium over the years. Additionally he owned the Daytona Beach Admirals.

In later years Vale released his biography, written by Richard Grudens, published in 2000 by Celebrity Profiles, entitled ‘A Singer’s Life’, sang on the Late Night with David Letterman on the 8th anniversary special in 1990. He also made cameo appearances (portraying himself) in the 1990 film Goodfellas and the 1995 Casino, both of which were directed by Martin Scorsese. In 1998, Vale was honoured by receiving a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Fame. He also appeared on the television hit, The Sopranos.

Recording more than 50 albums, Jerry Vale has stayed true to his Italian heritage, his renditions of His rendition of  ‘Volare’, ‘Innamorata’ and ‘Al Di La’ became classic Italian-American songs. His biggest hit was "You Don't Know Me."

Jerry Vale, who had been in declining health, died Sunday. May 18, 2014 at his Palm Desert home surrounded by family and friends, family attorney Harold J. Levy said in a statement.

He is survived by Rita, his wife of 55 years; a son, Robert; and a daughter, Pamela.