Vic Damone performs at Garden State Arts Center on
August 29, 1979 in Holmdel, New Jersey. Bobby
Bank/WireImage
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Bobby
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Vic Damone performs at Garden State Arts Center on August
29, 1979 in Holmdel, New Jersey.

Bobby
Bank/WireImage

Vic Damone, a singer who rose to fame along the tail end of the
post-war era embodied by The Rat Pack, died yesterday at Mount
Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Fla., according to a
statement from his family. He was 89.

A first-generation Italian-American, Damone grew up closely
studying the work of another similarly situated artist, Frank
Sinatra, who would later become a cherished friend. “Without
Frank there would not have been a Vic Damone,” Damone once
said.

While in his early teens, working as an usher at New York’s
Paramount Theater to make his family’s ends meet after his
father was injured on the job, Damone forced an elevator
audition on Perry Como, who put him touch with a local
bandleader.

By age 19, in 1947, Damone had secured a recording contract
with Mercury Records. By 20, he had his own weekly radio show,
Saturday Night Serenade, and secured regular live gigs
and roles in feature films. From there, regular appearances on
television became the source of much of his mid-career work,
including as host of The Vic Damone Show on NBC during
the summers of 1962 and ’63. During the same period, his
success on the Billboard charts diminished, as it did
with many other similar artists. His final chart appearance was
in 1966, when his cover of “To Make A Big Man Cry” reached No.
31 on the Easy Listening (now Adult Contemporary) chart; that
same week, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” stood at No. 3.

More recently, Damone’s hit rendition of “On The Street Where
You Live” soundtracked the
close
of the debut episode of Mad Men.

Damone’s final performance was in 2011, at the Raymond F.
Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach. He is
survived by two sisters, Elaine Seneca and Terry Sicuso, three
daughters — Victoria Damone, Andrea Damone-Brown, and Daniella
Damone-Woodard — and six grandchildren.

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