Billy Vaughn

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Billy Vaughn
Gale Storm Billy Vaughn The Gale Storm Show 1958.JPG
Vaughn with Gale Storm on The Gale Storm Show in 1958. He and Storm collaborated to write a song, "You're My Baby Doll", which they performed on the show.
Born(1919-04-12)April 12, 1919
DiedSeptember 26, 1991(1991-09-26) (aged 72)
Occupation Singer, multi-instrumentalist, orchestra leader, record executive
Musical career
Years active1952-1972
Labels Dot, London

William Richard Vaughn (April 12, 1919 – September 26, 1991) was an American singer, multi-instrumentalist, orchestra leader, and A&R man for Dot Records. [1]

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Singing act of producing musical sounds with the voice

Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, rhythm, and a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung with or without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is often done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, jazz, blues, gazal and popular music styles such as pop, rock, electronic dance music and filmi.

Multi-instrumentalist musician who plays two or more musical instruments with some degree of proficiency

A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays two or more musical instruments at a professional level of proficiency.



Vaughn was born in Glasgow, Kentucky, where his father was a barber who loved music and inspired Billy to teach himself to play the mandolin at the age of three, while suffering from measles. He went on to learn a number of other instruments.

Glasgow, Kentucky City in Kentucky, United States

Glasgow is a home rule-class city in Barren County, Kentucky, United States. It is the seat of its county. The population was 14,028 at the 2010 U.S. census. The city is well known for its annual Scottish Highland Games. In 2007, Barren County was named the number one rural place to live by The Progressive Farmer magazine. Glasgow is the principal city of the Glasgow micropolitan area, which comprises Barren and Metcalfe counties.

Kentucky State of the United States of America

Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, (because in Kentucky's first constitution, the name state was used) Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.

Barber person whose occupation is mainly to cut, dress, groom, style and shave males hair

A barber is a person whose occupation is mainly to cut, dress, groom, style and shave men's and boys' hair. A barber's place of work is known as a "barbershop" or a "barber's". Barbershops are also places of social interaction and public discourse. In some instances, barbershops are also public forums. They are the locations of open debates, voicing public concerns, and engaging citizens in discussions about contemporary issues.

In 1941 Vaughn joined the United States National Guard for what had been planned as a one-year assignment, but when World War II broke out, he was sent abroad until the war ended in 1945. He decided to make music a career when he was discharged from the army at the end of the war, and attended Western Kentucky State College, now known as Western Kentucky University, majoring in music composition. He had apparently learned barbering from his father, because he did some while studying at Western Kentucky to support himself financially, when he was not able to get jobs playing the piano at local night clubs and lounges. While he was a student there, three other students, Jimmy Sacca, Donald McGuire, and Seymour Spiegelman, who had formed a vocal trio, the Hilltoppers, recruited Vaughn to play the piano with them. He soon added his voice to theirs, converting the trio to a quartet. As a member of the group, he also wrote their first hit song, "Trying", which charted in 1952.

United States National Guard Reserve force of the United States Army and Air Force

The United States National Guard, also commonly referred to as just the National Guard, is part of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, is a reserve military force, composed of National Guard military members or units of each state and the territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, for a total of 54 separate organizations. All members of the National Guard of the United States are also members of the militia of the United States as defined by 10 U.S.C. § 246. National Guard units are under the dual control of the state and the federal government.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Music form of art using sound

Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική . See glossary of musical terminology.

In 1954 he left the group to join Dot Records in Gallatin, Tennessee, as music director. He subsequently formed his own orchestra which had a hit single in that same year with "Melody of Love." It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. [2] He went on to have many more hits over the next decade and a half, and, based purely on chart successes, was the most successful orchestra leader of the rock era.

Dot Records record label

Dot Records is an American record label founded by Randy Wood that was active between 1950 and 1979. The label was reactivated in 2014 through a joint venture between Big Machine Label Group and the Republic Records unit of Universal Music Group. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, the label was discontinued in 2017.

Gallatin, Tennessee City in Tennessee, United States

Gallatin is a city in and the county seat of Sumner County, Tennessee. The population was 30,678 at the 2010 census and 32,307 in 2013. Named for U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, the city was established on the Cumberland River and made the county seat of Sumner County in 1802. It is located about 30.6 miles northeast of the state capital of Nashville, Tennessee.

Tennessee State of the United States of America

Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the west, and Missouri to the northwest. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Nashville is the state's capital and largest city, with a 2017 population of 667,560. Tennessee's second largest city is Memphis, which had a population of 652,236 in 2017.

Vaughn charted a total of 42 singles on the Billboard charts, often based on the sound of two alto saxophones. He also charted thirty six albums on the Billboard 200, beginning with 1958's Sail Along Silv'ry Moon and ending with 1970's Winter World of Love. He also had nineteen Top 40 hits in Germany, beginning with the chart-topping "Sail Along, Silv'ry Moon", also a Gold record, which was a cover of a 1937 Bing Crosby hit. He had two more number ones in Germany: "La Paloma" and "Wheels" (all three were reportedly million sellers). Billy Vaughn's recording of Wheels was No. 1 for 14 weeks in Germany (Hit Bilanz) as well as No. 1 in India, New Zealand, and Italy (Billboard hits of the world, various issues 1961). Vaughn also charted in Australia, Latin America, and Japan. "Pearly Shells" was a major success in Japan. Vaughn's tours of that country began about the time "Pearly Shells" was a hit in 1965. Many songs which were not US hits or even singles releases there, were major hits in other countries. These included "Lili Marlene", "Zwei Gitarren am Meer", "Blueberry Hill" (Germany), and "Greenfields". Also successful were "Song of Peace", "It's a Lonesome Old Town" (Japan), "Michelle" (No 1 in Argentina and Malaysia), "Mexico" (No. 1 in the Philippines), and "Bonanza" (a major success in Brazil and Italy [Billboard Hits of the World, 1960s]) plus "Theme from the Dark at the Top of the Stairs" (various Latin American countries). The album La Paloma was a success throughout Latin America. He also had a number one album in Germany in the early 1980s with Moonlight Melodies, which consisted of 20 of Billy's biggest hits (original Dot recordings, original LP notes and credits). The Billy Vaughn Orchestra began touring in 1965 with numerous sell-out tours throughout Japan, Brazil, and South Korea.

A record chart, also called a music chart, is a ranking of recorded music according to certain criteria during a given period of time. Although in the UK, the official chart has only included physical sales and paid-for streaming, many different criteria are used in worldwide charts, including record sales, the amount of radio airplay, and since the popularity of online consumption of music, the number of downloads and the amount of streaming activity.

Single (music) type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

<i>Billboard</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Vaughn lived Palm Springs, California. [3] He died of peritoneal mesothelioma at Palomar Hospital in Escondido, California, on September 26, 1991, aged 72. He and his wife Marion are buried at the Oak Hill Memorial Park in Escondido. [4]

Palm Springs, California City in California, United States

Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. It is located approximately 55 mi (89 km) east of San Bernardino, 107 mi (172 km) east of Los Angeles, 123 mi (198 km) northeast of San Diego, and 268 mi (431 km) west of Phoenix, Arizona. The population was 44,552 as of the 2010 census. Palm Springs covers approximately 94 square miles (240 km2), making it the largest city in the county by land area.

Peritoneal mesothelioma peritoneum cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium and is located in the peritoneum

Peritoneal mesothelioma is the name given to the cancer that attacks the lining of the abdomen. This type of cancer affects the lining that protects the contents of the abdomen and which also provides a lubricating fluid to enable the organs to move and work properly.

Escondido, California City in California

Escondido is a city located in San Diego County's North County region, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Downtown San Diego, California. The city occupies a shallow valley ringed by rocky hills. Incorporated in 1888, it is one of the oldest cities in San Diego County. The city had a population of 143,911 in the 2010 census.



YearTitleChart positions
1952"Melodies in Gold"
"Billy Vaughn Plays the Million Sellers"
"La Paloma"
1959"Golden Saxophones"
"Billy Vaughn Plays"20
"Blue Hawaii"7
"Big 100"
"Billy Vaughn Plays Stephen Foster"
1960" Linger Awhile' "
"Billy Vaughn Plays The Million Sellers"15
"Golden Saxophones"36
"Look For A Star"5
"Sail Along, Silv'ry Moon"5
"Theme from A Summer Place"1
1961"Golden Waltzes"17
"Orange Blossom Special and Wheels"11
"Theme from The Sundowners"5
1962"A Swingin' Safari"10
"The Shifting Whispering Sands"
"Berlin Melody"20
"Chapel By The Sea"14
"Christmas Carols"145
"Greatest String Band Hits"18
1963"1962's Greatest Hits"17
"Number 1 Hits, Vol. #1"94
"Sukiyaki and 11 Hawaiian Hits"15
1964"Another Hit Album!"141
"Blue Velvet & 1963's Great Hits"51
1965"Mexican Pearls"45
"Moon Over Naples"31
"Pearly Shells"18
1965"Great Country Hits"149
1967"Body & Soul"
"Golden Hits/The Best Of Billy Vaughn"159
"I Love You"161
"Ode To Billy Joe"200
"Sweet Maria"114
"That's Life & Pineapple Market"130
1968"Alone With Today"
"Have Yourself A Merry, Merry Christmas"
"A Current Set Of Standards"198
1969"The Windmills Of Your Mind"95
1970"Winter World Of Love"188
1991"Plays the Music You Remember"


YearTitles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positionsAlbum
1954"Melody Of Love"
b/w "Joy Ride"
21Sweet Music and Memories
1955"Silver Moon"
b/w "Baby O'Mine"
"The Waltz You Saved For Me"
b/w "Billy Vaughn's Boogie"
"The Shifting, Whispering Sands" (Part 1)
b/w "The Shifting Whispering Sands" (Part 2)
5520The Shifting Whispering Sands
"I'd Give A Million Dollars (For Just One Yesterday"
b/w "Calico Cathy
Non-album tracks
1956"Moritat (Mack the Knife)" / [note 1] 37Theme From "A Summer Place"
"Little Boy Blue"76Non-album track
"Theme from the Threepenny Opera" [note 1]
b/w "I'd Give A Million Tomorrow (For Just One Yesterday)" (Non-album track)
12Theme From "A Summer Place"
b/w "Till I Waltz Again With You"
Non-album tracks
"Autumn Concerto"
b/w "Angel, Angel"
"The Left Bank (C'est A Hambourg)"
b/w "The Sweeetheart Polka"
"When The White Lilacs Bloom Again"
b/w "Spanish Diary"
"Petticoats Of Portugal"
b/w "La La Colette"
"Sweet Lelani"
b/w "Creole Love Call"
Blue Hawaii
"Sugar Blues"
b/w "Pennsylvania Waltz"
Non-album tracks
1957"Ship That Never Sailed"
b/w "Song Of The Nairobi Trio"
"Tell My Love"
b/w "Ve'Borriquito"
"Johnny Tremain"
b/w "Naughty Annetta" (from Sweet Memories and Music)
"Raunchy" /1025Sail Along Silv'ry Moon
"Sail Along, Silv'ry Moon"54
1958"Tumbling Tumbleweeds" /3030
"Trying"77Non-album tracks
"Singing Hills"
b/w "Chimes Of Arcady"
"La Paloma"
b/w "Here Is My Love" (Non-album track)
2027La Paloma
b/w "You're My Baby Doll" (Non-album track)
4436Billy Vaughn Plays
"Blue Hawaii"
b/w "Tico Tico" (Non-album track)
3733Blue Hawaii
1959"Hawaiian War Chant" /8951
"Trade Winds"52
"Your Cheatin' Heart" /8274Non-album tracks
"Lights Out"100
"Blues Stay Away From Me" /82
"All Nite Long"10294
"Wabash Blues"
b/w "Carnival In Paris" (Non-album track)
Golden Saxophones
"(It's No) Sin" /10596A Swingin' Safari
"After Hours"tagGreat Golden Hits
1960"Beg Your Pardon" /98Linger Awhile
"Skaters' Waltz"tagNon-album track
"You're The Only Star (In My Blue Heaven)" /110118Linger Awhile
"Chopsticks"103tagNon-album tracks
"Dutchman's Gold"
b/w "Back To The Farm"
Both tracks with Walter Brennan)
"Look for a Star"
b/w "He'll Have To Go"
1913Look For A Star
"Old Cape Cod" /111102The Sundowners
"Theme From The Sundowners"5138
1961"Wheels" /28111Orange Blossom Special and Wheels
"Orange Blossom Special"63100
"Blue Tomorrow" /8460Berlin Melody
"Red Wing"112Non-album tracks
"Down Yonder"
b/w "Born To Be With You" (from A Swingin's Safari)
"Berlin Melody" /615516Berlin Melody
"Theme From Come September"735518
"Everybody's Twisting Down In Mexico"
b/w "Melody In The Night"
119124Non-album tracks
1962"Chapel By The Sea" /6910713Chapel By The Sea
"One Love, One Heartache"112Non-album tracks
"Continental Melody"
b/w "Born To Be With You" (from A Swingin' Safari)
"A Swingin' Safari"
b/w "Indian Love Call" (from Billy Vaughn Plays)
13115A Swingin' Safari
"Blue Flame" /107123
"Someone"115tagNon-album tracks
"Down Yonder"
b/w "I'm Waitin'"
b/w "Release Me" (Non-album track)
"Happy Cowboy"
b/w "Broken Doll"
131131Non-album tracks
"Theme From A Summer Place"
b/w "Sukiyaki" (from Sukiyaki and 11 Hawaiian Hits)
Theme From "A Summer Place"
"Rag Mop"
b/w "I'm Sorry"
Number 1 Hits, Volume 1
"Cumberland County Feud"
b/w "Chow Chow Amore"
Non-album tracks
1964"Blue Tango"
b/w "Boss" (Non-album track)
The Golden Instrumentals
"Lucky Duck"
b/w "The One Rose (That's Left In My Heart)"
"Chianti Song"
b/w "A Guitar Serenade"
Non-album tracks
b/w "The World I Used To Know"
Another Hit Album!
"Pearly Shells (Popo O Ewa)"
b/w "Maybe"
120Pearly Shells
"Song Of Peace"
b/w "Billy's Theme"
Non-album tracks
1965"There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere"
b/w "In The Ocean Of Time"
"Mexican Pearls"
b/w "Woodpecker" (Non-album track)
947923Mexican Pearls
"Making Other Plans"
b/w "Our Dream Of Love"
Non-album tracks
"Moon Over Naples"
b/w "Tonight"
Moon Over Naples
"Anniversary Song"
b/w "Please"
b/w "Elaine"
"The Mexican Shuffle"
b/w "Organ Grinder's Swing"
"Things Go Better"
b/w "James (Steady Does It)"
Non-album tracks
"It's Over"
b/w "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind"
"Because They're Young"
b/w "Buckaroo" (Non-album track)
Look For A Star
b/w "Somewhere My Love"
"Tiny Bubbles"
b/w "Too Many Hot Tacos" (Non-album track)
131That's Life
1967"Sweet Maria"
b/w "There Goes My Everything"
105826Sweet Maria
"Pineapple Market"
b/w "That's Life"
30That's Life
"I Love You (and You Love Me)"
b/w "Yellow Roses Mean Goodbye"
4I Love You
b/w "Moonlight Brings Memories"
As Requested
b/w "St. James Infirmary"
Quietly Wild
1969"You Win Again"
b/w "No One Will Ever Know"
Nashville Saxophones
"A Mansion On The Hill"
b/w "I've Got You On My Mind Again"
"The Windmills Of Your Mind"
b/w "The Way That I Live"
The Windmills Of Your Mind
"True Grit"
b/w "Odds and Ends (Of A Beautiful Love Affair)"
True Grit
1970"Color It Cool"
b/w "On Days Like These"
b/w "Always Mademoiselle"
Winter World Of Love
"Come Saturday Morning"
b/w "True Grit" (from '"True Grit)
1971"Look What They've Done To My Song Ma"
b/w "Roof Tops Of Tokyo"
Non-album tracks
b/w "To The End Of This Day" (from I Don't Know How To Love Him)
An Old Fashioned Love Song
  1. 1 2 "Mack the Knife" and "Theme From The Threepenny Opera" are essentially the same song. The difference is that "Mack" was released in the US while "Theme ..." was a UK only release. See Mack the Knife for further information on the evolution of this song.

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  1. Gilliland, John (1969). "T-Z – Interview Index" (audio). Pop Chronicles . University of North Texas Libraries.
  2. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 77. ISBN   0-214-20512-6.
  3. Meeks, Eric G. (2012). Palm Springs Celebrity Homes: Little Tuscany, Racquet Club, Racquet Club Estates and Desert Park Estates Neighborhoods (Kindle). Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe. p. location number 323. ASIN   B00A2PXD1G.
  4. Billy Vaughn at Find a Grave