Buddy Greco

Last updated
Buddy Greco
Buddy Greco 1962.JPG
Greco in 1962
Background information
Birth nameArmando Joseph Greco
Born(1926-08-14)August 14, 1926
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJanuary 10, 2017(2017-01-10) (aged 90)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Genres Jazz, traditional pop, country
Occupation(s)Singer, musician, arranger
Years active1942–2017
LabelsBainbridge, Kapp, London, Epic, Fontana, Reprise, Pye
Website buddygreco.com

Armando Joseph "Buddy" Greco (August 14, 1926 – January 10, 2017) was an American jazz and pop singer and pianist who had a long career in the US and UK. His recordings have sold millions, including "Oh Look A-There Ain't She Pretty", "Up, Up and Away", and "Around the World". [1] His most successful single was "The Lady Is a Tramp", which sold over one million copies. [2] During his career, he recorded over sixty albums. He conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, performed for Queen Elizabeth II and with the Beatles. [1]

Up, Up and Away (song) 1967 single by Fifth Dimension

"Up, Up and Away" is a 1967 song written by Jimmy Webb and recorded by the 5th Dimension that became a major pop hit, reaching No. 7 in July 1967 on the U.S. Pop Singles chart, and No. 9 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart. In other countries, it reached No. 1 in Canada, and in Australia. The song placed No. 43 on BMI's "Top 100 Songs of the Century".

"Around the World" was the theme tune from the 1956 movie Around the World in 80 Days In the film, only an instrumental version of the song appeared, although the vocal version has become by far the better known one. The song was written by Harold Adamson and Victor Young; Young died in 1956, several weeks after the film's release and he received the Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture posthumously. Young's orchestral version was a #13 hit on the Billboard charts in 1957. The recording by Bing Crosby was the B-side of the Victor Young version in 1957, on Festival SP45-1274 in Australia, and was a joint charting success.

"The Lady Is a Tramp" is a show tune from the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms, in which it was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green. This song is a spoof of New York high society and its strict etiquette and phony social pretensions. It has become a popular music standard.


Music career

Greco and George Carlin in a skit from Away We Go, 1967 George Carlin Buddy Greco Away We Go 1967.JPG
Greco and George Carlin in a skit from Away We Go, 1967

Buddy Greco was born Armando Joseph Greco to an Italian-American family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His mother introduced him to piano at age four. As a child he sang on the radio, and as a teen performed in night clubs in Philadelphia. At age 16, he was hired by bandleader Benny Goodman and spent four years touring the world with the Goodman orchestra, playing piano, singing, and arranging. [1] [3] [4] [5] In 1951 Greco started his recording career, signing with labels such as Coral, Kapp, Epic, and Reprise.

Benny Goodman American jazz musician

Benjamin David Goodman was an American jazz clarinetist and bandleader known as the "King of Swing".

Arrangement musical composition in altered form

In music, an arrangement is a musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work. It may differ from the original work by means of reharmonization, melodic paraphrasing, orchestration, or development of the formal structure. Arranging differs from orchestration in that the latter process is limited to the assignment of notes to instruments for performance by an orchestra, concert band, or other musical ensemble. Arranging "involves adding compositional techniques, such as new thematic material for introductions, transitions, or modulations, and endings... Arranging is the art of giving an existing melody musical variety".

Coral Marine invertebrates of the class Anthozoa

Corals are marine invertebrates within the class Anthozoa of the phylum Cnidaria. They typically live in compact colonies of many identical individual polyps. Corals species include the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.

In 1967 he hosted the CBS television series Away We Go with comedian George Carlin. Guests included Buddy Rich and Carmen McRae. He had a role in the film The Girl Who Knew Too Much . [1] In 1969 he formed a duo with jazz guitarist Ron Escheté. [6]

George Carlin American stand-up comedian

George Denis Patrick Carlin was an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic. He was known for his black comedy and reflections on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects. He and his "seven dirty words" comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a 5–4 decision affirmed the government's power to regulate indecent material on the public airwaves. Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comics of all time, Carlin was dubbed by one newspaper to be "the dean of counterculture comedians".

Buddy Rich Jazz drummer and bandleader

Bernard "Buddy" Rich was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He is considered one of the most influential drummers of all time and was known for his virtuoso technique, power, and speed. He performed with Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and Count Basie, and led a big band.

Carmen McRae American jazz musician and actress

Carmen Mercedes McRae was an American jazz singer. She is considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century and is remembered for her behind-the-beat phrasing and ironic interpretation of lyrics. McRae was inspired by Billie Holiday, but she established her own voice. She recorded over sixty albums and performed worldwide.

Las Vegas and Palm Springs

Greco met his fifth and last wife, Lezlie Anders, while she was performing in Las Vegas. Working as his supporting act, she met Greco on the stage of the Desert Inn. After marrying, they worked and toured together. [7] In 1992, he performed in Las Vegas at the Starlight Room at Stars' Desert Inn. This engagement ushered in the second phase of his career. The following year he was added to the Philadelphia Music Alliance's Walk of Fame. Shortly after, he toured Italy, France, Australia, and England. [8]

Desert Inn former hotel casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Desert Inn, also known as the D.I., was a hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, which operated from April 24, 1950, to August 28, 2000. Designed by architect Hugh Taylor and interior design by Jac Lessman, it was the fifth resort to open on the Strip. It was situated between Desert Inn Road and Sands Avenue.

While living in Palm Springs, Greco opened a small club. The walls were decorated with pictures of Greco, the Rat Pack, and other celebrity friends. He performed there often, and it became a popular place for celebrities to dine. After closing it, he moved to England. [9] While living in Palm Desert, California, he continued to appear at his club in Cathedral City, California, [10] until it closed in August 2009.

Rat Pack media term for an informal group of entertainers centered on the Las Vegas casino scene in the 1960s

The Rat Pack is a term used by the media to refer to an informal group of entertainers centered on the Las Vegas casino scene. Having its origins in a group of friends that met at the Los Angeles home of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, by the 1960s, it was the name used by the press and the general public to refer to a later variation of the group that called itself "the Summit" or "the Clan", featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop among others; they appeared together on stage and in films in the early 1960s, including the movies Ocean's 11, Sergeants 3, and Robin and the 7 Hoods. Sinatra, Martin, and Davis were regarded as the group's lead members.

Palm Desert, California City in California, United States

Palm Desert is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 14 miles (23 km) east of Palm Springs, 121 miles northeast of San Diego and 122 miles (196 km) east of Los Angeles. The population was 48,445 at the 2010 census, up from 41,155 at the 2000 census. The city was one of the state's fastest growing in the 1980s and 1990s, beginning with 11,801 residents in 1980, doubling to 23,650 in 1990, 35,000 in 1995, and nearly double its 1990 population by 2000. A major center of growth in the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert is a popular retreat for "snowbirds" from colder climates, who swell its population by an estimated 31,000 each winter. In the past couple of years Palm Desert has seen more residents become "full-timers", mainly from the coasts and urban centers of California, who have come for both affordable and high-valued home prices.

Cathedral City, California City in California, United States

Cathedral City, colloquially known as "Cat City", is a city in Riverside County, California. Its population was 51,200 at the 2010 census. Situated between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, the city has the second largest population of the nine cities in the Coachella Valley of Southern California, after Indio.

In 2004, he and Anders were headliners with The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies at the Plaza Theatre in Palm Springs, California. [11] [12]

The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies

The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies was a Ziegfeld Follies style dance and musical review show that played at the historic Plaza Theatre in Palm Springs, California, United States, seasonally from November to mid-May. The Follies was founded in 1990 by Riff Markowitz and Mary Jardin. Impresario Markowitz also served as the show's managing director and emcee. The show was often credited with helping to revitalize and maintain the downtown area by bringing in patrons from around the globe. The Follies was unique in that it only featured performers 55 and older and holds Guinness World Records for this claim to fame. It was the subject of a short documentary titled Still Kicking: The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies which was nominated at the 70th Academy Awards for Best Short Subject Documentary. A segment that aired on Seattle television station KOMO-TV that featured the Follies received an Emmy in 1997. The shows attracted approximately 170,000 attendees yearly. On June 5, 2013, co-founders Markowitz and Jardin announced they would close the Follies on May 18, 2014.

Plaza Theatre (Palm Springs) former theater and movie theater in Palm Springs, California, United States

The Plaza Theatre is a historic theater located at 128 South Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, California. From 1990 through 2014 the theatre housed The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies which was featured on ABC's 20/20, The Today Show, the New York Times, NPR and other media since its founding.

Life in Britain

Greco became acquainted with Great Britain in 1949. He spent many years performing in Britain's clubs. He moved to Essex, keeping his Palm Springs, California, property as a vacation home. [5] In 2008, he and Anders toured the UK. They performed with the BBC Big Band and at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. In August of that year, he was the first Las Vegas headliner to star at a British casino when he performed at the Circus Casino, Star City, Birmingham. In April 2010, he performed a tribute to Frank Sinatra for BBC Radio 2 with the 42-piece BBC Concert Orchestra. He toured the UK with the Swinging Las Vegas Legends show beginning in July 2010.

In 2010, Greco and his wife produced the stage show Fever! The Music of Miss Peggy Lee, which met with critical acclaim at its London West End opening. Greco played piano and conducted the orchestra while Anders sang. The show received positive reviews in the U.S. [7] On New Year's Eve 2011, he made a guest appearance at Hootenanny hosted by Jools Holland, singing "Fly Me to the Moon".

In 2012, he toured the UK in smaller venues, including Thameside Theatre Stage, [13] and The Broadway in Essex. [14]

Greco died on January 10, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the age of 90. [15]

Greco had an album released by Scepter which Tom Murray of the Calgary Herald referred to 48 years later as "a strange and beautiful mutant of its time". [16] The album was Let the Sunshine In. It included the songs "Let the Sunshine In", "Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon", "You're My World", "Spinning Wheel", "Never Gonna Give You Up", and "Like a Rolling Stone". [16]

Material loss

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Buddy Greco among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. [17]

Awards and honors

Albums discography

Buddy Greco, by Allan Warren Buddy Greco 2 Allan Warren.jpg
Buddy Greco, by Allan Warren


YearTitleChart positions
1947"Ooh! Look-A There, Ain't She Pretty"15
1951"I Ran All the Way Home"30
1960"The Lady Is a Tramp"A
1961"Around the World"109
1962"Mr. Lonely"64
1965"That Darn Cat"36
"I Can't Begin to Tell You"13227
1966"Put Yourself in My Place"24
"Walking on New Grass"21
1967"Love's Gonna Live Here Again"19
"There She Goes"14
1972"From Atlanta to Goodbye"34

Related Research Articles

Harry Edison American trumpeter

Harry "Sweets" Edison was an American jazz trumpeter and a member of the Count Basie Orchestra.

Jack Jones (singer) American singer and actor

John Allan Jones known professionally as Jack Jones, is an American actor and jazz and pop singer, popular during the 1960s. He is the son of actor/singer Allan Jones and actress Irene Hervey.

Dorothy Jacqueline Keely, better known as Keely Smith, was an American jazz and popular music singer, who performed and recorded extensively in the 1950s with then-husband Louis Prima, and throughout the 1960s as a solo artist.

Kenny Ball English trumpeter

Kenneth Daniel Ball was an English jazz musician, best known as the bandleader, lead trumpet player and vocalist in Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen.

Charles "Buddy" Rogers American actor and jazz musician

Charles Edward "Buddy" Rogers was an American film actor and musician. During the peak of his popularity in the late 1920s and early 1930s he was publicized as "America's Boy Friend".

Urbie Green American jazz trombonist

Urban Clifford "Urbie" Green was an American jazz trombonist who toured with Woody Herman, Gene Krupa, Jan Savitt, and Frankie Carle.

Shorty Rogers American trumpeter

Milton "Shorty" Rogers was one of the principal creators of West Coast jazz. He played trumpet and flugelhorn and was in demand for his skills as an arranger.

Bobby Shew is an American jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player.

Monk Montgomery American jazz bassist

William Howard "Monk" Montgomery was an American jazz bassist. He was a pioneer of the electric bass guitar and possibly the first to record on it when he recorded with Art Farmer in 1953. He was the brother of jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery and vibraphonist Buddy Montgomery.

Bill Miller was an American jazz pianist, who accompanied Frank Sinatra for more than 50 years, and for the last eight years of his life, accompanied Frank Sinatra Jr..

Michael Cavanaugh is an actor, musician and singer most famous for playing the piano and lead vocals in the band for the Broadway musical Movin' Out. Cavanaugh was handpicked by Billy Joel for this musical and appeared in the show for three years and over 1300 performances, receiving many accolades.

Mary Stallings is an American jazz vocalist and mother of soul singer Adriana Evans.

Herbie Phillips American musician

Herbert Daly Phillips, known professionally as Herbie Phillips, was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and arranger. He spent much of his life working in Las Vegas. He played trumpet in bands led by Louie Bellson, Buddy Morrow, and Billy May. He composed "Little Train", which was recorded by the Buddy Rich Big Band. He worked as trumpeter and conductor for Frank Sinatra and Frank Sinatra Jr.

William Mitchell Byers was an American jazz trombonist and arranger.

Roger Ingram American trumpeter

Roger O'Neal Ingram is a jazz trumpeter, educator, author, and instrument designer. He played trumpet for the orchestras of Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Wynton Marsalis, Ray Charles, and Harry Connick Jr.

Gordon "Whitey" Mitchell was an American jazz bassist and television writer/producer. He was born in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Ronald Patrick Escheté is an American seven-string jazz guitarist. He is the first person to record a cover version of "Christmas Time Is Here", which Vince Guaraldi wrote for the Charlie Brown television program.

Walt Weiskopf American jazz musician

Walt Weiskopf is an American jazz saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, author, and educator. He has released 16 CDs as a leader and performed on countless other albums as a sideman, having worked with artists such as Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, and Steely Dan. Author and journalist Cicily Janus regards Weiskopf as "one of the best unknown musicians in the modern scene", and JazzTimes Magazine considers him to be underrated and "a highly potent tenor saxophonist who demonstrates a strong Trane-Rollins influence".


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Summers, Kim. "Buddy Greco". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  2. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins. p. 135. ISBN   0-214-20512-6.
  3. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The book of golden discs (2 ed.). London: Barrie & Jenkins. p. 43. ISBN   0-214-20512-6.
  4. "I Would Die If I Quit". Liverpool Daily Echo. 13 August 2010. p. 11.
  5. 1 2 "My Hols". The Sunday Times. 7 April 2013. p. 27.
  6. "Ron Escheté - Biography". www.roneschete.com. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  7. 1 2 "Rat pack legend tells Peggy's story". Croydon Advertiser, 4 November. 2011: 49, Print.
  8. "Six decades and 62 albums later, this showman goes on". St. Petersburg Times. 24 January 1997. p. 5.
  9. "Performer finds heavenly Springs". The Gold Coast Bulletin. 8 September 2007. p. 123.
  10. Davis, Rick (November 1, 2005). "Dinner Club Due in Desert: For Buddy Greco, it's show business as usual". The Public Record. Desert Publication, Inc. and Sharon Apfelbaum. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014.
  11. "Palm Springs Follies Opens". Inland Empire Business Journal. Daily Planet Publishing, Inc. November 1, 2004. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  12. "Palm Springs Follies pays tribute to the golden age of burlesque". Redlands Daily Facts. Los Angeles Newspaper Group. August 4, 2004. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  13. "Legend Buddy Is Back On Stage". Thurrock Gazette, 15 April 2012: Print.
  14. "An Evening With Buddy Greco". Brentwood Gazette, 25 January 2012: 3, Print.
  15. Mike Barnes (January 10, 2017). "Buddy Greco, Jazz Pianist, Vocalist and Las Vegas Mainstay, Dies at 90". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  16. 1 2 Murray, Tom (15 July 2017). "Bob Dylan inspires covers and controversy". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  17. Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "Buddy Greco." Discogs, 2014. Web. 19 Jan 2014.
  19. Billboard Dec 22, 1984 - Page 72 "BUDDY GRECO Ready For Your Love PRODUCERS: Buddy Greco. Art Clausen Bainbridge BT 6255 With a full orchestra dotted with top L.A. players, Greco tackles a program of newer, lesser-known, adult pop titles, with the lone recent hit ..."
  20. Show Music - Volume 4, Issue 1 - Page 43 1985 "Jazz singer Buddy Greco's READY FOR TOUR LOVE (BT 6255) features nine recent vintage songs, with "The Hungry Years," "Love Won't Let Me Wait," "Me and Mrs. Jones," and "Ready For Your Love" included on the album. I AM WHAT I AM ..."
  21. "アイテム検索 - TOWER RECORDS ONLINE". tower.jp.