Jerry Vale Biography

Genaro Louis Vitaliano, 8 July 1932, Bronx, New York City, New York, USA. A popular singer, especially of ballads, with several chart hits to his credit during the 50s and 60s, Vale had studied piano and worked as a shoeshine boy while still at school. Later, he was employed in an electrical component factory, and sang in his spare time. After winning a talent contest at the Club del Rio, he stayed there for over a year, and then, while performing at the Enchanted Room in New York, he was spotted by Guy Mitchell, who recommended him to Columbia Records’ A&R manager, Mitch Miller. His first chart entry for the label, ‘You Can Never Give Me Back My Heart’ (1953), on which he was accompanied by Percy Faith And His Orchestra, was followed by ‘Two Purple Shadows’, ‘I Live Each Day’, ‘Innamorata’ and ‘You Don’t Know Me’ (1956). Despite the 60s beat boom, Vale registered in the bestsellers lists with singles such as ‘Have You Looked Into Your Heart?’ (1964), and entered the US Top 40 album chart six times between 1963 and 1966. He continued to be popular in clubs and on television during the 70s and 80s, and, in 1988, was the guest of honour at a Friars Club dinner, held to celebrate his long and successful career. Vale wound up the proceedings by singing a few favourites, including his signature tune, ‘Al Di La’, the winner of the San Remo Song Festival in 1961.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.