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Who was/is Perry Como ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more


Perry Como

Pietro and Lucia Como arrived in the United States from Italy around 1903. They settled in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, just southwest of Pittsburgh, across the river from Steubenville, Ohio where Dean Martin, another son of first generation Italian immigrants, grew up. For the Comos, the New World was an almost exact replica of the Old. Pietro worked at Standard Tin Plate, but he and Lucia continued to speak Italian, never learning more than a few words of English until they died. They ate the food and drank the wine of the old country, attended church, and sang the songs they'd always sung. Women with less than five children were thought barren; the Comos had thirteen. Some were born in the old world, some in the new. Pierino, or Perry as he became known, arrived on May 18, 1912, the seventh son of a seventh son.

Third Avenue in Canonsburg is now Perry Como Avenue. Just the idea of it elicited a wince from Perry. He didn't like that sort of thing. For the first five years that Perry ran up and down what would become Perry Como Avenue, he didn't speak English. He only began picking it up when he went to school. The mines and the mills where many of the immigrants worked were not for him: he would be a 'barbiere.' Nick Tosches reckoned that between one-half and two-thirds of Italian immigrants declared that they were 'barbieri.' Even the great Caruso had been a barbiere. Perry started apprenticing when he was twelve, and took over an established business when he was fourteen with two grown men working for him. "A haircut was fifty cents; now I pay twenty bucks. Maybe I got out too soon,"  he said. Another shrug. Maybe he'd told that joke too often. Perry had a guitar, and led his own barbershop quartet in his own barbershop, and played valve trombone in a brass marching band. On July 4 and Italian saints' days, they would parade around Canonsburg. "My father walked right alongside me in the crowd," said Perry. "That's-a-my boy, you know. He loved music."

When it came to singing, Perry freely admitted to two influences, Russ Columbo and Bing Crosby. Perry always went out of his way to acknowledge Crosby's influence. Crosby has been portrayed as unlovable, sour-tempered, and miserly, but that's not the way Perry remembered him. "He was supposed to be surly, tough, but he was never that way with me," he said. "He was gentle. We got along. Played golf, did each other's shows, but he couldn't take a compliment. One time we did a duet on television, and I said, 'If it hadn't been for him, folks, I'd still be cutting hair.' He was embarrassed, almost insulted. Afterward, he said, 'Perry, don't say that.'"

Around the time that Crosby became really popular in 1931 and 1932, Perry was getting up on stage around Canonsburg to sing the hits of the hour. Then, during a spring vacation in Cleveland in 1933, he went to see a local bandleader, Freddie Carlone, and auditioned. Carlone offered him a job, but Perry's barber shop was a thriving business netting him around $40 a week, and he needed some prodding from his father to go with Carlone who was only offering $28. He met the band at a park in Meadville, Pennsylvania. His girlfriend, Roselle Belline, came up there with him. Neither could face their parents if they weren't married so they went to see a justice of the peace in Meadville on July 31, 1933, just a few days after Perry officially changed profession. For years, he kept up his membership in the Barbers Guild. Just in case.

Carlone led what was known as a territory band. It had thirteen pieces and they toured up and down the Ohio valley, and did a little radio but never recorded. When they weren't working, Carlone's brother would take Perry to a club in Cleveland where he would sing for tips. "Some guy would ask to hear 'Melancholy Baby,' I'd sing it, he'd put a buck into a jar," said Perry. "I did better with that than I did with the band." It was around this time that amplification became commonplace. Prior to that, singers would use megaphones. Perry had a megaphone with stardust painted on it. Now he was confronted with the new technology, but was slow to embrace it. "Freddie would say, 'Sing in the goddamn thing!'" he remembered, "and I'd say, 'No, I want to sing with the megaphone,' so in the end I sang through the megaphone into the microphone and it sounded awful. I don't think I ever knew how bad."

Carlone's band was run by three brothers, and Perry was treated as the fourth Carlone. After a show, they'd pay off the band, then do a four-way split. Perry felt so much a part of the outfit that he didn't even respond to a wire from the self-styled 'King of Jazz,' Paul Whiteman, offering him a job. Carlone tried to persuade him to leave, but Perry was adamant that he wanted to stay, and, when an offer came from Ted Weems in 1935, Carlone had to push him out the door. Weems had heard Perry at a casino in Warren, Ohio, and wired him. "Ted was the same kind of man as Freddie," said Perry. "Gentle. A gentleman. I was doing well, sending money home to my dad, ten dollars, twelve dollars. Roselle came with me on the road. We had an old Packard, we'd load it up, put a mattress in there for my son Ronnie who was just a few months old, and we'd hit the road. California. Wherever." 

Perry Como Juke Box Baby
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More information about Perry Como on de.Wikipedia.org
 
 
   
 
Perry Como: Juke Box Baby
Art-Nr.: BCD16783
 

Item in stock

1-CD-Album with 44-page booklet, 30 tracks, playing time 77:17 minutes. Perry Como rocks! Perry Como would have been aghast at the notion, but in the mid-to-late 1950s (when his TV show was the highest-rated show in the USA) he recorded a slew of singles that...

Instead of:$17.64 * $14.11 *

Perry Como: The Living Legend (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDARC94632
 

Item in stock

(1992/ARCADE) 40 tracks RCA Stereo. Pierino Como, born in Canonsburg, Pensilvania an May l8th 1912, initially making his living as a barber, was to become a living Legend simply by being himself. Perry started his singing career in 1933. He made his first record,...

Instead of:$11.74 * $9.39 *

Perry Como: Love Songs (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDMC125
 

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​(1993/Music Club) 18 Tracks

$9.38 *

Perry Como: Legends (3-CD)
Art-Nr.: CD911002
 

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(2002/BMG) 50 tracks

$17.64 *

Perry Como: Essential 60s Single Collection (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDTAR1058
 

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​(1999/Taragon) 20 tracks

$29.44 *

Perry Como: The Best Of Perry Como (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD50774
 

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(2003/BMG) 20 tracks

$23.54 *

Perry Como: A Sentimental Date (1945-50)
Art-Nr.: CDUS3021
 

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CD on VOCALION RECORDS by Perry Como - A Sentimental Date (1945-50)

$11.74 *

Perry Como: By Request - Sing To Me Mr. C. 2 CD
Art-Nr.: CDCOL2762
 

Item in stock

CD on COLLECTABLE RECORDS by Perry Como - By Request - Sing To Me Mr. C. 2 CD

$22.30 *

Perry Como: I Grandi Successi Originali (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDBMG99332
 

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(2000/BMG ITALY) 24 tracks, original recordings

$21.18 *

Perry Como: World Of Dreams (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD2127849
 

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(1995/BMG) 24 tracks - A collection of rarities & collectors items.

$11.74 *

Perry Como: Wereldsterren - Het Beste Van Perry Como (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDPD74589
 

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​(1990/BMG Ariola Benelux) 18 Tracks - Rare Dutch CD!

$41.24 *

Perry Como: Greatest Gospel Songs (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDRCA67978
 

Item in stock

(2000/RCA) 21 tracks, US

$23.54 *

Perry Como: The Definitive Perry Como Collection (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CD72711
 

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(2000/BMG) 49 original BMG masters

$17.64 *

Perry Como: Perry Como Sings Merry Christmas Music (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDCAD1660
 

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​(1995/RCA-BMG) 15 Tracks

Instead of:$25.90 * $20.72 *

Perry Como: You Are Never Far Away (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDCAD2201
 

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CD on ESX/CAMDEN RECORDS by Perry Como - You Are Never Far Away (CD)

$35.34 *

Perry Como: Como Swings - For The Young At Heart (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDCOL2765
 

Item in stock

CD on COLLECTABLES RECORDS by Perry Como - Como Swings - For The Young At Heart (CD)

$16.46 *

Perry Como: Seattle - The Songs I Love (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDCOL2863
 

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(2004/COL) 23 tracks, originals 1969 & 1963

$16.46 *

Perry Como: The Real...(3-CD) Ultimate Collection
Art-Nr.: CD900782
 

Item in stock

(2011/SONY) 60 RCA masters - digipac.

$15.28 *

Perry Como: Softly (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDBIT61055
 

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​(1995/Back Biter) 18 tracks

Instead of:$10.50 * $8.20 *

COMO, Perry: With The Fontane Sisters (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDBMG69388
 

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​(2001/BMG) 14 tracks

Instead of:$23.54 * $18.83 *

Perry Como & Fontane Sisters: One More Time 2-CD
Art-Nr.: CDJAS445
 

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CD on JASMINE RECORDS by Perry Como & Fontane Sisters - One More Time 2-CD

$20.00 *

Perry Como: Dreamer's Holiday - Dream Along With Me
Art-Nr.: CDCOL7316
 

Item in stock

(2004/COLLECTABLE) 22 tracks, 64:26min.;

$11.74 *

Perry Como: Greatest Hits (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDRCA67436
 

Currently not available

(1999/RCA) 51 tracks, Originally sealed US-pressing!

$20.00 *

Perry Como: Look To Your Heart (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDRGM0358
 

Currently not available

(2015 / Real Gone) 22 tracks, original RCA Victor recordings, 1967-70, 16-page booklet. The CD includes the original 1968 album 'Look To Your Heart' plus singles plus unreleased material from above period. A must not only for Perry Como and Las Vegas fans!

$20.00 *

Perry Como: Scene Changes & The Lightly Latin
Art-Nr.: CDCOL7880
 

Currently not available

(2008/Collectables) 24 tracks. These 1965 and 1966 LPs gave Como two more pop-chart triumphs-and a bit hit with his memorable version of Dream on Little Dreamer.

$20.00 *

Perry Como & Carmen Miranda: Doll Face (0) - Music - Comedy
Art-Nr.: DVDALP4556
 

Currently not available

(2004/ALPHA) NTSC, English, 1946, B&W, 80 minutes; starring Vivian Blaine, Dennis O'Keefe, Perry Como & Carmen Miranda

Instead of:$9.32 * $4.66 *

   
 
 
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