Friday, August 14, 2009


Singer (King Lounge Lizard) Buddy Greco was born on August, 14, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pa. Buddy grow up with people like Mario Lanza, Sarah Vaughan and Eddie Fisher. He started with his father's radio shows at 5. His father freelanced as an opera critic and had at the same time a famous local record shop. He studied piano at the famous Philadelphia Settlement House.

Buddy had his first own trio the Three Shades of Rhythm (Charlie Chasen guitar-Don Sgro bass) at 15. In 1946 the trio (Buddy Greco with the Sharps) (Francis Beecher guitar- Don Sgro bass) had a million seller hit "Ooh, look-a-there ain't she pretty" for the Musicraft label. But the next years the trio fade somewhat away. But in 1948 Elliot Wexler Benny Goodman's manager noticed the trio at Philadelphia's Club 13 and advised Benny Goodman to listen to Buddy. Late 1948 Buddy (with Francis Beecher) joined the Benny Goodman band as a piano player, vocalist and arranger.

In 1949 Buddy visited the UK and headed the Benny Goodman band for several occasions. Late 1949 they made a trip to the Philippines. Buddy & Benny recorded about 150 items in 1948/1949.

Benny Goodman hated playing bop and disbanded the band after the trip to the Philippines in 1949.
Buddy did his own radio and TV shows and penned some songs for such artists as Rosemary Clooney and Eileen Barton. He made a dozen records for Coral from 1951-1955. His best selling was in 1951 "I ran all the way home". Best Album "Buddy Greco at Mr. Kelly's".

Mid fifty's Buddy changed to Kapp records and made a couple of splendid records :
Buddy and Broadway Melodies.
He was also signed on the NBC-TV late-night show "Broadway Open House".

Buddy recorded in the 1960s his best albums. Two of the best with arranger/conductor Al Cohn.
Buddy himself prefers his 1965 album "From the wrists down/ I love a piano". An album with members of the LSO. Hit singles - Lady is a tramp-Mr. Lonely- I can't begin to tell you- That darn cat- Put yourself in my place- Walking on new grass- There she goes- Love's gonna live here again and From Atlanta to goodbye.

In 1967 Buddy had his summer replacement of the Jackie Gleason show : Away we go with co-star Buddy Rich and famous others like Shelly Manne and George Carlin.

In 1968 Buddy played in the John Kenley production of the play Pal Joey with Arlene Fontana, Anne Jeffreys and Dagmar. (Warrren, Columbus & Dayton, Ohio) Pal Joey play program 1968.

In the 1970s Buddy moved to Europe. He performed in England, Netherlands, France, Italy and around the world in Australia. Several shows were made with Shirley MacLaine.
He lived also a period in Toronto with his third wife Maggi Kinley. As far as I know Buddy made only a few records in the 1970s.

The best records however from that period are on PYE records.
Buddy has been praised by fellow musicians because of his professionally. Working with Buddy Greco is like living with a force 9 gale. (Tony Palmer). Always able to handle a "standard" song hip and very fresh. He's a wonderful arranger, producer and songwriter. Buddy was fun to work with and knew exactly what he wanted from the band. (Ralph Pyl-Australia).
Buddy Greco made a UK Tour in 2006 and 2008. (reviews see BG Fan Pages)

Buddy Greco was married to Sally Baionno (1947-1962) 3 children. Dani Crayne (196?- 1974) , Maggi Kinley (1974-1977) daughter Anastasia #, Jackie Sabatino (St. Louis Playboy Bunny of the Year) (1977-1992) 1 son 2 stepchildren, Sam, Gina & Jean Paul , Lezlie Anders (1993-present)

Reference - Music Everywhere

Click to watch him singing " The Lady is a Tramp"

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