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Jerry Vale's Death
- Jerry Vale
- July 8, 1930
- May 18, 2014
- Natural Causes
The life and death of Jerry Vale:
In an era dominated by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and Perry Como, he was more of a second tier Italian crooner. But make no mistake; Jerry Vale had a very long and successful career in recordings and even film.
He was born in the Bronx, New York, carrying the name Genaro Louis Vitaliano on his birth certificate. To earn money while in high school, he shined shoes in a barbershop and his boss liked his voice so much he paid for music lessons.
That started him on his way and Genaro started appearing in school shows and at a local nightclub.
While working at a club in Yonkers just north of the Bronx, the club manager changed his name to Jerry Vale and offered more coaching. Jerry signed a recording contract with Columbia Records and his version of "The Star Spangled Banner" was a staple at many sporting events for years.
A copy of it is even on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He also had popular versions of Italian songs like "Volare", "Inamorata" and "Al Di La". His overall biggest hit was "You Don't Know Me", which Ray Charles also recorded.
A well-known film role portrayed him singing this song in "Goodfellas".
Jerry also appeared in the movie "Casino" and on TV's "The Sopranos"
Married to his wife Rita for 55 years…
…Jerry Vale died in his sleep at his home in Palm Desert California at the age of 83. He's also survived by his son Robert and his daughter Pamela.