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Don Cornell

Don Cornell is one of the longest and last active singers from the big band era. Still performing at the outset of the 21st century, he is a younger contemporary of Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, and one of the last singing stars of the 1950s pre-rock era who has maintained an active career, for 50 years and counting.

Born Luigi Francisco Valaro, he entered the music business as a teenager, joining the band of trumpet legend Red Nichols as a guitarist. It was when he was 18, however, that Cornell emerged as a singer and a star, as a member of Sammy Kaye's band, Swing and Sway With Sammy Kaye. In 1949, Cornell struck out on his own as a solo singer, following the lead of Sinatra away from the big band format. In beginning, with "It Isn't Fair," he earned a dozen gold record awards between 1950 and 1962. His other hits include "I'm Yours," "I'll Walk Alone," and "Hold My Hand." Cornell was a regular guest throughout the 1950s and 1960s on television shows hosted by Arthur Godfrey, Jackie Gleason, and Perry Como (an old friend of Cornell's). Ironically, in the late '50s, it was rock & roll spearheaded by much younger singers -- including a pair of Bronx-born Italians named Dion DiMucci and Bobby Darin -- that brought a gradual end to Cornell's claim on the top of the charts. He remained an occasional guest on talk shows into the 1970s and beyond, and has also taken on a few acting roles in movies and television series, including B.L. Stryker and Miami Vice.

In 1993, he was inducted into the Big Band Hall of Fame and in the middle of the decade got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but he has never retired. Cornell continues to perform in better clubs in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, and is frequently a guest artist with regional symphony orchestras.

Cornell and his wife Iris have also seen to it that his classic solo recordings are in print for those who like them, releasing a two-CD set, Something to Remember Me By, as well as a second set of songs from and about Italy, entitled From Italy With Love. To do this, they've created their own custom imprint, Iris/MCA Records, which is the source of reissues drawn from the MCA-owned Coral and Dot Records catalogs. In 1993, he also cut a new album of material entitled Don Cornell Now.

Cornell eventually settled in Florica and continued to perform throughout the 1990's and into the new millenium. His voice remained remarkably consistent despite his advancing years. On February 23, 2004, at the age of 84, Cornell passed away after a struggle with emphysema and diabetes. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: '50s & '60s Lost & Found Records Vol. 3

Disc 1

1. Plaything

2. The Big Heavy

3. Swinging Sweethearts

4. Starry Eyed

5. Journey To Love

6. Mister Fire Eyes

7. I See A Star

8. Roberta

9. Kookie Little Paradise

10. Ruby Duby Du From Key Witness

11. Someone Loves You, Joe

12. Bobby

13. Little Sister Beware

14. Forever Ambrose

15. How Will It End?

16. Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)

17. The Teacher

18. Bridge Of Love

19. Little Dipper

20. Gonna Get Some Records

21. Magic Star (Telstar)

22. The Girl On The Billboard

23. Dedicated (To The Songs I Love)

24. I Could Have Loved You So Well

25. (There's) Always Something There To Remind Me

26. Waitin' For The Evenin' Train

27. Soul Dance

28. Roses Are Red My Love

29. Let Me Through

30. Hot Pepper

31. Bonnie Do

32. Sippin' 'n Chippin'

33. Monster Swim

34. Just For Tonight

35. Cheryl's Goin' Home

36. Cowboy Boots

37. Stand By Me

38. Devotion

39. I Want My Baby Back

40. Band Of Gold

Disc 2

1. Kerry Pipers Rock

2. Anyway That You Want Me

3. Enamorado

4. Rockin' Johnny Home

5. Give Me One More Chance

6. Sealed With A Kiss

7. Young Abe Lincoln

8. Pollyanna

9. Contract On Love

10. Little Eeefin Annie

11. Drums

12. For You Alone

13. My Baby's Just Crazy 'bout Elvis

14. Don't Wanna Think About Paula

15. In The Mood

16. Don't Go

17. That's It

18. If You Can't Rock Me

19. Philadelphia U.S.A.

20. (Gary, Please Don't Sell) My Diamond Ring

21. The Fortune Teller

22. Hootenanny Granny

23. Blue Guitar

24. Teenage Meeting

25. The Ballad Of Davy Crockett

26. China Nights (Shina No Yoru)

27. Little Miss U.S.A.

28. Everlovin'

29. Gallant Men

30. Billy

31. I Looked At Heaven

32. In The Midnight Hour

33. Cry On My Shoulder

34. Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp)

35. Lullabye From Rosemary's Baby

36. Big Bruce

37. Words

38. Happy

39. Kay

40. I Hear You Say (I Love You Baby)

x

Track List: 1955 British Hit Parade: Britain's Greatest Hits Volume 4

Disc 1

1. Mr Sandman

2. Rock Around The Clock

3. Count Your Blessings

4. Happy Days And Lonely Nights

5. Give Me Your Word

6. Mr Sandman

7. Softly Softly

8. Happy Days & Lonely Nights

9. The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane

10. Drink Drink Drink

11. Mambo Italiano

12. Happy Days And Lonely Nights

13. Let Me Go Lover

14. Beyond The Stars

15. The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane

16. Mobile

17. Lonely Ballerina

19. Let Me Go Lover

20. Majorca

21. I'll Walk With God

22. A Blossom Fell

23. Let Me Go Lover

24. Somebody

25. Sincerely

Disc 2

1. Let Me Go Lover

2. A Blossom Fell

3. Tomorrow

4. In The Beginning

5. Wedding Bells

6. If Anyone Finds This I Love You

7. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White

8. Prize Of Gold

9. Under The Bridges Of Paris

10. Stranger In Paradise

11. No More

12. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White

13. Ready Willing And Able

14. If You Believe

15. Under The Bridges Of Paris

16. Stranger In Paradise

17. Mambo Rock

18. Earth Angel

19. Stranger In Paradise

20. Tweedle Dee

21. Serenade

22. Melody Of Love

23. Open Up Your Heart

25. Dreamboat

Disc 3

1. Tweedle Dee

2. Stranger In Paradise

3. Unchained Melody

4. Where Will The Dimple Be

5. Paths Of Paradise

6. Stranger In Paradise

7. Elephant's Tango

8. Mama

10. Stranger In Paradise

11. I Wonder

13. Crazy Otto Rag

14. You My Love

15. The Man That Got Away

16. I Wonder

17. Unchained Melody

18. Cool Water

19. Stowaway

20. Evermore

21. Everyday Of My Life

22. Don't Worry

23. Ev'rywhere

24. Rose Marie

25. Sincerely

x

Track List: That's Amore: Italian American Favorites

Disc 1

1. That's Amore

2. Angelina/Zooma Zooma

3. Botch-A-Me

4. You Alone

5. On The Street Where You Live

6. I Believe

7. O' Sole Mio

8. Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet

9. Pretend You Don't See Her

10. Little Serenade

11. My Love, Forgive Me

13. Anema E Core

14. Torna A Surriento

Disc 2

1. Just A Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody

2. I Have But One Heart

3. Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing

4. I'll Walk Alone

5. Cherry Pink (And Apple Blossom White)

6. Come Prima

7. You're Breaking My Heart

8. Tell Me Why

9. Mama

10. From The Vine Came The Grape

11. That's My Desire

12. Cara Mia

13. Play Me Hearts And Flowers (I Wanna Cry)

14. Three Coins In The Fountain

15. Isle Of Capri

16. I'm Yours

Disc 3

1. Eh, Cumpari

2. Non Dimenticar

3. Speak Softly Love

4. Beyond The Sea

5. Al Di La'

7. Mambo Italiano

8. Be My Love

9. Domani

10. Lazy Mary

12. Innamorata

14. Oh! My Pa-Pa

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Play more don cornell
Report as inappropriate
Would like to hear his recording of Hold MY Hand Great voice.
Report as inappropriate
One of my favorite singers and I have collected most of his records from his Sammy Kaye vocals till his solo hits in the 50s & 60s....He had a special voice and will be missed as I can call him a friend since we met.
Report as inappropriate
I guess it was back in the 50s at Ben Maksik's Town and Country in Brooklyn I first had the pleasure of seeing and meeting Don Cornell. What a great voice and a class act all the way. He could talk with you on a first meeting as if both were two old friends meeting again. With Dale and Cherry and Martino and so many others having passed on a great period in American pop music history has a shadow cast over it. Fortunately their music lives on forever. God Bless you Don.
Report as inappropriate
Wish he was still around, great voice.

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