Though his work was often classified as just “arrangements,” Percy Faith’s work went well beyond that and could be more accurately described as “recompositions.” He got his start as a child studying piano and eventually made his mark as an instrumental stylist, importing elements of jazz and rock into mood music.
In a conversation with host Wink Martindale, Faith discusses the work it takes to find and keep fans, his lengthy music career and his focus on creating music that makes him happy versus music that might sell well.
Eleven essential classics in one volumeThis volume is the definitive collection of the best science fiction novellas published between 1929 and 1964, containing eleven great classics. No anthology better captures the birth of science fiction as a literary field.Published in 1973 to honor stories that had appeared before the institution of the... Read more »
Bobby Goldsboro describes the first song he ever wrote with a laugh as “one of the worst you’ve ever heard.” Though those first attempts at songwriting weren’t exactly successful, he went on to enjoy a wildly successful career including the chart-topping hit “Honey,” which sold more than a million copies in the United States.
Harry Belafonte didn’t start out with a dream of being a singer. He wanted to be an actor, and studied theater for five years in New York. Unable to find work as an actor, he had to choose between abandoning dreams of being a performer entirely, or find a new area of entertainment to pursue. Opportunity struck when he was offered a chance to be... Read more »
Billy Eckstine didn’t consider singing a potential profession until he earned $5 as second prize in an amateur competition. He was bit by the showbiz bug after working as an MC and singer in his hometown of Pittsburgh while on summer break from college. He decided not to return to college and eventually began working in clubs throughout Buffalo,... Read more »
Andy Williams got his start doing anonymous voice tracks for movies in the 1940s. He got his start singing at teas with his brother, and then made a move to singing on radio in Des Moines, Iowa and Chicago. Finally, Williams found his way to New York where he started to really focus on his singing career.
For Alan and Marilyn Bergman, being married and working together as songwriters had many perks. The two found that their relationship allowed them to be uninhibited in sharing ideas while crafting a song.
In this interview recorded with Wink Martindale in the 1980s, they discussed their lives, lyrics and careers as songwriters. The couple... Read more »
This last volume in the definitive collection of the best science fiction novellas published between 1929 and 1964 contains eleven great classics. No anthology better captures the birth of science fiction as a literary field.
Published in 1973 to honor stories that had appeared before the institution of the... Read more »
Dick Clark had taken over for a TV show that served as "filler” and showcased different musical acts. Young girls were invited to watch as the studio audience, but when they got bored they got up to dance and a camera man caught the moment. From that moment, American Bandstand was born. For teenagers, American Bandstand served as a replacement... Read more »
It took 12 years for Mac Davis to find success in the music industry, first as a songwriter and later as a singer. Davis originally spent years working, going to college part time and writing his own music. He later dropped out of college and pursued work in the music industry doing radio and sales promotions, all the while cutting bathroom... Read more »
We conclude our four part Hall of Fame spotlight on Frank Sinatra’s career with more little known details about the man and his music. In this installment, you’ll hear about the post-Columbia Records days when he was no longer in demand. He had no hits and no record contract -- that is, until Capitol Records came calling and everything... Read more »
The second part of our Hall of Fame spotlight on Frank Sinatra’s legendary career features more audio interviews and highlights from Sinatra and the friends and family who knew him best -- including John F. Kennedy, Paul Anka and songwriter Sammy Cahn, among others.
Host Wink Martindale explores the stories behind some of the classic songs in... Read more »
The third part of our Hall of Fame spotlight on Frank Sinatra’s legendary career with host Wink Martindale continues the story of the artist who remains an internationally known icon. We dig deeper into the songs and soundtrack of Frank’s career as told by friends and family, those who knew him best, including Nelson Riddle, Gordon McRae and a... Read more »
Vic Damone quit school as a teenager to work at the Paramount Theater to help support his family after his father was injured. During this time he was exposed to a host of accomplished singers both on the stage and behind the scenes. While operating the backstage elevator for Perry Como, Damone asked if he could sing for him to see if he had any... Read more »
Roy Orbison was just one of many legendary performers to come out of the powerhouse that was Sun Records. In a conversation with Wink Martindale, Orbison discusses how he got his start with Sun and its founder Sam Phillips.
Orbison continues to discuss his hectic early days of touring where he would perform anywhere and everywhere including... Read more »
Husband and wife duo Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé performed back-and-forth comic banter while keeping music at the center of their act. While much of the act was meticulously rehearsed, the pair left parts of each performance open for adlibbing and improvisation.
In an interview with host Wink Martindale, Steve and Eydie sit down and discuss... Read more »
Eddy Arnold dominated popular and country music from the late 40s to the 60s, despite changing tastes over those two eventful decades.
In a conversation with host Wink Martindale, Arnold recounts his early life as a farm boy that earned him the nickname “The Tennessee Ploughboy” and his eventual rise to arguably become the king of country. ... Read more »
We begin our exploration of the career of Elvis Presley, which found him recording for the now world-famous Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips in 1954. Only a few short years later, he would shift to RCA Records, releasing his first single for the label, “Heartbreak Hotel,” in January of 1956. As host Wink Martindale recalls, “Presleymania”... Read more »
Our third and final installment of a three part exploration of the career of Elvis Presley takes a look at the final years for the legendary singer who we first became aware of in 1954 when he released his first single “That’s Alright Mama” on Sun Records. That first single marked the beginning of an astonishing career during which he rose to... Read more »
In 1973, Captain & Tennille wrote and cut a record completely at their own expense. The product of that recording session, “The Way I Want to Touch You,” proved to be a regional hit and was the first step in their fascinating journey to major label success.
The couple sat down with host Wink Martindale just as their first hit was climbing the... Read more »
Lawrence Welk left home at the age of 21 and spent two years trying to get a job with bands with little success. Though his career got off to a rocky start, Welk would go on to become a renowned musician, bandleader and television personality.
In Part 1 we hear about Welk’s earliest days of his life and career. In a conversation with Wink... Read more »
In February 1964, The Beatles made their TV debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, catching the attention of Bob Eubanks. Wink Martindale catches up with Eubanks in an interview from 1977 about The Beatles playing the Hollywood Bowl.
He discusses having second thoughts about booking them for the concert and then selling out in 3.5 hours. He explains how... Read more »
From 1934 to 1951, The Andrews Sisters recorded more than 400 songs, including hits such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Rum and Coca Cola,” and sold almost 100 million records. Wink Martindale sat down with sisters Patty and Maxine to discuss how they got started and why breaking up was the best thing to happen to them.
Before the daughter of Nat “King” Cole ever sang for an audience, she was lip-syncing in front of her bedroom mirror to the Supremes. Natalie Cole, the second of five children said her parents raised her to work hard for what she wanted.
The award-winning artist sat down with Wink Martindale to discuss what it was like growing up in a house... Read more »
Roberta Flack gained national recognition with her song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” from the movie Play Misty for Me. The singer, songwriter and musician performed a wide variety of music including jazz, classical, folk, soul, pop and R&B. She was the first to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in two consecutive... Read more »
Jerry Vale always knew that he wanted to sing. His tremendous vocal talent and charismatic personality allowed the crooner to impress both in recording and in live performances as he toured all over the country and regularly topped the pop charts throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In this conversation with Wink Martindale, Vale discusses his... Read more »
Lou Rawls got his start as a church choir boy. He performed a wide variety of musical styles including gospel, soul, R&B, jazz and blues for movies, TV shows, commercials and numerous successful albums.
In an interview with host Wink Martindale, Rawls discusses the many changes in the way music was created and performed throughout his... Read more »
Herb Alpert’s career began under the name Dore Alpert. When his first few releases with RCA Records failed to gain traction, he was dropped from the label. That’s when Alpert joined forces with his friend Jerry Moss to form an independent label. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass grew to great success by the mid-sixties with pre-orders for their... Read more »
Frankie Laine’s far-reaching appeal made him a hit in the ’40s and ’50s. While his contemporaries found success early in life, Laine didn’t see fame until his late 30s. Despite his late-blooming career, his excursion into the world of music began much earlier, during his years as a teenager performing at dance marathons. Wink Martindale spoke... Read more »
Petula Clark’s career began at the young age of nine. She got her start on BBC radio during World War II and in the years to follow she would perform hundreds of times for the troops and become known as “Britain’s Shirley Temple.” Clark sat down with host Wink Martindale to discuss her exciting musical journey that spanned more than seven... Read more »
Sammy Davis Jr. was, quite literally, born into show business. As part of a well-known vaudeville family, he began performing when he was just four years old and never seemed to slow down. From stage to studio to screen the singer, dancer, musician and actor travelled all over the world entertaining millions. Wink Martindale spoke with the... Read more »
Ella Fitzgerald’s career began at various amateur nights around New York City, most famously at the Apollo Theater in 1934. From those early days, Fitzgerald grew to be an iconic jazz singer and the First Lady of Song. In the spring of 1983, Fitzgerald sat down for a conversation with Wink Martindale. She discusses how her career began and some... Read more »
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II joined forces to create the most consistently successful partnership in the American theater. Included among the seemingly endless list of their work are legendary works such as Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King & I, The Sound of Music and many more. In the first part of this two-part series exploring... Read more »
We continue our exploration of the career of Elvis Presley with the second installment of this three part series. Presley would face both happy times and challenging moments as his popularity continued to grow. He went Hollywood and added “movie star” to his resume, but he also got drafted in 1958 and that same year, faced the death of his... Read more »
Perry Como’s career started with a dare. The teenage owner of a barbershop had done some singing locally, but when his friends dared him to get on stage and sing a few songs with Freddy Carlone, he was offered a job. Following touring, recording and a brief return to the barber business, Como went on to host his own radio show and sign a... Read more »
The second part of our Hall of Fame spotlight on Rodgers and Hammerstein details the phenomenal success Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II had as partners after joining forces in 1943. Throughout their long career in theater, the pair helped to start the careers of many now famous singers, dancers and musicians.
Despite his first orchestra being a complete failure, Glenn Miller grew to become arguably one of the most famous big band leaders. Following this early stumble, Miller launched his second band in March of 1938 and went on to achieve great success before his tragic disappearance in 1944.
George T. Simon, big band expert, critic, author and a... Read more »
Neil Sedaka had more than a dozen hits from 1958 to 1963, but his career slumped with the arrival of the British Invasion. In 1974 he found his way back to the charts with “Laughter in the Rain.” In March of that year, Wink Martindale sat with Sedaka to discuss his early career and his thrilling comeback. Sedaka recounts his early life as a... Read more »
Despite her phenomenal success as a singer, Joni James initially had dreams of dancing. While she continued to receive scholarships and praise for her vocal performances, dancing was what she wanted to pursue and she continued to pay for lessons. When faced with the decision of going to school or pursuing her career, on the advice of a producer... Read more »
Patti Page’s music provided a soothing counterpoint to the revolutionary sound of rock n’ roll in the 1950s, incorporating elements of country music into traditional pop songs. From 1948 through 1970 she had nearly 100 records on the Billboard Singles chart including “(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window,” “Old Cape Cod,” “Allegheny Moon” and... Read more »
Nat King Cole’s musical journey began as a teenager receiving classical piano training, which he later abandoned to pursue jazz with the Nat King Cole Trio. His career continued to evolve as he found success as a singer with hits including “Nature Boy,” “Mona Lisa” and “Too Young.”
Narrator Wink Martindale takes listeners on a captivating... Read more »
The Beach Boys started in the Wilsons' garage with members Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine. Their first hit was in 1962 and was considered a "surf" song that had distinct vocal harmonies. History will show the progression of the Beach Boys songs that permeated the culture of the day. The harmonies,... Read more »
Tony Bennett took his place at the forefront of pop music when he recorded “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in 1962. Despite being trained in art, Bennett made the decision to pursue a career in music that included a stint as a singing waiter. Bennett spoke with Wink Martindale in August of 1972 about his accomplished career that included... Read more »
Rosemary Clooney grew up singing with her sister at family gatherings and in her senior year of high school they were hired to sing at the local radio station. She soared to fame in the 1950s with the novelty song “Come On-a My House” and continued to release a number of other pop and jazz hits. In 1973, Clooney sat down with Wink Martindale to... Read more »
When Kenny Rogers started singing in high school, he went through numerous gimmicks and phases trying to find a way to make his voice identifiable. Audiences didn’t respond to what he was doing, and on the advice of a friend, he dropped the gimmicks and started to embrace his own sound.
Many awards, hit songs and decades later, and there is no... Read more »
The story of The Mills Brothers is much like that of many entertainers, featuring humble beginnings,, big dreams, success, tragedy and ultimately a happy ending. In 1973, host Wink Martindale sat down with two of the original Mills Brothers, Harry and Donald, to recount their tale.
The pair details the earliest days of their career in Piqua,... Read more »
Ray Charles lived his life with no regrets, no matter the ups or the downs. After losing his sight at 7 years old, and his parents passing away while he was a teenager, he went on to experience phenomenal success as a singer, songwriter and musician. Charles didn’t often agree to interviews, but in this rare and lengthy conversation he had with... Read more »
It’s a testament to Johnny Mathis’ talent and legacy that in 1958, just two years after signing with Columbia Records, the label released Johnny’s Greatest Hits, the first album of its kind. It remained on the charts for the next 9 ½ years. Wink Martindale sat down with Mathis for a conversation in 1971. He discusses the diverse audience his... Read more »