Buddy Greco

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Buddy Greco
Buddy Greco 1962
Greco in 1962
Background information
Birth name Armando Joseph Greco
Born (1926-08-14)August 14, 1926
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died January 10, 2017(2017-01-10) (aged 90)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Genres Jazz, traditional pop, country, soundtrack
Occupation(s) Singer, musician, arranger
Instruments Piano
Years active 1942–2017
Labels Bainbridge, Kapp, London, Epic, Fontana, Reprise, Pye
Associated acts Benny Goodman
Website www.buddygreco.com

Armando Joseph "Buddy" Greco (August 14, 1926 – January 10, 2017) was an American jazz and pop singer and pianist, who had a long career in the US and UK and was good friends with the Rat Pack. His recordings, in several genres including jazz, pop, and country, have sold millions of records, including "Oh Look A-There", "Ain't She Pretty", "Up, Up and Away" and "Around the World".[1] His most successful single was "The Lady Is a Tramp", which sold over one million copies.[2] During his career, he recorded over sixty albums. He conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, performed for Queen Elizabeth II, and with the Beatles.[1]

Music career

Greco and George Carlin in a skit from Away We Go, 1967

Buddy Greco was born Armando Joseph Greco in Philadelphia. His mother introduced him to piano at the age of four. At an early age he was singing and performing on radio and, during his teens, in Philadelphia clubs. When he was 16, he was hired by Benny Goodman and toured worldwide. He spent four years with Goodman's orchestra, singing, playing piano, and arranging.[1][3][4][5]

After leaving Goodman at the age of 20, he returned to nightclubs, singing and playing piano, and launching his recording career.

In the 1960s his career expanded into movies and television. He appeared often in the TV series Away We Go and had a role in the movie The Girl Who Knew Too Much.[1] He worked with Ron Escheté from 1969–1970. The duo appeared in several TV shows, including The Mike Douglas Show.[6]

Las Vegas and Palm Springs

Greco met fifth and last wife Lezlie Anders while she was performing in Las Vegas. Their first meeting was when they stepped out on stage together, as she was a support act for him at the Desert Inn. After marrying, they worked and toured together.[7]

In 1992 Greco began a 13-week act in Las Vegas at the Starlight Room at Stars' Desert Inn. This brought about his second big period of fame. The following year he was added to the Philadelphia Music Alliance's Walk of Fame. Shortly after, he toured Italy, France, Australia, and England.[8]

While living in Palm Springs, Greco opened a small club. On the walls were pictures of Greco, the Rat Pack, and other celebrity friends, the room arranged by his wife. He often performed at his club, and it was a popular place for stars to dine before he closed it and moved to England.[9]

Living in Palm Desert, California, he continued to appear at his club in Cathedral City, California,[10] until it closed in August 2009.

In 2004 he and Anders were headliners with the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies at the Plaza Theatre in Palm Springs, California.[11][12]

Life in England

Greco became acquainted with the UK in 1949. He spent years performing in clubs around England. He moved to Essex, though he still owned his house in Palm Springs, California, where he often spent vacations.[4]

In 2008 Greco toured the UK with Anders. Together they performed with the BBC Big Band and played at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. Greco was the first Las Vegas headliner to star at a British casino when he performed in cabaret in August 2008 at the Circus Casino, Star City, Birmingham. In April 2010, he performed a salute to Frank Sinatra for BBC Radio 2 with the 42-piece BBC Concert Orchestra. He toured the UK for over 30 dates from July 2010 with the Swinging Las Vegas Legends Show.

In 2010 Greco and his wife produced the stage show Fever! The Music of Miss Peggy Lee, which met with critical acclaim and opened in London's West End. The inspiration came from his wife, who was a friend of Lee. The show tells of the life and music of Peggy Lee. Greco plays piano and conducts the orchestra while his wife sings. The show received positive reviews and toured the U.S.[7]

On New Year's Eve 2011 he made a guest appearance on Jools Holland's Hootenanny singing "Fly Me to the Moon" backed by the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.

In 2012 Greco toured England in smaller venues, including Thameside Theatre Stage,[13] and The Broadway in Essex.[14]

In 2013 Greco celebrated his 80th year in show business in a concert in Southend, Essex. Stars such as the Rat Pack cast, Atila, Kenny Lynch, Paul Young and Michelle Collins were present to celebrate his career and also took part throughout the evening. Greco and his wife performed together.[15]

Awards and honors

  • Inductee, Walk of Fame, Philadelphia Music Alliance
  • Appears in Encyclopedia of Great Musicians and the Encyclopedia of Great Jazz Singers and Musicians[1]
  • Inducted into the Grand Order of Water Rats in 2011.

Personal life

Greco married five times.[16] He married Sally Baionno in 1947; they divorced in 1962. He was married to Dani Crayne from 1961 until they divorced in 1974.[16] From 1974 through 1977 Greco was married to Margret Kinley until they divorced. Greco later married Jackie Sabatino in 1977. They eventually divorced. He married Lezlie Anders on 14 April 1995. Greco had three children with Baionno, one with Kinley and three more with Sabatino.[16]

Greco died on January 10, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, aged 90.[17] He was survived by his wife, Anders and his seven children.

Partial discography

Buddy Greco, by Allan Warren
  • Around the World (Epic)
  • Lady Is a Tramp (Epic)
  • Buddy Greco at Mister Kelly's 1956
  • My Buddy (Epic) 1959
  • Broadway Melodies (Kapp) 1960
  • Buddy (Kapp) 1960
  • Songs for Swinging Losers (Epic) 1960
  • All Time Favorites (Sutton-Stereo) 1960
  • Back in Town (Epic) 1961
  • I Like It Swinging (Epic) 1961
  • Buddy and Soul (Epic) 1962
  • Let's Love (Epic) 1962
  • Sings for Intimate Moments (Epic) 1963
  • Soft and Gentle (Epic) 1963
  • Buddy Greco on Stage! (Epic) 1964
  • My Last Night in Rome (Epic) 1964
  • I Love a Piano (Studio 2 Stereo) 1965
  • In a Brand New Bag (Reprise) 1966
  • Big Band and Ballads (Reprise) 1966 [18]
  • Away, We Go (Reprise) 1966[18]
  • Let the Sunshine In (Wand) 1970[18]
  • It's My Life (Pye) 1972[18]
  • Movin' On (Pye) 1973[18]
  • Buddy Greco 'Live' (Pye) 1974[18]
  • Live at the Sands (Picc-a-Dilly) 1980[18]
  • Ready for Your Love 1984[19][20]
  • It's Magic (Prestige) 1990[18]
  • Round Midnight (Bay Cities) 1992[18]
  • All-Time Favourite's Featuring Buddy Greco (Sutton)[18]
  • Buddy Greco Sings (Boulevard)[18]
  • Buddy Greco (World Record Club)[18]


Year Title Chart positions
1947 "Ooh! Look-A There, Ain't She Pretty" 15
1951 "I Ran All the Way Home" 30
1960 "The Lady Is a Tramp"A
1961 "Around the World" 109
1962 "Mr. Lonely" 64
1965 "That Darn Cat" 36
"I Can't Begin to Tell You" 132 27
1966 "Put Yourself in My Place" 24
"Walking on New Grass" 21
1967 "Love's Gonna Live Here Again" 19
"There She Goes" 14
1972 "From Atlanta to Goodbye" 34
  • A "The Lady Is a Tramp" peaked at No. 26 in UK Singles charts.


  1. ^ a b c d e Summers, Kim. "Buddy Greco | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 135. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 43. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  4. ^ a b "My Hols". The Sunday Times, 7 April 2013: 27, Print.
  5. ^ "I Would Die If I Quit". Liverpool Daily Echo, 13 August 2010: 11, Print.
  6. ^ Unknown. "Ron Escheté - Biography." Roneschete.com, 2014. Web. 20 Jan 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Rat pack legend tells Peggy's story". Croydon Advertiser, 4 November. 2011: 49, Print.
  8. ^ "Six decades and 62 albums later, this showman goes on". St. Petersburg Times, 24th January. 1997: 5, Print.
  9. ^ "Performer finds heavenly Springs". The Gold Coast Bulletin, pg. 123, September 8, 2007.
  10. ^ Davis, Rick (November 1, 2005). "Dinner Club Due in Desert: For Buddy Greco, it's show business as usual". The Public Record. Desert Publication, Inc. and Sharon Apfelbaum. 
  11. ^ "Palm Springs Follies Opens". Inland Empire Business Journal. Daily Planet Publishing, Inc. November 1, 2004. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Palm Springs Follies pays tribute to the golden age of burlesque". Redlands Daily Facts. Los Angeles Newspaper Group. August 4, 2004. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Legend Buddy Is Back On Stage". Thurrock Gazette, 15 April 2012: Print.
  14. ^ "An Evening With Buddy Greco". Brentwood Gazette, 25 January 2012: 3, Print.
  15. ^ "Interview with Buddy Greco." Personal interview. 28 December 2013.
  16. ^ a b c "Buddy Greco : Biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  17. ^ Mike Barnes (January 10, 2017). "Buddy Greco, Jazz Pianist, Vocalist and Las Vegas Mainstay, Dies at 90". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Buddy Greco." Discogs, 2014. Web. 19 Jan 2014.
  19. ^ Billboard Dec 22, 1984 - Page 72 "BUDDY GRECO Ready For Your Love PRODUCERS: Buddy Greco. Art Clausen Bainbridge BT 6255 With a full orchestra dotted with top L.A. players, Greco tackles a program of newer, lesser-known, adult pop titles, with the lone recent hit ..."
  20. ^ Show Music - Volume 4, Issue 1 - Page 43 1985 "Jazz singer Buddy Greco's READY FOR TOUR LOVE (BT 6255) features nine recent vintage songs, with "The Hungry Years," "Love Won't Let Me Wait," "Me and Mrs. Jones," and "Ready For Your Love" included on the album. I AM WHAT I AM ..."

External links

  • Official website
  • Buddy Greco Fan Pages
  • Buddy Greco's channel on YouTube
  • Buddy Greco Interview - NAMM Oral History Library (2007)
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