Guy Mitchell

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Guy Mitchell
GuyMitchell.JPG
Background information
Birth nameAlbert George Cernik
Born(1927-02-22)February 22, 1927
Detroit, Michigan, United States
DiedJuly 1, 1999(1999-07-01) (aged 72)
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
GenresBig band, traditional pop, Rock and Roll
Years active1947–1960s
LabelsDecca, King, Columbia, Philips
WebsiteOfficial website
 
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Guy Mitchell
GuyMitchell.JPG
Background information
Birth nameAlbert George Cernik
Born(1927-02-22)February 22, 1927
Detroit, Michigan, United States
DiedJuly 1, 1999(1999-07-01) (aged 72)
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
GenresBig band, traditional pop, Rock and Roll
Years active1947–1960s
LabelsDecca, King, Columbia, Philips
WebsiteOfficial website

Guy Mitchell, (born Albert George Cernik; February 22, 1927 – July 1, 1999) was an American pop singer, successful in his homeland, the U.K. and Australia. As an international recording star of the 1950s he achieved record sales in excess of 44 million units and this included six million-selling singles.

In the fall of 1957, Mitchell starred in his own ABC variety show, The Guy Mitchell Show. He also appeared as George Romack on the 1961 NBC western detective series Whispering Smith, with World War II hero Audie Murphy in the leading role.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Born of Croatian immigrants (Crnic is the Croatian spelling of the last name), in Detroit, Michigan, at the age of eleven he was signed by Warner Brothers Pictures, to be groomed as a child star, and he also performed on the radio on Station KFWB in Los Angeles, California. After leaving school, he worked as a saddlemaker, but supplemented his income by singing whenever he could. At this point in his life, Dude Martin, who had a country music broadcast in San Francisco, noticed him and hired him to perform with his band.

He served in the United States Navy for two years, and after leaving the service became a singer with Carmen Cavallaro's big band. In 1947 he made recordings for Decca with Cavallaro's band, but had to leave due to food poisoning. He eventually went to New York City, and made records for King Records under the name Al Grant (one in particular, "Cabaret", appeared in the Variety magazine charts). He won on the radio show Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in 1949 as a soloist.[2]

Mitch Miller, who was in charge of talent at Columbia Records, noticed Cernik in 1950, who joined Columbia, being given his new stage name at Miller's urging: Miller supposedly said, "my name is 'Mitchell' and you seem a nice 'guy', so we'll call you Guy Mitchell". Bob Merrill wrote a string of top hits for Mitchell.[3]

In the 1950s and 1960s Mitchell acted in movies as well as singing. He appeared in movies with Teresa Brewer, Pat Crowley, and Rosemary Clooney, Red Garters (1954), and with Brewer in Those Redheads From Seattle (1953). He acted in "Choose a Victim", a 1961 episode of Thriller, and also sang in the Braemor Rooms, Churchtown, Dublin, Ireland.

His first hit was "My Heart Cries for You" (1951). He was a pre-rock pop singer but ventured into rock with songs like including "Heartaches by the Number", "Rock-a-Billy", "The Same Old Me" and his biggest hit, "Singing the Blues", which was number one for 10 weeks in 1956.[4]

Personal life[edit]

He was married three times, first to Jackie Loughery, a former Miss USA, then to Elsa Sorensen, who had been a Miss Denmark. His third wife, Betty, survives him after 25 years of marriage.

Death[edit]

He died on July 1, 1999, aged 72, of complications from cancer surgery.

Tribute[edit]

In 2007, to commemorate his musical legacy and what would have been his 80th birthday, the English division of SonyBMG released The Essential Collection CD.

His song "Heartaches by the Number" was part of the soundtrack of the game Fallout: New Vegas.

Hit songs[edit]

YearSingleChart positions
USUK[5]US CountryUS
R&B
AU
1950"My Heart Cries for You"(gold record)21
"The Roving Kind"42
1951"You're Just in Love"(with Rosemary Clooney)24
"The Place Where I Worship"(with Rosemary Clooney)6
"Sparrow in the Treetop"83
"Christopher Columbus"27
"Unless"173
"The House of Singing Bamboo"(with Rosemary Clooney)3
"My Truly, Truly Fair"(gold record)21
"Belle Belle My Liberty Belle"94
"A Beggar In Love"6
"Sweetheart of Yesterday"2312
"There's Always Room At Our House"208
"I Can't Help It"28
1952"Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania"(gold record)42
"Wimmin'"17
"Day of Jubilo"264
"Feet Up (Pat Him on the Po-Po)"1422
"'Cause I Love You, That's a Why"(with Mindy Carson)248
1953"She Wears Red Feathers"1915
"Tell Us Where the Good Times Are"(with Mindy Carson)23
"Pretty Little Black Eyed Susie"217
"Look At That Girl"1
"Chicka Boom"414
"Cloud Lucky Seven"219
1954"Sippin' soda"115
"Strollin' Blues"18
"The Cuff of My Shirt"9
"A Dime and a Dollar"8
1956"Ninety Nine Years"2326
"When Blinky Blows"22
"Belonging"25
"Give Me a Carriage with 8 White Horses"42
"Singing the Blues"1141
"Crazy With Love"5342
1957"Knee Deep in the Blues"16313
"Take Me Back Baby"4730
"Rock-a-Billy"10110
"In the Middle of a Dark Dark Night"2549
"Sweet Stuff"83flip
"Call Rosie On the Phone"17
1958"The Lord Made a Peanut"56
"C'mon Let's Go"71
"Honey Brown Eyes"92
1959"Butterfly Doll"87
"Heartaches by the Number"15193
1960"The Same Old Me"51
"My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You"4563
1961"Your Goodnight Kiss"106100
1962"(I'd Like to Be In) Charlie's Shoes"110
"Go Tiger Go"101
1967"Traveling Shoes"51
1968"Alabam"61
"Frisco Line"71

Best known songs[edit]

Re-recorded Songs[edit]

In February 1982 he re-recorded 20 of his popular songs with new musical backings (in stereo) at the Audio Media Studio in Nashville, Tennessee for Bulldog Records (No. BDL 2041 in the UK).[7] The album was entitled "20 Golden Pieces of Guy Mitchell" (not to be confused with "20 Golden Greats" by Guy Mitchell released in 1979). The songs on the album are:-

Side 1

  1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  2. Feet Up (Pat Him on the Popo)
  3. Heartaches by the Number
  4. She Wears Red Feathers
  5. Sparrow in the Tree Top
  6. Sippin' Soda
  7. Rockabilly
  8. Cuff of my Shirt
  9. Cloud Lucky Seven
  10. Chicka Boom

Side 2

  1. Pretty Little Black Eyed Susie
  2. Side by Side
  3. Music, Music, Music
  4. The Rovin' Kind
  5. My Heart Cries for You
  6. My Shoes Keep Walking Back
  7. Call Rosie on the Phone
  8. My Truly, Truly Fair
  9. Knee Deep in the Blues
  10. Singin' the Blues

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cromelin, Richard (1999-07-03). "Guy Mitchell, Singer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  2. ^ Obituary, New York Times, July 5, 1999.
  3. ^ The Independent; Obituary: Bob Merrill; February 20, 1998
  4. ^ Obituary, The Guardian, July 5, 1999.
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 371–372. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g The Independent; Obituaries: Guy Mitchell 5 July 1999
  7. ^ Album sleeve notes

External links[edit]