The Singing Barber
Walking to work today brought no inspiration for my blog today however, and as usual my clients have! Listening to my music here at the Parlour is always a favorite experience for my clients! I am continually changing things up but the list is always vintage, of course!
While in the middle of a hair cut today a song came on and my client said, "I love this song. Is it Perry Como?"
"I'm actually not sure." I replied. "I think it might be Dean Martin?"
Well, of course we could not leave it as a question so I walked over to me computer to take a look at who was singing to us! Indeed it was Perry Como.
My client then began to tell me that I would really be interested in the background to Perry Como as he was a Barber before he became a famous singer! He began working in a barber shoppe at the young age of ten years old. TEN, can you even believe that? He made a whopping .50 cents a week! While working at the Barber Shoppe both his parents encouraged him to take music lessons and he excels and begins entertaining the clients, hence the name of this blog post!
By the time Perry turns 13 he has already opened his own Barber Shoppe and has other barbers working for him while he continues to attend school. He is successful in this business for three years and then the Great Depression sets in and the shoppe closes. He ends up getting married to Roselle Belline and they have three children, all the while, he has continued to sing at most local events. He is very successful and travels with his wife singing with several Orchestras and touring with the band.
Perry gives a trim to a wee lad
Perry Como Shaves Kirk Douglas
Frank Sinatra gives Perry a "Little Off the Top"
He is then hired to perform fifteen minute segments once a week on CBS Radio. In 1944 the NBC Radio Network begins "The Perry Como Chesterfield Supper Club" and he performs a three hour segment each week for the next six years. In 1944 he is also signed to RCA Records and he records a long career of solo recordings selling millions of copies. All through his career he continues to encourage and support young talent!
I have known his music most of my life as my grandparents used to listen to him but I was unaware of his beginning and that he was a barber before he became a singer. Although I do not sing professionally I have always loved singing and have even performed in some musicals over the years when I was much younger. I have sung at weddings and even done some back up vocals for bands in studio but it's been a very long time since those days took place. I would have loved to have heard him singing in the barber shoppe! How very fun would that have been... I would have fallen in love with this young man who could croon!
At Mrs. Rees' Vintage Beauty Parlour I have a stage for the simple reason that I think music is the universal language and I have been lucky enough to have had the talented Solomon Woodland sing here! I would love to have more live music here in the future! I'll be thinking of Perry from now on when these events take place!