Known by his colleagues as a "singer's singer" and a "musician's musician," Buddy Greco sold more than a million records. He was well-known for releasing songs from every genre, from jazz to country to pop music. He performed on-stage, on film, and on television. Born Armando Greco in Philadelphia, he began singing and playing piano at the age of four, first using his talents performing on the radio. By the age of 16 Greco had more than a decade of musical experience behind him. He was playing in Philadelphia's Club 13 nightclub when he was spotted by Benny Goodman. Bandleader Goodman was impressed by Greco's talents and hired him as a pianist, singer, and arranger. At the age of 16 Greco was traveling the world with one of the most popular big bands of the '30s, Benny Goodman & His Orchestra. He stayed with the group for four years.
At the ripe age of 20 Greco decided to pursue a solo professional music career. He began singing and performing in nightclubs and concerts. Some of his hit recordings included the popular favorites "Oh Look at Her, Ain't She Pretty," "The Lady Is a Tramp," and "Around the World." During his musical career he made more than 65 albums, including an album with the London Symphony Orchestra, in which he conducted and played. In the '60s, Greco's music career was very successful; he even appeared with the Beatles in a performance for Queen Elizabeth II. During the '60s Greco also seriously began a career in film and television, and in 1967 he was a regular performer on the TV series Away We Go. This nationwide television program gave Greco enormous exposure as a singer and pianist. He followed the series with a part in the 1969 film The Girl Who Knew Too Much. His talents took him to great heights, with more than 100 hit singles. During the '70s and '80s, Greco concentrated on recording and performing, with hits across multiple genres including jazz, country, and pop music. Audiences marveled at his many styles. His career also included composing and recording scores for film and television.
After decades of performing, Greco remained one of the most widely known singers of his time. In the early '90s he toured with "The Salute to the Benny Goodman Band." The ensemble performed 72 shows, regularly garnering standing ovations. He performed for two years at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, and in 1996 ended two world tours at the Café Royale in London. Given all his musical credits, Greco became an inductee into the Philadelphia Music Alliance's Walk of Fame and garnered entries in both The Encyclopedia of Great Musicians and The Encyclopedia of Great Jazz Singers and Musicians. Buddy Greco died in January 2017 in Las Vegas at the age of 90. His musical abilities live on in his sizable discography of albums and hit singles. ~ Kim Summers