Mel Torme was born in Chicago in 1925. In show business from age four, Torme studied drums and songwriting while acting in radio soaps. His first song, "Lament to Love", was recorded by Harry James in 1941. Torme led his own vocal group, the Mel-Tones, then recorded a string of hits through the 1950s. He wrote biographies of Judy Garland and Buddy Rich, and an autobiography. He died in 1999.
Entertainer Melvin Howard Torme was born on September 13, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois to Russian Jewish immigrant parents William and Sophie. He was involved in show business from age four, singing with the Coon-Sanders Orchestra (1929) and Buddy Rogers (early 1930s). He studied drums and songwriting while acting in radio soap operas (1934-40). His first song, "Lament to Love", was recorded by Harry James in 1941, and among his other compositions are "The Christmas Song" and "Born to be Blue". In 1942, he sang and played drums with Chico Marx, and then led his own vocal group, the Mel-Tones, in California until 1947. Thereafter, as the epitome of Cool School jazz singers, he toured as a headlining concert performer and recorded a string of hit records throughout the 1950s. He also appeared as an actor in many television drama series. He wrote biographies of Judy Garland and Buddy Rich, and an autobiography, It Wasn't All Velvet. Torme died of a stroke on June 5, 1999.
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