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Mel Tormé Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (stroke)
Birth NameMelvin Howard Torme
Nicknames The Kid With the Gauze In His Jaws
The Velvet Fog
Mr. Butterscotch
The Blue Fox

Mini Bio (1)

A professional singer at the age of three, Mel Torme was a genuine musical prodigy. As a teenager, he played the drums in Chico Marx's band and earned the nickname "The Velvet Fog" because of his smooth, mellow tenor voice. In the 1940s, he formed his own group, the Mel-Tones, one of the first jazz-influenced vocal groups. As a solo musician, he had a number one hit in 1949 called "Careless Hands" and several lesser hits. He also acted in films and wrote several books, including biographies of Judy Garland and Buddy Rich. Torme's career included some songwriting, too. One of his most well-known compositions, "The Christmas Song", was written in midsummer as Torme relaxed by the pool.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Sujit R. Varma

Spouse (4)

Ali Severson (30 October 1984 - 5 June 1999) (his death)
Janette Scott (20 May 1966 - 26 May 1977) (divorced) (2 children)
Phyllis Arlene Miles (31 October 1956 - 9 November 1965) (divorced) (1 child)
Candy Toxton (11 February 1949 - 15 February 1956) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Scat singing
Bow tie

Trivia (18)

Suffered a stroke on August 8, 1996.
Jazz singer
Nicknamed The Velvet Fog, a nickname he was not particularly fond of.
Composed the music and words to "The Christmas Song" ("Chestnuts roasting on an open fire") with songwriting partner Robert Wells (Bob Wells).
Singer of "Lili Marlene" in USA.
Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1990.
Known for "scatting" during a song.
He was drafted into the army in 1944, but soon after when he went on bivouac, cuts were discovered in the soles of his feet and it was determined that he was so flat-footed he should never have been drafted in the first place. He was sent home from the army in 1945.
Interred in a grave close to Heather O'Rourke and Truman Capote.
He won Best Jazz Vocalist Grammy Awards in 1982 and 1983.
Frustrated by his experiences as the music director of Judy Garland's short-lived CBS variety series, he wrote a vicious tell-all book about his talented but challenging former boss. "The Other Side of the Rainbow: With Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol" portrayed Garland as hopelessly drug-addicted, unprofessional and a horror to work with.
At age eight he was a snare drummer in the Shakespeare Grammar School drum and bugle corps on Chicago's south side.
Is often referred to by Harry Anderson's character "Judge Harry Stone" in the NBC TV series Night Court (1984). Anderson--both as "Judge Stone' and in real life--is a big fan of Torme.
He had three sons, Steve March, Tracy Tormé, and James Tormé, and two daughters, Melissa Torme-March and Daisy Tormé. He had two stepchildren, Carrie and Kurt.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 1541 Vine St.
Former son-in-law of British actress Thora Hird.
Was a major collector of firearms.
He had a massive personal collection of 16mm movies from the golden age of Hollywood. He enjoyed threading his movie projector and showing his collection of films to family and friends in his home. His movie collection, which consisted of hundreds of films, was totally destroyed in a fire which totally destroyed his home.

Personal Quotes (2)

One of the joys of a jazz singer is to try to keep a dimension of constant improvisation in relation to what he sings. But--and it's a big but--only if you never lose sight of the original musical value which the composer put in it. And above all, if you don't sacrifice the most important element of a popular song: the words.
I have to confess that my way of singing is very much affected by my private life, or by anything that touches me personally. I am a man, not a machine.

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