While I was growing up in the early 1950's and starting to become musically aware, I had no idea that the music I was hearing around our house was in a period of transition. But music is always evolving, even though we might not realize it while we're living through a particular era, and it becomes more obvious when viewed through the magic lens of hindsight.
The age of the big swing bands was pretty much over by then - or at least was close to it - and the vocalists had taken over the spotlight. Many of them were former band singers, but there were some that had come up through other routes and I'm not sure if it mattered much at that point. Selling records was how success was measured, along with radio play and TV appearances, and some of those singers became big stars.
But music was continuing to change. Rockabilly and R&B were both beginning to rise in popularity in many areas, and eventually they would combine with other influences to create what would become the rock and roll revolution. It would mean the end of the huge popularity enjoyed by singers such as Frank Sinatra and Johnny Ray, who were regularly mobbed at personal appearances, much like today's stars. But those vocalists who adapted - even if it meant doing some things they didn't much like - still managed to have long, fulfilling careers.
Pierino "Perry" Como was one of those singers, and he learned fairly early in his career that he sometimes had to do songs that didn't exactly thrill him. From his start as a singing barber in his Pennsylvania hometown, he managed to work his way up as a band singer, following that with working in clubs and regional radio. His smooth baritone was reminiscent of his idol, Bing Crosby, and he began to attract some notice. Eventually he hit pay dirt with his recording of "Till the End of Time", from the movie A Song To Remember.
It was a smash hit and began a string of successful recordings that included "Surrender", "Prisoner Of Love", and others. He became so popular that he was given a radio show that in turn led to a spot on TV, as the host of the Chesterfield Supper Club. His hits continued, with best-sellers on "All At Once You Love Her", "Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes", and "Tina Marie".