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Guy Mitchell
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Guy Mitchell (February 27, 1927 - July 1, 1999) was born Albert George Cernik, son of immigrants from Croatia, in Detroit, Michigan. At the age of 11, he was signed by Warner Brothers Pictures, to be groomed as a child star, and he also performed on the radio on Station KFWB in Los Angeles, California. After leaving school, he worked as a saddlemaker, but supplemented his income by singing whenever he could. At this point in his life, Dude Martin, who had a country music broadcast in San Francisco, noticed him and hired him to perform with his band. He served in the United States Navy for two years, and after leaving the service became a singer with Carmen Cavallaro’s big band. In 1947 he made some recordings for Decca with Cavallaro’s band, but had to leave due to a case of food poisoning. He eventually went to New York City, and made several records for King Records under the name Al Grant. He won on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts radio show during this time.
Mitch Miller, who was in charge of talent at Columbia Records, noted Cernik in 1950, and he joined Columbia and got his new stage name at Miller’s urging: Miller is supposed to have said, “my name is ‘Mitchell’ and you seem a nice ‘guy’, so we’ll call you Guy Mitchell.”
In the 1950s and 1960s he acted in movies as well as singing. He did movies with Teresa Brewer and Rosemary Clooney. In 1957 he had his own television show.
His first hit “My Heart Cries for You”.was in1951
Though he is considered an average pop singer, many of his songs have a decided rock beat to them, including “Knee Deep in the Blues”, “Heartaches By the Number”, “Rock-a-Billy”, “The Same Old Me” and his biggest hit, “Singing the Blues”, which was number one for 10 weeks in 1956.
He died on the 1st of July, 1999.
2007 would have been Guy’s 80th birthday year and to commemorate this anniversary SONYBMG(UK) are to release a new CD “The Essential Collection”. A tribute site has also been launched: http://www.agreatguy.net detailing his life and career as a recording artiste.
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