1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
April in Portugal recorded by Vic Damone Music by Paul Verrau, Lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy with David Carroll’s Orchestra (original Portugese lyrics by Jose Galhardo)
Introduced May 16, 1953, on Mercury records # 70128
Originally written for the University of Coimbra in Portugese East Africa, Les Baxter’s instrumental version of April in Portugal reached the top of the charts. This seldom-heard vocal version opens big with a piano introduction, features a lush, lilting arrangement that includes lots of violins and Vic Damone’s warm lyric baritone that soars with a dramatic crescendo at the end. Surprisingly, Vic Damone’s 1957 recording at Columbia, An Affair to Remember, the title song from the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr film never made it into the top ten either. Shortly before his 18th birthday Vic Damone won the popular Arthur Godfrey ‘Talent Scouts’ TV program on CBS. There he met TV comic Milton Berle who helped him get work at prominent nightclubs. By his 19th birthday he had a record deal with Mercury records, but two years later his draft into the military interrupted his recording. One of the prototypical Italian-American crooners, he parlayed a smooth, mellow baritone into big-time pop stardom.