1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
Johnny Desmond (born November 14, 1919)
Famous POP hit single during the 50s: The Yellow Rose of Texas 1955
Desmond also had hits with Play Me Hearts and Flowers in 1955 and (The Gang that Sang) Heart of My Heart (with Don Cornell & Alan Dale) in 1953.
Recording career with hits on the charts: 1946-1957 Record Labels: MGM and Coral
Johnny Desmond was born Giovanni Alfredo De Simeone in Detroit. He worked at his father’s grocery store and, in his teens, attended the Detroit Conservatory of Music. The composer and pianist formed his own singing group, working with Bob Crosby’s big band, calling themselves the Bob-O-Links. Enlisting in the service, he was the vocalist with Glenn Miller’s Army Air Force Band. After the war, he spent six years singing on the radio in Chicago on the national variety program ‘The Breakfast Club.’ On Broadway he starred opposite Vivian Blaine in 1958’s ‘Say Darling.’ Johnny Desmond’s repertoire was extremely varied—light ballads, standards, and novelties. His version of The Yellow Rose of Texas almost outsold the original by Mitch Miller. He recorded the vocal versions of the theme from the movie 'The High and The Mighty' and Tara’s Theme (My Own True Love) from the classic 1939 film ‘Gone with the Wind.’ Johnny Desmond died of cancer in 1985.