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Buddy Greco (1926 - 2017)

Getty Images / Redferns / David Redfern

Buddy Greco (1926 - 2017)

Buddy Greco, a best-selling jazz and pop singer and pianist, died Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, according to KNPR 88.9 Nevada Public Radio. He was 90.

KNPR cited the Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Norm Clarke, who announced the entertainer's death in a tweet.

Greco was born Armando Greco Aug. 14, 1926, in Philadelphia. He started playing the piano at age 4, and he was performing on the radio and in clubs at an early age.

Jazz legend Benny Goodman hired Greco to sing in his band when he was just 16. He toured the world for four years with Goodman’s band, singing, arranging, and playing the piano. After leaving Goodman's band, he headlined clubs and began his recording career.

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Greco recorded hit songs in a variety of genres including jazz, pop, and country music. His biggest song was his version of the standard “The Lady Is a Tramp,” which sold over 1 million copies. His other hit songs included “Up, Up, and Away.” He recorded over 60 albums during his career. He played on a bill in the 1960s with the Beatles.

In the 1960s, he branched out and acted on television shows as well as in movies. He appeared many times on the TV show “Away We Go” and was in the movie “The Girl Who Knew Too Much.”

He was a member of the Rat Pack and appeared with them onstage and on TV. His many celebrity friends included Peggy Lee and Marilyn Monroe. Greco was a legend in Las Vegas who headlined shows at classic Vegas Strip hotels including the Desert Inn.

Greco spent much time in England and was a favorite performer there. In 2013, he celebrated his 80th year in show business with a concert in England that featured such artists as Paul Young and Michele Collins.

Greco, who married five times, was married to Lezlie Anders at the time of his death. They often performed onstage together.

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