Posted: Jul 13 2015
Nothing is as cool as a crooner. Smooth, sophisticated and charming. Even with a big band behind them, they only need a microphone to control the room. But what makes a cool crooner? We get into the swing of things and take a look at some of the experts.
Bobby Darin did it all. He was a singer, songwriter and an actor of film and television. His 1958 song Splish Splash sold over a million copies and his later song Beyond The Sea, took him to World fame. He made performing look like it took no effort, when he would put everything into a show. Darin was different, due to health issues as a child he would always push himself, it was noted he needed oxygen after some performances at an older age. This contributed to his greatest, how many other singers win Golden Globes? A recent biopic of Darin starring Kevin Spacey shows just how smooth this crooner was.
Track: Beyond The Sea – The Ultimate Bobby Darin
The most recognised crooner to ever live. The face, the voice, everything about the man oozed suave and charm. Sinatra’s hits ruled the charts and still do to this day. He took to the stage like a fish to water, it was natural for him and people saw this. His voice wasn’t the only thing to grace people the man could act. Starting from the early 40s, his acting career lasted till the early 80s. Academy Awards, American Cinema Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globes, he won them all. Some of his most noticeable films include The Man With The Golden Arm (1955), Guys and Dolls (1955), Oceans Eleven (1960) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Sinatra has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, each for his work in music, film and television. Not only was he a man of the stage, he also had strong political views. He’d work closely with John F. Kennedy during the 60s with the help of his fellow Rat Packers Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis Jr. While ties slowly faded with Kennedy, Sinatra still found a place in politics. In 1972 he supported the re election of Richard Nixon, pledging his allegiance towards the Republicans after being a Democrat all his life. In 1980 Sinatra donated $4 million to support Ronald Reagan in his election campaign, to which he won.
Track: Come Fly With Me – Sinatra: Best Of The Best
Buddy Greco, the American singer and pianist. Having played the piano since the age of four, Greco’s piano and vocals are something to be remembered. He’s worked with them all, most famously The Rat Pack. His well-known style of up beat staccato singing, gave a lift to his songs that made people get off their feet. He later toured the UK, most noticeably playing with BBC’s Big Band at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London.
Track: The Lady Is A Tramp – The Lady Is A Tramp
Perry Como’s career spanned over half a century. A popular American singer and television personality, his combined success on television and popular recordings couldn’t be matched at the time. Como’s greatest attribute of success was his good taste. His decisions always turned out to be the best ones. Like Sinatra, Como’s work in radio, television and music has seen him gain a Hollywood Walk of Fame star for each.
Track: Papa Loves Mambo - Reflections
The King needs no explaining. The rockabilly is known as a cultural icon of the 20th century for changing the face of music. Although more related to ‘Rock and Roll’, influences of Crooning can be heard in his love songs. The stage presence with bands and his booming voice gets him onto our list of crooners.
Track: Love Me Tender – That’s The Way It Is
A smooth American Jazz trumpeter’s, Chet Baker was know for his soft approach to jazz. During the 1950’s Baker received high praise for his albums (Chet Baker Sings, It Could Happen To You). His voice was as smooth as his playing. Compared to James Dean in looks, Frank Sinatra in voice and Bix Beiderbecke for playing, he had it all. Baker was in and out of jail frequently and unfortunately due to drug abuse, lost his life aged 58 in Amsterdam.
Track: Its Always You – Chet Baker Sings
A jazz singer from New York, Mark Murphy’s defined style of singing is recognisable by most who’ve heard him. What makes Murphy unique is his ability for vocal improvisation with both melody and lyrics. With six Grammy award nominations for Best Vocal Jazz Performance and a four-year stint for Best Male Vocalist of the Year for Down Beat magazine, this guy has the voice. A man that can put out an average of an album a year has something to sing about, so he’s worth a listen.
Track: Stoppin’ The Clock – All The Way
The newcomer. Jazz Hot magazine compared Matteo Brancaleoni to his idol Frank Sinatra. The Italian jazz singer has taken the jazz scene by storm. With original songs and interpretations from the American ‘Songbook”, Brancaleoni’s own twist has seen him well received, most noticeably being awarded the Best New Talent at the Elba Jazz Festival.
Track: New Life – New Life
The inspired. This singer-songwriters mix of soulful, jazz and hip-hop inspirations has won over many. Ocean grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and instantly took to the local jazz scene. Growing up he would do numerous chores to rent studio time. Following a successful mix tape of his own songs, Ocean has released two studio albums. Channel Orange his second album was nominated for album of the year at the Grammy Awards. He also picked up International Male Award at the 2013 BRIT Awards. Ocean is part of the new, younger crooner bop.
Track: Sweet Life – Channel Orange