American singer who enjoyed UK chart success with On the Street Where You Live
Sixty years ago, the ballad singer Vic Damone topped the UK charts with On the Street Where You Live. It was an unlikely achievement in the middle of the rock’n’roll era, but it was a perfect song perfectly sung. Damone, who has died aged 89, was regarded as a singer’s singer. Frank Sinatra applauded his technique, saying that he had “the best pair of pipes in the business”.
For all the straightforward faultlessness of his romantic singing, Damone led a complicated life, involving tax evasion, gambling debts and links to the mafia. On one occasion, when he broke off his engagement to a mobster’s daughter, he recalled, he was dangled from a hotel window. Not without irony, he titled his autobiography Singing Was the Easy Part (2009).