Wednesday, October 24, 2018

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Johnny Desmond

Artist:Johnny Desmond w/Gene Krupa and his Orchestra
Song:Keep 'Em Flying
Album:The Complete Early Sides

Though crooner Johnny Desmond had post World War II (WWII) solo success, he is probably best known as a singer with Gene Krupa and Glenn Miller during WWII. He sings lead on Keep 'Em Flying which was very popular in 1941. He was born Giovanni Alfredo De Simone Nov. 14, 1919 in Detroit. As a teen he worked at his father's grocery store. But Desmond wanted to be a singer so he went out on the road. In 1939 he formed the vocal group The Downbeats. When Bob Crosby hired them for his band in 1940, he renamed them The Bob-O-Links. They appeared on Crosby hits like You Forgot About Me and Do You Care?. He left Crosby in 1941 to replace Howard Dulaney as a featured singer in Gene Krupa's band. Krupa was the first star drummer and his appearance in the 1941 film Ball Of Fire made him a huge star. Keep 'Em Flying is from the 1941 Abbott and Costello film Keep 'Em Flying. It was written by Don Raye and Gene de Paul. In the film it was sung by veteran character actor Dick Foran and big band singer Carol Bruce. Krupa recorded Keep 'Em Flying featuring Desmond on lead vocals and a trumpet solo by Roy Eldredge. Keep 'Em Flying was released on the B side of Thanks For The Boogie Ride. And that was a big hit for Krupa. So I think Keep 'Em Flying piggybacked on that success and it reached #21 on the charts. Desmond's singing style was so smooth he was known as The Creamer. And while touring with Miller during WWII, Desmond was called the GI Sinatra. This budget CD from Collector's Choice covers Desmond's recordings with Krupa. Desmond enlisted in the US Army in 1942 and he sang with Glenn Miller's Army Air Forces Orchestra until Miller's death. Desmond went solo after WWII and he had success mostly during the early 50s. He also appeared on TV, in movies and on Broadway. Johnny Desmond died on Sept. 6, 1985 at age 65. Here's a video of Keep 'Em Flying by Johnny Desmond with Gene Krupa and his Orchestra.

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