Born: September 13, 1918; Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died: March 28, 1980; Los Angeles, CA
Dick Haymes was one of the most splendid ballad singers of his era, the near-equal of Crosby and Sinatra on classics of the form like "It Can't Be Wrong," "Till the End of Time" and "It Might as Well Be Spring." Though he was unable to cash in during the '50s golden era of adult-pop (due to alcoholism and a few tempestuous relationships), Haymes continued performing and recording until his death in 1980.
Born of British parents, HaymesRead more spent his childhood in Paris and later the United States, where his mother performed as a singer. He left school to move to Hollywood, and worked as an extra on several films before he was hired by Harry James to replace his male singer, Frank Sinatra. During 1941-42, Haymes recorded several hits with James, though their biggest collaborative success -- "I'll Get By (As Long as I Have You" -- actually hit number one in 1944, three years after its recording date. Two of his first solo singles, 1943's "It Can't Be Wrong" and "You'll Never Know," also reached the top of the charts (the latter spent almost two months there). Haymes finally succeeded in Hollywood with 1945's State Fair, and he won an Oscar for his rendition of "It Might as Well Be Spring." He spent much of the mid-'40s near the top of the charts, though his professional and personal life began to decline after a bitter divorce, mishandled finances, and heavy drinking. (A whirlwind romance and two-year marriage to Rita Hayworth hardly settled things down.) He began a professional comeback in 1955 with two LPs for Capitol and finally kicked his habit drinking habit ten years later. Haymes performed numerous club dates and last recorded in 1978 before losing a long bout with cancer two years later. Read less
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