RUDY VALLEE AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO



Rudy Vallée was born July 28, 1901 – died July 3, 1986. Vallee was a popular American singer, actor, bandleader, and entertainer. Born Hubert Prior Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont, he grew up in Westbrook, Maine. In high school, he took up the saxophone and acquired the nickname “Rudy” after then famous saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft. Having played drums in his high school band, Vallee played clarinet and saxophone in various bands around New England in his youth. In 1917, he felt that Uncle Sam needed one more brave young man in World War I, but was discharged when the Navy authorities found out that he was only 15. He enlisted in Portland, Maine on March 29, 1917, under the false birthdate of July 28, 1899. He was discharged at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, on May 17, 1917 with 41 days of active service. From 1924 through 1925, he played with the “Savoy Havana Band” in London. He then returned to the States to obtain a degree in Philosophy from Yale and to form his own band, “Rudy Vallee and the Connecticut Yankees.” With this band, which featured two violins, two saxophones, a piano, a banjo and drums, he started taking vocals (supposedly reluctantly at first). He had a rather thin, wavering tenor voice and seemed more at home singing sweet ballads than attempting vocals on jazz numbers. However, his singing, together with his suave manner and handsome boyish looks, attracted great attention, especially from young women. Vallee was given a recording contract and in 1928, he started performing on the radio. Vallee became the most prominent and, arguably, the first of a new style of popular singer, the crooner. Previously, popular singers needed strong projecting voices to fill theaters in the days before the electric microphone. Crooners had soft voices that were well suited to the intimacy of the new medium of radio. Vallee’s trombone-like vocal phrasing on “Deep Night” would inspire later crooners such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como to model their voice on jazz instruments. Vallee also became what was perhaps the first complete example of the 20th century mass media pop star. Flappers (the predecessors of “bobby soxers”), mobbed him wherever he went. His live appearances were usually sold out, and even if his singing could hardly be heard in those venues not yet equipped with the new electronic microphones, his screaming female fans went home happy if they had caught sight of his lips through the opening of the trademark megaphone he sang through.

 

Original Rudy Vallee Autographed Photo, Approx. Size 7 3/4 x 9 1/2, black and white photo. Signed Rudy Vallee in ink. Regular Price – $ 649.00 / Sale Price – $ 498.00.

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