13 October 2008
This week's Manic Monday with the "Moon" for a prompt started a trip down memory lane. In 1980 I attended a memorial service with a representative of the Los Angeles Musicians Union for one of my favorite singers. Dick Haymes (September 13, 1918 – March 28, 1980) was an actor and one of the most popular male vocalists of the 1940s and early 1950s. The whole rock era had removed him from the charts, and a long bout with alcoholism destroyed his early popularity, but he continued to tour in Europe and was making something of a comeback in the states in the late 1970s prior to his death from lung cancer.
Haymes was probably as well known for his marriages as he was for his singing. He was married six times and had six children. His most noteworthy marriages were to film actresses Joanne Dru (1941-1949), Rita Hayworth (1953-1955) and Fran Jeffries (1958-1964). His daughter Stephanie Haymes was married to Sir Elton John's lyricist Bernie Taupin. When you add in his claimed "non combatant" status during WW II and his Argentinian citizenship, Dick Haymes was always a bit of any outsider even while racking up many notable movies and records.
There is an excellent short biography on Haymes at the bottom of the page here.
For those in a hurry, kick back for a few minutes and enjoy the peaceful easy feeling that comes when you listen to a beautiful, mellow baritone singing a love song.
Moonlight Becomes You