Armando “Buddy” Greco was an American jazz and pop singer and pianist. Greco’s career, spanning eight decades, encompasses millions of record sales around the world, countless appearances on radio, television and performances on the stages of the most prestigious venues in the world, including Las Vegas. He died in Las Vegas today, January 10.
Born in Philadelphia in 1926. His mother introduced him to piano at the age of four. At an early age he was singing and performing on radio and, during his teens, in Philadelphia clubs. When he was 16, he was hired by Benny Goodman and toured worldwide. He spent four years with Goodman’s orchestra, singing, playing piano, and arranging.
During his career, he recorded over sixty albums, conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, performed for Queen Elizabeth II and with the Beatles. While recording for Columbia records in 1962 he scored an international hit with his version of The Lady Is A Tramp, which became his signature tune. He signed with Frank Sinatra’s label Reprise Records in 1965 for which he recorded three albums including the popular Big Band & Ballads, which was released to widespread critical acclaim in 1966.
Las Vegas and Palm Springs
Greco met Lezlie Anders while she was performing in Las Vegas. Their first meeting was when they stepped out on stage together, as she was a support act for him at the Desert Inn Hotel and Casino. After marrying, they worked and toured together. In 1992, Greco began a thirteen-week act in Las Vegas at the Starlight Room at Stars’ Desert Inn. He performed with, and counted as his friends some of the most famous artists and bands of all time including Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, The Beatles, and many more.
While living in Palm Springs, Greco opened a small club. On the walls were pictures of Greco, the Rat Pack, and other celebrity friends, the room arranged by his wife. He often performed at his club, and it was a popular place for stars to dine before he closed it and moved to England.
In 2004 he and his wife were headliners with the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies at the Plaza Theatre in Palm Springs, California. He produced and recorded Fever! The Music of Miss Peggy Lee, a double album featuring his wife, from their critically acclaimed stage production of the same name.
Greco was still touring in 2013, well into his late 80s.
Video courtesy BuddyGrecoTV.