Vic Damone was an American traditional pop and big band singer, actor, radio and television presenter, and entertainer. He is best known for his performances of songs such as the number one hit "You're Breaking My Heart", and "On the Street Where You Live" (from My Fair Lady) and "My Heart Cries for You" which were both number four hits.
Damone was born Vito Rocco Farinola in Brooklyn, New York, to Rocco and Mamie (Damone) Farinola, Italian emigrants from Bari, Italy. His father was an electrician and his mother taught piano. His cousin was the actress and singer Doretta Morrow. Inspired by his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, Damone began taking voice lessons. He sang in the choir at St. Finbar's Church in Bath Beach, Brooklyn, for Sunday Mass under organist Anthony Amorello.
When his father was injured at work, Damone had to drop out of high school. He worked as an usher and elevator operator in the Paramount Theater in Manhattan. He met Perry Como while at the Paramount Theater. Damone stopped the elevator between floors, sang for him, and asked his advice if he should continue voice lessons. Impressed, Como said, "Keep singing!" and referred him to a local bandleader. Vito Farinola decided to call himself Vic Damone, using his mother's maiden name.
Damone entered the talent search on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts and won in April 1947. This led to his becoming a regular on Godfrey's show. He met Milton Berle at the studio and Berle got him work at two night clubs. By mid-1947, Damone had signed a contract with Mercury Records.
His first release, "I Have But One Heart", reached number seven on the Billboard chart. "You Do" (released November 1) reached the same peak. These were followed by a number of other hits. In 1948, he got his own weekly radio show, Saturday Night Serenade
He was booked into the Mocambo nightclub on the Sunset Strip in 1949, residing briefly at the Strip's famed Garden of Allah Hotel. In April 1949 he made his television debut on The Morey Amsterdam Show performing Cole Porter's "So in Love". In January 1950 he made his first of several guest appearances on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town, including a duet, the first of many, with the vocalist and future TV hostess Dinah Shore. Over the next thirty years he became a regular featured guest performer on every major variety series on network television. Among the programs on which he appeared are All Star Revue, Texaco Star Theatre with Milton Berle, The Arthur Murray Party, What's My Line?, The Jackie Gleason Show, The Steve Allen Show, The Perry Como Show, The Bell Telephone Hour, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Garry Moore Show, I've Got a Secret, The Jack Paar Program, The Red Skelton Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Dean Martin Show, Hullabaloo, Mickie Finn's, The Danny Thomas Hour, The Jonathan Winters Show, The Carol Burnett Show, Della, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and several Bob Hope television specials.