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Guy Mitchell

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Detroit, Michigan, USA (1947 – 1960s)

Guy Mitchell (27 February 1927 - 1 July 1999) was born Albert George Cernik, son of immigrants from Croatia, in Detroit, Michigan, USA. At the age of 11, he was signed by Warner Brothers Pictures, to be groomed as a child star, and he also performed on the radio on Station KFWB in Los Angeles, California. After leaving school, he worked as a saddle-maker, but supplemented his income by singing whenever he could. At this point in his life, Dude Martin, who had a country music broadcast in San Francisco, noticed him and hired him to perform with his band. He served in the United States Navy for two years, and after leaving the service became a singer with Carmen Cavallaro’s big band. In 1947 he made some recordings for Decca with Cavallaro’s band, but had to leave due to a case of food poisoning. He eventually went to New York City, and made several records for King Records under the name Al Grant. He won on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts radio show during this time.

Mitch Miller, who was in charge of talent at Columbia Records, noted Cernik in 1950, and he joined Columbia and got his new stage name at Miller’s urging: Miller is supposed to have said, “my name is ‘Mitchell’ and you seem a nice ‘guy’, so we’ll call you Guy Mitchell.”

His first hit “My Heart Cries for You” was in 1951. In the 1950s and 1960s he acted in movies as well as singing. He did movies with Teresa Brewer and Rosemary Clooney. In 1957 he had his own television show.

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