29 November 1932
Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, United States
4 January 1998 (aged 65)
John Gary (1932 - 1998) was a popular and technically accomplished vocalist.
Gary was considered by many to be one of the best crooners due to his extaordinary breath control and tonal quality of his voice. He had an exceptionally wide range of three octaves.
Gary was a stylized singer, who recorded 23 albums for RCA Victor Records. His singing ranged from robust baritone to a high sweet tenor often in the same song. Most popular songs of their time - suited to his intimate style - and they were among his recordings.
Gary sang in movies, on Broadway, had his own television show, and appeared at Carnegie Hall, with numerous symphonies. He appeared 30 times as a guest on the The Tonight Show with Jack Parr, Steve Allen and Johnny Carson. He traveled across the U.S. and Canada with approximately 40 concerts per year. For six years he gave Community concerts in over 400 cities and towns.
Considered handsome, personable, and very talented, Gary never quite became a household name. Possibly because his wide range was difficult for fans to sing along to; also his career peaked at the same time as the Beatles, whose unique popularity displaced the works of many artists of the time.
Gary was sometimes called the singer's singer because only another singer could fully appreciate what he was able to do with his voice. Most crooners were able to sing sweetly within a limited range, but Gary was able to carry what is known as a mezza voce up to beyond the staff. What often sounded like falsetto was almost always a legitimate tone.
One of his other talents was his seemingly endless supply of breath (no doubt aided by the fact Gary held several underwater swimming records). In addition to his impeccable phrasing, he artfully shaded words to convey the emotional content of the song. He was a crossover artist before the term was invented, and his 400 community concerts brought pop music to the concert stage. In 1960 he joined ASCAP and composed several popular songs. RCA has reissued some of his recordings and classy 92 track box is now available on the Collectables label.
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