Jerry Vale, a smooth-voiced singer who reached the top of the pop charts in the 1950s and '60s with his interpretations of romantic ballads, died Sunday at his home in Palm Desert. He was 83.
Vale's attorney, Harold J. Levy, confirmed his death after a long illness.
FOR THE RECORD:
Jerry Vale: In the May 19 LATExtra section, the obituary of pop singer Jerry Vale identified his song used in the film "Goodfellas" as "Pretend You Don't See Me." The song is "Pretend You Don't See Her." —
Signed to Columbia Records in 1951 by legendary talent director and producer Mitch Miller, Vale had his first hit two years later with "You Can Never Give Me Back My Heart." Backed by
The Italian American crooner from New York went on to record 50 albums and had hits into the mid-1960s with his signature "Al Di La," "Have You Looked Into Your Heart?," "Two Purple Shadows," "I Live Each Day," "Innamorata" and "You Don't Know Me."
He made appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson," "The Mike Douglas Show" and other TV programs and performed for decades in Las Vegas casinos and on the nightclub circuit.
Vale's renditions of Italian love songs clearly struck a chord with director
He was born Genaro Louis Vitaliano on July 8, 1930, in the Bronx, N.Y., to Italian immigrant parents. He got tips for singing while working as a shoeshine boy, and he won a talent contest after working at an electrical component factory and with his engineer father. By age 15, claiming he was older, he was singing in nightclubs.