A popular American singer, actor, bandleader, and entertainer.
In high school, he took up the saxophone and acquired the nickname "Rudy" after then famous saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft.
Having played drums in his high school band, Vallee played clarinet and saxophone in various bands around New England in his youth. In 1917, he decided to enlist for World War I, but was discharged when the Navy authorities found out that he was only 15.
Vallee became the most prominent and, arguably, the first of a new style of popular singer, the crooner.
Previously, popular singers needed strong projecting voices to fill theaters in the days before the electric microphone. Crooners had soft voices that were well suited to the intimacy of the new medium of radio.
Vallee also became what was perhaps the first complete example of the 20th century mass media pop star.
Vallee's recording career began in 1928 recording for Columbia Records' cheap labels (Harmony, Velvet Tone, and Diva). He signed to Victor in February 1929 and remained through late 1931.
Along with his group, The Connecticut Yankees, Vallee's best known popular recordings included: "The Stein Song" in the early part of the decade and "Vieni, Vieni" in the latter '30s.
Rudy Vallee died on July 3, 1986 at the age of 84.
Rudy Vallee and His Connecticut Yankees (1929)
Radio Rhythm (1929)
Campus Sweethearts (1929)
The Vagabond Lover (1929)
Glorifying the American Girl (1929)
The Big Dog (1930)
Betty Co-Ed (1931)
Kitty from Kansas City (1931)
Musical Justice (1931)
Knowmore College (1932)
Rudy Vallee Melodies (1932)
The Musical Doctor (1932)
International House (1933)
George White's Scandals (1934)
Poor Cinderella (1934)
A Trip Thru a Hollywood Studio (1935)
Sweet Music (1935)
Paramount Headliner: Broadway Highlights No. 1 (1935)
Paramount Headliner: Broadway Highlights No. 2 (1935)
For Auld Lang Syne (1938)
Gold Diggers in Paris (1938)
Second Fiddle (1939)
Take Me Back to My Boots and Saddle (1941)
Too Many Blondes (1941)
Time Out for Rhythm (1941)
Picture People No. 2: Hollywood Sports (1941)
Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 6 (1942)
The Palm Beach Story (1942)
Happy Go Lucky (1943)
Screen Snapshots: Hollywood in Uniform (1943)
Rudy Vallee and His Coast Guard Band (1944)
It's In the Bag! (1945)
Man Alive (1945)
People Are Funny (1946)
The Fabulous Suzanne (1946)
The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947)
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)
So This Is New York (1948)
I Remember Mama (1948)
Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
My Dear Secretary (1949)
Mother Is a Freshman (1949)
The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (1949)
Father Was a Fullback (1949)
The Admiral Was a Lady (1950)
Ricochet Romance (1954)
Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955)
The Helen Morgan Story (1957)
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)
Silent Treatment (1968)
Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)
The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968)
The Phynx (1970)
Slashed Dreams (1975)
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)
All information may be obtained at the web address above.
The above image:
This is a press photograph from the George Grantham Bain collection, which was purchased by the Library of Congress in 1948. According to the library, there are no known restrictions on the use of these photos.Width:300 Height:400