Toni Arden, a chanteuse whom Frank Sinatra called a “singer’s singer,” died at her home in Lake Worth, Fla., on May 29. She was 88.
Arden began has a singer with big bands in the 1940s before she going solo in 1946 and signing her first major-label contract in 1949, with Columbia Records. Her hits at Columbia included “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” (which reached No. 7 on the Billboard charts), “Too Young” (No. 15), “Kiss of Fire” (No. 14) and “I’m Yours” (No. 24).
She moved to Decca Records in the mid-1950s and scored her biggest-selling single with “Padre” in 1958.
During the 1950s Arden appeared at top nightspots including New York’s Copacabana and as a guest vocalist on a number of television variety shows, including “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Jackie Gleason Show,” “The Morey Amsterdam Show,” “The Colgate Comedy Hour,” “Cavalcade of Stars” and “Songs for Sale.” She also appeared in a few films, including the Universal short “Carnival in April” and the 1958 Columbia Pictures musical “Senior Prom.”
Another Arden admirer was fellow singer Vic Damone, who called her “the greatest girl singer in the world.”
Antoinette Ardizzoni was born in Manhattan; her father was a singer with the Metropolitan Opera.
She is survived by her brother, Jan Arden, also a singer.