Buddy Greco, the popular singer and piano player who started his long career with Benny Goodman and had a hit with “The Lady Is a Tramp,” died Tuesday in Las Vegas. He was 90.
A family friend, Barb Donohue, reported his death on Facebook. Las Vegas journalist Norm Clark also tweeted about his death.
Born Armando Greco in Philadelphia, he was hired at age 16 to sing on tour with Goodman’s orchestra. He left the band at 20 and returned to singing in nightclubs.
Greco’s version of the oft-recorded show tune “The Lady Is a Tramp” was released in 1962 and sold over a million copies. He also appeared in TV series and films including “Away We Go” and “The Girl Who Knew Too Much.”
Among his popular pop, jazz and country songs were “Oh Look A-there,” “Ain’t She Pretty,” “Up, Up and Away” and “Around the World.”
Among his dozens of albums were “Buddy Greco and His Jazz Friends” and “Benny Goodman Revisited.” He recorded several albums for Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records, forming a long friendship with the singer and hanging out with the Rat Pack.
In later years he continued to tour the world and had longtime gigs in Las Vegas as well as owning the Buddy Greco Dinner Club in Cathedral City near Palm Springs, Calif. After moving to England, he toured extensively solo and with the Swinging Las Vegas Legends Show. He produced the London stage show “Fever! The Music of Miss Peggy Lee” with his wife, who was a friend of Lee’s.
He is survived by his wife, Lezlie Anders, who often performed with him, and several children from previous marriages.