We are sad to hear about the passing of Jerry Vale at 83 years old. It was a privilege to listen to his silky voice during our performances with him. We have some very fond memories of him. One of them was when he cooked a gourmet Italian meal for all of us. He had a beautiful family and was dearly loved.
Excerpts from “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams”…
“Maria: We toured almost the entire summer of ‘73 with the legendary Italian crooner Jerry Vale. I personally loved listening to his show because in my teens I used to sing along with his albums at home. Now, as The Golddiggers we shared the co-star billing with him.
Jerry Vale opened the show with a few songs like ‘Lonely is a Man Without Love’ which had a lilting melody and built into a dramatic ending. Jerry’s songs were brilliantly arranged but the orchestrations were crisp and not overpowering with tasty tempo changes which usually led the way to a flawless high note soaring above the orchestra. His clear, cultured voice was always the focus of attention. After he engaged the audience, he would introduce us for our portion of the show.”
“Linda: We did a wide variety of music. ‘I Want to Be Happy’ was done in a campy Marilyn Monroe style then the tempo would swing during ‘Black Magic,’ while the ‘Torch Medley’ gave each girl a featured song… The duet, showcasing Maria and me, brought in the sounds of contemporary pop music, segueing into a foot stomping, hand-clapping gospel version of ‘Time and Love.’”
“Jerry Vale, Las Vegas Visitor:
‘What’s it like working with the Golddiggers? I love it. What’s not to like? They’re eight beautiful young ladies giving the audience all they have. I watch their show almost all the time. I enjoy going to work just to see them. They wouldn’t have to do anything, just stand there and let me look at them.'”
“Maria: Jerry Vale flirted with the audience as he sang his sophisticated version of the Tom Jones hit, ‘Help Yourself’—“Just help yourself to my lips, to my arms….” then turned the mood with the romantic, ‘My Love Forgive Me.’… I think all the women in the audience believed he was singing to them. Jerry would lighten it up with some Italian jokes and stories, keeping everyone in the palm of his hand as he sang the classics, ‘Return to Me,’ ‘Mala Femmina,’ ‘Mama’ and ‘Al-di-la.’ As soon as he opened his mouth to sing those Italian standards there would be thunderous ovation…”
“We played a lot of the Music Fairs with Jerry Vale, some of these theaters were shaped like circus tents, some were open to the outside and some were enclosed. The Valley Forge Music Theater and the Cape Cod Melody Tent were humongous ‘theaters in the round’ that seated three thousand or more. Another stop on our way was the Westbury Music Fair…
During our summer tour, Jerry Vale’s five-year old daughter visited him. She was adorable and was in awe of our sparkling costumes. With the help of the staff, we had a modest little Golddigger outfit made for her birthday. She looked really cute in it. We gave her the finishing touches by fixing her hair and applying a touch of make-up. One night, she surprised her dad by coming out on stage in the outfit. The audience loved it, especially her dad.”
Copyright: Beyond Our Wildest Dreams