Billy Vaughn

A hugely successful big band leader who crafted some of the most celebrated US pop hits of the late 1950s and early 60s, Billy Vaughn pioneered a distinctive "twin sax" sound and helped define an era of innocent, jazzy, easy listening melodies. Born in Kentucky, Vaughn served in in the Second World War before starting out playing piano in lounge bars and clubs and joining vocal group The Hilltoppers, for whom he penned his first hit, Trying, in 1952. Setting up his own orchestra soon afterwards, Vaughn's break came when his instrumental version of music hall standard Melody Of Love sold over a million copies in 1955 and reached Number 2 in the US charts, and he became music director for Dot Records. In this role he scored over 40 Billboard hit singles including the Top 10 records The Shifting, Whispering Sands, Raunchy and Sail Along Silvery Moon and produced the acclaimed albums Blue Hawaii (1959), Look For A Star (1960), Theme From The Sundowners (1961), Sail Along Silvery Moon (1960), Berlin Melody (1962) and the chart-topping Theme From A Summer Place (1960). He also worked with other artists on the Dot roster, including Gale Storm, Pat Boone and the Fontane Sisters and toured Japan, Brazil, Korea and Europe with his orchestra, before trends changed and rock'n'roll took over the industry. Vaughn retired in the 1980s and died of cancer in 1991, aged 72.

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Stations Featuring Billy Vaughn

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