Letters, We Get Letters

One morning, about a year after beginning my career at IBM, I arrived at my desk just in time to answer my phone. The caller greeted me with, “Hello, Mr. Leeds? This is Perry Como.”

Not being fully awake – I was still working on my first cup of coffee – I asked the caller to please repeat his name. “Perry Como,” was his reponse. I then asked who it was… really!

Really, it was Perry Como… not the famous singer… but the younger brother of Jim Como. Jim and Perry were nephews of the famous singer. Jim Como was my little brother in the Kappa Delta Phi fraternity at Edinboro State College. Perry was calling to ask who he should contact about a job at IBM.

Uncle Perry began his career around 1933 and “Til the End of Time” was his first big hit… in 1945. It only took him twelve years to become an overnight success!

I started today’s entry with my phone call story simply to demonstrate that I’ve known some pretty important people in my lifetime. Obviously none of the success of others has rubbed off… yet, but one never knows.

Once Perry Como became a well-known vocalist, he recorded hundreds of songs. I’ll share some of my favotites with you today. Let’s begin with Hot Diggity!

Next, we’ll review a song that caused many people to stand up and dance.

There’s a lot to be said about getting people up to dance. The members of the Nostalgia band love it when our music moves a few senior citizens to demonstrate some steps from long ago.

This next song is a humorous rendition of “Catch a Falling Star.” I have no idea who the “conductor” is, but the arrangement is interesting to say the least!

In college, Jim downplayed being the nephew of such a celebrity, but in later years admitted to a certain amount of pride. Of course, Jim has always insisted that his father, Perry’s brother, had the better singing voice.

This final song I’m offering today was performed in the twilight of Perry’s career and life. He was performing in Ireland.

I never met either Perry in person, but was a big fan of the singer.

While I treasure my friendship with Jim Como, I need to point out that I have come into closer contact with some very famous people. In fact, I once shook the hand of a gentleman who is known internationally as Muhammad Ali. But that’s a story for another time.

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