Downey Sr., Morton

Handsome signed 1934 pencil portrait of the popular singer-actor-songwriter

Price: $25.00

Description:
(b. John Morton Downey, 1901-1985) "The Irish Nightingale", Irish-American singer and entertainer popular in 1st half of the 20th century, enjoyed great success in the late 1920s-early 1930s. He was always known as Morton since so many of near relatives were also named John. He began singing with the choir of Most Holy Trinity Church in Wallingford, Conn. His sound was a very creamy, very high-timbred Irish tenor. By the mid-1930s the style was out of fashion, so he transitioned to a more "chesty" vocal timbre. For a time in the '20s, Downey sang with Paul Whiteman's Orchestra. He first recorded in 1923 and in 1925 began 4 years of recording for Brunswick Records. In 1926 he had a hit in the show "Palm Beach Nights" and toured NYC, London, Paris, Berlin, and Hollywood. He began appearing in motion pictures like "Syncopation" (1929), the 1st film released by RKO Radio Pictures. Downey was also a songwriter, whose most successful numbers include "All I Need is Someone Like You", "California Skies", "In the Valley of the Roses", "Now You're in My Arms", "Sweeten Up Your Smile", "That's How I Spell Ireland", "There's Nothing New", and "Wabash Moon". In 1930, Downey began national radio broadcasts after opening his own nightclub (The Delmonico) in New York. He was voted America's "Radio Singer of the Year" in 1932. At the time, he was featured nightly on Camel Quarter Hour radio broadcasts. In 1945, his transcribed program, "Songs by Morton Downey", moved from the Blue Network to Mutual and the number of stations carrying the program more than doubled. Starting in 1949, Downey began appearing on TV, co-hosting CBS' "Star of the Family" 1950-51. Signed9 1/4 x 6 1/2 pencil portrait sketch signed by the artist, New York City, 1934, signed with sentiment in dark ink by Downey at lower right.

Condition: Very good
Type:Signed Portrait






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