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Mel Torme in Old Time Radio

Tagged the Velvet Fog, Mel Tormé was one of the smoothest and most musical of all the great crooners.

38 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 13 hours, 45 min)
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1 MP3 CD
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15 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from August 21, 1947:

"AFRS Mel Torme"



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Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2019 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Mel TormeCould any singer be called "the king of the Crooners"? We have seen several crooners in OTR who could certainly fit in the title. Rudy Vallee showed us that crooning could be sexy when bobby soxers began swooning when they caught a glimpse of his lips moving through his megaphone. "Der Bingle" demonstrated that crooning could be the foundation of a business empire, and Sinatra combined bobby soxer-screaming sensuality with the sort of aggressive coolness which defined the Las Vegas Rat-Pack.

As marvelous as these singers were, they arguably missed the entire point of crooning: using the music an electrically amplified male voice to create intimacy with the listener. Naturally, personality is a big part of the package, but not as much as musicianship. The greatest musician of the crooners was none other than the Velvet Fog, Mel Tormé.

Melvin Howard Torme, born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents in Chicago, 1925, was a musical prodigy. His first professional gig was singing with the Coon-Sanders Orchestra at the Blackhawk restaurant on N. Wabash Ave at the age of four. This exposure launched a short radio career as Mel played small parts on Chicago-originated soap operas as juvenile serials like The Romance of Helen Trent and Jack Armstrong, The All-American Boy. Acting held little interest for the lad, Mel's big ambition was to become a Jazzman.

He began writing songs at the age of 13, and three years later his first published song, "Lament to Love", became a hit for Harry James. Mel cut his teeth as a drummer with Chicago's Shakespeare Elementary School Drum and Bugle Corp, and was still in his teens when he began drumming, singing, and arranging for a band led by Chico Marx (Chico was a very talented pianist, but early on only played with his left hand until he got a better piano teacher who taught him to play with his right hand).

Mel and Frank Sinatra both made their film debut's in the RKO musical Higher and Higher (1944). Later that year he formed the act "Mel Tormé and his Mel-Tones", which was modelled on Sinatra's relation with the Pied Pipers. The Mel-Tones has several hits fronting for Artie Shaw as well as on their own. They are credited as an influential act who led the way for groups like The Hi-Lo's, The Four Freshmen, and Manhattan Transfer.

Mel Torme Raddio

Tormé left the Mel-Tones in 1947 for a solo career. While singing at the Copacabana in New York, DJ Fred Robbins gave him the nickname "the Velvet Fog" to honor his smooth style. (Mel hated the nickname, sometimes describing his voice as a "Velvet Frog".) He had a number of hits on the Decca label and along with Artie Shaw on Musicraft. His first and only number 1 hit came on Capitol, "Careless Hands", and he also first recorded his signature tunes "Blue Moon" and "Again" were first cut for the label.

Although he remained popular, the rise of Rock 'n' Roll took a toll on crooners (Mel described the new music as "three chord manure"). Tormé was a student of Jazz as an art form, moving his studies beyond just technical applications by writing books like The Other Side of the Rainbow (1970, about Judy Garland), It Wasn't All Velvet (1988, his autobiography), Traps-The Drum Wonder (1991, a biography of Buddy Rich), and My Singing Teachers: Reflections on Singing Popular Music (1994).

Tormé appeared in a few films. He played a gunfighter called "The Deacon" in Walk Like a Dragon (1960), and enjoyed the experience so much that he took up the quick-draw shooting as a hobby. His career caught an unexpected resurgence when the leading character on the popular TV comedy Night Court was a fan, and Mel was invited as a guest star several times between 1986 and 1992.

This collection contains many of his musical appearances as well as commecial spokesman appearances in various old time radio shows.

A stroke in 1996 left Tormé unable to continue singing, and he was killed by another stroke on June 5, 1999. He was 73. A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1541 Vine Street honors contributions to Recording made by Mel Tormé.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2019 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:

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  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    38 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 13 hours, 45 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      38 shows - total playtime 13 hours 45 minutes
      1. Barptcbsrn 591009 075 Wrap Up Time Detective.mp3
      2. Barptcbsrn 591014 078 Chat With Champions.mp3
      3. Barptcbsrn 591102 091 Bones Bronson.mp3
      4. Barptcbsrn 591106 095 Visit With Traffic Commissioner.mp3
      5. Barptcbsrn 591216 123 Wally Ballou In Front Of Cbs Studio.mp3
      6. Barptcbsrn 600101 135 Sportsophone.mp3
      7. Barptcbsrn 600106 138 Jesse Few Toy Bomb Demolition Expert.mp3
      8. Barptcbsrn 600127 153 Lawrence Fechtenberge.mp3
      9. Barptcbsrn 600210 163 Lawrence Fechtenberger.mp3
      10. Barptcbsrn 600217 168 Mr. Science.mp3
      11. Chevrolet Show 550105 I Want To Know More About You.mp3
      12. CP 451025 197 Eddie Cantor Mel Torme.mp3
      13. Cric 530907 13 Torment Henrietta Robinson Why She Killed.mp3
      14. Dave Garroway Show 500109 Mel Torme Dick Powell.mp3
      15. Fitch Bandwagon 421220 W Chico Marx Orchestra.mp3
      16. Gi Journal 450309 Groucho Marx Lucille Ball Mel Torme.mp3
      17. Gi Journal 450713 103 Without Song.mp3
      18. Guest Star 580504 0580 Lulus Back In Town.mp3
      19. Gunsmoke 591011 Kittys Quandary.mp3
      20. Hedda Hopper 510128 X Mel Torme.mp3
      21. King Cole Trio Time 470510 Ep030 Guestmel Torme.mp3
      22. Mail Call 153 Afrs 450711 Johnny Mercer Mel Torme.mp3
      23. Mel Torme Show 481012 Ep015 Historical Play.mp3
      24. One Night Stand 470822 AFRS Mel Torme.mp3
      25. Spike Jones 480409 Mel Torme.mp3
      26. Spotlight Revue 480409 28 Mel Torme.mp3
      27. Stars Of Jazz 1958 74 Cherokee Mel Torme.mp3
      28. Steve Allen Show 520701 01 Mel Torme.mp3
      29. Steve Allen Show 6001 Mel Torme.mp3
      30. Suspense 591213 Country Of Blind.mp3
      31. Suspense 591227 Moonlight Sail.mp3
      32. Swing Time 30 Jack Tegarden Mel Torme.mp3
      33. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 591018 Double Identity.mp3
      34. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 591220 Red Mystery Matter.mp3
      35. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600110 Unholy Two Matter.mp3
      36. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600131 Merry Go Round Matter.mp3
      37. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600221 Alvins Alfred Matter.mp3
      38. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600313 Deep Down Matter.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    38 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 13 hours, 45 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      38 shows - total playtime 13 hours 45 minutes
      1. Barptcbsrn 591009 075 Wrap Up Time Detective.mp3
      2. Barptcbsrn 591014 078 Chat With Champions.mp3
      3. Barptcbsrn 591102 091 Bones Bronson.mp3
      4. Barptcbsrn 591106 095 Visit With Traffic Commissioner.mp3
      5. Barptcbsrn 591216 123 Wally Ballou In Front Of Cbs Studio.mp3
      6. Barptcbsrn 600101 135 Sportsophone.mp3
      7. Barptcbsrn 600106 138 Jesse Few Toy Bomb Demolition Expert.mp3
      8. Barptcbsrn 600127 153 Lawrence Fechtenberge.mp3
      9. Barptcbsrn 600210 163 Lawrence Fechtenberger.mp3
      10. Barptcbsrn 600217 168 Mr. Science.mp3
      11. Chevrolet Show 550105 I Want To Know More About You.mp3
      12. CP 451025 197 Eddie Cantor Mel Torme.mp3
      13. Cric 530907 13 Torment Henrietta Robinson Why She Killed.mp3
      14. Dave Garroway Show 500109 Mel Torme Dick Powell.mp3
      15. Fitch Bandwagon 421220 W Chico Marx Orchestra.mp3
      16. Gi Journal 450309 Groucho Marx Lucille Ball Mel Torme.mp3
      17. Gi Journal 450713 103 Without Song.mp3
      18. Guest Star 580504 0580 Lulus Back In Town.mp3
      19. Gunsmoke 591011 Kittys Quandary.mp3
      20. Hedda Hopper 510128 X Mel Torme.mp3
      21. King Cole Trio Time 470510 Ep030 Guestmel Torme.mp3
      22. Mail Call 153 Afrs 450711 Johnny Mercer Mel Torme.mp3
      23. Mel Torme Show 481012 Ep015 Historical Play.mp3
      24. One Night Stand 470822 AFRS Mel Torme.mp3
      25. Spike Jones 480409 Mel Torme.mp3
      26. Spotlight Revue 480409 28 Mel Torme.mp3
      27. Stars Of Jazz 1958 74 Cherokee Mel Torme.mp3
      28. Steve Allen Show 520701 01 Mel Torme.mp3
      29. Steve Allen Show 6001 Mel Torme.mp3
      30. Suspense 591213 Country Of Blind.mp3
      31. Suspense 591227 Moonlight Sail.mp3
      32. Swing Time 30 Jack Tegarden Mel Torme.mp3
      33. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 591018 Double Identity.mp3
      34. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 591220 Red Mystery Matter.mp3
      35. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600110 Unholy Two Matter.mp3
      36. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600131 Merry Go Round Matter.mp3
      37. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600221 Alvins Alfred Matter.mp3
      38. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600313 Deep Down Matter.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    38 recordings on 15 Audio CDs
    total playtime 13 hours, 45 min

    Mel Torme Disc A001

    1. Stars Of Jazz 1958 74 Cherokee Mel Torme
    2. Steve Allen Show 6001 Mel Torme
    3. Swing Time 30 Jack Tegarden Mel Torme

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A002

    1. Fitch Bandwagon 421220 W Chico Marx Orchestra
    2. Gi Journal 450309 Groucho Marx Lucille Ball Mel Torme

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A003

    1. Mail Call 153 Afrs 450711 Johnny Mercer Mel Torme
    2. Gi Journal 450713 103 Without Song

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A004

    1. CP 451025 197 Eddie Cantor Mel Torme
    2. King Cole Trio Time 470510 Ep030 Guestmel Torme

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A005

    1. One Night Stand 470822 AFRS Mel Torme
    2. Spike Jones 480409 Mel Torme

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A006

    1. Spotlight Revue 480409 28 Mel Torme
    2. Mel Torme Show 481012 Ep015 Historical Play

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A007

    1. Dave Garroway Show 500109 Mel Torme Dick Powell
    2. Hedda Hopper 510128 X Mel Torme

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A008

    1. Steve Allen Show 520701 01 Mel Torme
    2. Cric 530907 13 Torment Henrietta Robinson Why She Killed
    3. Chevrolet Show 550105 I Want To Know More About You

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A009

    1. Guest Star 580504 0580 Lulus Back In Town
    2. Barptcbsrn 591009 075 Wrap Up Time Detective
    3. Gunsmoke 591011 Kittys Quandary

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A010

    1. Barptcbsrn 591014 078 Chat With Champions
    2. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 591018 Double Identity
    3. Barptcbsrn 591102 091 Bones Bronson
    4. Barptcbsrn 591106 095 Visit With Traffic Commissioner

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A011

    1. Suspense 591213 Country Of Blind
    2. Barptcbsrn 591216 123 Wally Ballou In Front Of Cbs Studio
    3. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 591220 Red Mystery Matter

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A012

    1. Suspense 591227 Moonlight Sail
    2. Barptcbsrn 600101 135 Sportsophone
    3. Barptcbsrn 600106 138 Jesse Few Toy Bomb Demolition Expert

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A013

    1. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600110 Unholy Two Matter
    2. Barptcbsrn 600127 153 Lawrence Fechtenberge
    3. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600131 Merry Go Round Matter

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A014

    1. Barptcbsrn 600210 163 Lawrence Fechtenberger
    2. Barptcbsrn 600217 168 Mr. Science
    3. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600221 Alvins Alfred Matter

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Mel Torme Disc A015

    1. Yours Truly Johnny Dollar 600313 Deep Down Matter

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
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