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Legendary Singer Jerry Vale Has Passed

You may not know his face, but if you watched any of the classic mob movies like Casino or Goodfellas, you know his music.

Jerry Vale has died.  The New York Times reports that the singer, who was prominent in the 1950s and ’60s, passed away at his Palm Desert, California home on Sunday at the age of 83.  Best remembered for the songs “Volare” and “You Don’t Know Me,” Vale began his singing career as a teenager performing in clubs near his Bronx, New York hometown.  He launched his recording career with the top 40 hit “You Can Never Give Me Back My Heart” in 1953.

Frank Sinatra helped Jerry secure his first performance engagement in Las Vegas.  While Vale eventually moved West, he remained a New York Yankees fan.  His 1963 recording of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which he made as a gift for the team, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

In his later years Vale made a few on-screen cameos.  He appears in the Martin Scorsese films “Casino” and “Goodfellas” as well as the TV series “The Sopranos.”  Vale is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, actress Rita Grapel, their two children, and three grandchildren.

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