Rudy Vallee was a singer, actor, and bandleader. He took up saxophone in bands in the New England area. He enlisted in the Navy but was discharged because he was only fifteen years old.
He started a band called Rudy Vallee and the Connecticut Yankees. With this band, which featured violins, saxophones, piano, banjo, and drums, he started to sing.
Old Trunks didn't think much of his thin tenor voice but grandmother thought his singing and his suave manner and charm was very attractive. He started performing on the radio in 1928.
He was a new breed, called "the crooner". He did well on the radio with his soft voice because of the microphone. Think about other crooners that followed, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Perry Como modeled their voices after him.
He was also considered the first mass media star. Flappers mobbed him, appearances sold out. That is when he started using a megaphone. A make shift megaphone was fashioned back stage so the screaming women could hear him.
His first film was The Vagabond Lover. Like Elvis, the movies were made to cash in on his singing and appeal to women.
His last significant song was As Time Goes By. Anyone watching Batman may have seen him playing the part of Lord Marmaduke Fogg. Additional movies number twenty plus films including The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer starring Shirley Temple and Cary Grant. Also numerous radio shows and programs are listed.
In his middle years, Vallee's voice matured into a robust baritone. He has been quoted as saying anything I recorded before 1950, you can shit on. For that, Rudy scores a point in the life of the worn shoe lady.