Kristin Richards

Written by Kristin Richards

Modified & Updated: 27 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Jerry Vale, the enigmatic and talented singer, captured the hearts of millions with his smooth voice and captivating performances. Born as Genaro Louis Vitaliano in 1930, Vale enjoyed a successful career that spanned over six decades. From his soulful renditions of classic love songs to his charismatic stage presence, Vale left an indelible mark on the music industry.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating life of Jerry Vale and uncover 23 lesser-known facts that showcase his incredible talents and intriguing personality. From his humble beginnings in the Bronx to his rise to fame as one of the most beloved crooners of his time, Vale’s journey is both inspiring and entertaining.

So, join us as we take a closer look at the life, career, and legacy of Jerry Vale, and discover the man behind the voice that continues to enchant fans around the world.

Key Takeaways:

  • Jerry Vale, the legendary singer, had a captivating voice and recorded over 50 albums. His romantic ballads and timeless music continue to enchant fans worldwide.
  • Known for his emotional performances, Jerry Vale’s legacy lives on through his enduring talent and timeless songs, leaving a lasting impact on the music industry.
Table of Contents

Early Life and Name

Born on July 8, 1930, as Genaro Louis Vitaliano, Jerry Vale grew up in the Bronx, New York City. His stage name “Jerry Vale” was a combination of the actor Jerry Lewis and the Valley Stream neighborhood in Long Island.

Musical Influences

Jerry Vale drew inspiration from great Italian-American singers such as Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. Their smooth vocal styles greatly influenced his own singing technique and repertoire.

Record Breaker

Throughout his career, Jerry Vale recorded over 50 albums and sold millions of copies worldwide. His enchanting crooning style and romantic ballads resonated with audiences of all ages.

Chart-Topping Hits

Jerry Vale achieved numerous chart successes with his singles, including the popular songs “You Don’t Know Me,” “Have You Looked into Your Heart,” and “Al Di La.” His recordings consistently made it to the top of the Billboard charts.

Television and Film Appearances

Besides his musical career, Jerry Vale made appearances on various television shows and even appeared in films such as “Goodfellas” and “Casino.” He showcased his versatile talents and gained recognition as a multi-faceted entertainer.

Recognitions and Awards

Jerry Vale received multiple accolades for his contributions to the music industry. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 1997, he was inducted into the Italian American National Hall of Fame.

Performance for Queen Elizabeth II

Jerry Vale had the privilege of performing for Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to the United States in His captivating voice enchanted the royal audience, further solidifying his international acclaim.

Italian-American Heritage

Deeply proud of his Italian-American heritage, Jerry Vale often incorporated Italian songs into his repertoire. His renditions of classic Italian melodies touched the hearts of millions and allowed him to connect with fans on a personal level.

Powerful Vibrato

One of Jerry Vale’s signature vocal techniques was his mastery of the vibrato. His powerful and controlled vibrato added richness and emotion to his performances, setting him apart from other artists of his time.

Collaboration with Top Artists

Jerry Vale had the privilege of collaborating with esteemed artists such as Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald. These musical partnerships showcased his versatility and further elevated his status as a respected vocalist.

Legendary Las Vegas Performances

Jerry Vale headlined in Las Vegas for many years, captivating audiences with his captivating stage presence and enchanting voice. His performances at iconic venues like the Sands Hotel and Casino became legendary.

Musical Influence on a Generation

Jerry Vale’s music had a significant impact on an entire generation. His romantic ballads provided the soundtrack to countless weddings, anniversaries, and special moments, making him a beloved figure among fans of all ages.

A Voice of Emotion

Known for his ability to convey deep emotion through his voice, Jerry Vale touched the hearts of listeners with his soulful interpretations of love songs and heartfelt ballads.

Longevity in an Ever-Changing Industry

Jerry Vale’s career spanned over six decades, a testament to his enduring talent and the timeless appeal of his music. He witnessed the evolution of the music industry and remained a relevant and respected figure throughout.

Successful Radio Performances

Jerry Vale frequently appeared on popular radio shows, captivating audiences with his live performances and engaging interviews. His presence on the airwaves solidified his status as a beloved entertainer.

Philanthropic Work

Beyond his music, Jerry Vale was known for his generosity and involvement in charitable causes. He lent his support to various organizations, including those focused on cancer research and children’s welfare.

Dedicated Family Man

Jerry Vale was a devoted husband and father. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Rita Grapel, for over 55 years, and they had three children together. He cherished his family and often drew inspiration from them.

Unique Interpretations

One of Jerry Vale’s strengths as an artist was his ability to bring a fresh interpretation to classic songs. His unique style breathed new life into familiar melodies, making them resonate with listeners in a whole new way.

International Fanbase

Jerry Vale’s music transcended borders and gained him a devoted international fanbase. His emotional performances and universal themes resonated with audiences from different cultures and backgrounds.

Musical Inspirations

Jerry Vale often drew inspiration from the Great American Songbook and artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Tony Bennett. He honored their legacies by preserving the timeless beauty of classic American standards.

Love for Italian Cuisine

In addition to his love for music, Jerry Vale had a passion for Italian cuisine. He enjoyed cooking and often shared his favorite recipes with fans, further connecting with them through their shared love of food and culture.

Lasting Legacy

Jerry Vale’s legacy continues to live on through his music. His recordings are cherished by fans worldwide, keeping his enchanting voice and timeless songs alive for future generations to enjoy.

Fondly Remembered

Jerry Vale’s passing in 2014 left a void in the music industry, but his impact and contributions will always be remembered. His remarkable talent, charm, and dedication to his craft have solidified his place as a true legend.


Jerry Vale was truly an enigmatic figure in the world of music. From his humble beginnings in the Bronx to his rise as a leading vocalist, Vale captivated audiences with his smooth voice and heartfelt performances. Throughout his career, he achieved numerous milestones and left an indelible mark on the music industry.

His versatility as a singer allowed him to excel in a variety of genres, from pop and jazz to traditional Italian songs. His ability to convey emotion through his voice made him a favorite among fans and critics alike.

His enigmatic persona only added to the intrigue surrounding him. Vale was known for being private and mysterious, rarely granting interviews or sharing personal details. Despite this, his music spoke volumes, and he continues to be remembered as one of the greatest vocalists of his time.

In conclusion, Jerry Vale’s legacy lives on through his timeless music, captivating performances, and the countless lives he touched with his heartfelt songs.


1. What were Jerry Vale’s most popular songs?

Jerry Vale had several hits throughout his career, including “Al Di La,” “You Don’t Know Me,” “Have You Looked Into Your Heart,” and “Pretend You Don’t See Her.

2. Did Jerry Vale have a specific musical style?

While Jerry Vale was best known for his iconic renditions of traditional Italian songs, he also showcased his versatility in genres such as pop, jazz, and easy listening.

3. What awards did Jerry Vale receive?

Jerry Vale received several accolades in his career, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Italian American Foundation and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

4. Was Jerry Vale involved in any other artistic pursuits?

Although Jerry Vale was primarily known for his singing, he also had a passion for acting. He appeared in a few films, including “Goodfellas” and “Casino,” adding another dimension to his artistic career.

5. What was Jerry Vale like as a person?

Jerry Vale was known for being elusive and private, which added to his enigmatic persona. He was described as humble, down-to-earth, and deeply committed to his craft.

Discover more fascinating facts about legendary performers like Frank Sinatra, a renowned crooner who captivated audiences with his smooth voice. Mandy Moore, a talented pop singer, has also made her mark in the music industry. For a glimpse into the early days of rock and roll, explore the story of Buddy Holly and The Crickets, whose 1950s music continues to inspire generations. Each artist has left an indelible impact on their respective genres, cementing their place in music history. Dive into their incredible journeys and uncover the secrets behind their enduring success.

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