UPI Release to Various Newspapers


Singer Vaughn Monroe Dies


STUART, Florida (UPI) - Vaughn Monroe, whose mellow baritone voice won him millions of fans in the big band era, died Monday of a respiratory ailment. He was 62. (sic He was 61)


Funeral arrangements were incomplete for the former bandleader and vocalist who moved his family to Florida from a Boston suburb about a decade ago.


The Monroe's lived at High Point, in the municipality of Sewells Point, near here. He was operated on for his respiratory illness two weeks ago at Martin County Memorial Hospital here. He died at 8:20 pm Monday.


For Vaughn Monroe fans he will always be remembered for his two greatest singles, "Racing with the Moon," and "Ghost Riders in the Sky."


Although his career included a few motion pictures, Monroe himself would have passed up his longtime association with RCA Victor as a popular vocal artist for greater recognition as a bandleader, arranger, and trumpet player.


It was, in fact, while playing the trumpet that he won his first professional big band job while still in high school in his native Akron, Ohio.


He had won the Ohio State trumpet contest while a teenager, and as a high school student he managed to work as a featured vocalist as well as trumpet player with professional swing bands of the early '30s.


"Don't think I like the idea of making all those voice records," he once said. "We have plenty of good jazzmen in the band and I'd like to do some instrumentals, but (RCA) Victor tells me to keep right on singing."


And while his band catapulted such stars as Bobby Nichols on trumpet and lead trombonist Ray Conniff to fame of their own, his bands always featured vocals by the conductor himself.


 In the '40s he was compared to Rudy Vallee as a romantic bandleader with many female fans and hot-selling records.


His musicians often joined in the singing, and along with his own solos, Monroe featured the Murphy Sisters and the Moonmaids, among other groups.


When the Dorseys and other bands declined, Monroe managed to hang on until the end of the decade, probably due largely to his accent on singing and his own personal draw.