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November 14: Happy Birthday, Morton Downey

Not to be confused with his son, the loathsome gab-show host, Morton Downey, Jr., Morton Downey was "The Irish Nightingale," a popular and successful singer.

In the employ of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, the tenor began making a name for himself in the 1920s.

He then became an entrepreneur, opening up a nightclub, The Delmonico.  It was there that he began broadcasting a radio show of musical performances.

A later incarnation was a program called "Songs By Morton Downey," in the 40's, on which he belted out such numbers as "I Don't Want To Be Loved By Anyone But You," "Chickery Chick," and "Just Around the Corner."  The original Downey was backed by Jimmy Lytell and His Orchestra.  He usually brought in guests who were, frankly, very minor celebrities and industry figures.  David Ross did the announcing.

Happy Birthday, MD Senior.  Thanks for the musical memories!


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