Buddy Clark

Picture of Buddy Clark

Buddy Clark was a popular Big Band Era singer. In the late 1940's, after returning from service in World War II, his career blossomed and he became one of the nation's top crooners. His life and career were cut short due to a tragic plane crash in 1949.

He made his Big Band singing debut in 1932, with Gus Arnheim's Orchestra, but was not successful. He gained wider notice in 1934, with Benny Goodman on the Let's Dance radio program. In 1936, he began performing on the show Your Hit Parade, and remained until 1938. In the mid-1930's, he signed with Vocalion Records, having a top-20 hit with "Spring Is Here". He continued recording until he entered the military, but did not have another hit until the late 1940's.

In 1946, after returning from World War II, he signed with Columbia Records and scored his biggest hit with the song "Linda."

Interesting little fact:
Now here is something I didn't know until making this post. Buddy Clark's popular hit song "Linda" was written especially for the six-year-old daughter of a show business lawyer named Lee Eastman, whose client, songwriter Jack Lawrence, wrote the song at Lee’s request. When she reached adulthood, Linda became Linda McCartney. She was famous as a photographer, a musician (as a member of Wings), and a spokeswoman for animal rights.

Watch a Soundie of Buddy Clark performing "Linda"

Getting back to Buddy Clark, 1947 also saw hits for Clark with such titles as "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?", "Peg O' My Heart", "An Apple Blossom Wedding", and "I'll Dance at Your Wedding". The following year he had another major hit with "Love Somebody."

On October 1, 1949, hours after Buddy had completed a broadcast on CBS Radio with The Andrews Sisters, Clark joined five friends in renting a small plane to attend a college football game in Stanford, California. On the way back to Los Angeles after the game, the plane ran out of fuel, lost altitude, and crashed on Beverly Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Clark didn't survive the crash.  A month after his death, his recording of "A Dreamer's Holiday" hit the charts.

Listen to "A Dreamer's Holiday" performed by Buddy Clark

You can hear many of Buddy Clark's songs right here on Swing City Radio.

Swing City Radio: Playing Your Big Band and Swing Music Favorites from the 1930's, 40's and Today! - Big Band Radio Station Broadcasting Online from King of Prussia, PA.

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