CHICAGO, IL (May 21, 2014) – Jerry Vale, a Bronx native who was a famed Italian singer and performer, passed away Sunday, May 18th in his California home. He was 83 years old. The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF) sends its deepest condolences to the entire Vale family.
Vale has supported the NIASHF since its beginning in 1977. During that time, he attended and performed at several induction ceremonies.
Born Genaro Louis Vitaliano, Vale began singing and performing as a teen at supper clubs under the stage name “Jerry Vale.” He caught the eye of Columbia Records Executive Mitch Miller, who began Vale’s professional performing and recording career.
Vale was known for recording over 50 albums and for his hit songs “Al-Di-la,” and “You Don’t Know Me,” which brought Vale to the top of musical charts in the 1950s. He also recorded his own version of “The Star Spangled Banner” in the 1960s, which was played before many sporting events for years and honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Along with his singing career, Vale also made small appearances in cinema and television playing himself in the films “Goodfellas” and “Casino,” and on TV in the HBO series “The Sopranos.”
Vale is survived by his wife Rita of 55 years, and his two children, Pamela and Robert.
The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving honorable values through sport. Founded in 1977 by George Randazzo, the Hall of Fame has 238 inductees. The organization was founded on the values of Family, Friends, Faith, and Community and has been committed to providing support to students and youth of all backgrounds through its charitable programs, Second Wind and A Level Playing Field. The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is located in Chicago’s famed Little Italy neighborhood, at 1431 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607. For more information on the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, please visit www.niashf.org.
Brandt Bernat – firstname.lastname@example.org, (312) 226-5566