Classically trained baritone and star of eight MGM musicals with
A divorce and near-poverty impacted his life, forcing him to move with his mother and brother to Philadelphia. He took correspondence classes, but never received an academic degree.
He sang a popular cover of "Shortnin' Bread" for the film Maytime.
He married Ann Denitz on January 19, 1939.
He sang at Franklin D. Roosevelt's inauguration.