Guy Mitchell (February 22, 1927-July 1, 1999) was an American pop singer, who was even more successful in the United Kingdom than his homeland, despite being an international recording star of the 1950s with five #1 singles.
He was born Al Cernik, son of immigrants from Croatia, in Detroit, Michigan. At the age of 11, he was signed by Warner Brothers Pictures, to be groomed as a child star, and he also performed on the radio on Station KFWB in Los Angeles, California. After leaving school, he worked as a saddlemaker, but supplemented his income by singing whenever he could. At this point in his life, Dude Martin, who had a country music broadcast in San Francisco, noticed him and hired him to perform with his band. He served in the United States Navy for two years, and after leaving the service became a singer with Carmen Cavallaro's big band. In 1947 he made some recordings for Decca with Cavallaro's band, but had to leave due to a case of food poisoning. He eventually went to New York City, and made several records for King Records under the name Al Grant. He won on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts radio show during this time.
Mitch Miller, who was in charge of talent at Columbia Records, noted Al in 1950, and he joined Columbia and got his new stage name at Miller's urging: Miller is supposed to have said, "my name is Mitchell and you seem a nice guy, so we'll call you Guy Mitchell."
In the 1950s and 1960s he acted in movies as well as singing. He did movies with Teresa Brewer and Rosemary Clooney. In 1957 he had his own television show.
His first hit was 1951's "My Heart Cries for You".
Though he is considered an average pop singer, many of his songs have a decided rock beat to them, including "Knee Deep in the Blues", "Heartaches By the Number", "Rock-a-Billy", "The Same Old Me" and his biggest hit, "Singing the Blues", which was #1 for 10 weeks in 1956.