Buddy Clark (July 26, 1912 - October 1, 1949) was an American popular singer of the 1930s and 1940s. In the late 1940s, after his return from service in World War II, his career blossomed and he became one of the nation's top crooners. He died in a plane crash in 1949.
Clark was born Samuel Goldberg to Jewish parents in Dorchester, Massachusetts. At first he was headed for a career in law at Northeastern University in Boston, but soon turned to what he really loved which was singing which he had been doing on local radio. He made his Big Band singing debut in 1932 as a tenor, with Gus Arnheim's orchestra, but was not successful. Singing baritone, 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-1930s he signed with Vocalion Records, having a top-20 hit with "Spring Is Here". He continued recording, appearing in movies, and dubbing other actors' voices until he entered the military, but did not have another hit until the late 1940s.
Meanwhile Buddy Clark continued to be a large presence on network radio with "Here's To Romance" with the orchestra of David Broekman on NBC Blue beginning in 1942. That year Clark had a small role in the movie musical comedy "Seven Days Leave" which starred Victor Mature and Lucille Ball. Soon Buddy did his part for Uncle Sam and the United States entering the armed forces. After his discharge at wars end he returned to network radio with a starring role on "The Contented Hour" sponsored by Carnation with Jo Stafford and the orchestras of Victor Young and then Percy Faith. Later radio appearances included "The Spike Jones Show" for CBS in 1947, and "The Chesterfield Supper Club" for NBC in 1949. Meanwhile Buddy had been signed by Columbia Records in 1947 for whom he had charted as a featured vocalist ten years before.
In 1946 he signed with Columbia Records and scored his biggest hit with the song "Linda" recorded in November of that year, but hitting its peak in the following spring. "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. Upon reaching adulthood, Linda became famous as a photographer and a musician as a member of Wings, the 1970s band headed by her husband, former Beatle Paul McCartney.
1947 also saw hits for Clark with such titles as "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" (from the musical Finian's Rainbow), which made the Top Ten, "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" (a duet with Doris Day, selling a million and reaching #1 on the charts) and nine more chart hits, and extended his success into 1949 with a number of hits, both solo and duetting with Day and Dinah Shore. A month after his death, his recording of "A Dreamer's Holiday" hit the charts.
Clark joined five friends in renting a small plane to attend a Stanford vs. Michigan State college football game. 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 survived the initial crash by being thrown from the plane, but died hours later in a hospital from his injuries, the only one on the plane to have perished. And so one of the great stars of the post war years had lost his life. In those short two and a half years, Clark had placed twenty three records on the best seller lists, ten of which cracked the top ten, and three of which were number one records. An unexpected and tragic death had robbed America of one of its most talented and enduring singing stars.
For his contributions to the music industry, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 6800 Hollywood Boulevard. (Info edited from Wikipedia & Interlude Era)