Richard Herbert Hayes (January 5, 1930–March 10, 2014) was an American actor and singer and, in his latter career, a game show host and disc jockey.
Richard Herbert Hayes was born on January 5, 1930 in Brooklyn, New York. Hayes was a part of the glee club in high school. Hayes got his first singing job on Bob Emery's Rainbow House children's radio program. He heard the program on WOR radio one day when he was 14. After auditioning to sing on the show, he got a part in the show's choir. The series was cancelled shortly after Hayes joined the cast.
Hayes was discovered by personnel from Mercury Records in 1948. Hayes was singing at the Leon & Eddie's nightclub in New York City. He was approached by somebody who invited Hayes to perform on Art Ford's local Saturday night TV series on station WPIX in New York.
Hayes eventually became a regular performer on Art Ford Saturday Night. A vice president from Mercury saw Hayes on the series and invited him to record for Mercury. Hayes had much success as a recording artist while in his late teens. Between 1948 and 1953, Hayes had fourteen top 25 hits. That included four top-10 hits recorded and produced during his time at Mercury Records. His most successful record was his rendition of The Old Master Painter which was released in 1949. The song, produced by Mitch Miller, reached no. 2 on the National charts in December 1949 and remained on the charts for twelve weeks until March 1950.
Hayes was also noted for his military service and career during that time. He was drafted into the military, (Army specifically), in 1953. His rank was second lieutenant. Hayes was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey then Governors Island, New York. He served during the Korean War which ended in June 1953, a few months after Hayes' conscription, and the Cold War. The fact that he was in the army and his musical/acting background, Hayes earned a permanent spot as the emcee and co-host with Arlene Francis on the ABC competition series Soldier Parade in 1954. He was hired after the departure of Steve Allen. He remained on the show until its cancellation in June 1955. He also left the army that same year.
Hayes left Mercury Records in 1954 in hopes of joining Columbia Records where Miller had gone four years earlier. But when Columbia turned him down, Hayes joined the ABC label. He left ABC in 1957 and joined the Decca label. He remained with Decca for two years before Columbia finally signed Hayes in 1960. He left Columbia in 1961. He released more than 40 sides with ABC, Decca and Columbia but none of them ever made the charts. Finally he recorded for Contempo Records until 1964.
Hayes was well-known during television's golden age as the unnamed boyfriend opposite his real-real-life wife Peggy Ann Garner to Barbara "Babs" Smith on the ABC sitcom Two Girls Named Smith for two seasons in 1951. He perused a further career in television making several appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Robert Q. Lewis Show between 1956-1964. Hayes also was a regular guest on Arthur Godfrey's television and radio series between 1958 and 1972.
Shortly after the release of his last record in 1964, Hayes worked on several game shows. He first worked as an announcer on the original ABC game show Supermarket Sweep from 1965-1967. From 1970-1971, Hayes was the host of the syndicated version of the game show Name That Tune. He also was the host of the Canadian syndicated hidden camera game show All About Faces from 1971-1972.
In the late 1970s, Hayes moved back to New York where he became a congenial radio host. He first spent several years at WMCA in New York then he went to WWDB in Philadelphia and from there went to WCAU, (now WOGL), where he stayed until retiring in 1990.
Hayes was originally married to actress Peggy Ann Garner from 1951-1953. Hayes was Garner's co-star on Two Girls Named Smith. Garner and Hayes divorced in 1953. Hayes married a second time. With his second wife, Hayes had four children; Drew, Jackie, Jim and Gideon. His son Drew works for Cumulus Talk Radio in Los Angeles.
Hayes died on March 10, 2014 at the age of 84 in his home in Los Angeles, California after battling a long illness. (Info edited from Wikipedia)