Dick Merrick

Photo of Dick Merrick

Vocalist Dick Merrick got his first break in front of the mic at age 16 when the band he played in needed a singer. In 1942, Merrick worked with Jerry Walds or­ches­tra but left be­fore year’s end to sing for the McFarland Twins. He re­joined Wald in May 1943 and stayed for three years, record­ing sev­eral songs with the group, in­clud­ing Laura” in 1945, his most no­table tune.

In early 1946, ru­mors ro­man­ti­cally linked Merrick, once de­scribed in a re­view as balding” and muscular,” with fel­low Wald vo­cal­ist Kay Allen. The pair mar­ried late that year. Both had left Wald by that time. Allen, who later changed her work­ing name to Cathy” Allen, had joined Randy Brooks, while Merrick had left Wald for Bobby Byrne in April 1946 and then joined George Paxton by year’s end. He re­mained with Paxton un­til 1949, when the leader scrapped his band.

Merrick and Allen set­tled in Philadelphia af­ter their son was born in late 1948, where they ap­peared on lo­cal tele­vi­sion pro­grams. In early 1950, the cou­ple recorded to­gether on the Admiral la­bel. In August of that year, Merrick signed with Capitol Records as a solo artist, and in 1954 he sang for the BBS la­bel. He recorded more than 50 songs in his ca­reer but never quite man­aged a big hit, a fact he lamented in a 1981 in­ter­view. I al­ways wanted a hit record. I came close but never could get it,” he said. Just that one.”

Merrick con­tin­ued singing through­out the 1950s, end­ing up on the night­club cir­cuit. He quit show busi­ness in 1962 and moved to Florida, where his fa­ther lived, tak­ing a po­si­tion as Director of Activities at the Carillon Hotel in Miami Beach, which in­volved singing and host­ing in the hotel’s Tambourine Room. In 1969, he be­came so­cial di­rec­tor at the Versailles Hotel, re­main­ing there into the 1980s.

Music

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  • And So Little Time
    Jerry Wald (Dick Merrick), Decca (1944)
  • Laura
    Jerry Wald (Dick Merrick), Majestic (1945)
  • I've Never Loved Anyone
    George Paxton (Dick Merrick), MGM (1947)
  • I've Only Myself to Blame
    George Paxton (Dick Merrick), MGM (1947)
  • Judaline
    George Paxton (Dick Merrick), MGM (1947)
  • Rambling Rose
    George Paxton (Dick Merrick), MGM (1947)

All recordings are from the Internet Archive's 78rpm collection. Copyright owners, please see our removal policy.

Sources

  1. “Vaudeville Reviews: State, New York.” Billboard 2 Jan. 1942: 74.
  2. “Orchestra Notes.” Billboard 8 May 1943: 23.
  3. “Vaudeville Reviews: Loew's State, New York.” Billboard 29 Dec. 1945: 36.
  4. Kilgallen, Dorothy. “The Voice of Broadway.” Toledo Blade 7 Jan. 1946: n.p.
  5. “Music as Written.” Billboard 20 Apr. 1946: 26.
  6. Wilson, Earl. “Feet Edson Tells of Good Old Days.” The Miami News 16 Oct. 1946: 11B.
  7. “Record Reviews and Possibilities.” Billboard 11 Jan. 1947: 31.
  8. “Music as Written.” Billboard 26 Apr. 1947: 23.
  9. “Music As Written.” Billboard 9 Oct. 1948: 25.
  10. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 12 Feb. 1949: 106.
  11. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 3 Jun. 1950: 117.
  12. “Music as Written.” Billboard 5 Aug. 1950: 14.
  13. “Brookhauser Does a Solid Philadelphia Ed Sullivan.” Billboard 17 Feb. 1951: 8.
  14. Advertising. Billboard 1 May 1954: 29.
  15. “'Round Town Today.” The Miami News 17 Jan. 1959: 6A.
  16. “Show Scene.” The Miami News 2 May 1962: 5B.
  17. Marcus, Jane L. “Former Singer Enjoys His Role as Versailles Social Director.” The Miami News 3 Jun. 1981: Beaches 1.