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Vladimir Havran

Hubert Prior Vallee
Vocalist, Saxophonist, Band Leader, Radio Personality, Actor

Rudy Vallee, best known as a popular crooner in the ‘30s, started his career on saxophone. He played drums in high school, taught himself clarinet and then switched to sax when he heard Rudy Wiedoeft. Vallee’s real name was Hubert, but his fascination with Wiedoeft earned him the nickname “Rudy” which stuck.

He dropped out of college to join a British big band at London’s Savoy Hotel but returned to Yale in 1925 and graduated with a degree in philosophy. In 1928 he formed the Connecticut Yankees band which was booked into the Heigh-Ho Club in New York. There he picked up his introductory “Heigh-Ho Everybody” and became the rage, singing into a megaphone to enhance his thin voice.

The Hollywood film, The Vagabond Lover (1929), featured the band, and their weekly radio broadcasts drew large audiences and high profile guests. Vallee also recorded several successful singles that year, including “Marie.” He enjoyed success throughout the ‘30s as a radio personality and crooner and appeared in several films as a collegiate heartthrob.


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