60s Music

Introduction to Vic Dana

Who is Vic Dana?

Vic Dana
Vic Dana. (Source: Wikipedia)

Vic Dana is an former singer and tap dancer, originating from Buffalo, New York, USA. He was discovered by Sammy Davis, Jr. as a talented tap dancer, and moved to Los Angeles at Davis’ encouragement. There he started his showbiz career. But when tap dancing was losing its commercial appeal, Dana turned to singing, and signed up on Dolton record label where most of his hits cam from. His best known record was “Red Roses For A Blue Lady” in 1965. He made an album of the same title, which also became a success. When original vocalist Gary Troxel was drafted into the US Navy, Dana replaced him as the lead singer of The Fleetwoods, but only for live gigs. Dana also scored other Hot 100/Top 10 Adult Contemporary hits such as “Little Altar Boy”, “I Will”, “Shangri-La,” “Love Is All We Need,” and “Moonlight and Roses (Bring Memories of You).” He moved to Liberty label where he released “If I Never Knew Your Name” and “Red Red Wine.” He is now retired and resides in Kentucky.

From tap dancer to singer

Vic Dana is a retired American traditional pop vocalist. He was a former tap-dancer who later made his mark in the entertainment industry as a singer and recording artist.

He was born on August 26, 1942 in Buffalo, New York. Dana had already been a trained dancer when he was just a child. His tap dancing skills at age 11 were noticed by Sammy Davis Jr. who encouraged Dana to move to Los Angeles, California to bolster his dancing career.

But as dancing was falling out of favor as a main form of entertainment, Dana instead decided to take on a singing career. In 1960 he appeared as a lead singer for the Fleetwoods at live gigs only, pinch-hitting for the original vocalist Gary Troxel who had joined the US Navy.

 

Reaching the peak of his career in the 1960s

It was in the 1960s when Dana reached the peak of his career, and was one of the few remaining traditional pop singers of his time before rock and roll completely overwhelmed the traditional pop genre (as well as its artists).

As a solo artist, Dana scored numerous charting singles in his heyday, including “Little Altar Boy”, “I Love You Drops”, “If I Never Knew Your Name”, “Shangri-La”, and others. But his most remembered single is “Red Roses for a Blue Lady”, which went to the Top 10 on the pop charts in 1965. Dana also recorded his own version of Neil Diamond’s “Red Red Wine” (before a reggae-style version by UB40 became a #1 hit many years later). His songs also were a staple of easy listening singles rankings. Dana had recorded for two labels: Dolton (where he did most of his songs) and finally, Liberty Records.

List of Vic Dana’s charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100

  • 1961 – “Little Altar” (#45)
  • 1962 – “I Will” (#47)
  • 1963 – “Danger” (#96)
  • 1963 – “More” (#42; it also reached #10 on the easy-listening singles chart)
  • 1964 – “Shangri-La” (#27; also reached #8 on the easy-listening singles chart)
  • 1964 – “Love Is All We Need” (#53; also reached #7 on the easy-listening singles chart)
  • 1964 – “Garden in the Rain” (#97)
  • 1965 – “Red Roses for a Blue Lady” (#10; also reached #2 on the easy-listening singles chart)
  • 1965 – “Bring a Little Sunshine” (#66)
  • 1965 – “Moonlight and Roses (Bring Mem’ries of You)” (#51; also reached #5 on the easy-listening singles chart)
  • 1965 – “Crystal Chandelier” (#51)
  • 1966 – “I Love You Drops” (#30)
  • 1966 – “A Million and One” (#71)
  • 1970 – “If I Never Knew Your Name” (#47)
  • 1970 – “Red Red Wine” (#72)

 

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