Don Cornell was an American singer of the 1940s and 1950s noted for his smooth but robust baritone voice.
Born Luigi Varlaro in The Bronx, New York, Cornell got his start with trumpeter Red Nichols and bandleader Sammy Kaye before going solo. He sold over 50 million records. Among his hits were “It Isn’t Fair,” “I’m Yours,” “I’ll Walk Alone,” and “Hold My Hand.” His version of “Hold My Hand” sold over one million copies, and topped the UK Singles Chart in 1954. In 1993, he was inducted into the Big Band Hall of Fame. He was also a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity.
He was among the top headliners, appearing on the nightclub circuit during the 1950’s, when there were numerous such venues across the nation. Unlike many stars, he was very affable, and far from reclusive, aloof or distant when in public. When headlining at the Beverly Hills Supper Club, Southgate, Kentucky – in metropolitan Cincinnati – he appeared many times on the highy-popular Ruth Lyons noon television program. He was so popular and engaging, and such a favorite of its star and viewers, that he actually hosted the show during some of Ms. Lyons’ periodic absences.