Vaughn Wilton Monroe was an American baritone singer, trumpeter and big band leader and actor, most popular in the 1940s and 1950s. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for recording and radio.
Monroe was born in Akron, Ohio and graduated from Jeannette High School in Pennsylvania in 1929 where he was senior class president and voted “most likely to succeed.” After graduation, he attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology, where he was an active member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity.
He formed his first orchestra in Boston in 1940 and became its principal vocalist. He began recording for Victor’s low-priced Bluebird label. That same year, Monroe built The Meadows, a restaurant and nightclub on Route 9 in Framingham, Massachusetts, west of Boston. He hosted the Camel Caravan radio program from there starting in 1946. It burned to the ground in December 1980.
Monroe was tall and handsome which helped him as a band leader and singer, as well as in Hollywood. He was sometimes called “the Baritone with Muscles”, “the Voice with Hair on its Chest”, “‘ol Leather Tonsils”, or “Leather Lungs”.