Albert George Cernik was born in Detroit to Croatian immigrants. After two years in the Navy during World War II, he started his singing career with the Carmen Cavallaro Orchestra, but quit after a bout with food poisonong. In 1949, he won on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Sccouts, which got him noticed by Mitch Miller, then in charge of talent for Columbia Records. Miller renamed him Guy Mitchell (telling him “Mitchell is my first name, and you seem like a nice guy”). His first hit was “My Heart Cries For You” in 1950, which went to #2 in the US and #1 in Australia.
1956’s “Singin’ The Blues” was his biggest hit, reaching #1 in the US (per Billboad and Cash Box), UK, and Australia and making it to #4 on the R&B chart.
His next #1 single was “Heartaches By The Number” in 1959. It went to #1 on the Hot 100 and Cash Box survy, #5 in the UK, #3 in Australia, and #19 on the R&B chart.
Mitchell was originally meant to be a child star, being signed by Warner Brothers at the age of 11. He hosted his own variety show, The Guy Mitchell Show, in 1957, and appeared as George Romack in the 1961 Western series Whispering Smith, with Audie Murphy in the title role. He died in 1999 of complications from cancer surgery. He was 72 years old.
Guy Mitchell, your Two For Tuesday, Noveember 28, 2017.