Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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CHERRY, Don (pop singer)

(b 11 January 1924, Wichita Falls TX) Pop singer, also pro golfer. He studied voice after WWII service, and briefly sang with the Jan Garber band in the late 1940s; allegedly took time off from a golf tournament to make records in the early '50s, at first on Decca; 'Band Of Gold' was a big hit '55 (no. 4 USA, no. 6 UK '56) and was also the first arrangement on Columbia by Ray Conniff. Other USA top 40 hits were 'Wild Cherry' and 'Ghost Town', both '56. He was still recording 10 years later on the Monument label, but with more time for golf; he had a minor country hit '68 with 'Take A Message To Mary' and continued a popular live act. Meanwhile he was the voice in Proctor & Gamble's Mr Clean commecials from 1957 to 1966, which made him wealthy. He sang at Willie Nelson's 4th of July picnics, and made a CD with Willie, The Eyes Of Texas, to benefit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, and has done other charitable work.

He lost a son, Stephen, in the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.