Dick Haymes – Crooners of the Past

Dick Haymes 1918-1980

Dick Haymes was born on September 13, 1918  in Buenos Aires, Argentina as Richard Benjamin Haymes. He died on March 28, 1980 at the age of 61.

He was considered to be one of the best baritone singers of his era and also acted in numerous films. He first appeared in the movie Mutiny On The Bounty in 1935, as an uncredited actor. Nine years would pass, before he appeared in the movie Four Jills and a Jeep in 1944.

Dick Haymes is seen singing in this clip from State Fair.

Meanwhile, he had sung with the Harry James Orchestra starting in 1939.

Dick Haymes singing Laura, who makes me wish there were singers today, that are half as good as Haymes.

Dick Haymes singing with Helen Forrest the standard It Had to be You.

 Haymes was not successful at marriage having been married six times. His first marriage to Edith Harper was annulled, because she told him she was pregnant, when she was not pregnant. His second marriage to actress Joanne Dru lasted almost eight years.

His third marriage to Rita Hayworth last a little more than two years. He then married actress Fran Jeffries and that marriage lasted just slightly more than six years. However his last marriage to Wendy Smith lasted 14 years and only ended upon his death in 1980. They were married but separated when he died.

He also battled alcohol abuse problems and financial debt.

Haymes received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with one being award for recording and the other for his five years on radio.

His brother-in-law Peter Marshall was the sister of Joanne Dru, who was the second wife of Haymes.

This Is Always

This is Always is my only Dick Haymes music in my collection.

Track Listings

1. You Can’t Be True Dear – Dick Haymes
2. In Love In Vain – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
3. I Wish I Knew – Dick Haymes
4. You Make Me Feel So Young – Dick Haymes
5. Some Sunday Morning – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
6. What Do I Have To Do (To Make You Love Me) – Dick Haymes
7. All Through The Day – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
8. Do You Love Me – Dick Haymes
9. It’s You Or No One – Dick Haymes
10. Tomorrow Is Forever – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
11. A Little Imagination – Dick Haymes
12. This Is Always – Dick Haymes
13. Nature Boy – Dick Haymes
14. Together – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
15. As If I Didn’t Have Enough On My Mind – Dick Haymes
16. That’s For Me – Dick Haymes
17. It’s Magic – Dick Haymes
18. Love Letters – Dick Haymes
19. The More I See You – Dick Haymes
20. I’ll Buy That Dream – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
21. It Might As Well Be Spring – Dick Haymes
22. Oh What It Seemed To Be – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest
23. Laura – Dick Haymes
24. Till The End Of Time – Dick Haymes
25. It Had To Be You – Dick Haymes/Helen Forrest

Dick Haymes may have died 35 years, but he left a legacy of his music and movies for generations to come.


Dick Haymes: Great Singer Wed Six Times, Plagued By Alcoholism and Debt

Dick Haymes seen singing I Wish I Knew in Diamond Horseshoe (1945)

Fans of music from the 1940’s remember Dick Haymes as the singer, who never reached the name recognition of  his contemporaries, of Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, but still possessed one of the best baritone voices of that era.

Haymes was born September 13, 1918 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and died in Los Angeles, California on March 28, 1980 at the age of 61 of lung cancer.

His first big break was when he was signed as the soloist for the Harry James Orchestra in the early 1940’s. He went on to sing with the big bands of Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.

Next he would become a major recording star and appeared in 13 movies in the 1940’s, while also having his own radio program.

While his career was going well, he encountered marital problems in all of his six marriages, including the last one to Wendy Smith. She didn’t even attend his funeral, since she had filed for divorce before his death.

Wikipedia lists his six marriages:

Edith Harper
(1939; annulled) annulled when Haymes found out Harper was not pregnant, after Harper had told Haymes she was pregnant, causing him to marry her.
Joanne Dru
Nora Eddington
Rita Hayworth
Fran Jeffries
Wendy Smith

The six marriages produced six babies with three of them coming from his marriage with Joanne Dru.

Fran Jeffries was divorced from Haymes at the age of 28 and is 75 today and never remarried. She is famous for appearing in the movie The Pink Panther singing Meglio Stasera in the following scene.

Haymes had a serious drinking problem that plagued him for years. Then when his career took a downturn he began experiencing financial difficulties, due to his record and film contracts being canceled.

No matter how bad things were going for him, Haymes continued to possess one of the best baritone voices, ever heard in American music in songs like these:

Dick Haymes singing The Nearness of You.

Dick Haymes singing The More I See You to Betty Grable in the movie Diamond Horseshoe.

Life didn’t always treat Haymes well, but he never lost that rich, golden baritone voice, that he used for almost 40 years to entertain on radio, records, appearing with big bands and in the movies.

The world lost a great singer when Haymes died, but we can listen to his albums like this one that I have in my collection.


Spotify users that like music from the 1940’s will find a long list of  Dick Haymes music by just typing Dick Haymes in the search box.

If there is a listing for the word Easy Listening in the encyclopedia, it should be accompanied by a photo of Dick Haymes, since he best epitomizes what a easy listening singer should sound like.

His music is the kind of music you want to listen to after having a bad day, as you forget the troubles of the day and listen to the soothing music of Dick Haymes.

Dick Haymes may be gone, but he surely is not forgotten.