5 Actors Who Also Sing And Actually Had Some Success On The Charts [VIDEOS]
I’ve had this blog rolling around my head for a few months and I’m surprised that it has taken me this long to actually put it together.
It seems that there has always been a connection with actors and singers. Singers want to act and actors want to sing. Some have had success on their ‘singing’ career by camping it up, think William Shatner and his rendition of ‘Rocket Man’.
Other TV personalities that have tried, but with little or no success include: Chad Everett’s version of ‘Nights On Broadway’ or even Cassius Clay struggling though Ben E. King’s classic, ‘Stand By Me.’ Add in Mae West, Leonard Nimoy and Phyllis Diller and you’ll be having nightmares for life. Don’t believe me? Check out a collection of these songs and more on a series of cds called ‘Golden Throats.’
But, every once in a while you can find a ‘diamond in the rough,’ as far as chart success is concerned. So, let’s take a look at some actors that can legitimately sing and had a little bit of ‘love’ on the radio.
Don Johnson – Heartbeat #5 (1986)
Best known in the 80′s for his role of Sonny Crockett on TV’s ‘Miami Vice,’ this Missouri native rode high on the charts with his first offering. By 1988 he was dating Barbara Streisand and landed another song on the chart, modestly at #25, with her, called ‘Till I Loved You.’
Hayden Panettiere – Telescope (2013)
‘Save the Cheerleader, Save the World!’ That was the battle cry when Hayden Panettiere first landed on the TV show ‘Heroes.’ Currently she is riding the success of her new hit show, ‘Nashville’ with costar Connie Britton. One of the cool things for Hayden is that she gets to actually use her own singing voice on the show. Currently she is making a run at the country charts with this offering.
Bruce Willis – Respect Yourself #5 (1987)
I’ll be honest. At first, I was skeptical about this one. I’m thinking, ‘isn’t this the dude from Moonlighting?’ But, over time I’ve actually become a fan of this song. Originally recorded by The Staple Singers, Bruce’s alter ego, Bruno, knocks this one out of the park. As he prepares for the Valentine’s Day release of ‘Die Hard 5: A Good Day To Die Hard‘ could we see John McClane moonlighting as a singer in a pub? Now THAT would make me say, ‘Yippie kay yay.’
Patrick Swayze – She’s Like The Wind #3 (1988)
‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner’ and nobody knew this Houston native could belt out a song that would make the ladies swoon. The phenomenon know as ‘Dirty Dancing’ brought back some great music of the 60′s and some then-current hits from Eric Carmen, ‘Hungry Eyes,’ Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’ and this blockbuster smash from Swayze. I’m sure it also had a lot to do with the Soundtrack staying at #1 for a solid 18 weeks.
Jack Wagner – All I Need #2 (1984)
General Hospital’s ‘Frisco Jones’ was following in the very successful footsteps of fellow GH star Rick Springfield. Soaps, or as my mom would call them ‘her stories,’ have always been a good vehicle for a frustrated singer to get some air time and be exposed to a huge, mainly female, audience. It worked for Springfield (Jessie’s Girl, Don’t Talk To Strangers, Love Somebody), but lightning only struck once for Wagner. “Paging Dr. Drake. Dr. Noah Drake, music career cardiac in OR, stat.”
I had intended to put Eddie Murphy’s ‘Party All The Time’ on this list. The Rick James produced song reached #2 for 3 weeks in 1985, but as I was writing about Jack Wagner it reminded me of another soap star who hit #1.
Michael Damian – Rock On #1 (1989)
My Mom was a HUGE Y&R fan and one of her favorite characters was Danny Romalotti, played by Damian. The first time I met Michael was the day that it was announced that this song had hit #1 on the chart. Its a cover from the 70′s classic from David Essex.
I remember it like it was yesterday, I was working in California and called my Mom on the phone and told her that I had someone that wanted to say ‘hi’ to her.(Ironically, it was her Birthday). I put Michael on the phone and he said, “Hey Barb! This is Michael Damian from The Young & The Restless.” Guess who was the ‘golden boy’ that day in his Mom’s eye.”
By the way, Michael has a new movie called “The Sweeter Side of Life” that debuted on the Hallmark Channel on January 9th.