Technological innovation has always played a key role in the evolution in popular music, and when the microphone emerged in the early part of the century as a new tool for singers, a whole new style of vocalist was born: the Crooner.
Before the microphone, singers focused on sheer power to carry their voices to listeners at the backs of the theaters and clubs that hired them. Newly aided by electronic amplification, singers could concentrate on a more nuanced, conversational approach to music, and the original master of that style was “Der Bingle”: Bing Crosby.
The easy-going entertainer from Tacoma, Wash., gently purred songs of romance into the mike in recording studios and on radio, becoming the most popular singer of the first half of the 20th century. He spawned a couple of decades’ worth of followers, notably Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Perry Como and Andy Williams.
The Crooners were largely sidelined when Elvis Presley showed up and left the pop music world all shook up, but their influence has extended into the rock era through their impact on the likes of Barry Manilow and Harry Connick Jr.
—-Randy Lewis, who has covered music for The Times for more than two decades
Here's a look at some of the classic crooners honored with stars on the Walk of Fame. If you do not see the person you are looking for below please search our complete list of the stars on the Walk of Fame. And, if you haven’t yet, check out The Times virtual tour of the stars.