Mel Tormé Dies

Mel Tormé (September 13, 1925 – June 5, 1999), nicknamed The Velvet Fog, was an American musician, known for his jazz singing.

He was also a jazz composer and arranger, a drummer, an actor in radio, film, and television, and the author of five books. He co-wrote the classic holiday song "The Christmas Song" (also known as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire") with Bob Wells.

With Tormé's assistance, Rhino Records mounted the first comprehensive box set of his recordings, The Mel Tormé Collection 1944-1985, in 1996, and in July he recorded the live album An Evening With Mel Tormé for the A&E network; it reached number 25 in the jazz chart. The following month, on August 8, he suffered a stroke. While he had recovered sufficiently by November to be released from the hospital, he faced continuing medical challenges for the next three years and never returned to performing. A&E Biography, a compilation, was released by Capitol in June 1998 and hit number five in the jazz chart. In February 1999, Tormé was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He died at 73 on June 5, 1999.