It’s time to revisit one of our favorite subjects — crooners — and take a look at the story of a singer who not only had a tragically shortened career, but also a direct connection to the Beatles. His name was Buddy Clark, and his biggest hit was on a song that was written specifically for the girl who would later become Mrs. Paul McCartney.
Born and raised in the Boston area, Buddy Clark began life as Samuel Goldberg but changed his name after leaving law school for show business. As a rising young singer in the early 1930s his career got a big boost when he latched on with Benny Goodman’s band, just as it was rising to prominence. Within a few years he was starring on radio’s Your Hit Parade, making records, and even dubbing the singing voice for actors like William Holden.
The post-war years would bring his greatest success, including his biggest selling record, of a song that composer Jack Lawrence had written to honor a request by his friend, attorney Lee Eastman. It was a salute to Eastman’s toddler daughter, Linda, and Clark’s 1947 version would top the charts.
Clark would continue to sell a lot of records during that period, with songs like “Peg O’ My Heart” and “Love Somebody” among his biggest sellers. He would also work with some of the biggest names around, at times singing with popular groups like Eddie Duchin’s orchestra and also teaming up for a series of duets with Doris Day, but a premature end to his career was just around the corner. He was killed in a plane crash near Los Angeles in October of 1949.
Young Linda Eastman would of course grow up to become a multi-talented artist in a number of fields — and would also spend several decades as the wife of Beatle Paul McCartney, and the mother of his children. She died in 1998.