We might seem to be in a bit of a rut by featuring yet another actor/singer, but the story of Bill Hayes is a lot different from that of a recent GMC subject, Eddie Albert. For one thing, in 1955 he charted a #1 hit record — “Ballad Of Davy Crockett” — and for another, his acting career once landed him on the cover of Time magazine.
Hayes was born and raised in suburban Chicago, and pointed toward a show business career right out of college, where he’d majored in music. During the post-war years he kicked around for a while before finally hitting pay dirt in the early 1950s with a singing spot on Sid Caesar’s TV show. His subsequent popularity with fans became a springboard for his burgeoning career and he was soon finding work on Broadway too, including a starring role in a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical.
It wasn’t long before Hayes was also finding success in record sales with his chart-topper about the guy from the Alamo. (One of four hit records on the song, as described in a previous post.) Additionally, the 1950s saw him begin building an acting career, one that would eventually lead to the activity that many fans still remember him for — soap operas. He not only spent decades as a popular star in daytime dramas, but also met and married one of his costars, Susan Seaforth (pictured on the Time cover with him).
They are still a couple after almost four decades together, and during that time have often worked together, including a celebrated return in recent years to the TV program where they met, Days Of Our Lives. And even though he’s now 89 (she’s 71) Bill Hayes shows no sign of slowing down.