He was discovered at age 11 and offered a job in vaudeville.
He could usually be found at the posh Carlyle Hotel on Manhattan's Upper East Side, where he was the artist-in-residence for the better part of 40 years.
His father was a coal miner and his mother was a homemaker. His school classmate was Dick Van Dyke.
He sang the theme song for the 1972 film Savages, which was directed by James Ivory.