The Pittsburgh Tri-State Area is the Home of Multi-Million Selling Pop Superstars

American popular music originated in Pittsburgh.  The music of Stephen Foster, with its warm melodies and sentimental lyrics, is sung from coast to coast.   It appeals to a broad audience across generations.  As the first American song writer to achieve wide spread lasting popularity, Stephen Foster is called the “Father of American Music”.  Carrying on the tradition of Foster, several singers from the Pittsburgh Tri-state area have achieved wide spread popularity with top selling songs melodic songs or with performances in popular musicals and television variety shows.  

Perry Como of Canonsburg and Dean Martin of Steubenville are both among the top selling recording artists of all time.  Como sold over 100 million records and hosted a long running popular television variety show.  Dean Martin sold millions of records and knocked the Beatles out of number 1 with one of his songs.  Martin was the host of the highest rated TV show in 1965 and starred in many movies.  He was also one of the highest paid night club performers playing in Los Vegas.  

Starring in classic movie musicals Gene Kelly and Shirley Jones are enduring popular stars.  Singer and dancer Gene Kelly was star of many classic Hollywood movie musicals including Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris, Anchors Aweigh.   Academy Award winning singer and actress Shirley Jones of Smithton, Pa. went from the Pittsburgh Playhouse to star in classic movie musicals Oklahoma, Carousel, and the Music Man. On television she starred as the singing mother of the musical Partridge Family with her stepson David Cassidy. 

Balladeers Vaughn Monroe, Adam Wade, Bobby Vinton, and John Davidson had many popular hits.  Singer and band leader, Vaughn Monroe, from Jeannette High School, became known for his signature tune "Racing with the Moon" and many other hits including "In the Still of the Night" and “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow". He hosted radio and television shows and appeared in several movies.   Singer Adam Wade had several top 10 hints in the early 1960s including “Take Good Care of Her" , "As If I Didn't Know", and "The Writing on the Wall".  Wade became an actor in movies, television, and Broadway musicals.  Bobby Vinton, of Canonsburg, who came to fame with many hits beginning with “Rose and Red” in 1962 and “Blue Velvet”, sold over 75 million records,  John Davidson recorded 12 albums and starred on television, movies, and Broadway.

Hailing from the Pittsburgh area are several pop music divas, Grammy winner Christine Aguilera who has sold 50 million records, Tony winner Phyllis Hymann, wunderkind Jackie Evancho, roaring twenties star Evelyn Nesbitt, movie theme singing Maureen McGovern, hit song singer Lady Miss Kier -Deee-Lite, and rising recording artist Kendra Ross.

Chris Kirkpatrick and Jason Walker are singers of hit songs.  Chris Kirkpatrick, from Clarion, Pa. was the founding member of the superstar boy band N’Synch. Kirkpatricks group has the two of the fastest selling albums of all time and have sold over 56 million records.  Singer Jason Walker scored number 1 dance music hits with the song "Foolish Mind Games" and "Set It Free" and landed in the top 10 with three other tunes.

Fred Rogers memorable songs for his long running television shows including “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” and “Such A Good Feeling”.  Award winning children’s show host Josie Carey, co-wrote 68 songs with Fred Rogers for their pioneering show “The Children’s Corner” including "Goodnight God," "It's Morning," the theme song "Why Hi, Don't I Know You?", and “Tomorrow”.

Note: An epic-center for producing popular musicians in the Pittsburgh area may be Canonsburg the home of Perry Como, Bobby Vinton, the Four Coins, and Jason Walker.  Is it the water? 

Pittsburgh Pop
Dean Martin and Perry Como
Dino and Perry