A ~ The man “who taught
America how to sing” was Frederic Malcolm Waring
(Fred Waring). He was born June 9, 1900 in a small,
seven-room house on Washington Ave., in Tyrone, and was
reared in a 27-room house on Lincoln Ave. In 1919, Waring
started a band while attending Pennsylvania State College
(now Pennsylvania State University) that grew in popularity
and in size.
Known as Fred Waring and the
Pennsylvanians, the band was a major attraction in
vaudeville in the 1920s and pioneered in radio in the
’30s. By the 1940s, the group of 61
singer-instrumentalists had a daily radio show every week
and in the ’50s, became an award-winning TV
Waring and his group combined
voices and instruments in a style with youthful zest that
never had been heard before.
Waring died July 29, 1984 after 67
years as a band/chorus leader.
On the NBC television
program, the “Chevy Show,” on July 24,
1956, Fred Waring Jr. appeared with his father's band,
Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians.
From left: Poley McClintock, drums; Fred Waring,
banjo; Tom Waring, piano; and Fred Waring Jr.,
The commemoration of
Fred Waring by means of a historical marker from the
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has been
long overdue. In 2004, the Historical Society nominated
Fred Waring to the PHMC and sponsored the installation
of the marker; however, it was Pete Kiefer, coordinator
of Fred Waring's America Archives in the Special
Collections Library at Penn State, who had encouraged
the Society’s board members to propose the
nomination. This official historical marker was placed
on the corner of Pennsylvania Ave. and 11th St., Tyrone,
in October 2005.
For a short biography of
Fred Waring, visit the Pennsylvania State
University’s special collections library site on the
Web, “Fred Waring’s America,” at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/waring/fwbio.html.
A discography, along with a listing of music in the Fred
Waring collection, also is provided on other Web pages of