FORMER Westcliff Resident and Vegas Legend has died at the age of 90.
Former Las Vegas Legend and one time Westcliff resident Buddy Greco died at his home in Las Vegas yesterday at the age.
Philadelphia born Buddy whose hits include "The Lady is a Tramp", "Around The World" and "Mr Lonely" was originally pianist and singer for the famous Benny Goodman, but went on to gain worldwide popularity with his hip swinging style, which meant that he was an ideal recruit for Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack pals at The Sands in Vegas during the sixties.
Buddy Greco had a long association with Essex, which went back to the seventies when he was a regular headliner at a Southend Nightclub, "The Talk of The Town".
He returned to the town to live for four years in an apartment in Palmeira Avenue, Westcliff with his fifth wife Lezlie , from 2010 until his return to Las Vegas in 2014.
This all happened as a result of his friendship with Basildon based performer and concert promoter David Alacey.
Mr Alacey, who had been a fan of Buddy's since the age of sixteen, went on to manage and promote his hero during his stay in England.
He said: "In 2014, just before he returned to Vegas, I organised a big celebration for Buddy at my friend John Cross's beautiful Boatyard Restaurant in Leigh. It was an amazing night in which stars such as Kenny Lynch, Michelle Collins and Paul Young saluted an entertainer they had so much respect for and it was a fitting farewell from Essex to my legendary friend
"But before he left, he gave me one last gift and asked me to record a duet of the Sinatra classic "One For My Baby" with him. The recording was released by Acrobat Records and will always be the highlight of my career.
Mr Alacey added: "I knew that Buddy had been in poor health in recent years, but we stayed in contact with regular telephone conversations. I would always be surprised when he would know my voice immediately and greet me with "Hi Big D, how is my Goddaughter?"
"He would then go on to say that he wanted to come back and start working again. I would always say that I had dates waiting for him, but I think we both knew by that time that they would sadly never happen."
"Buddy was an amazing man and in many ways the last of his generation, I along with so many other singers have so much to thank him for."