Rudy Vallée (July 28, 1901 – July 3, 1986) was an American singer, actor, bandleader, and entertainer.
Born Hubert Prior Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont, the son of Charles Alphonse and Catherine Lynch Vallée. Both of his parents were born and raised in Vermont, but their parents were immigrants; the Vallées being of French Canadian origin from neighboring Quebec, while the Lynches were from Ireland. Vallée grew up in Westbrook, Maine.
Having played drums in his high school band, Vallée played clarinet and saxophone in various bands around New England in his youth. In 1917, he decided to enlist for World War I, but was discharged when the Navy authorities found out that he was only 15. He enlisted in Portland, Maine on March 29, 1917, under the false birthdate of July 28, 1899. He was discharged at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, on May 17, 1917 with 41 days of active service. From 1924 through 1925, he played with the Savoy Havana Band at the Savoy Hotel in London, where his fellow band-members discouraged his attempts to become a vocalist. He then returned to the United States to obtain a degree in Philosophy from Yale and to form his own band, "Rudy Vallée and the Connecticut Yankees." With this band, which featured two violins, two saxophones, a piano, a banjo and drums, he started taking vocals (supposedly reluctantly at first). He had a rather thin, wavering tenor voice and seemed more at home singing sweet ballads than attempting vocals on jazz numbers. However, his singing, together with his suave manner and handsome boyish looks, attracted great attention, especially from young women. Vallée was given a recording contract and in 1928, he started performing on the radio.