Rosemary Clooney's career began in 1945, singing duets with her sister Betty for WLW Radio in Cincinnati. In 1947, they joined the Pastor band as "The Clooney Sisters," making their debut at The Steel Pier in Atlantic City. Two years later, Rosemary signed a solo recording contract with Columbia Records. Clooney recorded her first single, “Come On-a My House,” in 1951. It was an immediate and enormous success and catapulted Rosemary to stardom. Her horizons soon expanded to include motion pictures, including the classic “White Christmas” in 1954. In 1956-1957 “The Rosemary Clooney Show” joined CBS television’s weekly variety show lineup. Clooney also gave birth to five children, Miguel, Maria, Gabriel, Monsita, and Rafael, between February 1955 and March 1960.
Clooney's first Carnegie Hall performance (“In Concert: Rosemary Clooney and the Arrangers”) was in 1991, followed by a tribute to Bing Crosby at Carnegie Hall in 1993. Her third appearance was in September 1996, with “Rosemary Clooney Sings Nelson Riddle,” a Fujitsu-Concord Jazz Festival event. Clooney also continued her acting career, and was nominated in 1995 for an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series” for her role on NBC’s top-rated “ER.”
In 1996 Clooney's album “Dedicated To Nelson” received a Grammy nomination in the “Traditional Pop Vocal Performance” category - her fourth nomination. Also receiving Grammy nominations in the “Traditional Pop Vocal Performance” category was the 1992 release “Girl Singer,” 1993’s “Do You Miss New York?” and the 1995 release “Demi-Centennial.” Pulse! Magazine rated “Dedicated to Nelson” #6 on its Best Albums of 1996 list. Clooney ended 1996 with three of the Billboard Top Ten “Indie Jazz Albums”: #1 – “White Christmas,” #5 – “Dedicated To Nelson,” and #8 –“Demi-Centennial.”
Clooney continued her success in 1997, ending the year with two top ten CDs: “Mothers & Daughters” and “White Christmas,” and a marriage to long-time companion, Dante Di Paulo. In October 1998, The Society of Singers awarded Rosemary its prestigious “Ella” Award.
Clooney's last release for Concord Records, “Sentimental Journey” was a collaboration between Rosemary and the Big Kahuna and the Copa Cat Band. It received a 2001 GRAMMY nomination in the Best Traditional Pop Category, and in 2002 Clooney was Awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Records Arts and Sciences. Sadly, Clooney passed away on June 29, 2002, at her home in Beverly Hills, CA.