BMHOF Class of 2013
Andy Anselmo is a second generation Sicilian-American, born January 18, 1924, in Buffalo, New York. From infancy, his greatest joy was to listen to the music played by his downstairs neighbor. Andy loved to sing, and at seven was earning money as a singer in little bistros and amateur contests. His family needed the money because of the Great Depression. At sixteen, Mr. Anselmo began to study voice at what is now Buffalo’s Community Music School. He earned two dollars a week by delivering newspapers at dawn each morning to pay for the lessons.
Mr. Anslemo’s beloved Aunt Mamie would take him to the five-cent movies on Saturdays. He dreamt of a life where stars would be his friends and he would live in a beautiful home, surrounded by art and music. At eighteen, he did a full-time program on Armed Forces Radio until World War II ended all while attending Canisius College in Buffalo.
At twenty-one, Mr. Anselmo entered the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he holds a Master’s degree in voice. He supported himself during his time at the conservatory through scholarships and any job he could find. At the Conservatory, he studied with the legendary William L. Whitney, who was the master teacher of many famous opera singers. Mr. Anselmo later developed the voice program at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute at the request of Mr. Strasberg himself.
Mr. Anselmo’s career spans from Broadway to London. He received critical acclaim for his performances in The Golden Apple, The Most Happy Fella, and Leave It to Jane. Mr. Anselmo was presented the “Mayor’s Award” by Mayor Lindsay for exceptional service to the community for his work with The Everyman Street Theatre Company. His television credits include the Jackie Gleason Show, Joey Bishop Show, Phyllis Diller Show and the Merv Griffin Show.
Mr. Anselmo Founded the “Singers Forum” Vocal Academy, to teach bel canto (literally “beautiful singing”) technique to the next generation of singers, just as it was taught to him. “Singers Forum” is an organization that is dedicated to the development and appreciation of the vocal arts for individuals of any age or level of experience and from all walks of life. He currently holds classes, seminars, and master classes dedicated to the development of the vocal arts. Some of Andy’s students have included Mandy Patinkin, Tony Bennett, Liza Minnelli, Billy Stritch, Maryann Plunkett, Mary Tyler Moore, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brooke Shields, Joanne Woodward, Mariette Hartley, Regis Philbin and other stars.
Mr. Anselmo’s concentration and hard work paid off and his early dreams have come true. He has performed with and taught the greatest stars in show business. He has a beautiful home that he loves filled with music and art, and, through his success, was able to save his grandfather’s farm in Brocton, New York.
Back - 2013