Hard to be specific, since it began in earliest childhood. My first appearances began at age eight (television) and at age 12 (stage). I suppose my grade-school choir singing and the piano my father took in as payment on a bad debt when I was seven contributed to my career. However, the strongest credit should go to my mother, who bought my first trombone when I was in sixth grade, and my uncle Joe, who gave me my first professional dance band introduction when I was fifteen. Uncle Joe and the band he created (The Brothers Three) were my main springboard.