Friday, May 11, 2007
Ice cream crooner
No. This is not a likeness of 1950s crooner Perry Como eating an ice cream cone. It’s a cherished sculpture of the singer holding a microphone outside the borough building in his hometown of Canonsburg, Pa.
Most days, a loud speaker attached to the building bleeds the sounds of Como singing his hit songs, including “Papa Loves Mambo” and “Hot Diggety Dog Ziggity Boom.”
And the statue honoring Como, who died in 2001 without ever having laid eyes on his stone self, attracts a steady stream of tourists from as far away as England.
“People are crazy about Perry Como,” said Carol Imperatore, the borough police clerk, whose office overlooks the town plaza at 68 East Pike St. “Oh yeah, they love it.”
“When we made that statue sing, I got calls from New York, BBC twice, Las Vegas and Seattle,” added Canonsburg Mayor Tony Colaizzo. He confessed to once breaking into the library side of the borough building to flick on the switch controlling the music after a bus load of people from Rhode Island arrived and were sad to find the air quiet.