Name: Conley, Eugene (1908-1981)



Historical Note: Eugene Thomas Conley was born on March 12, 1908 in Lynn, Massachusetts, in the Greater Boston area. As a young adult, he worked at the General Electric facility in Lynn to pay for his vocal lessons. Conley sang on local radio stations, and was hired in the late 1930s by Detroit station WWJ, a member of the NBC Red Network, which brought Conley to greater exposure on the NBC networks, including the programs NBC Presents Eugene Conley, and the Magic Key program. Conley made his operatic debut in 1940 as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto, without rehearsal, prompted from the wings by his teacher, Ettore Verna. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Conley debuted with the New York City Opera in 1945, and remained with that company until 1950, joining the Metropolitan Opera in January of that year. His career flourished in the 1950s, with an appearance at the Teatro Alla Scala opposite Maria Callas in 1951, as well as television appearances on the Voice of Firestone and Cavalcade of Stars. Conley was artist-in-residence at the University of North Texas from 1960 until 1978. He died in Denton, Texas on December 18, 1981.
Sources:

C. Gerald Fraser, "Eugene Conley, Opera Tenor with Met and City Troupes," New York Times, December 21, 1981, viewed September 22, 2020

"WWJ, Detroit," Radio Daily, November 4, 1937, page 8, via WorldRadioHistory.com, viewed September 22, 2020

Eugene Thomas Conley in the U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, via Ancestry.com, viewed September 22, 2020.

Wikipedia article on Eugene Conley, viewed September 22, 2020.

Note Author: Maristella Feustle


Records or Manuscript Collections Created by Conley, Eugene

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