5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
Donny Most will always be most recognized for his role on TV series “Happy Days”, but the veteran actor/director has always loved music. When his acting career started taking off, he placed his singing career on the back burner. He has now returned to his musical roots and first love – music.
SD: Why did it take you so long to get back to singing again?
DM: I have been asking myself that same question for a long time. I started singing when I was 14 and I was performing in night clubs in the Catskills. When I got a little older, I enrolled in an acting workshop and started getting commercial work and then “Happy Days” came along. There was a period while I was on “Happy Days” that I thought about going back to music, but the music I liked was not very popular in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
SD: How did you settle on Swing / Big Band / the Great American Songbook as your singing genre?
DM: Swing, Jazz, and the Great American Songbook is the music I loved since childhood. I still remember my mom playing the albums. I remember watching The Jolson Story on TV and it had a big impact on me. It led me to discover more music. What is so great about these songs is that you can approach them in so many ways and make them your own.
SD: What do you think it is about Happy Days that really touched the lives of so many people?
DM: The chemistry between the entire cast was pure magic. Each actor embodied the perfectly their character. It also helped that we had Garry Marshall, his influence on the show was a major factor to the show’s success.
SD: You’ve done acting, directing, and now singing. Which do you like doing the most?
DM: I don’t know that’s a tough question. I love them all. Although, I do prefer acting and singing, but if I had to choose between the two, I don’t know if I could. I have always been drawn to great roles and hopefully they will keep coming. I also find the experience of singing on a stage with a band behind me amazing.
SD: What are you most excited about in this new phase of your career?
DM: For me, it’s being in control of your path. When you’re acting, you’re not in control and you have to depend on so many other things. With singing, I am picking out the songs, the arrangements, and style. When I’m on stage with the musicians, I am in control of my own performance. No one is controlling the focus of the show, I get to. I love taking the audience through my musical journey.
For more information about Donny, visit www.donnymost.com. His new album “D Most: Mostly Swinging,” will be available on ITunes February 14th.