09:15 14 October 2009
American crooner Al Martino, who scored the UK's first ever number one record, has died aged 82.
His signature tune, 'Here In My Heart', took the top spot when the New Musical Express introduced its chart in November 1952 and stayed there for nine consecutive weeks.
Martino also found brief, yet cult, fame as an actor, thanks to his memorable role as Johnny Fontane in the 1972 classic film 'The Godfather' - his character was said to be modelled on Frank Sinatra but the role also shared attributes of his own.
He recorded the title tune to the film and reprised his role in a sequel. He can be seen performing the track in the first film's infamous opening wedding scene.
Martino, whose other hits included 'Spanish Eyes', 'Can't Help Falling in Love' and 'Volare', died at his childhood home in Philadelphia.
The nine-week run of his UK hit has since been beaten by only four singles, one of which was 'Everything I Do (I Do It For You)' by Bryan Adams, which enjoyed an epic 16 weeks in 1991.
'Here In My Heart' remained his only UK number one, although he did score another charted hit in 1973 with a re-release of 'Spanish Eyes'.
It is thought that the crooner's chart career was hindered by the growth of rock'n'roll in the late 1950s, but he returned during the 1960s with a run of Billboard hits.
In the 1980s he parted ways with his record company and continued to perform on the club circuit, regularly touring.
His most recent album, 'Style', was recorded in 2000.
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