Happy days are here again.
Donny Most, best-known for his role as Ralph Malph on the hit TV show Happy Days, will perform at The RRazz Room at the Prince Theater at 8 p.m. on May 13. He’ll join his Blazing Big Band in a vocal performance that highlights his roots as a singer, with the show focusing on the unique sound of 1950s-era swing music.
“I’ve always dreamed about doing music like this,” Most said. “The songs are infectious. I’ve loved this music since I was young. Frank Sinatra. Nat King Cole. They’re the greatest songs ever written.”
Most grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., spending his summers performing as a singer in the Catskill Mountains resort area. From 1970 to 1973, he attended Lehigh University and regularly took the bus into New York City for auditions. In 1973, the summer before his senior year at Lehigh, Most’s agent recommended he extend a trip to Los Angeles to build on his growing buzz as an actor.
“Then Happy Days happened, and things took off,” the actor said, although he is quick to recommend college to his young fans.
“I don’t say young people today should leave school. Every situation is individual. I didn’t know I was going to leave school when I went out to Los Angeles. I don’t know if I would have gone [had I known].”
Most said young people are increasingly attending his concerts.
“They love the music,” he said, noting the emergence of 20-something swing dancers at a recent performance. “It appeals to everyone, all ages.”
The coming together of people is an important value Most said he gained from his Jewish upbringing.
“Judaism gave me a strong bedrock,” he explained. “The traditions brought the family together, and I noticed that.”
After Happy Days, Most split his time between acting and directing, with acting roles including a recurring feature on the Fox hit Glee from 2011 to 2013 and a leading voice spot on the animated Teen Wolf from 1986 to 1987.
As a director, Most has completed three feature films, including Moola, a 2007 comedy about a struggling small business. Most also co-wrote Moola, which stars former Lost actor William Mapother.
“I love acting, but I’m switching gears to music,” Most said. “I started singing when I was 15, and I knew one day I would always get back to it.”