He's the construction worker with the velvet voice, dubbed the "Subway Sinatra!"
Gary Russo's lifelong dream is to be a professional singer and he just got a taste of the big time! He made his debut at New York's renowned Blue Note jazz club, and INSIDE EDITION got exclusive access!
Gary got a big send off from his co-workers at the construction site as he left for his big night. His first stop was The Art of Shaving to get cleaned up. He swapped his work clothes for a sharp black suit and arrived at the club in a stretch limo. After a good luck hug from daughters Amber and Cara, Gary took to the famous stage.
The house was packed, and it was show time!
Gary's wife Tracey was overcome with emotion as he belted out his favorite Sinatra classics. Gary was clearly just as comfortable on a New York stage as on a New York City sidewalk.
Gary Russo can normally be found alongside his fellow ironworkers building a subway station on Manhattan's East Side. But amid all the usual hustle and bustle, the foreman from Iron Workers Local 40 serenades the city.
From Frank Sinatra to Neil Diamond, Russo sings it all, although Frank's baby blues never peered out from under a hard hat.
Every lunch break for the past two weeks, Russo has transformed the edge of the construction site into his own personal stage.
What started as karaoke has turned into a sensation. "Karaoke in the shower and in the car and in front of the mirror making believe I was singing to people," Russo said. "Then I said, what the heck, I'll do it over here."
A reader sent us a photograph of a Second Avenue Subway construction worker at 73rd Street and Second Avenue. Reader Mike G said he's "singing Sinatra with a mic and amp" and received "loud applause from the small gathering." Aww, that's a small consolation when area residents and businesses have to listen to this—not to mention deal with noxious smells and dust plumes and hazardous road conditions—racket every day:
As a near decade-long subway construction project snarls traffic in Manhattan, inconvenienced New Yorkers are finding relief from a Sinatra-singing iron worker.
Elly Park reports.
Gotham residents stop to hear Gary Russo belt out Frank Sinatra, other classics.
Construction Worker Belts Sinatra On Sidewalk
NEW YORK CITY -- A New York City construction worker is making a lot of noise -- then he sings Sinatra hits on his lunch break.
Gary Russo is working on a new subway line in downtown New York, but instead of cracking open the lunch box or whistling at women, he's doing something far from stereotypical. He drags his antique-looking microphone and a little sound system to the sidewalk and sings.
"They loved it from the first time," said Russo. "You know, tough guys are going, 'You gonna sing at lunch?' I was like, 'Yeah.'"
Does this blue-eyed singer in a hard hat remind you of another blue-eyed singer?
As everybody knows, Ol' Blue Eyes is the legendary Frank Sinatra. But nobody knew until now that an iron worker named Gary Russo with a velvet voice is a remarkable Sinatra sound-a-like! Russo is foreman on a major subway construction project in Manhattan. The work is noisy, so he decided to give the local residents some sweet sounds during his lunch hour. The crowds went wild for the "Subway Sinatra" including his fellow hard hats.
Russo told INSIDE EDITION, "People started to like it, and it took off."
What triggered this sudden transformation from foreman of the crew to Chairman of the Board? "When I turned 50, I said, let me get back to what I love to do. I love singing," said Russo.
The Subway Sinatra's fan base grows bigger by the day, and as for his musical future? We predict that when he's 51, it will be a very good year.
Apparently this guys is getting comparisons to the homeless guy with the radio voice, his video got a quarter million views on it's first day:
"Lastly, remember Ted Williams, the homeless man from Cleveland with the "golden" radio voice? Well there's a new viral crooner in town. Gary Russo, a construction worker from Queens, New York, spends his lunch break at a New York City work site singing Frank Sinatra songs. His rendition of old blue eyes is so good a passerby named David Fischer videotaped Russo and uploaded his singing to YouTube. In just one day the video has gotten a quarter-million views. We spoke to Fischer, who said Russo hasn't even seen the video yet. Fischer also told us that Russo's singing secret is out. A picture on Fischer's Facebook wall shows news cameras swarming Russo."
-Yahoo news "trending now"
Construction Worker Belts Sinatra On Sidewalk
New Yorkers often say that nothing surprises them. But we're willing to bet that even the most hardened city dwellers were downright amazed by this impromptu performance by an MTA construction worker who's a dead ringer for Frank Sinatra -- all the way down to his crinkled blue eyes.
"Forget all the noise, traffic and the impact of the 2nd Ave. subway," a tacked-up sign reads in the background. "Enjoy the music. Hard hats and microphones."
The MTA worker's performance of Sinatra's "Summer Wind" is so spot-on that it initially seems impossible that the man -- who identifies himself as Gary Russo of Queens -- isn't lip-synching, but a Google search for him turns up this meetup.com profile where Russo says he's looking to "be around a community of singers and have a great time."
At the end of the video, Russo explains why he's singing in the first place: "We're tryin' to give back a little bit. Ya know? Lunchtime."