Young Como started helping his family at age 10, working before and after school in Steve Fragapane's barber shop for 50¢ a week.
Pierino Ronald "Perry" Como (May 18, 1912 – May 12, 2001) was an American singer and television personality.During a career spanning more than half a century, he recorded exclusively for RCA Victor for 44 years after signing with the label in 1943. C.", as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records for RCA and pioneered a musical variety television show.Como was seen weekly on television from 1949 to 1963, then continued hosting the Kraft Music Hall variety program monthly until 1967.In a rare 1957 interview, Como's mother, Lucia, described how her young son also took on other jobs to pay for more music lessons; Como learned to play many different instruments, but never had a voice lesson.His customers worked mainly at the nearby steel mills.
They were well-paid, did not mind spending money on themselves and enjoyed Como's song renditions.
Perry did especially well when one of his customers would marry.
He managed to tell his father what had happened to the money his family depended on.
His father told him he was entitled to make a mistake and that he hoped his son would never do anything worse than this.
One of Como's regular customers at the barber shop owned a Greek coffee house that included a barber shop area, and asked the young barber whether he would like to take over that portion of his shop.
Como had so much work after moving to the coffee house, he had to hire two barbers to help with it.