Donny Most

Donny Most may forever be known as Ralph Malph from the hit '70s sitcom Happy Days, but he also spent a good chunk of his time pursuing a musical career. He started this at the peak of Happy Days stardom, releasing a bubblegum LP in 1976, but when he got older, he settled into standards, playing cabarets and releasing a holiday album in 2016. Most's artistic career path be convoluted, but it shows he's always had an instinct for where the trends lie. A native of Flatbush, Brooklyn, he spent three years at Lehigh University between 1970 and 1973, then headed out to Hollywood to become a star. He stumbled upon the role of Ralph Malph in Garry Marshall's Happy Days, appearing in the sitcom in 1974. The show became such a sensation that Most was able to cut an album in 1976, a pop culture artifact that went nowhere. Happy Days remained on the air until 1983, and afterward, Most did cameos and recurring roles on a variety of shows, ranging from Dungeons & Dragons and Teen Wolf to Murder, She Wrote and Baywatch. He worked relatively steadily through the '90s and 2000s, happily accepting cameos in hit shows like Bones and Glee, and also appearing in shows that never gained traction. In the middle of the 2010s, he started to branch into cabaret material, a showmanship that was distilled on Swinging Down the Chimney Tonight, an old-fashioned holiday album that arrived late in 2016. This was just the start of a resumed recording career, as he released D Most: Mostly Swinging in February 2017. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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