- Name: Colin Saltry
- Year: Junior
- Major: Human Resource Management, Economics
- Hometown: Scranton, PA
- Good excuse: President Obama wrote Colin an excuse note when he skipped high school to meet the then-senator on the campaign trail
Clad in a pressed suit, silk tie and bowler hat, the way Colin Saltry looks on any night on the job is atypical of most 21 year olds. Then again, for a wedding singer, his attire is right on the money.
“Obviously, I’m a 50-year-old man on the inside,” he said. “And, apparently, on the outside too.”
He uses that old-for-his-age demeanor to charm the guests at the receptions where he sings. His voice has been said to be identical to Frank Sinatra’s, so his repertoire is full of Ol’ Blue Eyes favorites, except one – “My Way.”
“Even my 92-year-old grandma begs me to sing it,” Colin said. “But it’s just depressing, especially at weddings. It’s about getting old and death, and the bride and groom are young and living. I just refuse to sing it.”
But there are plenty of crowd favorites he is happy to perform. Some of Colin’s set list staples include “Mack the Knife,” “Fly Me to the Moon” and “New York, New York.”
He’s even got some famous fans. Last July during a cocktail hour, he struck up conversations with members of the B-Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band. Colin scribbled his e-mail address on a cocktail napkin and gave it to them. They’ve been periodically playing backup for Colin ever since, and the band even invited him to sing at drummer Joey Vitello’s wedding.
“After the cocktail hour, they came running into the reception area and [Vitello] came up to me and was like, ‘Hey! You’re that Sinatra guy!’ ”
As he became better known, Colin figured it was time to transition from cocktail napkins to business cards. He dubbed his company “Saltry Sounds” last February and is now charging as much as $250 per night – a long way from his original rate.
Before his science teacher asked him to sing “America the Beautiful” at the National Junior Honor Society inductions in seventh grade, Colin didn’t even think he had a good voice. Gradually, more people asked him to sing at school plays and shows until friends of his parents began asking him to sing at their daughters’ weddings.
“I became this sort-of hit,” Colin said.
Still, not all of his audience members are as convinced of his talent. Colin’s voice sounds so much like Sinatra’s that, at each wedding, there are always a few folks who think he’s lip-syncing.
“I just smile at the skeptics and say, ‘Yes, ma’am, that was me.”
– Maria Zankey