Frank Fruim Abelson was born in Liverpool on 3 February 1928 to a family of Russian Jewish descent.
He attended the Lancaster College of Art on a scholarship and after a stint in the Royal Army Medical Corps, he went to the Leeds College of Art. He won a prize in a design contest and left for London, where he also won second prize singing on a radio talent show.
He made his first records in 1950 for His Master’s Voice but they were not popular. He switched to the Philips label and in 1955, he recorded what was to become his trademark song, Give Me the Moonlight, Give Me the Girl.
He subsequently enjoyed a number of UK hits from 1955 to 1967, singing big production songs spread thick with smiling sincerity. His best-known hits were Green Door, Kewpie Doll and Tower Of Strength.
Vaughan appeared in a number of British films, including Ramsbottom Rides Again (1956) with Arthur Askey, These Dangerous Years (1957), Wonderful Things (1958), The Lady Is a Square (1959) and The Heart of a Man (1959).
He became the first British entertainer to top the bill in New York and Las Vegas and after making the film Let’s Make Love (1960) with Marilyn Monroe he and his family moved to America. They eventually discovered the American way of life wasn’t for them and he decided not to pursue a Hollywood career, returning instead to the UK.
In his later life, Vaughan devoted much of his life to helping boys’ clubs around Britain.
Vaughan was awarded an OBE in 1965 and a CBE in 1996. Despite frequent bouts of ill-health, he continued performing until shortly before his death from heart failure in 1999, aged 71.