Singer Russ Columbo helped set the standard for Italian popular ballad crooners. In his personal appearances, Columbo was trim, debonair, and favored a spotless white suit of the sort George Raft wore in movies of the period. Despite the all-prevailing importance and popularity of Bing Crosby as a singer in the early '30s, it is impossible to imagine the advent of later Italian crooners such as Perry Como and Frank Sinatra without the influence of Russ Columbo. Likewise Columbo's repertoire, some of which he had a hand in creating, was adopted wholeheartedly by other romantic balladeers, including Nat King Cole, Herb Jeffries, and with most enthusiasm, Billy Eckstine. While Columbo was too early to be a true jazz singer, jazz singing itself would not be what it is if Columbo had never been on the scene.