Here we are, sort of in between the rush of the Award and the start of the concerts in June. Not that anyone here doesn’t have THAT marked on their calendar!! From the responses on “Who’s Going Where?, looks like The Crew will be spread far and wide across the Country, we will be well represented at most of the concerts!!!
As the Guys are resting and playing at home, there is not much news so I thought we’d go down memory lane and remember another Italian singer!
DID YOU KNOW??
He was born Francis Thomas Avallone on September 18, 1940, Avalon was on U.S. television playing his trumpet by the time he was 11. Two singles showcasing Avalon’s trumpet playing were issued on RCA Victor’s “X” sublabel in 1954. As a teenager he played with Bobby Rydell in Rocco and the Saints. In 1959, “Venus” (5 weeks #1) and “Why” went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. “Why” was the last #1 of the 1950s. Avalon had 31 charted U.S. Billboard singles from 1958 to late 1962, including “Just Ask Your Heart” (U.S. #7), “I’ll Wait for You” (U.S. #15), “Bobby Sox to Stockings” (U.S. #8), and “A Boy Without a Girl” (U.S. #10). Most of his hits were written and/or produced by Bob Marcucci, head of Chancellor Records. He was less popular in the UK., but did still manage four chart hits with “Why”, “Ginger Bread”, “Venus” and “Don’t Throw Away All Those Teardrops”.
Teamed frequently with Annette Funicello, Avalon starred in a number of popular “beach party” comedy films during the mid-1960s. The wholesome and romantic coupling of “Frankie and Annette” in summer movies such as Beach Party and Beach Blanket Bingo became iconic figures in American films during that era.
Avalon also had straight dramatic parts in the John Wayne historical western film The Alamo, as well as the science-fiction story Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) with Barbara Eden.
Materializing as a character called Teen Angel, his performance of “Beauty School Dropout” in the hit 1978 film of the musical Grease introduced Avalon to a new generation of viewers.
Avalon appeared in nearly two dozen TV episodes, including ABC’s The Bing Crosby Show and The Patty Duke Show, appearing often as himself. Later, he became a national television spokesperson for Sonic Drive-In. In 1965 he appeared in the Combat! episode “Brother, Brother” as a childhood friend of Pfc.Kirby, played by Jack Hogan.
The 1980 film The Idolmaker, written by Ed Di Lorenzo and directed by Taylor Hackford, was a thinly-disguised biography of Avalon (“Tommy Dee” in the film) as well as 1950s teenage star Fabian Forte (called “Caesare” in the film), along with songwriter/producer Bob Marcucci (called “Vinnie Vacarri”). In the movie, Dee clashes with the record producer and younger singer Caesare, who he feels threatens his career. Eventually, Dee and Caesare quit the label, but their record careers collapse just as the British Invasion begins. The real Fabian threatened a lawsuit, despite the filmmakers’ insistence that the film presented only fictional characters (though Marcucci was a paid consultant). Avalon denied most of the movie’s events. Avalon married Kathryn “Kay” Diebel on January 19, 1963. She was a former beauty pageant winner, and Avalon met her while playing cards at a friend’s house. He told his friend that Kay was the girl he was going to marry. His agent warned Avalon that marriage would spoil his teen idol mystique. Still together, they have eight children – Frankie Jr., Tony, Dina, Laura, Joseph, Nicolas, Kathryn and Carla. They have 10 grandchildren. Frankie Avalon Jr. is a former actor who appeared in the original The Karate Kid and is now a musician, and Tony, the second oldest son, plays guitar and taught at the Rock Nation School. Both sons play on tour with their father.
In recent years, Avalon has starred in stage productions of Grease in the role of Teen Angel and Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding as a caricature of himself.
On April 8, 2009, he performed on American Idol.
Stay tuned later this month for a tutorial on how to attend a concert. It might be helpful for first time concert goers and even you veterans. 🙂
DID YOU KNOW? It has been announced that Il Volo will appear at the concert at Arena di Verona on June 1st. They last appeared at this event 2 years ago.
DID YOU KNOW? In todays teen lingo, Crew refers to their friends? Do you think they might have borrowed it from us?