Quick now: Who had the last #1 hit in the Fifties? The answer is, of course, Frankie Avalon, today’s featured artist.
I didn’t know this: Frankie played the trumpet, and sometimes played on his albums. He appeared in the Christmas episode of “The Honeymooners,” then part of The Jackie Gleason Show, in 1952 (he was born in 1940, so he was all of 12), playing the trumpet. His first movie role was a brief appearance in 1957’s Jamboree, where he played the trumpet and sang the song “Teacher’s Pet.” Another surprise: he was in a band with Bobby Rydell, “Rocco And The Saints,” when he was a teen, before fame and fortune fond him.
He charted with 31 hits between 1958 and 1962. His two biggest hits were from 1959, the first being “Venus,” which spent 5 weeks at #1. Here is a performance on Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show, after which Dick presents him with the Gold Record for the song.
His second #1 from 1959 was “Why,” the aforementioned last #1 of the Fifties. Here he is on a later edition of The Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show. Frankie lived in Philadelphia, so I guess it was easy for him to appear on the show.
He and his wife Kay have been married since 1963. They have eight children and ten grandchildren.
Frankie Avalon, your Two for Tuesday, March 27, 2018.