Two for Tuesday: Fabian

Fabian Forte was a lot like Frankie Avalon. Both were Italians from Philadelphia, both got their start on American Bandstand, and both had a film career as well as singing. He was discovered in 1957 by Bob Marcucci and Peter DeAngelis of Chancellor Records. Marcucci was at his friend’s house when Fabian’s father, a neighbor of the friend, had a heart attack. Marcucci spotted Fabian and gave him a business card, saying that if he was ever interested in a career in music to give him a call. Never mind if he couldn’t sing, Fabian had the looks. When his father died shortly after that, Fabian took Chancellor up on its offer.

His first record was “Shivers,” in 1958. Fabian thought it wasn’t a very good record, but it got some airplay in Philadelphia on R&B disc jockey Georgie Woods’ radio show and evidently was a minor hit in Chicago, though I can’t find it on any WJJD surveys from 1958. It was the record that brought Fabian to the attention of Dick Clark.

His lone #1 hit was “Tiger” in 1959, from his album Hold That Tiger!

Fabian has had a extenensive career in films and on television, including 1966’s Fireball 500 with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. He hasn’t enjoyed the same success as Avalon, but continues to perform.

Fabian, your Two for Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

13 thoughts on “Two for Tuesday: Fabian

  1. difference between Frankie and Fabian? Frankie COULD sing.

    During the payola scandal of the 1960s,[14] Forte testified before Congress that his recordings had been doctored electronically to “significantly improve his voice.”[15]

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  2. Poor Fabian…I always thought he was the poor man’s Frankie and could not sing as well. He was fun in North To Alaska and Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. Funny about what I read in the above comment because I think many of these kiddies can’t sing as well as we think due to all the hi-tech electronics that can alter their voice.

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    1. Fabian’s dad died not long after the initial contact with Commodore, and the family was pressed for money, which is why he got into it. You’re right, he wasn’t much of a singer, and I get the sense they knew that and also knew the girls wouldn’t care. Frankie was a better singer than actor, while the reverse is true for Fabian.

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  3. At first I was like, “Wait… Wasn’t Fabian that Harlequin cover model with all the flowing hair who ended up doing commercials for Grey Poupon?” (Or was it for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter?)

    Anywhoo…

    Now I’m curious what Fabio is doing in his retirement. 😉

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