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.