Five For Friday: Teen Idols

There was a period between the rock ‘n’ roll days of the mid-1950’s and the British Invasion that started with The Beatles and other British bands in roughly 1964 that popular music was dominated by singers, primarily male, whose appeal was their good looks and their singing voices. I mentioned to Eugenia that I was thinking of featuring them on either a Friday or Monday, and she thought it was a great idea, so here we go with five "teen idols" from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

  1. Bobby Vee, "Rubber Ball": Bobby’s career got its start when he was 15. He was pressed into service after "The Day The Music Died," when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper perished in a plane crash. He and several other teens from the Fargo, North Dakota area, went on in place of the original stars, and put on a successful show. He did a tribute album to Holly with members of The Crickets in 1963. In his career, he had 38 songs thatcharted on the Hot 100, including ten that reached the Top 20, six of which attained Gold status. "Rubber Ball" was one that went gold; it reached #6 in the US and #4 in the UK in 1962.

  2. Bobby Darin, "Dream Lover": Bobby had a short but productive life, recording 27 studio albums, 4 live albums, and 70 singles. Three of his singles, "Splish Splash," "Dream Lover," and "Mack The Knife" reached #1 on various charts. He led a troubled life and died at the age of just 37. The 2004 movie Beyond The Sea, which starred Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth, is a relatively accurate telling of his life.

  3. Fabian, "Tiger": Fabian Forte was fortunate to live in Philadelphia during the late ’50’s and early ’60’s, because that was where American Bandstand originated in those days. He placed eleven singles on the Hot 100 during his career, the most successful being "Tiger," which reached #3 on the Hot 100. He acted in a number of movies for 20th Century Fox and American International Pictures, whee he was in several beach movies with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.

  4. Frankie Avalon, "Bobby Sox To Stockings": Frankie was another singer who benefitted from being a local Philadelphia boy. He placed 31 singles on the Hot 100 between 1958 and 1962, including two #1’s: "Venus" and "Why," which was the last #1 of the 1950’s. He also acted in a number of films for American International, including several "beach" movies with former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello. "Bobby Sox to Stockings" reached #8 on the Hot 100 in 1959.

  5. Bobby Vinton, "There! I’ve Said It Again": Bobby Vinton was known as "the Polish Prince," because his music paid tribute to his Polish heritage. He was a talented musician who played half a dozen insruments as well as being a singer. "There! I’ve Said It Again" was one of two #1 hits for him in 1964 (it had been a #1 for Vaughn Monroe in 1945.

And that’s Five For Friday for February 11, 2022.

10 thoughts on “Five For Friday: Teen Idols

  1. These are all such good songs. I never heard of the first or third song but they were nice to listen to. I could hear Bobby Vee’s tribute to Buddy Holly. Bobby Darin was a good actor and should have been able to stay with Connie Francis or, maybe that’s the other way around. Sandra Dee was a handful for sure and that film with Spacey is excellent. Kate Bosworth has her own demons with anorexia. The others have all been in movies and John Wayne liked to use some of these guys in his films because he thought they would be good like Fabian in The Alamo. I think it was Fabian…:)

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