| --> Born : September 18, 1940 // Philadelphia, PA, United States
Francis Thomas Avallone was born on September 18, 1940 in Philadelphia, PA, the son of Italian-Americans Mary Loretta and Nicholas J. Avallone. Their Son would go on to be one of the most prominent and successful stars of Music, Film & Television of the 1950s and 1960s.
He showed talent at a young age and in 1959 (Age 19) scored two #1 Hits on the Billboard Hot 100, "Venus" and "Why." Although there had always been young male singers in the Popular Music (Pop) Era who especially appealed to Teenage Girls (Crooners like Rudy Vallee and Bing Crosby , Frank Sinatra and the "Bobby Soxers" fainting in the audiences, Frankie Laine and Johnny Ray in the early 50s, and of course Elvis Presley ,)... Read More|
... Frankie, because of his youth, was one of first of a group of performers to be classified as Teen Idols. 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.
Frankie and the other Teen Idols (including Paul Anka , Fabian , Ricky Nelson , Bobby Rydell , etc,) became well known as crossover stars performing on television music shows such as fellow Philadelphian Dick Clark 's "American Bandstand," and on stage revues, sometimes together. And this would eventually lead to film.
Teamed frequently with former "Mickey Mouse Club" Sweetheart 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. He later performed in other films in more romantic roles as well as 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 .
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.
Spurred on by an appearance on an anniversary broadcast for "American Bandstand" where they were called the "Bandstand Boys" for their performance, Avalon, Fabian , and Bobby Rydell went on several long running tours of the US in the 1980s and 1990s performing their old hits and performing medleys of other songs, always closing the sold-out shows with their version if Barry Manilow 's "Bandstand Boogie."
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 married Kathryn 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. Frankie refused the advice and followed his heart. Still together today, they have eight children - Frankie Jr., Tony, Dina, Laura, Joseph, Nicolas, Kathryn and Carla. They have 10 grandchildren. Frankie Jr. is a drummer and Tony, the second oldest son, plays guitar and taught at the Rock Nation School. Both sons play on tour with their father.
In 1987, Avalon and Annette Funicello returned to movies with Back to the Beach. In 1989 they also appeared as themselves in cameo roles out jogging the streets in Troop Beverly Hills. Not long afterwards, Funicello was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and retired.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankie_Avalon (Used in parts verbatim and in parts compressed for length. Thank You.))