Birthday: September 18, 1940
Age: 79 Years, 79 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Virgo
Also Known As: Francis Thomas Avallone
Born in: Philadelphia
Famous as: Actor, Singer
Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Kathryn Diebel
father: Nicholas Avallone
mother: Mary Avallone
children: Dina, Frankie Jr., Joseph, Kathryn and Carla, Laura, Nicolas, Tony
U.S. State: Pennsylvania
Not many teen idols are able to carve a successful career for themselves as they mature, but Frankie Avalon is someone who first rocked the world as a teenager and continues to do so today even as a septuagenarian! Born in Philadelphia, he entered the world of music during the 1950s when becoming a singing sensation was every teenager’s dream. Out of the thousands of youngsters who chased the idea of making it big as a musician, Frankie stood out because he already had a background in music, and his good looks and charms added to his appeal. Music had always been his passion as he started playing the trumpet when he was very young. Considered a child prodigy, he had been winning contests even before he was ten and was invited to appear on a U.S. television show when he was just 11! Blessed with a lovely voice, he also decided to try his hand at singing and found success with hits like ‘Venus’ and ‘Just Ask your Heart’. Highly ambitious, he eventually ventured into acting and here again he was much welcomed due to his charming personality and good looks. Today he is a septuagenarian yet he shows no signs of slowing down!
Childhood & Early Life
He was born as Francis Thomas Avallone to Nicholas and Mary Avallone in Philadelphia. He has one elder sister.
He loved music from a young age and his father recognized his talent and taught him to play the trumpet. Young Frankie was so taken in by the instrument that he used spend up to five hours daily practicing the instument.
He soon began taking classes from professionals; one of his instructors was a member of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra who impressed by the boy’s performance, decided to train Frankie. He participated in and won local contests and began to gain fame as a child prodigy.
Once he went to a party organized by a local singer, Al Martino, where he played his trumpet. Everyone stopped whatever they were doing and were mesmerized by his performance. A talent scout present there helped him to appear on the ‘The Jackie Gleason Show’.
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His career took off post his television appearance in ‘The Jack Gleason Show’ as it gained him more visibility. He got many offers to appear on other television shows.
He signed a contract with a small label called X-Vik Records in 1954. His initial recordings were instrumentals called ‘Trumpet Sorrento’ and ‘Trumpet Tarantaella’.
He began playing with a local band called ‘Rocco and the Saints’ as a twelve year old. The band also had Bobby Rydell and played shows at the parish bazaar, school gyms, vacation resorts, etc.
A chance encounter with a local public entertainment manager Bob Marcucci who was enquiring about some rock and roll singer became the turning point in his career. Even though Frankie was a trumpet player, Marcucci liked his voice and helped him sign a contract with Chancellor Records.
He released the singles ‘Cupid’ and ‘Teacher’s Pet’ in 1957. Even though they were not very big hits, the songs helped him grab a role in the movie, ‘Jamboree’ the same year.
His managers wrote a song, ‘De De Dinah’ for him. However, he did not like it and sang it in a very nasal voice to show his displeasure. But as luck would have it, the song became very popular and was his first ever top ten songs.
In 1959, he recorded a song, ‘Venus’ which had been written by Ed Marshall. This song had a new feel to it with orchestral music, bells and chimes. The single topped the charts in the U.S. making it his first No.1 hit.
His popularity as a singer resulted in several movie offers. In 1963 he was paired opposite Annette Funicello in the fun teenage movie, ‘Beach Party’ which started the trend of the beach party film genre.
The success of ‘Beach Party’ led to the frequent pairing of Frankie and Annette and the couple appeared together in ‘Beach Blanket Bingo’ released in 1965.
Along with romantic movies he also acted in other genres such as action and horror. In 1969, he was part of the supporting cast of the slasher movie, ‘The Haunted House of Horror’ directed by Michael Armstrong.
In 1978, he was part of the cast of the romantic comedy, ‘Grease’ based on the story of two high school lovers. The film had John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in starring roles.
Frankie also had an active career in television, but over the years he also developed an interest in marketing. Thus he founded the company Frankie Avalon Products, which sells natural health care products. Even though in his seventies, he continues to tour and perform before live audiences.
He is best remembered as a teen idol who gave the world singles like ‘Venus’ and ‘Why’. Highly popular with the young audience, ‘Venus’ was the song that paved the way to his stardom and catapulted him to the status of a star.
Awards & Achievements
In 1959, he was named as the Disk Jockey’s Association Selection as “King of Song”. The same year he won the Photoplay Magazines Gold Award as “Most Popular Vocalist”.
He was inducted into “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” in 1995 in recognition of the influence he has had on the next generation rock stars.
Personal Life & Legacy
He met Kathryn Diebel, a beauty queen, at a friend’s house. It was love at first sight for Frankie and he decided that she was the girl he would marry. The couple got married in 1963 and was blessed with eight children. Today they have been happily married for over 50 years.