Album:25 All-Time Greatest Hits
Sometimes in the music business it helps to be in the right place at the right time. One fateful day turned Frankie Avalon from journeyman trumpeter to teen idol. Venus was his biggest hit. He was born Francis Avallone Sept. 18, 1939 in Philadelphia. He was a child prodigy trumpeter. He won talent contests and he appeared on The Jackie Gleason Show. He even released a couple of singles on RCA. But that didn't make him a star and he returned to Philadelphia to play in various bands. So one day he's playing in one of those bands when Chancellor Records owner Bob Marcucci walks in and says he's looking for a star. He looked at one kid he didn't like. But when Avalon belted out a couple of songs, Marcucci snapped him up. DeDe Dinah was Avalon's first top ten hit in 1957. Then he scored another hit with Ginger Bread. But Venus was the song that launched Avalon to the top of the charts and set him up for a long career. Venus was written by Ed Marshall and the record was produced and arranged by Lee DeAngelis. Both guys were Marcucci employees. Avalon had a few more hits but by the mid-60s he transitioned to starring in those Beach Party movies with Annette Funicello. This Varese comp has all of Avalon's hits. In the 70s, Avalon did a lot of guest shots on TV. And he recorded occasionally including a disco version of Venus. Avalon still tours and he also sells a line of health products on the Home Shopping Network. Last year he published a cookbook. And this all came from one fateful day. Here's Frankie Avalon performing Venus on the Dick Clark Saturday Night Beech Nut Show Feb. 14, 1959.