Anyway, here it goes:
On July 20 , 1940, Billboard magazine published its first “Music Popularity Chart,” and who better to top it than the man many call the first of the true teen idols.
Hailing from Hoboken, New Jersey, Ol’ Blue Eyes made ‘bobby soxers’ swoon with such hits as “I’ll Never Smile Again” and “My Funny Valentine.” His career stalled in 1950, but then he made a comeback – a HUGE comeback, like winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in the blockbuster From Here to Eternity. Thank goodness for that. The resurgence of his career brought such classics as “The Way You Look Tonight”, “Fly Me to the Moon,” and “My Way.” More importantly, impersonations of him spawned some hilarious skits on Saturday Night Live decades later. Imitation may not always be the sincerest form of flattery, but it can sure be freakin’ hilarious.
This Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love made his big mark this year, topping the record charts with such hits as, “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Heart Break Hotel” and “Hound Dog.” Nicknamed “Elvis the Pelvis,” his swinging hips threw young girls in a tizzy, leading to his now famous “waist up only” appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Elvis went on to produce a mind-blowing 114 top 100 hits, including eighteen that went to #1. He also starred in 33 movies, to the delight of teenyboppers everywhere.
Though it’s been over fifty years since Elvis first came on the scene, the love for him has never died for many - even when they found him dead on his toilet on August 16, 1977 after a prescription drug overdose. Not very sexy, but we’ll forgive him. After all, he is ‘The King.” Is it any wonder he died on the throne?
What’s better than one teen idol? Four of them, neatly packaged and talented beyond belief. On February 9th, with some 73 million people watching, The Fab Four took America by storm, singing “Close Your Eyes and I’ll Kiss You…Tomorrow I’ll Miss You” on the Ed Sullivan Show. Teenaged girls never had a chance.
John, Paul, George and Ringo not only looked the part, they had killer accents, too. Hailing from Liverpool, England, the band can be credited with starting the British Invasion, leading the way for other British bands like the Rolling Stones, The Who and The Kinks.
When the band broke up in 1970, many hearts were broken, too. Hope for a reunion was kept alive for ten years until all was lost on December 8, 1979. As he was returning from the music studio, John Lennon was murdered in front of his New York residence.
Despite John’s death, the Beatles music lives on. Hits like “Hey Jude,” “Let it Be,” and “Imagine” still get regular radio play. So how many albums have they sold? Believe it or not, so many that it’s hard to count. Some estimates put them over one billion songs worldwide. I bet you could buy a lot of yellow submarines from that royalty check.
Ah, yes, it’s in the jeans – Oops! I mean genes. Yes, David is the older half-brother of the boy who made my heart flutter, Shaun Cassidy. Known best as Keith Partridge from the Partridge Family television show (1970-1974), he sung his way into the hearts of teen girls across America, instead of lip-synching like his other TV brothers and sisters.
Unfortunately, the ‘bubblegum pop’ he sang for the show, like “I Think I Love You” and “Come On Get Happy,” didn’t make him happy at all. He wanted to sing hard rock. Who better to tell that to? Rolling Stone magazine. Not only did he talk about sex and drugs, he posed semi-nude on the cover (which was pretty heavy on the armpit hair, I might add). The end result: a 38% drop in his show’s audience. Good bye Partridges.
Never fear, his singing career remained intact – in Great Britain and Germany. As for the United States? Auf Wiedersen, baby.
Meet Vinnie Barbarino, leader of the Sweathogs. Sound like a hottie? No. But his looks? As his character used to say, “Whoa!” His feathery black hair and big blue eyes made the TV show, Welcome Back Kotter, a bonafide hit. After that he put the ‘move’ in ‘movies’, dancing his way through the classic hits, “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever.” Welcome to super stardom, baby.
His career took a teeny break (just fifteen years or so) until his role as a flabby, not-so-smart hit man in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” put him back in the limelight. He’s been there ever since.
It all had to start somewhere, didn’t it? When Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, and Jordan and Jonathan Knight got together, the first official boy band was born. You might say, but what about the Beatles or the Jackson 5? Weren’t they boy bands, too? Well, sure they were boys and had bands….oh, just trust me. It’s not the same. Boy bands don’t just sing, they dance. Do they play instruments? Um, excuse me. Did I not just say that they dance? Plus they all have distinctive personalities designed to target a variety of specific tastes in the teen market. You’ve got the rebel, the sweet one, the goofy-but-cute one – getting the picture yet?
Still, there is much to love about boy bands. Watching a bunch of guys strut their stuff in unison? Not bad eye candy. And with songs like “Hangin’ Tough”, and “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” The New Kids made for quite a show.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Who cares? The bigger question is: who came first, The Back Street Boys or N’Sync?
So which band was better and cuter? Pick a side. I dare you. As to who came first? I’m going to give it to N’Sync. It may not be true, but they gave us Justin Timberlake, and for that we must all be thankful.
Though still a prominent player in today’s teen idol game, there was nothing like 2006. Thanks to a little known movie called High School Musical, he zoomed up to #4 on the IMDBPRO’s STARmeter fast than a squirrel up a tree. A cute squirrel, that is - really, really cute.
Unlike most of the cast, he’s gone on to create an identity separate from his High School days, starring in movies like Hairspray and 17 Again. Seems like girls just can’t get enough of those dancing blue eyes and golden locks. And did you see that Rolling Stone cover? Take notes, David Cassidy.This guy knows how it’s done.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN…
So tell me, who’s your favorite idol? Pattison? Bieber? Maybe a Jonas? You can't forget Mr. Abs, Taylor Lautner. As for me, I’ll stick to George Clooney and Brad Pitt set. They may seem crusty to you, but I’m…well, I’m a mom. And be honest, wouldn’t it be gross if I confessed a crush on Chase Crawford?