1. Frankie Avalon Had A Flair For Trumpet
Known asthe first ever “manufactured” teen idol, Frankiebecame a huge hit with young audiences while starring alongside Annette Funicello in their iconic beach flicks.
However,before putting on his swimming trunks, he was considered a child prodigy when it came to playing trumpet and was featured as a studio musician on RCA singles.
2. Elvis Presley Ironically Struggled With Music
Before becoming the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis actually failed his high school music class! Considered a quiet outsider in his youth, he was still able to become the first person in his immediate family to earn a high school diploma.
3. Buddy Holly Only Ever Topped The Charts Once
BornCharles Hardin Holley, his mom gave him the nickname “Buddy” becauseshe felt the big name was a bit much for her little boy.
Despite becoming one of the biggest names in rock and roll, even after his tragic death, Buddy only ever had one song that actually made it onto the hit charts “That’ll Be The Day,” in 1957.
4. Ricky Nelson Had An Odd Aversion To School
While growing up in front of TV audiences onThe Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, he attended Hollywood High School, where he was active in football and tennis.
Later, Ricky admitted that he hated school, something not uncommon with kids, but his reasoning was a bit strange: he hated the smell of pencils. That, and having to wake up early.
5. Paul Anka Made A Heartwarming Donation
At just 16 years old, the crooner joined “Biggest Show of Stars” alongside Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry. Paul even penned Buddy’s last, posthumous hit, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” just before the bespectacled singer’s tragic death.
Paul gave all the royalties he received from the song to Buddy’s widow, Mara Holly.
6. Fabian Had A Bittersweet Rise To Fame
The dreamy actor and singer was discovered at the age of 14 by Bob Marcucci and Peter DeAngelis, owners of Chancellor Records. Unfortunately, their timing was a bit off as they approached the teen as he was waiting outside his home and watching his father being taken into an ambulance after a heart attack.
Fabian was obviously offended by their poor tact, but luckily, his dad was able to recover. However, hewas never well enough to work again, inspiring Fabian to take up Bob and Peter’s offer to become a star to support his family.
7. Troy Donahue’s Mailbox Must Have Been Full
BornMerle Johnson, Jr., he was given his new moniker by his agent, who also represented Rock Hudson, as an homage to Helen of Troy and her beau Paris.
According to reports from the era, the blond hunk received received 5,0007,500 fan letterseach week in 1962.
8. James Dean Had A Magical Hobby
TheRebel Without aCausestar becamean icon following his death at such a young age after only a few film roles had captured his undeniable talent but did you also know he was a fan of doing magic tricks?
One of James’ favoritetricks was to light a cigarette by placing it and the lit match in his mouth at the same time, then flicking out the burning cigarette.
9. Bobby Sherman Stopped By ‘The Monkees’
Before his career-making turn inHere Comes the Brides,one of Bobby’s earliest roles had him lampooning another teen idol while appearing with yet another one on screen, when he guest starred on an episode ofThe Monkees.
His surf star character was a humorous take on Frankie Avalon’s beach movies, and he shared several scenes with fellow idol Davy Jones.
10. Davy Jones Had A Brush With The Fab Four
Davy appeared onThe Ed Sullivan Showyears before joining the popular band and television series,The Monkees.
He was touring with the London cast ofOliver! where he was playing the Artful Dodger when he bumped into another famous foursome: The Beatles, who were there for their debut performance on the show.
11. Bobby Vee Befriended Bob Dylan
Though they’re on complete opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to their genres, Bobby helped give folk rocker Bob Dylan his start in the music business when Bob (using the fake name Elston Gunnn yes, that’s 3 N’s) offered his services as a piano player for The Shadows.
Their partnership ended when Bobby realized Bob could only play in the key of C, but the two remained good friendsthroughout their careers.
12. Neil Sedaka Was A Young Piano Prodigy
At just 8 years old, Neil was already considered a prodigy on the pianoand became one of the most relied-on writers for pop stars in the early 1950s while still a teen.
He finally struck gold with his first hit song to break into the Top 10 charts, “Oh! Carol,” which was inspired by Carole King, whom he briefly dated in high school.
Did we miss any of your favorite teen idols from back in the day? Let us know below and be sure to SHARE with your friends!