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Energetic Frankie Avalon thrills fans


Published: Fri, September 30, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.


The performance included more than 20 songs.
By TRACEY D'ASTOLFO
VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT
YOUNGSTOWN -- Frankie's still got it.
Except for a bit of gray hair, Frankie Avalon fans at Stambaugh Auditorium last night may have sworn they had gone back in time to a concert 50 years ago.
The former teen idol who used to make girls swoon in the '50s and '60s was full of energy as he danced, jumped, strutted and skipped during the opening number "Beach Blanket Bingo."
Breathing hard after the number, he joked, "Right now I'd like to take the time to ... breathe!"
Throughout the night, the 66-year-old Avalon poked fun at his age and the fact that his music is dated.
Commenting on his full head of hair, Avalon joked "When men get older, their hair usually recedes, but mine advances!"
Avalon sang one of his biggest hits, "Why (because I love you)," early in the performance, to the cheers and applause of the audience.
Other highlights
Avalon and his 6-piece band, which includes his son Frank on drums and son Tony on guitar, performed more than 20 songs, including several medleys.
During a rock 'n' roll medley which included bits of "Great Balls of Fire," "Wipe Out," "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Runaround Sue," Avalon came out into the audience, dancing with fans and giving hugs and handshakes.
Other songs Avalon performed included "Bobby Sox To Stockings," "Swinging On A Rainbow," "Dede Dinah," "Gingerbread" and his biggest hit, "Venus." He also did a special rendition of "Beauty School Dropout," from the movie "Grease."
Throughout the evening, Avalon reminisced about the old days and sang a series of tribute songs to friends who had passed away, including Elvis Presley, Rick Nelson and Bill Haley.
After singing happy birthday to his son Frank, Avalon ended the show with the signature Mousketeer sign off, M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E, as the audience enthusiastically joined in.
Between 1958 and 1962, Frankie Avalon charted 13 singles in the Billboard Top 40, including two No. 1 hits: "Venus" was No. 1 for five weeks in early 1959, and "Why" shot to the top in early 1960.
During a nationwide surfing craze in the early '60s, Avalon and Annette Funicello starred in surf-themed movies such as "Beach Party," "Muscle Beach," and "Beach Blanket Bingo." In 1978, he had a cameo role in the musical "Grease" playing Teen Angel and singing "Beauty School Dropout."


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