I was reading a magazine the other day while waiting and saw the Jonas Brothers in it. I sort of giggled and these teen idols that have young teens oohing and ahhing over these young heart throbs. I always thought teen idols we fairly silly and never got into them but enjoyed watching how fans reacted to them, and it got me thinking…
We’ve always had teen idols. Americans have a fascination with everyone else but rarely a fascination with themselves. It is an odd phenomenon but hey its what we do as Americans, become fascinated with someone else. When I say fascinated I mean fascinated. Why girls will scream and cry and faint when they see their favorite idol. We do not have the idols like we did from yester year but let’s take a look at a few of them.
In the 50’s there was Ricky Nelson. He played himself in the TV show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. At the end of each episode he would sing a song with his band. Perhaps this was the early introduction of music video’s. Needless to say Nelson had a huge following.
Paul Anka was another teen idol of the late 50’s and early 60’s. He had hits songs like “Diana,” “Lonely Boy,” and “Put Your Head on My Shoulder.” Then there was Bobby Rydell who at the age of 17 became a teen Idol with his first hit, “”Kissin’ Time.”
How could we do idols and not mention Elvis?. Women of all ages adored Elvis. Men liked him so much that they still do Elvis in Vegas with thousands and thousand of Elvis impersonators. Even to this day people cannot get enough Elvis.
Who could forget all the beach party action and Frankie Avalon? He not only had a huge hit “Venus” but he had a host of beach party movies with his side kick Annette Funicello. I find it difficult to imagine life growing up without “Beach Party,” “Muscle Beach,” and “Beach Blanket Bingo.” Bobby Darin, Dion, and Bobby Vinton, were all teen idols of the past.
Of course teen idols were not just limited to singers. The world fell head over heels for James Dean for the brief time he was with us. Tony Curtis, Sal Mineo and Tab Hunter were some of the silver screen idols.
A teen idol would not be a teen idol without mentioning the Beatles. Girls fainted and screamed. The Beatles were rock and roll music. It took the British invasion to show Americans how music was done. They eventually had to stop performing live because fans were screaming too loud and they could not hear themselves any longer.
Finally I saved my sister’s favorite 60’s idol for last. None other than Davy Jones from the Monkees. My sister had the biggest crush on this boyish Englishman. I recall when I was a youngster we actually went to see the Monkees at the state fair. I was never a Monkee fan, they were way too pop for me, but I loved watching people go crazy over them. Somewhere I am sure my sister still has a picture of him when she saw him live.
Yes the world is filled with teen idols but we just don’t go as crazy any longer for these idols. Perhaps we simply grew up a little and there is no need to jump, scream, cry, faint and throw laced panties at our favorite star. I never really could say anyone was a idol of mine, but if there was an idol in my life, clearly the Beatles would have won hands down.
What teen idol stands out for you?