Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mr Moonlight

I picked up ten Frankie Vaughan singles at a car boot the other day. Nothing very surprising about that, as his middle of the road records are far from collectable. But as it happens, all of them came with autographed sleeves and all are in mint condition. I've put them on Ebay and am waiting to see if there are Frankie Vaughan obsessives out there who will bid.
Although Mr Moonlight, as Frankie was known, is all but forgotten today, having died in 1999 aged 71, he was one of the biggest UK pop stars of the fifties and became a popular all round entertainer right through the sixties and seventies. Born in Liverpool as Frank Abelson to a Jewish family, he started off in variety wearing his trademark top hat and tails and carrying a cane, recording his theme song Give Me The Moonlight in 1955. He recorded throughout the fifties and although the majority of his hits were rather tame covers of US hits, he was immensely popular. Big hits included Istambul, Happy Days and Lonely Nights, Tweedle Dee, Seventeen, My Boy Flat Top (the latter two covers of Boyd Bennett numbers), Green Door (a number 2 hit), The Garden of Eden (number one), Gotta Have Something In The Bank Frank, Kewpie Doll, Come Softly To Me (with the Kaye Sisters) and the Heart Of A Man. In the sixties he was quick to jump on any bandwagon that came along and his 45s included the self-penned Don't Stop - Twist, Hey Mama by Tom Springfield and Lennon and McCartney's Wait. Later hits included a cover of Tower of Strength, which made number one, Loop de Loop, Hello Dolly and There Must Be A Way, his last top ten hit in 1967.
Although he never had a hit in the States, he made his mark there, acting with Marilyn Monroe in 1960's Let's Make Love. His Hollywood career didn't take off although he acted in some other films, but it was as an all round entertainer that he became best known. He was a supporter of the Water Rats charity and was King Rat twice and was also a big supporter of boys clubs.
Frankie was never someone who appealed to me: I found his rather greasy persona and bland singing style boring and unappealing, but I'm sure there must be someone out there who would love to have the ten autographed singles that I currently have. Below is a photo of them and, if anyone is remotely interested, the Philips 45s in question are as follows: Hello Dolly/ Long Time No See BF 1339; Hercules/ Madeline (Open the door) 326542 BF; The Happy Train/ You Darlin' You BF 1438; Don't Stop - Twist/ Red red roses PB 1219; Alley alley oh/ Gonna be a good boy now BF 1310; Hey mama/ Brand new motor BF 1254; Come softly to me/ Say something sweet to your sweetheart PB 913 (with the Kaye Sisters); Wait/ There Goes the forgotten man BF 1460; You're The One for Me BF 1280; The world we love in/ The day that it happens to you PB 1104.


At 12:16 am , Blogger john marriott said...

The popcorn scene plays some Frankie records - think Hercules is one. I have the orig by Lenny Miles (which they also play on that scene) At least I assume his is the original.

At 8:53 am , Blogger Nick said...

You're right John, Hercules is the best of this bunch. Written by Mark Barkan, who also wrote stuff for Lesley Gore, Manfred Mann and Connie Francis among others. Released in 1962, which appears to be a year earlier than the Lenny Miles version.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home