Sunday, March 13, 2011

Another record man passes

Bob Marcucci, the record producer and label owner who invented the teen idol, has died aged 81. Bob owned Chancellor Records of Philadelphia and discovered and promoted Frankie Avalon and Fabian, who between them did much to end the first flush of rock and roll. Bob said that Frankie Avalon's first record, Dede Dinah was "the worst song I ever heard in my life", according to John Broven in Record Makers and Breakers. And Fabian famously could not sing a note - setting the trend for numerous pop acts right up to the present day.

Despite the lack of talent, Bob, together with Pete DeAngelis, had enormous success for a couple of years, thanks largely to the songwriting talents of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, who wrote songs that even the talentless Fabian could turn into hits, including I'm a Man, Turn Me Loose and Hound Dog Man. Chancellor later had a hit with Claudine Clarks' Party Lights but the conjuring trick did not last.


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