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Frankie Avalon: The Man and his Music

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By Cheryl Brown –

Frankie Avalon, the singer who many now senior citizens, grew up with performed in San Bernardino on his 70th Birthday at the California Theater last weekend before an enthusiastic audience.

For the past 50 years, he has delighted audiences with his showmanship. Black Voice News spoke with him preceding his performance and asked about his life as a youngster, a family man, now a grandfather and touching on his good friend Mickey Mouse Club’s Annette Funicello.

Avalon said even though he was turning 70, he feels 45-50 years old. What keeps him young is his “work” and the “hope” he has and his “faith”.

He is a practicing Catholic. As a young child, he started in music playing the trumpet. He still has his original trumpet, and as he thought about the question remarked “I should get back to it, but it takes so much practice” he said. That made him reflect on the conditions of today’s schools. “Our schools don’t have music programs anymore.

We had music appreciation of all kinds of music, schools should get back to this,” he said.

As the conversation moved on I asked how long he had been a resident of San Bernardino County - the answer was 23 years. He loves the mountains it is his home away from home.

The question that everyone who remembers is how is Annette Funicello from the Mickey Mouse Club. Avalon said he lives by a mantra that she gave him while battling MS.

That is “whatever happens we should know that God’s delay is not God’s denial.” With that he said, “she has always been the sweetest most giving gal I worked with in my life. She was a friend, a mother and always pleasant to people. She never recognized the fact that people loved her so dearly.”

Unfortunately, he has one regret that he has no communication with her any longer and that has left a void in his life.

Reports are that the Frankie Avalon show was wonderful. He is personable, comes into the audience, and still sings the songs so many of us grew up on.

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