Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #46: Teen Idols, Past and Present

Thirteen Teen Idols, Past and Present

Some wanted to be them. Some wanted to look like them. Some just wanted them. Below, in chronological order, are a few of the stars who graced the covers of mags like Tiger Beat and 16. In some instances where the teen idol was part of a group, I chose to include just the one who mainly fit the mold of "teen idol". After all, I don't think the image of Tito Jackson by himself was plastered over the walls of many teenyboppers.

Note: Narrowing down this list to just 13 was harder than I thought it would be. To cover a longer timespan and to make the list a little broader, some of the biggest teen idols of their day sadly didn't make the cut. Having said that, feel free to comment on any of the 13 idols below or the ones who didn't make my list.

1. Frank Sinatra- It's easy to forget, but Frank was arguably the first teen idol. When he zoomed to stardom in the 1940s, he had the bobby soxers swooning. Ask your grandparents, they'll tell you.

2. Annette Funicello- Up until Britney, Justin, and Christina experienced superstardom, Annette was without question the most famous performer to don the Mouse ears.

3. Ricky Nelson- I would have been remiss if I didn't include the guy who recorded a song called "Teenage Idol".

4. Fabian- Sometimes it pays to be spotted on the front steps of your house crying because your father is being taken away in an ambulance (this is how Fabian was discovered).

5. Davy Jones- If there were a hall of fame for tambourine/maracas players, the Monkee from Manchester would be its charter member.

6. Bobby Sherman- Bobby came on the scene in the 60s and supplanted Davy Jones as the top teen idol. Shortly thereafter, Bobby himself saw his popularity wane after the emergence of #7 below... Oh well, "Easy Come, Easy Go".

7. David Cassidy- How many of you girls were "Looking Through the Eyes of Love" when you looked at David/Keith?

8. Michael Jackson- Perhaps the only performer who was a teen idol as both a kid and an adult.

9. New Edition- After the success of New Edition, mastermind Maurice Starr figured that a teenaged white group would have more mainstream appeal. As a result, you get #10.

10. New Kids On the Block- If fans of the Grateful Dead were "Deadheads", does that mean that fans of the New Kids were "Blockheads"?

11. Debbie Gibson- The Electric Youth of the world circa 1987 had a hard time shaking their love for the Debster.

12. Hanson- A boy band in the purest sense, the Hanson boys actually sang AND played their own instruments. Can you believe that all three of them are dads now?!

13. Miley Cyrus (aka Hannah Montana)- Let's cut the girl some slack for the Vanity Fair pics. After all, everybody makes mistakes... everybody has those days.

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Holly Smith said...

Well, I was really into Davy Jones (thanks to summer reruns of the Monkees), but numbers 8 - 11 were my generation of teen idols. I had two of Debbie Gibson's cassettes, and my walls were plastered with posters of the New Kids. My dad recently called me when the New Kids were on the Today Show. Sadly, they just don't have the same effect on me anymore! LOL

Hootin' Anni said...

My mom's generation...Frank S. My daughter's would be Cassidy.

How time reveals, today, I think Frank Sinatra is best. I've mellowed over the years.

Excellent T-13!!!

pjazzypar said...

Cool TT. Yeah, I wish people would leave my Miley alone (I caught the song reference). These photos bring back some very good memories. I agree with all of your choices. Actually Jermaine Jackson might have been more of a pin-up than pre-teen Michael, but by the time the Thriller phenomenon sunk in, he had no peers. I had forgot about my boy Bobby Sherman. I used to stay up just to watch him on that 60's show "Here Comes the Brides".

Sue said...

What a fun list you've put together. Brought back some fond memories of the 70's for me :)

Happy TT!!! My list is up here:

My Life In The Urban Zoo

Chelle Y. said...

My dad loved Annette Funicello! I still enjoy listening to Davey Jones!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I still want to marry Davy Jones! My sister preferred Peter.

Cheerio said...

Annette Funicello I do remember.

Michelle said...

Fun TT. I use to be so in love with David Cassidy as a kid. Happy TT!

Open Grove Claudia said...

Boy, when you have them all together, they look so much a like. Wow. No wonder the boy band was created! I'm completely fascinated by what makes things popular. I wonder if someone has a criteria - full lips, wide eyes, etc. - like they do for female sex symbols...

Happy TT

SJ Reidhead said...

A couple years ago I was able to tell Davy Jones about the time following the Monkees' Greenville, SC concert, where I was in on a mob of girls chasing him. They called the cops, who just sat outside the auditorium watching the local news film the event. The funny part is he remembered the concert.

OH, he's still cute!

The Pink Flamingo

SandyCarlson said...

I love most of these--especially Davy Jones and David Cassidy. A David thing?

Allison Says said...

Oh Davey Jones! And Hanson! I'm SO with you on those two :) And I cannot believe they are fathers! But, I'm a mother and was a "typical" Hanson fan (age-wise), so I guess I shouldn't be too surrpised!

Great 13...I just loved it :)

Poor one is giving her a second chance, it seems. It was all blown so out of proportion!

Happy TT!

Janet said...

New Edition was soooooooooo much better than New Kids...*shakes head* Man, could Johnny Gill sing!

Christopher said...

Deb Gibson's still around ;)

Lori said...

Great list...I had a couple of those people on my wall as a kid:) Happy TT.

Random Ramblings said...

i suddenly missed michael jackson (when he was still black)

My #8 is up too. i listed the top hits on the year i was born =) >>

pussreboots said...

I prefer young Sinatra to his post Rat Pack persona.

Happy TT.

The Gal Herself said...

Bobby and David, David and Bobby. Sigh. I fell madly in love with those two when Paul McCartney grew a mustache and admitted using LSD. Then when Linda and Yoko joined the Beatles' scene -- it was all too adult and hostile and icky. Thank God for my completely unthreatening TV sitcom heroes with their dreamy eyes and feathery hair. Great TT. (And thanks for visiting mine.)

Winter said...

Ahhh, David Cassidy. How sad that I just dated myself. ;) Happy TT!

marcia said...

I was so in love w/ Bobby Sherman and Donny Osmond:)

Rasmenia said...

I dig your list - strangely, I feel quite young & rather old all at the same time after reading it. :)

Have a great Thursday!

MInTheGap said...

Nice list-- amazing how times change but people do not!

My TT's over at VeggieTales Review" as my alter ego, Peter Plum.

Robin said...

You left out my two teenage crushes - Shaun Cassidy and John Stamos (who's gone on to become very strange and somewhat creepy as an adult).

Sharon said...

I love when Michael Jackson had that look.

Miley Cyrus-I like her. I think the Vanity Fair thing was blown out of proportion. I think people were just looking for something negative to find on the "good girl".

Frank Sinatra-so glad you included him. Handsome and timeless music.

Playful Professional said...

Not a big fan of Miley but loved New Kids on The Block and Hanson!

Malcolm said...

Holly: I have a niece the same age as you who thought that Davy Jones was cute when she used to watch "The Monkees" on Nickelodeon in the late 80s. She too was a fan of New Kids (Joey was her favorite).

I watched the Today Show clips of the reunited New Kids on You Tube. It was funny to see the 30-something women going crazy in the audience.

Hootin' Anni: Last month, Turner Classic Movies did a tribute to Frank Sinatra to mark the 10th anniv. of his death. As part of the tribute, they showed some of the TV specials he did in the 60s and 70s. I watched one of them and damn did it sound good. That's definitely not something I would have watched 10 years ago.

Pjazzy: The Miley haters can be very vicious. But she'll be alright. After all, no problem can't be solved once she get's involved.

One could make a case for Jermaine over Michael in the days of the J5, but I chose MJ because of his ability to maintain his teen idol status over a long period of time.

A couple of Fridays ago at work, I was listening to "Julie, Do Ya Love Me" by Bobby Sherman. Since one of the buyers in my dept. was a pre-teen when that song came out, I sent it to her. She got a kick out of it, adding that she was also a fan of David Cassidy back in the day.

Sue: Thanks for stopping by. Glad I could conjure up some positive memories for you.

Chelle Y.: Annette is one of the few icons who crosses generations. People from the 50s remember her as a Mouseketeer, the ones from the 60s think of the Beach Party films she made with Frankie Avalon, and then those from the 70s/80s recall the commercials she made for Skippy Peanut Butter.

Mistress of the D: Maybe you can get that Davy guy to settle down once and for all. Since he's been married and divorced twice, maybe the 3rd time is the charm.

Cheerio: Because I worked at radio station a few years ago that played nostalgia/oldies, I discovered some of the music of Annette. My favorites are Pineapple Princess, First Name Initial, Tall Paul, and The Train of Love.

Michelle: The man formerly known as Keith Partridge had to beat 'em off with a stick.

Open Grove Claudia: I sometimes felt that there was a factory somewhere with an assembly line that cranked out teen idols. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some sort of criteria used for the "teen idol" mold.

SJ: That's cool that Davy remembered the show that you attended. You would think that some of the shows would be a blur, but I guess when you have a mob of girls chasing you, it will always stick out in your mind.

Wani said...

amazing how times have changed! Thanks for stopping by Wani's World!

Chris said...

Fun list Malcom. Can't believe how young they look or is it just that I'm getting old? Happy TT

Malcolm said...

Sandy Carlson: Ooh, were you into David Soul too?

Allison: The youngest member of Hanson (Zak) just celebrated the birth of him and his wife's first child. It doesn't seem that long ago that he and his brothers were jumping around in their video for "Mmm Bop".

Janet: I agree. New Kids were nothing but a pale imitation (no pun intended) of New Edition. I had nothing against them, but it was what it was.

Christopher: Debbie (oops, Deborah) is just as busy as she was during her days of teen stardom.

Lori: Thanks for stopping by to comment.

Random Ramblings: It sickens me sometimes when I see old pics of Michael and what he has done to himself.

Pussreboots: I am partial to the Rat Pack Frank, but his early persona is cool too.

The Gal Herself: The Monkees came along at the perfect time because it was around 1966 when the Beatles became more "serious", stopped touring, etc. That was also around the time that "rock and roll" became known as "rock". To me, rock and roll signifies fun and rock seems to be more corporate.

Winter: You can always lie and say you discovered David Cassidy watching reruns of "The Partridge Family"... I won't tell, lol.

Marcia: It sounds like you were on The Tiger Beat when you were younger. Thanks for visiting.

Cindy Swanson said...

LOVED this list! The ones from my era (and no, I'm not talking about Sinatra :)), really brought back some great memories, as your TT's often do, Malcolm!

Off-topic, did you ever get my e-mail? Just checking! If not, I'll re-send it.

The Rock Chick said...

Gosh, I remember quite posters of a few of those 13 gracing my closet doors!

The Rock Chick's all-time favorite teen idol heartthrob??? Shaun Cassidy, David's younger brother.


Great list as always!!!!!

BeckEye said...


You know what's coming, right?


Denise Patrick said...

I was never really into teen idols. When I was a teenager The Jackson 5 were hot, but I was into the Temptations. Fabulous TT!

Malcolm said...

Rasmenia: I imagine that you must feel like Jennifer Garner did in the movie "13 Going On 30". Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Minthegap: Thanks for stopping by. I dig your avatar.

Robin: As I mentioned, it was hard to narrow down the list to just 13. I left out Shaun because I felt that one Cassidy was enough. As for Stamos, if I ever do a T13 on stars who started out in soaps, he has a chance of making the cut.

I never thought of Stamos as being a creepy adult. You have me intrigued now, lol.

Sharon: Thanks for taking the time to pay me a visit. Even though Michael looks horrid now, his talent remains intact. In regards to Miley, you know how it is. People/the media love to build up stars just so they can tear them down. Because he was arguably the first teen idol, I felt the list would have been incomplete w/o Frank Sinatra.

Playful Pro: If you have the Disney Channel, you should check out "Hannah Montana" sometime (assuming you already haven't). Even though I can often see the jokes coming a mile away, it still makes me laugh.

Wani: Thanks to you for returning the favor.

Chris: Let's stick with the idols looking young, lol.

Cindy: I wouldn't ever suggest that you were around when Sinatra was a teen idol. I don't want you coming to Michigan trying to hunt me down.

Yes, I received your email and sent you a thank you response. In case you didn't get it, I forwarded it to you this afternoon.

The Chick That Embodies Rock: Thanks! People might scoff at me, but I like some of Shaun Cassidy's tunes. I even have "That's Rock and Roll" and "Hey Deanie" in my collection.

BeckEye: John Travolta? Sorry, never heard of him. Seriously, if it's any consolation, John did make one of my previous T13s. Here is the link in case you missed it.

Denise: As you may remember, The Temptations are my all-time favorite group. It just doesn't get much better than their "Classic 5" lineup (David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams).

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I AM STILL IN LOVE WITH BOBBY SHERMAN AND DAVID CASSIDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Rock Chick said...

"That's Rock and Roll" by Shaun Cassidy is totally on my "happy tunes" list along with MMMBop by Hanson. You just can't help but dance around the living room when you hear those songs! LOL

Beth said...

I was really more of a Shawn Cassidy follower (I don't remember why ... I must have been like eight years old) and, for some reason, Mickey Dolenz instead of Davy.

Great list!

Malcolm said...

Barbara: I have to question your love for Bobby and David. If you truly loved them, you would have added two more exclamation points.

The Rock Chick: On the way into work this morning, I was listening to the mix CD that has "That's Rock and Roll". Besides "Mmm Bop", also liked two of Hanson's other songs from that album (Where's the Love and Weird).

Beth: Thanks for stopping by. Micky is my favorite Monkee. As an adult, I appreciate his comic gifts more than I did as a kid. Some may laugh, but I think he was good enough to at least earn an Emmy nomination for his work on "The Monkees".

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