Fabian (actually, Forte, Fabiano)

views updated

Fabian (actually, Forte, Fabiano)

Fabian (actually, Forte, Fabiano), one of the first teen idols of the rock and roll era, b. Philadelphia, Feb. 6, 1943. One of a gaggle of cute pop singers, Fabian proved only slightly less durable than his Philadelphia neighbor, Frankie Avalon. Avalon was already recording for an upstart Philly label called Chancellor. The label’s owners, Pete DeAngelis and Bob Marcucci, turned Avalon into a teen idol and wanted someone else on whom to work their magic. Avalon introduced them to his 15-year-old friend Fabiano Forte. Despite the fact that Forte had failed chorus, they decided to work with him. They went into the studio, and after a few failures, they came up with “Fin a Man.” They poured their new artist into a sweater, tight chinos, and white bucks, and brought him to a Dick Clark sock hop where he proceeded to leave a trail of swooning teen-aged girls. The teen and movie magazines picked up on the good-looking singer with articles like “I Blew a Fuse over Fabian.” The song became a modest (#31) hit in 1959. His next single, ’Turn Me Loose” went to #9, boosted by appearances on Clark’s American Bandstand. Two months later, “Tiger” surged to #3.

Music critics hated the teen pop trend and Fabian in particular. One described the singer as “an off-key, depraved cub scout.” Yet, through 1959, Fabian could do no wrong. He signed a contract as an actor, appearing in the film Hound Dog Man, for which he also performed the title track, which rose to #9, and the #12 hit “This Friendly World.” Through 1959 and 1960, he had three more minor hits including “Come and Get Me” (#29), “About This Thing Called Love” (#31), and “String Along” (#39). After that, the hits stopped coming. Fabian managed to continue acting, however, starring in the TV series Bus Stop and making a slew of films, including a handful of beach blanket movies and the John Wayne vehicle North to Alaska. Fabian continues to perform occasionally on the oldies circuit, and records from time to time.

Works

FILMS: High Time (I960); North to Alaska (I960); Love in a Goldfish Bowl (1961); Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962); Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962); Ride the Wild Surf (1964); Ten Little Indians (1965); Dear Brigitte (1965); Fireball 500 (1966); Dr. Goldfoot and The Girl Bombs (1966); Thunder Alley (1967); Maryjane (1968); The wild Racers (1968); The Devil’s Eight (1969); Little Laura and Big John (1973); Soul Hustler (1976); Getting Married (1978); Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold (1978); Disco Fever (1978); America’s Music: Rock ’N’ Roll V. 1 (1985); America’s Music: Rock ’AT Roll V. 2; Good Time Rock ’n Roll (1985); Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1988); Revenge of the Zombie (1988).

Discography

Fabulous Fabian (1959); Hold That Tiger (1959); Good Old Summertime (1960); Facade Young 61 Wonderful (1960); The Hit Makers (1960); Jtodkw’ Hof (1961); Fabian (1974); Fabulously Grateful (1987); The Tiger (1987); Scfeowe Lieder (1997).

—Hank Bordowitz

About this article

Fabian (actually, Forte, Fabiano)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article