Frankie Vaughan

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Frankie Vaughan
Frankie Vaughan.jpg
Background information
Birth nameFrank Fruim Abelson
Born(1928-02-03)3 February 1928
Liverpool, England
Died17 September 1999(1999-09-17) (aged 71)
High Wycombe, England
Genres
Occupation(s)Singer, actor
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1940s–1999
Labels

Frankie Vaughan CBE DL (born Frank Fruim Abelson; 3 February 1928 – 17 September 1999) was an English singer and actor who recorded more than 80 easy listening and traditional pop singles in his lifetime. He was known as "Mr. Moonlight" after one of his early hits.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Vaughan with Marilyn Monroe in Let's Make Love (1960)

Vaughan was born Frank Fruim Abelson on Devon Street in the Islington district of Liverpool on 3 February 1928, one of four children of Isaac and Leah Abelson.[2]

He came from a Jewish family of Russian-Jewish descent, and derived his stage surname from his grandmother; as he was her first-born grandson, she called him "Frank my 'number one' grandson", and her Russian accent made "one" sound like "Vaughan".[2] In his early life, he was a member of the Lancaster Lads' Club, a member group of the National Association of Boys' Clubs; having started out at the club intending to become a boxer,[2] he was a major contributor to them during his career, dedicating his monetary compensation from one song each year to them.[2] He was an evacuee during World War II.[1]

He attended the Lancaster College of Art on a scholarship and was a vocalist in their dance band. After a stint in the Royal Army Medical Corps (where he spent most of his time boxing) he returned to art school, this time at the Leeds College of Art. When he won a prize in a design contest, he left for London, where he won second prize on a radio talent show.[2]

Vaughan's career began in the late 1940s performing song and dance routines. He was known as a fancy dresser, wearing top hat, bow tie, tails, and cane.[2] In the 1950s he worked for a few years with the band of Nat Temple, and after that period he then began making records under his own name. In 1955, he recorded what was to become his trademark song, "Give Me the Moonlight, Give Me the Girl".[2]

He recorded a large number of songs that were covers of United States hit songs, including Perry Como's "Kewpie Doll," Jimmie Rodgers' "Kisses Sweeter than Wine," Boyd Bennett's "Seventeen" (also covered in the US by the Fontane Sisters), Jim Lowe's "The Green Door," and (with the Kaye Sisters), the Fleetwoods' "Come Softly to Me". In 1956, his cover of "The Green Door" reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart.[3] The same year he was voted 'Showbusiness Personality of the Year'.[1] In early 1957, his version of "The Garden of Eden", reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart. In 1961, Vaughan hit No. 1 in the UK again, with "Tower of Strength", but the rise of beat music eclipsed his chart career for two or three years, before he returned to the Top 10 in 1967 with "There Must Be a Way".[2] Chart success eluded him after this although he did have two more Top 40 singles; "Nevertheless" and "So Tired".[3] In 1957 he was voted the eighth most popular star at the British box office.[4]

In the late 1960s, Vaughan, involved himself with a youth project in Easterhouse, Glasgow. He was appalled by the level of violence amongst young people. Vaughan held meetings with the gang leaders and appealed for them to surrender their weapons.[5]

Managed at this time by former journalist and theatrical agent Paul Cave,[6] Vaughan stayed in the United States for a time to make a film with Marilyn Monroe, Let's Make Love (1960), and was an actor in several other films, but his recordings were never chart hits in the US,[1] with the exception of "Judy", which reached No.100 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1958. In 1961, Vaughan was on the bill at the Royal Variety Performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, London.

In 1985, Vaughan starred in a stage version of 42nd Street at Drury Lane in London,[2] opposite his old friend Shani Wallis who appeared in their first film together, Ramsbottom Rides Again. After a year, he nearly died of peritonitis and had to leave the cast.[2] Vaughan was married to Leeds-born Stella Shock (1924-2015) from 1951 until his death; the couple had three children, a daughter Susan (b.1963) and two sons, singer David Sye (b.1961) and actor-singer Andrew Abelson (b.1968).[1]

In 1994, he was one of a few to be honoured by a second appearance on This Is Your Life, when he was surprised by Michael Aspel. Vaughan had been a subject of the show previously in April 1970 when Eamonn Andrews surprised him at the Caesar's Palace nightclub in Luton.

Despite frequent bouts of ill-health, Vaughan continued performing until shortly before his death from heart failure in 1999.

Awards and honours[edit]

Vaughan was awarded an OBE in 1965, a CBE in 1996,[2] and as a long-time resident of High Wycombe had been a Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire since 1993. He was an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.[7] He also received the Variety Club of Great Britain Award for "Showbusiness Personality of the Year" in 1957.

Death[edit]

Vaughan died from heart failure at his home in High Wycombe aged 71.[2][1] His wife Stella donated archival materials, including scores and sheet music he had collected throughout his career to Liverpool John Moores University in 2000.[7]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • 1950 – "The Old Piano Roll Blues" / "Daddy's Little Girl"
  • 1950 – "Stay with the Happy People" / "Give Me You"
  • 1953 – "My Sweetie Went Away" / "Strange"
  • 1953 – "Too Marvelous for Words" / "No Help Wanted"
  • 1953 – "Look at That Girl" (cover of Guy Mitchell) / "Send My Baby Back to Me"
  • 1953 – "Bye Bye Baby" / "False Hearted Lover"
  • 1953 – "Hey Joe" (cover of Frankie Laine) / "So Nice in Your Arms"
  • 1953 – "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" (cover of The Four Lads) / "Cloud Lucky Seven" (cover of Guy Mitchell)UK No. 11
  • 1954 – "The Cuff of My Shirt" (cover of Guy Mitchell) / "Heartless"
  • 1954 – "From the Vine Came the Grape" / "She Took"
  • 1954 – "Jilted" / "Do, Do, Do, Do, Do, Do It Again" (duets with Alma Cogan)
  • 1954 – "Out in the Middle of The Night" / "Crazy About You"
  • 1954 – "My Son, My Son" (cover of Vera Lynn) / "Cinnamon Sinner" (cover of Tony Bennett)
  • 1954 – "Happy Days and Lonely Nights" (cover of The Fontane Sisters) / "Danger Signs " – UK No. 12
  • 1955 – "Too Many Heartaches" / "Unsuspecting Heart" (cover of Sunny Gale)
  • 1955 – "Tweedle Dee" (cover of LaVern Baker) / "Give Me the Moonlight Give Me the Girl" – UK No. 17
  • 1955 – "Wildfire" / "That's How a Love Song Was Born"
  • 1955 – "Something's Gotta Give" / "Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road"
  • 1955 – "Seventeen" (cover of Boyd Bennett) / "Meet Me on the Corner" (cover of Max Bygraves) – UK No. 18
  • 1956 – "My Boy Flat Top" (cover of Dorothy Collins, also recorded by Boyd Bennett) / "Stealin'" – UK No. 20
  • 1956 – "This Is the Night" / "Rock Candy Baby"
  • 1956 – "Escape in the Sun" / "Honey Hair Sugar Lips Eyes of Blue" (cover of The Crew-Cuts)
  • 1956 – "Lucky Thirteen" / "Let's Go Steady"
  • 1956 – "The Green Door" (cover of Jim Lowe) / "Pity the Poor, Poor Man " – UK No. 2
  • 1957 – "The Garden of Eden" / "Priscilla" – UK No. 1
  • 1957 – "These Dangerous Years" / "Isn't This a Lovely Evening"
  • 1957 – "What's Behind That Strange Door" / "Cold Cold Shower"
  • 1957 – "Man on Fire" / "Wanderin' Eyes" – UK No. 6
  • 1957 – "Gotta Have Something in the Bank Frank" (duet with The Kaye Sisters) / "Single" – UK No. 8
  • 1957 – "Kisses Sweeter than Wine" (cover of Jimmie Rodgers) / "Rock-A-Chicka" – UK No. 8
  • 1958 – "Can't Get Along Without You" / "We're Not Alone" – UK No. 11
  • 1958 – "Kewpie Doll" (cover of Perry Como) / "So Many Women" – UK 10
  • 1958 – "Wonderful Things" / "Judy" – UK No. 22 ("Judy" also reached No. 100 in the US Billboard Hot 100)
  • 1958 – "Am I Wasting My Time on You" / "So Happy in Love" – UK 25
  • 1959 – "That's My Doll" / "Love Is the Sweetest Thing" – UK No. 28
  • 1959 – "Honey Bunny Baby" / "The Lady Is a Square"
  • 1959 – "Give Me the Moonlight, Give Me the Girl" / "Happy Go Lucky" (re-issue)
  • 1959 – "Come Softly to Me" (cover of The Fleetwoods) / "Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart" (duets with The Kaye Sisters) – UK No. 9
  • 1959 – "The Heart of a Man" / "Sometime Somewhere" – UK No. 5
  • 1959 – "Walkin' Tall" / "I Ain't Gonna Lead This Life" – UK No. 28
  • 1960 – "What More Do You Want" / "The Very Very Young" – UK No. 25
  • 1960 – "Love Me Now" / "I Was a Fool"
  • 1960 – "Kookie Little Paradise" / "Mary Lou" – UK No. 31
  • 1960 – "Milord" (cover of Édith Piaf) / "Do You Still Love Me" – UK No. 34
  • 1961 – "Tower of Strength" (cover of Gene McDaniels) / "Rachel" (cover of Al Martino) – UK No. 1
  • 1961 – "Don't Stop – Twist!" / "Red Red Roses" – UK No. 22
  • 1962 – "I'm Gonna Clip Your Wings" / "Travelin' Man" (cover of Ricky Nelson)
  • 1962 – "Hercules" / "Madeleine" – UK No. 42
  • 1963 – "Hey Mama" / "Brand New Motor" – UK No. 21
  • 1963 – "You're the One for Me" / "I Told You So"
  • 1963 – "Loop de Loop" / "There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight" (cover of Tony Bennett) – UK No. 5
  • 1964 – "Alley Alley Oh" / "Gonna Be a Good Boy Now"
  • 1964 – "Hello Dolly" / "Long Time No See" – UK No. 18
  • 1964 – "Susie Q" / "I'll Always Be in Love With You"
  • 1964 – "Someone Must Have Hurt You a Lot" / "Easter Time" – UK No. 46
  • 1965 – "The Happy Train" / "You Darlin' You"
  • 1965 – "Wait" / "There Goes the Forgotten Man"
  • 1966 – "Cabaret" / "Gotta Have You"
  • 1967 – "There Must Be a Way" / "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You" (cover of Dean Martin) – UK No. 7
  • 1967 – "So Tired" / "If I Didn't Care" – UK No. 21
  • 1968 – "Nevertheless" / "Girl Talk" – UK No. 29
  • 1968 – "Mame" / "If I Had My Way"
  • 1968 – "Souvenirs" / "Getting Used to Having You Around"
  • 1969 – "The Same Old Way" / "You Can't Stop Me Dancing"
  • 1969 – "Hideaway" / "Hold Me Close to You"
  • 1970 – "Peace Brother Peace" / "You'll Never Walk Alone"
  • 1970 – "With These Hands" / "I'll Give You Three Guesses"
  • 1971 – "Find Another Love" / "Lorelei"
  • 1971 – "Make The Circus Come To Town" / "What Am I To Do With Mei"
  • 1972 – "Paradise" / "Same Old Love"
  • 1972 – "Good Old Bad Old Days" / "The Good Things in Life"
  • 1974 – "Unchained Melody" / "I'll Never See Julie Again"
  • 1975 – "It's Too Late Now" / "Somewhere in This World"
  • 1975 – "Close Your Eyes" / "Our World of Love"
  • 1975 – "After Loving You" / "Feelings"
  • 1976 – "I'll Never Smile Again" / "Ragtime Cowboy Joe"
  • 1976 – "One" / "Love Is Here to Stay"
  • 1977 – "Red Sails in the Sunset" / "Seasons for Lovers"
  • 1977 – "Take Me" / "Lemon Drops, Lollipops and Sunbeams"
  • 1978 – "Think Beautiful Things" / "I Am Lucky"
  • 1979 – "Think Beautiful Things" / "Simple Kiss"
  • 1983 – "Stockport" / "Showmanship"
  • 1984 – "Dreamers" / "Two Different Worlds"
  • 1987 – "When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New" / "Lucky"
[3]

Albums[edit]

Philips[edit]

  • 1957 – Happy Go lucky
  • 1958 – Frankie Vaughan Showcase
  • 1959 – Frankie Vaughan at the London PalladiumUK No. 6
  • 1961 – Let Me Sing – I'm Happy
  • 1961 – Warm Feeling
  • 1962 – Live at the Talk of the Town
  • 1963 – All Over Town
  • 1965 – My Kind of Song
  • 1966 – Return Date at the Talk of the Town
  • 1967 – Frankie Vaughan Songbook – UK No. 40
  • 1971 – This is Frankie Vaughan

Columbia[edit]

  • 1967 – There Must Be a Way – UK No. 22
  • 1968 – The Second Time Around
  • 1970 – Mr Moonlight
  • 1971 – Double Exposure
  • 1972 – Frankie
  • 1972 – Frankie Vaughan Sing-a-Long
  • 1973 – Frankie Vaughan Sings

Pye[edit]

  • 1973 – Sincerely Yours
  • 1974 – Someone Who Cares
  • 1975 – Seasons for Lovers
  • 1977 – Golden Hour Presents Frankie Vaughan

Ronco[edit]

  • 1977 – 100 Golden Greats – UK No. 24
  • 1985 – Love Hits and High Kicks

Big V records[edit]

  • 1979 – Moonlight and Love Songs

[3]

Filmography[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Glasgow 'peacemaker' Frankie Vaughan dies". BBC News. 17 September 1999. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Biography by Sharon Mawer". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London, UK: Guinness World Records Ltd. p. 583. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ Most Popular Film of the Year. The Times (London, England), Thursday, 12 December 1957; pg. 3; Issue 54022
  5. ^ "Glasgow History - Frankie Vaughan's visits to Easterhouse, Glasgow". history scotland. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Former journalist and theatrical agent, Paul Cave, dies at 93". Dailyecho.co.uk. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  7. ^ a b Anna Jackson (1 July 2013). "Frankie Vaughan Archive". Ljmu.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014.

External links[edit]