"Keep rocking - and keep listening to John Peel's programmes...where else could you hear 'Clap Your Hands' by the Beaumarks, or dissertations on Annette Funicello's mammaries. Amazing stuff."Walt Disney as a twelve-year-old dancer in 1955 and became a member of his "Mouseketeers". She appeared in many Disney TV serials and won a big fan following, but her singing career only began in 1958, when she sang in one episode of a serial. The song, "How Will I Know My Love?", was issued as a single due to fan demand. A series of hit singles followed, although Funicello herself had no high opinion of her singing abilities. Her songs were in the teen-oriented style of early 1960s US pop, a genre derided by rock'n'roll enthusiasts and adherents of "adult pop" alike, but their innocent exuberance appealed strongly to young record buyers.
(Pete Frame, "Zigzag Wanderings", Zigzag 28, February 1973, no page number)
Funicello's popularity grew further thanks to the series of "beach party" films she made in the 1960s with fellow teen idol Frankie Avalon, for the enterprising low-budget studio American International Pictures. These were largely unseen in the UK but successful in the US, where they coincided with the fashion for surf music, and Funicello's figure and her revealing swimsuits attracted attention in the early 1960s, when on-screen female nudity had not yet become commonplace. Her stardom peaked in this period and declined thereafter, although she did make a comeback tour and film with Frankie Avalon, parodying their earlier work, in 1987.
Links to Peel
Annette Funicello was a star when John Peel moved to the United States in 1960 and remained popular during the seven years he was resident in the US. It is highly likely that he would have seen her films and heard her records on the radio: they may even have featured in some of the Top 40 playlists on the stations where he worked, particularly KMEN in San Bernardino, whose audience included surfers.
Funicello records appear from time to time in Peel's playlists from the 1970s on. While some of his comments suggest that his interest in her is not wholly due to her singing voice (as later with Sheena Easton and Clare Grogan), he did seem to retain some affection for the brash, innocent all-American teen culture which Annette Funicello, sometimes described as "The Girl Next Door", represented.
Festive Fifty Entries
Other Shows Played
- 10 April 1973: Jo Jo The Dog-Faced Boy (single) Bueno Vista
- 01 May 1973: Tall Paul (LP - Annette) Buena Vista
- 08 May 1973: Scrambled Egghead (LP - Muscle Beach Party) Buena Vista
- 08 May 1973: Muscle Beach Party (LP - Muscle Beach Party) Buena Vista
- 15 May 1973: Muscle Bustle (LP – Muscle Beach Party) Buena Vista
- 15 May 1973: Pajama Party (LP – Pajama Party) Buena Vista
- 22 May 1973: Pineapple Princess (LP – Beach Party) Buena Vista
- 29 May 1973: Mister Piano Man (LP – Annette Funicello) Buena Vista
- 07 April 1981: Monkey's Uncle (LP - Annette Sings Golden Surfing Hits)
- 17 August 1981: The Clyde (LP – Annette At Bikini Beach) Buena Vista
- 12 September 1981: Jamaica Ska (LP - unknown)
- 31 July 1982: 'Columbia-Roar Lions Roar (LP-Annette On Campus)' (Buena Vista)
- 05 August 1991 (Radio Bremen): Beach Party (LP - Beach Party) Buena Vista
- Peel August 1991 Lee Tape 112 : Beach Party (album - Beach Party) Buena Vista BV 3316
- Rolf Harris 81: (JP: "This next single is something I suggested the Revillos ought to cover, and they seem to have ignored my suggestion, so I shall just go ahead and play it, and you can record it if you like.")
Jo Jo The Dog Faced Boy (LP-Annette) (Disney)
- Surf's Up!: Beach Party