This week, I’m happy to host the author of an innovative series featuring a mythical former teen idol. I was a HUGE fan of Donny Osmond when I was a tween! You couldn’t get me out of purple socks (Donny fans will know what I mean). Have fun re-living your teen idol years!
Still Loving’ Our Teen Idols
A teen idol crush is a rite of passage for most young women. Generally marketed to pre-teen girls, these smiling, cute lads sing and dance their ways into the heart of millions. The moniker “teen idol” refers to the age of their fans, not the men themselves who were generally in their early twenties, although some were as young as 15 (Peter Noone) when stardom hit.
In the 1960s and ’70s, teen idols were promoted thought the medium of television, the best way to reach girls who were too young to drive to movie theaters. Most idols had their own TV series, which served as a 30- or 60-minute commercial each week to keep their adoring fans hooked.
Here’s a quiz of teen idols of that era; match them with the name of their album (hint: some of these are solo albums that were released in the 1900s and later).
- A. Bobby Sherman
- B. Davy Jones
- C. Donny Osmond
- D. Michael Nesmith
- E. David Cassidy
- F. Sandy Fairfax
- G. Micky Dolenz
- H. Peter Noone
- I. Peter Tork
- J. Shaun Cassidy
- K. Leif Garret
- Crossword Puzzle
- King For a Day
- That’s Rock and Roll Live
- Stranger Things Have Happened
- Feel the Need
- Just For the Record
- Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma
- Remembering You
- The Entertainer
- Hold On!
- Knight in Shining Armor
Did the name Sandy Fairfax stump you? That’s because he only exists in the pages of my cozy series. He’s a mash-up of several real life idols.
The teen idol phenomena fascinates me: How the mass media can turn an unknown performer into a worldwide sensation (and a millionaire) literally overnight. How idols “crash and burn” in short-lived careers of only two to five years followed by a long period of inactivity. How idols have to overcome public perception and rebrand themselves for new careers in midlife.
Sandy is 38 years old and struggling to make a comeback after years of idleness and alcoholism. He’s also trying to reconnect with his estranged family. And while he’s singing and acting, he keeps tripping over dead bodies. In his heyday he played a teenage spy on the TV show “Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth,” so now he’s an amateur detective tracking down real life killers who, unlike the ones on his show, don’t use blanks in their guns.
Sandy has his faults and his massive ego needs a daily massage, but he’s generous, courteous, smart and funny with a strong moral center—and after all these years, still cute and loveable.
Teen idol quiz answers: A-8, B-6, C-9, D-7, E-1, F-11, G-2, H-10, I-4, J-3 and K-5.
Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, Calif. She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school, her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition.
Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do. She’s worked as an actress, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain, and tour guide/page for Paramount Pictures. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.
The Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series is comprised of “The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper” (2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel), “The Sinister Sitcom Caper” and “The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper.”
She has short stories in two anthologies: “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in” in “Last Exit to Murder” and “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” in “Plan B: Omnibus.”
Kings River Life ezine has published her stories “The Pie-eyed Spy” and “Sanctuary.”
Connect with Sally