Face it, not everyone can sing but a lot of actors can. They may have been raised on musical theater or just have a talent for warbling a tune. But then there are those pretty faces who should stick to scripts instead of scores. Whether you’re looking for an album by your favorite TV star or just the best of the worst, here are a few tunes that will get your brain wracking if not your toes tapping!
Since the fifties, teen heart throbs have made perfect sense as singing stars. I mean, if the teens are screaming they won’t even hear what the guy sounds like! But there are a number of truly talented singers that made it to vinyl. Frankie Avalon, and James Darren both did well with South Philly crooning, Ricky Nelson did the white boy version of R&B and Connie Stevens kept the boys tuned in as well. Both Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy used TV to launch their careers and little brother Shaun was packing the house with his version of “Da Do Run Run.”
Some other teen idols haven’t fared as well. Johnny Crawford was a success as Mark McCain, the young son of the Rifleman. He released several albums as a child, and had a hit with the single’s “Cindy’s Birthday” and “Your Knows is Gonna Grow.” His success was short lived. Ironically, today, Crawford makes his living in music and not acting. His forties style swing band is popular in clubs all over the country.
John Travolta may be Oscar material these days but back in the 70’s he was making albums. He had a top 10 single with “Let Her In” which included a solo spot on American Bandstand. Welcome Back Kotter co-star Gabe Kaplan recorded the album “Up You Nose”, but we’ll leave that alone.
A hit TV show had to mean hit records right? Look at the Partridge Family. Well, what about the Brady Family with their Meet the Brady Bunch and Merry Christmas from the Brady Bunch. There’s also Christmas music from the stars of Bonanza and several singles by Lorne Greene. Patty Duke had no less than four albums, one of which was her Greatest Hits! And do not pass up Laverne and Shirley Sing!
Happy Days began every episode with Rock Around the Clock on the juke box, but it’s stars never did that well. Anson Williams (Potsie) was a singing star on the set but he only released one single. The guy with the lousy jokes, Donny Most (Ralph Malph) released an album and a single in 1976 but they were both quickly relegated to the bargain bin.
In the category of “What were they thinking!” There is “Find Yourself a Rainbow” and other music from Sally Field as The Flying Nun. Lynda Carter from Wonder Woman (who is still going strong) and Peggy Lipton during her time on the Mod Squad. But if you truly must invest in the worst of the worst, find William Shatner performing (and I mean performing, not singing) I’m a Rocket…..man.
Current actors who can actually carry a tune? Christian Kane of Leverage, Kevin Bacon, Zooey Deschanel and Connie Britton of Nashville, just to name a few.
Who is your favorite singing actor?