Child Singer Crossovers - from TV and the Movies to Recording Stars

Today, Old School Friday is featuring child singers and I immediately thought of Shirley Temple and The Good Ship Lollipop, so that is my main entry for Child Singers.

Of course, you can't think of Shirley Temple without also remembering a young Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in all those fun "let's put on a play" movies that were rebroadcast in the fifties on Saturdays when I was a kid:

Two other young actor/singers who came to mind were Deanna Durbin and Bobby Breen, though these two are going way back - even past my childhood - but I also remember hearing them sing in old movies on the Saturday Matinee when I was a kid:

Then I started thinking of all the teenage television stars I grew up watching who cut some vinyl in their bids for rock and roll stardom. These were the days before they actually created TV shows around rock music like The Monkees and The Partridge Family. Though technically not child stars, I thought it would be fun to find some of the more obscure recordings of these singing attempts.

I remember buying 45s of Johnny Crawford (Mark from the Rifleman), Paul Peterson and Shelly Fabares (Jeff and Mary from The Donna Reed Show) and I also had Richard Chamberlain's recording of the theme song from Dr. Kildaire so I was a prime target for the cross-over attempts, lol.

Here's a rare and mostly forgotten Johnny Crawford recording:

Though he never really did make a singing bid like many of his fellow actors, I though you'd get a kick out of this clip of a very young Kurt Russell singing at Disneyland:

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  1. And James Darren! Swoon....
    Loved him as an actor plus he had a dreamy voice.

    Makes me laugh to think of Shelly Fabres "She Can't Find Her Keys". Paul Peterson's recording of "My Dad" was so touching and I loved that episode of the show.

  2. Darlene - Shelly Fabares "Johnny Angel" actually did quite well on the hit charts at the time - it hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1962!

    The same can't be said for Peterson's "She Can't Find Her Keys", though his first record "My Dad" did make #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. A little bit of fun trivia for Paul - according to Wikipedia he was fired from the Mickey Mouse Club after two weeks for "disorderly conduct", lol!

  3. I really like the Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney song.

  4. Kim - me too, I was always fond of those two together. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Great choices. I almost went with Judy Garland. I just thought of one that I could have went with...Ricky Nelson.

  6. John - yes, Ricky would have been another television star/singer and he was one of the few that was very successful in his crossover - though he was really more of a teen and less of a child like Peterson, Fabares and Crawford.

  7. The first 45 record I bought with my own money was "Diana" by Paul Anka. When you see my signature (below), you'll know why!

    This was a fun post! Thanks, PADiva!


  8. Diana - You know, I can't remember the first 45 I bought - I think it may well have been The Beatles - I was more of an album fan.

    My first album was the Breakfast at Tiffany's sound track, I was ten. Go figure my tastes because then I bought a Chipmunk album. I wonder if Henri Mancini and Alvin ever worked together? LOL.

  9. Although I was never much of a fan of Shirley Temple's movies when I was a kid (I was more into The Three Stooges and The Little Rascals), I enjoyed the clip you posted. I was watching one of the movies she made as a teenager (Miss Annie Rooney) this morning on TCM.

    By the way, did you see my response a few weeks ago to your question about putting multiple clips in one You Tube player?

  10. Malcolm - I was more of a fan of the Little Rascals and the Three Stooges myself - but they didn't sing, lol.

    I didn't see you response on the multiple YouTube player. I'll have to go back and check it out!

  11. Great picks! I almost posted Judy Garland singing somewhere over the rainbow & Shirley temple's good ship but then went in a different direction.
    I am a long time Temple fan!!

  12. Regina - this was fun, OSF always is for me. Trying to twist the theme to my retro boomer content is a challenge sometimes! But Shirley came to mind right off the bat and I just ventured on from there, lol.


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