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Frankie Vaughan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frankie Vaughan

Frankie Vaughan.jpg
Background information
Birth nameFrank Ableson
Born(1928-02-03)3 February 1928
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died17 September 1999(1999-09-17) (aged 71)
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England
Years active1940s–1999
LabelsHMV, Philips, Columbia, Pye

Frankie Vaughan CBE DL (born Frank Ableson, 3 February 1928 – 17 September 1999)[1] was an English singer of easy listening and traditional pop music, who recorded more than 80 singles in his lifetime. He was known as "Mr. Moonlight" after one of his early hits.[2]

Life and career

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

Frankie Vaughan was born Frank Ableson to a Jewish family in Devon Street, Liverpool.[1] The name 'Vaughan' came from a grandmother whose first grandson he was, who used to call Frank 'my number one' grandson, in whose Russian accent 'one' sounded like 'Vaughan'.[1] In his early life, he was a member of the Lancaster Lads' Club, a member group of the National Association of Boys' Clubs in the UK, and in his career he was a major contributor to the clubs, dedicating his monetary compensation from one song each year to them.[1] He was an evacuee during World War II.[2] He started out at the club intending to be a boxer.[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.[1]

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.[1] 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".[1]

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'.[2] 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".[1] 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,[2] 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,[1] 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.[1] Vaughan was married to Leeds-born Stella Shock from 1951 until his death; the couple had three children, David, Susan and Andrew.[2]

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 in 1999.

Awards and honours

Vaughan was created an OBE in 1965, a CBE in 1996,[1] and as a resident of High Wycombe had been a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Buckinghamshire since 1993. He was an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.[7]


Vaughan died from heart failure in Oxford in 1999, aged 71.[1][2] 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]






  • 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


  • 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


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


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

Big V records

  • 1979 – Moonlight and Love Songs


Select filmography

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Biography by Sharon Mawer". Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Glasgow 'peacemaker' Frankie Vaughan dies". BBC News. 17 September 1999. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  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 Easyerhouse, Glasgow". history scotland. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Former journalist and theatrical agent, Paul Cave, dies at 93". Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  7. ^ a b Anna Jackson (1 July 2013). "Frankie Vaughan Archive". Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 September 2019, at 16:34
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