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Frankie Vaughan was 29 when "These dangerous years" was released,a little elderly for a teenage idol,but this was in the days of David Whitfield, Ronnie Hilton,Ruby Murray(yes THAT Ruby Murray - now immortalised in Cockney rhyming slang)Joan Regan and a lot of other perfectly nice but not particularly youthful singers filled the Top Twenty.He was awarded a seven year contract with Anna Neagle/Herbert Wilcox productions,having made his film debut in "Ramsbottom Rides Again" two years earlier."These Dangerous Years" (Allegedly the time between when a young man left school and when he was "called up") was based partly on his own experiences in Liverpool a decade or so previously.He sings "Cold cold shower" and "Isn't this a lovely evening" as well as the title song in the style to which his admirers had become accustomed.He sneers and shows off his well - oiled locks,but is a far from convincing bad boy despite his provenance. "The lady is a square" and "Heart of a man" were no better,but he was half - decent in "Let's make love",but,movie - wise,it all went downhill from then on. With the arrival of Cliff and Tommy and Billy and Marty,Mr Vaughan switched smoothly to "all-round entertainer" status and headlined all round the country for years. "These Dangerous years" is an intriguing record of a time when British Pop was pausing for breath after years of taffeta dresses and white open - necked shirts with cravats before reaching for it's guitar and and crew-neck pullover. Mr Vaughan wasn't what teenagers in 1957 were reaching out for. My father was a great admirer of his,praising his admirable involvement in Boys' Clubs.What neither he nor Mr Vaughan knew was that most boys wouldn't be seen dead in a Boys' Club unless dragged there by a parent. The first Elvis and Gene Vincent records were coming out.After we'd heard "Be - Bop a Lula" we didn't want to play table tennis and drink Tizer.We were no longer happy to have our musical taste imposed on us. When we went out and bought "Heartbreak Hotel" it was our Declaration of Independence,our announcement that we were no longer prepared to be patronised by films like "These Dangerous Years". "Roll over Beethoven" then,and farewell Frankie Vaughan.
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