Annette Funicello

First Name Initial: All Her Chart Hits and More

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Annette Funicello was one of the first in a long list of teen television stars to turn the exposure the medium offered into a side career as a recording artist. She was just 13 years old when she began appearing on Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club series and she was spun off into a recording studio soon after, although she was always adamant that she didn’t really consider herself a professional singer. But the Disney folks understood charisma when they saw it, and were far from blind to the huge teen girl market that would follow Funicello's every move. She ended up charting several hits between 1959 and 1961, and eventually released a dozen or so albums, some of them essentially soundtracks to movies she appeared in, on Buena Vista, a Disney side imprint. This two-disc, 51-track set has several key sides from those albums, plus her chart hits, and if it’s obvious that Funicello wasn’t a great singer, she did generate a kind of sweet and bright sincerity on the best of her recordings. This package will be way too much Funicello for the casual listener, but ardent fans, many of whom grew up watching her on television and at the movies, will undoubtedly treasure this collection.

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