In the early 60's , many of the people who were trying to capitalize on this new craze known as Rock'n'Roll tried to create their own new stars that the Rock'n Roll fanbase ( just about 100% teenagers) would go nuts over anf spend, spend, spend.
This is where the term used for the T.V. show originates....only it never had to be strictly Ameriacn as many of the British Invasion groups were originally pitched as teen idols ( yes, the Beatles, Stones and Animals ...the most obvious -and worst- Herman's Hermits).
But , mainly I am speaking of the boy heartthrobs ( as the female rocker had yet to be a strong Rock'n Roll force , this changes with Janis Joplin and Grace Slick , ,but even then still years away from tearing Rock away from it's male dominance).
It is true that many of these teen idols had the looks...but hwo many had the substance?
Which ( other than Beatles, Stones ) do you remember and did they have the substance to make it longtime in the industry or were they just one trick ponies?.
The guy who comes to mind for me is the kid who actually recorded a song called "Teenage Idol" , Ricky Nelson. The song is a heartfelt rendering , an agony fileed lament, about being the big star...but not being happy. He would later ( before his tragic and untimely death) record "Garden Party" , another great song , written by Ricky himself. A song that explores a deper territory than you expect form a "Teen Idol." I love these two songs , because they get into more than just the shallow love songs that many of the teen idols sang.
I have respect for Ricky Nelson and frrmly believe that he had the substance and talent to stay successful even if he had reached middle age.
I am just sad that he had to leave us so young , and that I didnt really "discover" him until the 1990s.
1958 was the year I was born. Between 1958 and 59, Ricky Nelson placed 12 songs on the charts . Despite this he never attained the status and fame of Elvis or Little Richard at the top.
If you haven't heard a Ricky Nelson greatest hits CD, they are usually packed with gems, you either don't know or have long forgotten.
And when they talk abouut stars who died untimely deaths, he is often forgotten too.