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Bob Marcucci RIP

BOB MARCUCCI, the discoverer of Frankie Avalon and Fabian, and the inspiration for the 1980 film The Idolmaker, died on March 9 in Ontario, CA. He was 81. The cause was respiratory failure brought on by infection. In 1957, Marcucci, then co-owner of Philly indie Chancellor Records, spotted Avalon playing trumpet in a local group called Rocco and the Saints, and talked the kid into handling his career as a pop singer. Afteer a pair of stiff singles, the proto-teen idol struck paydirt with “DeDe Dinah,” the first of a string of hits co-written by lyricist Marcucci and partner Pete DeAngelis. Also in ’57, Marcucci came across Fabian Forte and proceeded to repeat the formula, despite the handsome teen’s utter lack of vocal talent. Chancellor’s only other hit was Claudine Clark’s “Party Lights,” a Top 10 hit in 1962. Marcucci is survived by a son, Marc, of Van Nuys, Calif., and two grandchildren. (3/18a)

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