My Teen Idol

When I was about 10 years old, I had at least 200 photos of a certain celebrity on the walls of my room. It was my first celebrity crush. No it wasn’t Bobby Sherman, Donny Osmond or even Davy Jones. I watched David Cassidy on The Partridge family religiously, but he was a bit too old for me.

The year was 1973. I was in the 5th grade and just getting into music (music videos and MTV had not been invented yet) and I loved watching American Bandstand. One summer day I was watching the show and a band I had never seen before was on it. The song that caught my attention was Heartbeat, It’s a Love Beat.

But it wasn’t just the song or his very cool pastel suit.  His dark brown eyes and that sweet smile were so captivating (sigh), and he was just a few years older than me, so he was perfect!

Tony DeFranco

There he was, Tony De Franco of the DeFranco Family.  He always sung with his two sisters and two brothers.  With the help of Tiger Beat and 16 magazines, I followed him and his family. I knew his favorite color, past times and even his favorite restaurant. (Which was said to be the Warehouse Restaurant in Marina del Rey and yes I went there on more than one occasion hoping to run into him).

I can only imagine if there were Facebook and Twitter back then. Probably a good thing there wasn’t.

Each year, I begged my mom to take me to Knott’s Berry Farm because that’s where his family would perform. Those were fun summers.

Soon afterwords, I moved on to Rick Springfield and John Travolta as my next crushes. Then I started high school and that was the end of celebrity crushes.

I found out in writing this post that there is a Facebook Fan page for the DeFranco family.  It has about a 1000 likes on it and today, I am liking it and added it to my interest list on Facebook. You never know where I might run into him. I wonder if he is on Twitter?

Who was your first celebrity crush?



This is part of a GenFab Blog hop. We are discussing celebrity crushes.


  1. I remember the DeFrancos! Also, our family went to Knott’s regularly for chicken dinners. And we bought the jam. And we went into the amusement park: Haunted Shack, Corkscrew, stage coach rides. I am from Cypress (right in between 91, 405, 22, 605). I could see the fireworks from Disneyland from my front lawn–on smog free nights. I was able to ride my bike to Seal Beach (on days where I didn’t just take the bus or hitch a ride). Hello, fellow So. Cal. gal.

    • Organizedisland says:

      Hi Karen! Yes, those chicken dinners were amazing weren’t they? Haven’t been there in ages. Nice to meet you!

  2. I don’t remember the DeFranco Family but on looking back, wow, were there ever a lot of family singing groups! The Osmonds, the Jacksons, Cowsills, Partridge Family, I’m sure there are more. The 70s seemed to be the pinnacle for these multi-talented family groups. I do wonder what would happen to the one sibling with no talent or a warbly voice…they probably got the “important job” of tambourine-tapping.

  3. I love that you found their fanpage of Facebook. Once a crush, always a crush!

  4. Love it! And what a super fun idea for a blog hop! 🙂 My first crush I am embarrassed to admit was Kirk Cameron.

  5. How sweet! I don’t remember that singing group…but he sure does look like he would be a tween hearthrob!

    • Organizedisland says:

      Bonnie, he was all I needed to feel “in love”. He was everything I wanted back then (LOL).

  6. I’d never heard of the De Franco family. I love that you thought David Cassidy was too old for you. So sensible, even in your crushes!

  7. What a hoot to find their fan page now!

  8. I totally recognized Tony from the photo! I thought you’d like to know that. And now I’ll be singing “Heartbeat, it’s a love beat” all day. 🙂

  9. Such a great walk down memory lane..Forgot about him.

  10. The only crooner who graced my childhood walls with his posters was the gorgeous Andy Gibb. I just wonder why he chose Victoria Principal instead of my 11-year old self?

    • Organizedisland says:

      LOL! I remember that, they were together for what seemed like a long time! Poor fellow!

  11. My first celebrity crush was Shawn Cassidy! *sigh* He probably was a little old for me, but he was so cute! His music, however, wasn’t so good. 😉

  12. I was not a Donnie fan, but I did love Knott’s Berry Farm. My family lived in California when that opened, and we thought it was the greatest place on earth next to Disneyland!

  13. Shawn Cassidy was my idol. I swore I was going to marry him! lol

  14. You’re so funny, hey you never know he may look you up :).

    I’m trying to think who I crushed on. I know the KNOTB where up there but I can’t tell you for the life of me what who it was.

    • Organizedisland says:

      I LOVE the way you think Alexis – he could! Isn’t that funny how you can’t remember which one?

  15. That’s cool that you found your tween crush on Facebook!

  16. Omg, talk about a blast from the past. I haven’t heard his name in years! He was a cutie.

  17. OMG I remember Tiger Beat. I didn’t know Tony De Franco, but he does look familiar. I also liked Rick Springfield – Jessie’s Girl. Best song ever. 🙂

  18. I’m a little older than you so I don’t remember him, but he looks so much like David Cassidy, I’m sure I would have had a crush on him, too!

    • Organizedisland says:

      His hair was not as perfect as David’s but he was all I wanted at that tender age – LOL!

  19. Although somehow I missed this entirely crush-worthy guy, I did love that song and remember it playing over and over again. It was nice that your parents took you to where you could see your crush. That’s pretty fortunate. And I’m glad you found him on FB. Who knows what the future holds?

  20. I remember the song but not his name or the family name. Sorry! Good post about your first true crush. Glad they are now on Facebook!

  21. You brought up a great point. There WERE a lot of family singing groups ‘back in the day”. I wonder why that’s not so now.

  22. There Facebook fan page now has over 1000 likes… I wonder if we had something to do with that. I miss good ol’ family singing groups too.

  23. Good post. I took a walk down memory lane back to Knott’s Berry Farm and my first preteen crushes.There are four kids in my family plus our friends who would create our own singing groups and bands performing to no one in particular, but having one hell of a time.

    Yvonne recently posted about another celebrity crush I grew up with John Travolta…

    • Organizedisland says:

      Oh that is so fun that you did that! Too bad there was not YouTube back then -who knows what could have happened!

  24. {Melinda} My first crush was Shawn Cassidy. Never missed an episode of The Hardy Boys then recapped it in my diary! 🙂

  25. I don’t know him but he sure was cute! That is so cool that you found his FB page!

  26. I had forgotten all about Tony and his family. Thanks for putting a smile on my face.

  27. I knew whose picture that was right off the bat! I was in 3rd grade and had the 45 record and played it over & over. It was the first record I ever owned. Wish I had it now. Tony DeFranco was my first crush, but I remember drooling over the huge Bobby Sherman poster my older cousin had in her room too. I begged for the purple socks like Donny Osmond wore and pillow case with his face on it. LOL!

    Now my own 3rd grader is head over heels for Justin Beiber. 🙂 How sweet!


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