VAUGHAN, Frankie   [1928-1999]

Frankie Vaughan was born Frank Fruim Abelson on 3rd February 1928. He was the eldest child of Isaac Abelson, an upholsterer, and his wife Leah (née Cossack) who lived at 35 Devon Street, off London Road. There were three daughters, Myra, Phyliss and Carol. The family moved to 45 Eversley Street when Frank was eight, and then to 301 Smithdown Lane before leaving Liverpool for Lancaster. None of these Liverpool homes remain standing. After attending Lancaster Art College and doing his national service Frank gained a place at Leeds College of Art and it was in Leeds that he began his singing career. Taking the stage name Vaughan, supposedly after his grandmother's habit of calling him her "number vawn" grandson, his career quickly blossomed and he had a string of top ten hits between 1956 and 1967, including two No.1's.

He appeared in seven films between 1956 and 1961, including a notable trip to Hollywood to make Let's Make Love with Marilyn Monroe. In the 1957 film These Dangerous Years Vaughan plays a 'hooligan' from the Dingle who is put on the straight and narrow after he joins the army. In the trailer of the film (available on youtube) the opening scene supposedly takes place on Liverpool's 'cast iron shore' the 'cazzy' and you can spot fellow Liverpudlian Kenneth Cope as a member of Vaughan's gang.

His stage persona was that of an especially relaxed performer, sporting a trademark top hat and cane (suggested by music hall star Hetty King) as he performed a high kicking entry to his signature tune Give Me the Moonlight. His charity work for the British Boys Clubs Association brought him the OBE in 1967 and the CBE in 1997. He died on 17 September 1999 and was buried in Bushey Jewish cemetery, Hertfordshire

Devon Street L7

Devon Street in the early 1960's


There is an entry for Vaughan in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, IMDB and Wikipedia. I am not aware of any biographies. In an interview on YouTube he talks about his career and early life.