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Got A Girl

Updated: May 13, 2022

An interim post

There was Fabian, Avalon, Ricky Nelson Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, Bobby Rydell and I know darned well Presley's in there too

A few weeks ago I read an obituary of the American popular singer Bobby Rydell.

It immediately made me think of Peter Blake’s pop art collage of 1960-61 titled Got A Girl

Peter Blake Got A Girl (1960-61), Oil paint, wood, photo-collage and record on hardboard, 94 × 154.9 × 4.2 cm. The Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester

The collage at the top of the work includes an actual 45rpm single record.

The Four Preps, Got A Girl, Capitol Records 1960

The Four Preps, a popular music male quartet who were signed to Capitol Records after winning a talent show in Hollywood. The original line-up consisted of Bruce Belland, Glen A Larson, Ed Cobb and Marv Ingram. Belland and Larson co-wrote Got A Girl which was ostensibly about a young guy whose girlfriend’s “eyes were full of stars” – the stars in question were Fabian, Avalon, Ricky Nelson, Bobby Rydell and Elvis Presley.

All these singers were able to transition to film careers as their teen pop idol stardom began to wane. Notably, Rick (previously Ricky) Nelson was cast by the film director Howard Hawks to appear in a popular western film Rio Bravo alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin. Nelson died tragically in a plane crash in 1985, en route to a concert venue in Dallas, Texas. Presley, of course died in 1977, and now Bobby Rydell has died, aged 79.

Fabian (Fabian Anthony Forte) – American popular singer – rose to national prominence in late 1950s after appearances on American Bandstand tv show.

High Time, 1960

Avalon – Frankie Avalon (Francis Thomas Avallone) – American popular singer. Surfing films were popular in the early 1960s. Frankie Avalon appeared alongside Annette Funicello in Beach Party

Annette Funicello & Frankie Avalon

Beach Party, 1963

Ricky Nelson (Eric Hilliard Nelson) - inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In his early pop teen idol days his backing group was The Four Preps

Ricky Nelson backed by The Four Preps

Rio Bravo, 1959

Bobby Rydell (Robert Louis Ridarelli) - In the 1980s, he joined a trio called The Golden Boys, with fellow former teen idols Frankie Avalon and Fabian Forte. He continued to tour up until his death in 2022.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley, still from Loving You

This is the same image of Presley that Blake used on Got A Girl

sold by Heritage Auctions in 2018

The Four Preps appeared in the CinemaScope surfing film Gidget in1959.


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