One Generation’s Heartthrob

During the very early thirties, I recall my mom taking me to the Paramount Theater in downtown Brooklyn, so she could see Rudy Vallee – heartthrob crooner of the day! My most vivid memory was that the theater was bathed in a lurid blue light which scared me a little. The place was filled with women of every age. Low murmurs of excitement preceded the entrance of the glamorous star. As he appeared on the stage the murmuring and twittering grew louder and the ladies clapped wildly. He sang “My Time Is Your Time” and the ladies sighed. While I was awed at the scene, Rudy Vallee’s charm was lost on me!

Compare that to the scene at the Paramount Theater in Manhattan circa 1942 as I waited patiently on a long line to buy a ticket to see Frank Sinatra – heartthrob crooner of the day! The theater was filled with teenage girls who talked excitedly and loudly to each other in anticipation of “Frankie’s” appearance. As he walked on the stage there was a thunderous uproar when the bobby soxers squealed, screamed, and swooned. It took ten minutes to achieve enough quiet for the star to sing, “All or Nothing at ALL”. Frank Sinatra’s charm was not lost on me!

So, who can explain another generations’ heartthrob? Baby-faced Justin Bieber? Go figure.

Veronica Berrill
Southbury, CT 2012

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