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Frankie Avalon and his young protégé Tommy Cono record historic duet


Tommy Cono and Frankie Avalon record the new duet of the Avalon classic “Beauty School Drop Out.”

In a remarkable comeback that echoes through the annals of music history, the legendary 1950s teen idol Frankie Avalon has returned to the recording studio after a hiatus of 45 years.

Avalon is teaming up with “The Voice of Tribute” – Tommy Cono – in a video-recorded duet of Avalon’s acclaimed “Beauty School Drop Out.” 

“I’ve known Frankie for many years,” said veteran music producer, Joey Montello. “He’s a great friend of mine. As Tommy’s manager and mentor, I’m honored to produce this record with these two incredible talents in an historic collaboration.”

Cono’s duet with Avalon comes on the heels of his first collaboration with another 1950s teen idol, the late Bobby Rydell, Avalon’s close friend. The two performers, together with Fabian, called themselves “The Golden Boys.” 

Cono, a New Jersey native, recorded Rydell’s chart-topping hit, “Sway,” completing the recording a few weeks become Rydell died of complications from a long illness. The postproduction was wrapped months later, creating an extraordinary duet performance that, though digitally mastered, feels seamless. 

“When Avalon learned of the Bobby Rydell ‘Sway’ duet he was eager to hear it and see it,” said Montello. “He was blown away by the power of the unique performances.” 

It didn’t take much to convince him that his “Beauty School Drop Out” hit could be re-mastered in a similar way. The duet with Cono and Avalon was recorded live from beginning to end.

The decision to step back into the recording studio for the first time in 45 years is a testament to Avalon’s enduring passion for music and his desire to reconnect with his devoted fans.

Cono recounted stepping up to the microphone with Avalon. 

“Frankie looked at me. He said, ‘Tommy, the last time I was in a recording studio was in 1978 when I originally recorded this song.’”

For an up-and-coming entertainer like Cono, whose solo performances capture the essence and style of Avalon and Rydell with his own unique musical finesse, collaborating with Avalon was emotional. 

Avalon’s smooth vocals, good looks and charming style captivated audiences around the world. He was known for his classics “Venus,” “Why?” and “Bobby Sox to Stockings.” His influence extended to films, notably the famed “Beach Party” series alongside Annette Funicello. 

To promote the “Beauty School Drop Out” revival, Philadelphia’s Broadcast Pioneers and the Delaware County Press Club, will be co-hosting Cono for a live performance at their June 19tluncheon at McCall Golf Club in Upper Darby. Tickets are available through the Broadcast Pioneers website –

Special guest Frankie Avalon will appear via remote to share his thoughts about the collaboration. Former CBS Philadelphia News Anchor Pat Ciarrocchi will interview Avalon live.

“This music video – set to be unveiled early in 2025 – is both nostalgic and groundbreaking,” said Montello. “I understand both artists’ strengths, so we could create a musical rendezvous.”

Montello’s unique camaraderie with both Avalon and Cono, as well as the late Rendell, and his expertise in music production, bring this historic collaboration to life.

Look for Frankie Avalon to headline a performance to Wildwood, N.J., in October.

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