M-I-C….”See Ya Real Soon.” K-E-Y….”Why, because we like you.”
Part of the closing segment as sung by the Mouseketeers on the Mickey Mouse Club as they say goodbye. And today on MisfitWisdom, we say goodbye to one of the most famous and lovable Mouseketeers, Annette Funicello who passed away yesterday in Bakersfield, California at the age of 70 from complications of multiple sclerosis that she suffered with since 1987.
If you were a “baby boomer,” meaning that mommy and daddy had a few spare moments one night and there was really nothing good on the radio, (pre-television) so they said, “screw it,” (literally) and that’s how you eventually came into the world 9 months later and were called a “baby boomer.” Because, radio sucked back then and lots of parents decided that, “Hey, if radio is THIS boring, let’s do something that isn’t.”
Soooooooooo. Apparently radio programs really sucked one particular night back in 1942 and Mr. and Mrs. Funicello, lucky for all of us, conceived Annette. Who would eventually become one of Walt Disney’s famous Mouseketeers on the Mickey Mouse Club from 1955 to 1959.
Having been born in 1942 myself, I could have very well become a Mouseketeer too. But, unfortunately my parents were poor, lived on the East Coast, and the only Mouseketeers I ever saw were the ones scurrying around on the kitchen floor. But, I did watch the Mickey Mouse Club, Annette, and became quite fond of Annette, and mice.
Although I did have a thing for Mouseketeer Darlene, rather than Annette, (I liked little blonde girls) but that ratfink Mouseketeer Cubby was always hanging all over her.
So, figuring that Cubby kid had the inside track on Darlene, I settled for Annette. Which is probably the reason she never answered any of my letters. She most likely saw all the fan mail letters I sent to Darlene and figured she was second best.
Annette of course went on to star in those beach movies, most notable, “Beach Blanket Bingo,” if you can actually use the word “notable” when citing those movies that is. It’s like saying “Santa Claus Conquers The Martians,” (1964) was a notable movie. Well, in actuality it was. It made the most notable worst movies ever made list.
But most of us “baby boomers” didn’t care if those “Beach-Blanket-Bingo-Bikini etc” movies bombed or not. We got to see Annette in a bathing suit. Although she had to wear a one piece suit because Walt Disney did not want her in a bikini fearing that it would hurt her wholesome image.
Annette also ventured into the recording world with a few records that actually did get some top 40 radio play. “O Dio Mio,” “Pineapple Princess,” “First Name Initial,” and the one that got the most play, usually from DJ’s named “Paul,” “Tall Paul,” featured in a Dick Clark “American Bandstand” video with a verrrrry short Annette.
And finally, as we remember Annette, one last look at her life……in her own words.
For those of us “baby boomers” who can still remember watching The Mickey Mouse Club and Annette, another chapter in our lives draws to a close. Thanks for making our adolescent lives a bit more exciting Annette.
Oh yeah……Darlene……It doesn’t bother me anymore that you chose Cubby over me.
It was Annette all the time. I was just using you to get to her. Heh, heh.
Career highlights of Annette Funicello. (Courtesy AP)
“The Mickey Mouse Club,” 1955-59
“A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” (TV movie), 1995
“Johnny Tremain,” 1957
“The Shaggy Dog,” 1959
“The Horse Masters,” 1961
“Babes in Toyland,” 1961
“Beach Party,” 1963
“The Misadventures of Merlin Jones,” 1964
“Muscle Beach Party,” 1964
“Bikini Beach,” 1964
“Pajama Party, “1964
“The Monkey’s Uncle,” 1965
“How to Stuff a Wild Bikini,” 1965
“Ski Party” (cameo), 1965
“Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine,” 1965
“Fireball 500,” 1966
“Thunder Alley,” 1967
“Back to the Beach,” 1987
Records (Top 40 singles):
“Tall Paul,” 1959
“O Dio Mio,” 1960
“Pineapple Princess,” 1960
“First Name Initial,” 1960
“Train of Love,” 1960
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