Newstalgia Pop Chronicles - Eddie Fisher (1928-2010) - Teen idol before the wave of Elvis Presley. His popular radio program Coke Time from May 1954.
September 25, 2010

Eddie Fisher - After Sinatra and before Presley - the Teen Idol in the middle.

When news of Eddie Fisher's passing crept up on media outlets last week, most people had no idea who he was, other then being Carrie Fisher's dad who was famous once, the guy who was once married to Elizabeth Taylor who had something to do with music.

Pop Culture is like that. Audiences, barraged by new faces, new talent and new hype have a hard time remembering who was around ten years ago, let alone almost 60. It's the nature of the beast. No one can be expected to have all memory regarding all things popular, no matter when.

But in the scheme of things, Eddie Fisher played an important role, even if it was for a comparatively short period of time.

During the early 1950's, that period of time when Frank Sinatra's Teen popularity was on the wane (the teenagers of the 1940's were growing up and there was a gap in the demographic looking for an idol to call their own), a new star appeared on the horizon. Eddie Fisher embodied that fresh, polished, instantly appealing persona that Post-Korean War 1950's America was looking for. With a smooth voice and boyish good looks he skyrocketed to fame during the years 1954 to 1958. Girls screamed, fans bought his records in the millions and he was someone even parents liked and often listened to. Eddie Fisher, within months became a household word. All you had to say was "Eddie" and everyone knew who you were talking about. His marriage to teen movie idol Debbie Reynolds cemented his place on the precarious pedestal of pop royalty.

But fame is funny and Eddie Fisher was not immune to the vagaries of the record buying and Teen Idol public. Coupled with a much publicized affair with Elizabeth Taylor and an even more publicized divorce, along with the emergence of Elvis Presley on the Pop Music stage, Fisher's days became numbered.

And then the years of fame were quickly traded for decades of infamy and by the 1960's "Eddie" became "Eddie who?".

But beyond all that, beyond the hype and the scandal, Eddie Fisher was a remarkable talent who recorded a lot and whose records embraced a style of music, long since forgotten, but were well crafted and elegant.

To a certain age, this music will sound as strange and foreign as anything tribal from Mongolia. Simply put, they don't make music or singers like this any more. To many, that's considered a shame, while others breathe a collective sigh of relief and are glad those days of perceived mediocrity are gone.

But like they say, ignorance of your culture is considered uncool. And for that reason, I'm posting a radio show that starred Eddie Fisher when he was rapidly approaching the top of his fame. Coca Cola, always one to capitalize on the Youth Market, sponsored a daily show called Coke Time featuring Eddie Fisher and guest stars of the period. It was a fifteen minute show and this one was from the week of May 2, 1954.

Keep an open mind and an open ear. The screaming teenagers you may hear might possibly be those of your parents or grand parents. Yes, they screamed at Pop singers too.

Culture is timeless. R.I.P Eddie Fisher.

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