Hello: She was simply called “Annette” by her adoring fans. Born Annette Joanne Funicello on October 22, 1942 in Utica, New York. She became America’s most popular Mouseketeer after her debut on the TV series The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955. Her singing career began when she sang the song HOW WILL I KNOW MY LOVE on the Mickey Mouse Club. The studio received so much mail that Walt Disney decided to issue the song as a single and give Annette a recording contract.
Her first big hit came in January of 1959 with the release of TALL PAUL on the Disneyland Records label. It would make its way into the Top 10 and reach #7. Annette would chart 2 more records after Tall Paul. They would be on the Buena Vista Records label. Her next big hit would come in October of 59 with the double-sided hit, FIRST NAME INITIAL reaching #20 and the flip side MY HEART BECAME OF AGE reaching #74. Annette would place 5 hits in the Top 100 in 1959.
In February of 1960, she would release her second Top 10 hit. O DIO MIO would climb to #10 and stay on the Top 100 for 12 weeks. Her follow-up record TRAIN OF LOVE, written by Paul Anka, would become a Top 40 hit moving its way up the charts to #36. In August of 1960 she just missed the Top 10 when PINEAPPLE PRINCESS stopped at #11. After 1960 she would chart a few more records but would not hit the top of the charts again.
She starred with Frankie Avalon in several beach movies in the 1960’s, beginning with “Beach Party” in 1963. She enjoyed much success during this time in the movies. The beach series concluded with “Back To The Beach” in 1987. In 1987 Annette was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
She still remains the sweetheart of all of us who watched her on the Mickey Mouse Club, bought her records and watched her in the movies. I would sit by my grandfathers little black & white tv and watch her each day. She was my first girlfriend, I was all of 10 years old.
Thanks for the memories!!!!!!
On April 8, 2013 Annette Funicello age 70 passed away…after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis…RIP Annette…we will miss you.