NEWTON — Fans of bygone days of music might remember Frankie Valens, who earned fame when he sang “This Magic Moment,” “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “Donna,” and other songs that had been made popular by other top singers in the '50s and early '60s.
It was in 1965 that Valens recorded a remake of “This Magic Moment,” originally recorded by The Drifters, which became his signature song. He followed with a 1969 recording of “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” a Platters original.
Valens and his wife will perform at 11 a.m. Oct. 13 at First United Methodist Church, 801 N. Main St.
Valens had the opportunity of singing on the same ticket as the late president Ronald Reagan and country singer Crystal Gale. He sang for the inauguration of the former mayor of San Diego, as well as former California Gov. Pete Wilson's 60th birthday party at Sea World in San Diego, Calif. Valens has shored the spotlight with The Byrds, Te Platters and The Boxtops.
Phyllis, Frankie’s wife, is a concert pianist who has written children’s music for Standard Publishing’s vacation Bible school course for more than 20 years, including the theme songs for 1975 and 1985. She writes some of the music the couple now sings and has presented full piano concerts herself.
He now operates a ministry and performs with his wife. Frankie and Phyllis traveled full time in their gospel music ministry for seven years before coming off the road to assist churches with their music programs. They have resumed their concert ministry on a part-time basis. Rescue missions, the Salvation Army and prisons are additional places they have shared their love and message for God’s people.