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Where In The World Is.......Suzi Quatro?
The path to rock & roll stardom in America has often gone through Europe for many artists. The Pretenders, The Stray Cats, and Jimi Hendrix are all examples of those who had to move to England to eventually be heard in their own country. This was also the case for Suzi Quatro. She was a bona fide superstar in Europe but couldn't make a dent in her own country. It took a recurring role on the #1 prime time TV show in America to change that, at least temporarily.
Suzi Quatro was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1950. By the age of 14, she joined her first all-girl rock band, Pleasure Seekers. She left that group to join Fanny, one of the first all-female bands to attract national attention. She made the move to London in 1971, and was discovered by record producer Mickie Most and signed to RAK Records.
Initially, Quatro's following as a solo artist began to build in the most unusual of places. Her first single, 1973's "Rolling Stone", failed to chart anywhere but Portugal, where it hit #1. Several more singles became hits throughout Europe, and she became a sensation in Australia. She rode the "glam rock" wave as its first major female star, but in spite of becoming a household name on the other side of the globe, American success continued to elude her. A dry spell lasting a few years came when glam rock began to fade as disco and punk rock took over. She had some success as a session musician, but her long wait for a hit in her homeland was almost over thanks to her foray into acting.
Over a 2 year period, Suzi Quatro would appear in seven episodes of the show that had become the most watched on American television by 1977, Happy Days. She played the role of Leather Tuscadero, the sister of one of Fonzie's ex-girlfriends, Pinky Tuscadero. She was the leader of an all-girl band on the show, which another central character, Joanie Cunningham (played by Erin Moran), joined. Regular exposure in front of more than 25 million TV viewers each week convinced American record executives to break Suzi Quatro through as a singer. Success in America finally came in 1979 thanks to a duet with Chris Norman. "Stumblin' In" hit #4, but it would be her one and only taste of success in the U.S. Follow up singles failed to crack the Top 40.
Quatro did maintain success overseas, continuing her string of hit European singles and albums. She has sold more than 50 million records as of 2010! She has continued to act over the years as well, most notably guest starring on the classic British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous and appearing in an episode of KISS bassist Gene Simmons' reality show Rock School. She continues to record and tour, playing about 60 live shows a year while continuing to reside in London.
Call her Suzi Quatro, Leather Tuscadero, whatever you will, but for a brief moment in 1979, you could also call her "hitmaker"........
Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Burning Question of the Day
What was the #1 song for the week on the debut episode of Casey Kasem's American Top 40?
Check back tomorrow @ Everything Oldies for the answer, and leave a Comment here with your best guess!
Yesterday's Burning Question (and Answer) of the Day
Which Motown superstar once tried out (unsuccessfully) for the Detroit Lions?
Answer: Marvin Gaye -- the tryout came during a period where he was facing major "creative differences" with Motown founder Berry Gordy and just prior to recording his landmark album "What's Going On"