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Cultural history question: screaming fangirls?
Bar Harbor
So, I was watching a cartoon from 1944, Swooner Crooner (link is a brief excerpt), and it featured a trope I didn't think went back that far: that of fangirls screaming and fainting at the presence of famous musicians. I was familiar with it from The Beatles and Elvis, but had no idea it went back to "Frankie" Sinatra and his generation. So how far back *does* it go?

(One could argue for the Bacchantes being the prototype, but I'm looking for more early 20th / late 19th century examples.)

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I remember that cartoon! My mother told me all about her friends swooning over Frank Sinatra--love that rooster version of his famed skinny frame, and the chickens wearing bobby sox and oxfords.

The Dionysos of the 20s was not a singer--it was the actor, Rudolph Valentino. Same effects on the teenage fangirls. This article compares him to Justin Bieber. What a laugh! Bieber is already passe, while Valentino endures in memory.

Thanks! That appears to be the ur-source for modern musicians. Though negothick is also right that this sort of adulation had its roots in Byron fandom.

(Also, I found Wikipedia's "See also" links from the Lizstomania page *fascinating*...)

Right! And before that, what about teen girls idolizing Byron and Shelley (and Mary achieving her dream of running off with him)?

The fainting trope appears in this, from a biography of Lord Byron: "At a ball in London . . . a woman fainted at the sight of him; another warned her daughter, ''Don't look at him, he is dangerous to look at.'' One-time lovers, like the louche Mrs. Wherry, cherished fetishistic mementos of his person -- including black curling locks of his pubic hair -- like magic talismans."

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