Lena Zavaroni Week Begins!

lena-zavaroni

Lena Hilda Zavaroni was a Scottish child singer and a popular television show host. With her album Ma! He’s Making Eyes At Me at ten years of age, she is the youngest person in history to have an album in UK album chart top ten.

Lena was born in Greenock and grew up in the small town of Rothesay on the Isle of Bute with musical parents. Father Victor Zavaroni played the guitar, mother Hilda sang, and Lena herself sang from the age of two.

She was discovered in the summer of 1973 by record producer Tommy Scott, who was on holiday in Rothesay and heard her singing with her father and uncle in a band. Scott contacted impresario Phil Solomon, which led to his partner Dorothy Solomon’s becoming Zavaroni’s manager.

In 1974 she appeared on Hughie Green’s Opportunity Knocks and won the show for a record-breaking five weeks running. She followed this with the album Ma, He’s Making Eyes At Me, a collection of classic and then-recent pop standards which reached #8 in the UK album chart.

At 10 years, 146 days old, Zavaroni is still the youngest person to have an album in the top 10 and was also the youngest person to appear on the BBC’s Top of the Pops.

Between 1980 and 1982, Lena had her own TV series on the BBC, Lena Zavaroni and Music, which featured singing and dancing.

Sadly, from the age of 13, Zavaroni suffered from anorexia nervosa.  She continued to suffer from anorexia throughout the 1980s, and she died at the young age of 35.

Lena’s talent comes along once in a lifetime, really.  She combined a great voice with a great presence, quality performances, and superior showmanship. Indeed, today’s Idols could learn a lot from her.  She was one of a kind, and she is missed.