Although he won the Maple Music Best Male Vocalist for 1965, he did so by remaining virtually unheard of, or more exactly, unheard, where I lived, in his own North Vancouver. True, the Vancouver media were all over the guy, big time. He was the product of that DeeJay culture that at one time seemed to count for so much among the so dumb. It is the culture of spin: spinning discs and spinning heads. The Buddy Clydes, the Red Robinsons and Fred Latremouilles were spinning him as the new Elvis just about the time the Beatles and Stones had effectively buried the old Elvis under an avalanche of fresh sounding and interesting music. I remember seeing Black for the first and only time on a local TV venue, the same Dance Party where he was "discovered." Let's see: a singer gets discovered on a TV dance show while dancing to records. Right! So Fabian was famously "discovered" lounging about on his front porch one Saturday afternoon. But let's give Fabian his due, he really could lounge.
Black's carrer, such as it was, and ending as it did in the year of Susan Boyle, was a testament to the limits of spin. I mention Boyle because in a way she represents the opposite of Black: no looks, zero spin, all talent and drive and dedication. I wonder what the aging and disillusioned former teen sensation, by then resigned to making his way by doing beer ads, thought when he saw her performance, that extraordinary act that turned the judges on their heads and won the audience and the world by the sheer power of voice and emotion. Beautiful! If he cried with rest of us, I hope he saved a tear or two for himself and what might have been if only...
For Terry Black
Don't ever let them say you've got talent and flair,
Cause failure's too much to bear,
It's all just air, uh huh uh,
Unless you dare.
Don't dream of stars in heaven
If you don't belong up there,
It's all just air,
Unless you dare.
Terry, if you only knew
How safe and dull you sound!
You got the breaks,
If you'd got what it takes,
You'd have been world-renowned.
So don't dream of bright lights and fame
If singing jingles is no shame,
It's all just air
Unless you dare!
(See original here)