In the mid-1970s, the name Tavares suddenly popped up in the U.S. baby name data:
1978: 163 baby boys named Tavares
1977: 169 baby boys (peak) named Tavares
1976: 169 baby boys (peak) / 5 baby girls named Tavares
1975: 162 baby boys / 10 baby girls named Tavares
1974: 60 baby boys / 8 baby girls named Tavares [dual-debut]
What was behind the debut?
Tavares, a soul/R&B music group consisting of the five Tavares brothers: Ralph, Arthur (called “Pooch”), Antone (“Chubby”), Feliciano (“Butch”), and Perry (“Tiny”).
They scored their first hit in 1974 with a cover of the Hall & Oates song “She’s Gone.” The cover reached #1 on Billboard‘s R&B chart and peaked at #50 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart. Over the next few years, the brothers put out a string of successful songs, including “It Only Takes a Minute” (1975) and “Whodunit” (1977).
The Tavares brothers were born and raised in New England, but were of Cape Verdean ancestry. Their Portuguese surname was originally a “habitational name from any of at least seven minor places” in Portugal called Tavares.
The name Falana first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1970:
1973: 8 baby girls named Falana
1972: 5 baby girls named Falana
1971: 6 baby girls named Falana
1970: 7 baby girls named Falana [debut]
What was the influence?
Entertainer Loletha “Lola” Falana, who could dance, sing, and act.
Around the time of the debut, she could be seen on various television shows, including The Hollywood Palace, The F.B.I., Mod Squad, and The Mike Douglas Show. She’d also just made her U.S. film debut in The Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970), for which was nominated for a Golden Globe for “New Star Of The Year.”
The name Falana saw its highest usage in 1976. At that time, Lola Falana was regularly appearing on popular TV programs and occasionally starring in her own TV specials, like The Lola Falana Show (1976). She was also seeing success in music: her disco single “There’s A Man Out There Somewhere” peaked at #91 on Billboard’s R&B chart (then called the “Hot Soul Singles” chart) in mid-1975.