How popular is the baby name Fame in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Fame and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Fame.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Fame

Number of Babies Named Fame

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Fame

The Debut of Devy

Devy Barnett, Ted Mack, television, 1960
Devy on ‘The Original Amateur Hour‘ in May, 1960

The baby name Devy popped up in the SSA’s data a single time, in 1960. But it wasn’t just any old one-hit wonder — it was the top one-hit wonder of 1960. In fact, Devy was one of the top one-hit wonders of all time, with over two dozen baby girls being named Devy that year:

  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 27 baby girls named Devy [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

So where did it come from?

A soprano named Devy Barnett who performed on the TV talent competition Ted Mack & the Original Amateur Hour at least once, on May 16, 1960. (She may have appeared on other episodes that year as well, I’m not sure.)

I don’t have much information on Devy. She was a music student at Rutgers in the early ’50s, she put out her first recording (Songs of Charles Ives, released by Stereo Age) in 1958, and in the ’80s she was a member of the studio music faculty at Cal State. She married at least twice, and had several children.

But she never achieved fame. Apparently not many Amateur Hour contestants did, with a few notable exceptions: Gladys Knight, Pat Boone, Ann-Margret, Tanya Tucker, and Irene Cara (see the posts on Fame and Sparkle for more on Irene).

The name Devy reminds me of the name Eydie in that both names were put on the onomastic map by young singers making television appearances. (Coincidentally, Eydie was also given to exactly 27 baby girls in 1960.)

What are your thoughts on the name Devy? Do you like it?

Drene, The Shampoo-Inspired Baby Name

Drene Shampoo

The first and only time the baby name Drene made it onto the SSA’s list was 1946:

  • 1947: unlisted
  • 1946: 6 baby girls named Drene [debut]
  • 1945: unlisted

The inspiration?

Drene shampoo…kind of.

Drene, the first shampoo to use synthetic detergent instead of soap, had been introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1934. So the product had been on the market for more than a decade by the mid-1940s.

What drew people’s attention to Drene in 1946 specifically, then?

Drene Time (NBC), the Sunday night radio series sponsored by Procter & Gamble. The 30-minute variety show featured singing and comedy and was co-hosted by Don Ameche and Frances Langford. It only lasted from mid-1946 to mid-1947, but that gave it enough time to influence the baby name charts, if only slightly.

Don Ameche and Frances Langford went on to co-star in the sketch comedy radio series The Bickersons (1947-1951), which featured characters they’d played on Drene Time.

Drene shampoo continued to be sold until the 1970s, at which point P&G stopped production in the U.S.

Source: Drene Shampoo, Medium, 3 oz. | National Museum of American History

Baby, Remember My Name – Fame!

In the summer of 1980, both Fame the movie and “Fame” the theme song were big hits.

The movie ended up winning two Academy Awards, both for music (Best Score & Best Song).

The next year, 7 baby girls were named Fame:

  • 1982: not listed
  • 1981: 7 baby girls named Fame [debut]
  • 1980: not listed

But that was the only year Fame managed to make the SSA’s baby name list. Neither Fame the TV show (1982-1987) nor Fame the movie remake (2009) could revive it after 1981.

Here’s Irene Cara lip-synching to “Fame” in New York City in 1982:

What do you think of the name Fame?