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Ex-pop star Frankie Valens becomes Kansas pastor

The Associated Press, Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 8:01am (PST)

SYRACUSE, Kan. (AP) — Pop star of the 60s and 70s, Frankie Valens, has a new gig — as a preacher at a small church in western Kansas.

The Garden City Telegram reports (http://bit.ly/Wm4Q7y ) that the singer, who had hits with "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," became the pastor of First Christian Church in Syracuse about a month ago.

Valens' father pastored the same church in 1978 and 1979.

After his recording career ended, Valens and his wife, Phyllis, toured the country performing gospel songs and skits at various functions.

The 70-year-old Valens says he's never preached from a pulpit but that he says he's been testifying about his faith for years, so he is ready for the new challenge.

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