As featured on Lauren Laverne’s Pick Of The Week on BBC Radio 6!
“Great cover, colour label shots, US label (only) release details, chunky bookletful of notes by compiler Lucky Parker and confreres. He [he??] knows his onions, again I learnt more than I needed. Fifty-plus years after the events, the whole thing screams ‘American Teen!’ ” Tony Martin
“Teen pop through and through.” Vintage Rock
With Elvis away doing Uncle Sam’s bidding, by 1959 the prospects for Rock’n’Roll were looking decidedly bleak…
The void left by his departure meant the charts were suddenly awash with pretty boy pretenders to Presley’s crown, purveyors of a new clean-cut, sanitised-for-your-protection sound that wouldn’t frighten the horses and yet still had enough teen appeal to keep the airwaves hummin’ and malt shops hoppin’. Gone was The King’s edgy threat and in its place string-sweetened melodies and saccharin lyrics. While some may have OD’d on sugar, Lucky’s snappy 60 have retained their charm.
Featuring some of the biggest names of the pre-British Invasion era, Teen Dreams includes hits from one-time Rockabilly Johnny Burnette swapping primal yelps for swooping strings, Gidget heart-throb James Darren, American Bandstand idols Fabian Forte, Bobby Rydell and Frankie Avalon, Pop princess Connie Francis, former Mouseketeer and beach party icon Annette Funicello, Joanie Sommers (77 Sunset Strip) and Hawaiian Eye’s Connie Stevens, together with wealth of lesser-heard teeners from Presley soundalike Ral Donner, Jimmy Beaumont, Dick Glasser, Barry Mann, The Casals and Bobby Curtola.
Also included is an early offering from Gene Pitney and Ginny Arnell (as Jamie & Jane) together with the original versions of two songs covered by Blighty’s own Billy Fury, ‘A Fool’s Memory’ aka ‘Running Around’ (Ricky Shaw) and ‘A King For Tonight’ (Barry Darvell), plus Linda Scott’s charming cover of ‘A Thousand Stars’, also a hit for Fury in 1960. Recollecting those carefree days of high school rings and letter sweaters, Shelley Fabares, Johnny Tillotson, Paul and Paula and Jerry Keller complement the selection with four chart-topping singles.