december 2011


Video File Valentine’s Day Special!

Young Love--Remember Then

They’re playing our song, dear…

Sonny James, ‘Young Love,’ the Southern Gentleman’s mega-, career launching hit from 1956, performed here on the Grand Ole Opry TV show in 1965

Ferlin Husky, ‘Gone.’ Seven of the eight single the great country singer released between his chart topping 1953 debut with ‘A Dear John Letter’ (with Jean Shepard) and early 1957 peaked in the Top 10. Released in early ’57, ‘Gone’ was Husky’s second #1 hit. This TV performance is from 1962.

Ricky Nelson, ‘A Teenager’s Romance,’ the B side of ‘I’m Walkin’,’ Ricky’s first hit single (1957)

The Everly Brothers, ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’ (1958)

Johnny Crawford, ‘Cindy’s Birthday’
In 1955, the multi-talented Johnny Crawford became one of the original 24 Walt Disney Mouseketeers. When that number was pared to 12 after the first year, Johnny had to turn in his mouse ears but over the next two and a half years he logged more than sixty TV credits on a variety of dramas and westerns; in 1958 he landed the role of Mark McCain on The Rifleman, co-starring alongside Chuck Connors, and a year later was nominated for an Emmy Award. As something of a teen idol during his Rifleman years, Crawford caught the attention of Del-Fi Records’ founder/producer Bob Keane, who signed the young star in 1959 (Del-Fi’s big artist was another Keane discovery, Ritchie Valens). The first of Crawford’s three Top 20 singles released between 1959 and 1962 was "Cindy's Birthday," at #8 the highest charting of his singles.

Johnny Crawford, ‘Debbie’--not a Top 40 for JC, but a good teen love song


‘Without a hurt/a heart is hollow’: ‘Try to Remember,’ written by Tom Jones (lyrics) and Harvey Schmidt (music) for The Fantastics. This is the late, great Jerry Orbach’s version from the original 1960 Off-Broadway production in which he originated the role of El Gallo.

Bobby Vee, ‘More Than I Can Say,’ written by Crickets Sonny Curtis and Jerry Allison and recorded by the Crickets in 1960, was a #61 single for Vee in 1961.

Dee Clark, ‘Raindrops,’ with Phil Upchurch adding the lonely guitar solos. Peaking at #2 in 1961, this was Clark’s highest charting single.

The Skyliners, ‘This I Swear’ (1959). The Pittsburgh group, led by one of teen pop’s greatest vocalists in Jimmy Beaumont, followed its #12 debut hit from 1958, the classic ‘Since I Don’t Have You,’ with this lovely Beaumont-penned ballad, which peaked at #26 on the pop chart and was a #20 R&B crossover hit too. The falsetto cry echoing at the end of the song is sung by Janet Vogel, a suicide victim in 1980 at age 37.

The Cleftones, ‘Heart and Soul.’ The doo-wop quintet from Queens, NY, had a #18 single in 1961 with this song written in 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser; Jan & Dean’s version, released the same year as the Cleftones’, peaked at #25.

The Earls, ‘Remember Then.’ Larry Chance, lead vocal; single produced by Stan Vincent, who also produced many of Connie Francis’s classic hits. Released on the Old Town label, ‘Remember Then’ peaked at #24 in 1962.

The Four Seasons, ‘Connie-O,’ the B-side of ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ (1962). A true Seasons aficionado’s song.

The Cascades, ‘Rhythm of the Rain.’ Originally signed as an instrumental group to Bob Keane’s Del-Fi label, the quintet later moved to Barry DeVorzon’s Valiant label. Recording at Gold Star Studios with the famed studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, the group cut a new song written by lead vocalist John Claude Gummoe. Issued in November 1962, ‘Rhythm of the Rain’ peaked at #3 in early 1962 and was the Cascades’ biggest hit.

Philadelphia’s The Tymes, ‘So Much In Love’ (#1, 1963)

Shelley Fabares, ‘Johnny Angel,’ (#1, 1962); clip from The Donna Reed Show.

Randy & The Rainbows, ‘Denise’ (1963). Formed in Maspeth, Queens, NY, this quintet featured the brothers Safuto (Dominick, aka ‘Randy,’ and Frank) and Zero (Sal and Mike) along with Ken Acripowski. Produced by members of the Tokens, ‘Denise’ was a #10 single in 1963, the group’s first and last hit. Blondie later had a European hit with a version titled ‘Denis.’

Jimmy Soul, ‘If You Wanna Be Happy’ (1963). The North Carolina-born vocalist’s biggest hit--at #1--had previously been rejected by Gary U.S. Bonds.

Bobby Vinton performs ‘Roses Are Red’ on Shindig! (December 2, 1964). Released in 1962, the single went to #1 and saved Vinton from being dropped by Epic Records.

The Murmaids, ‘Popsicles and Icicles.’ One-hit wonders the Murmaids (sisters Carol and Terry Fischer; and Sally Gordon, all from Los Angeles) were signed by Chattahoochee Records’ in-house producer Kim Fowley, who rushed them into the studio to cut five sides in advance of an album session. One of those recordings, ‘Popsicles and Icicles,’ written by future Bread frontman David Gates, fresh off the Tulsa, Oklahoma, plains, reached #3 in January 1964. The Murmaids’ vocals were arranged by Skip Battin, who was the Byrds’ bassist from 1970 to 1973 and also played with the New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Barbara Lewis, “Make Me Your Baby’ (1965). The pride of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Lewis’s #11 from 1965 followed her million selling ‘Baby, I’m Yours’; both singles were produced by Bert Berns.


Images and music from Two For the Road, starring Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn, and featuring one of Henry Mancini’s most beautiful scores; directed by Stanley Donen (1967). Posted at YouTube by unqpujavideos

from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn sings ‘Moon River’ (1961)

‘Play it once, Sam, for old time’s sake’: Casablanca, ‘As Time Goes By,’ Dooley Wilson and Ingrid Bergman (1942)


Romeo and Juliet: The Balcony Scene
From Romeo and Juliet (1968) directed by Franco Zeffirelli, starring Oliva Hussey and Leonard Whiting




‘From my lips, by thine, my sin is purged’: Romeo and Juliet’s first meeting (from Romeo and Juliet, 1968 dir. Franco Zeffirelli, with Olivia Hussey as Juliet and Leonard Whiting as Romeo). Features the song ‘What is Youth’


Jimmy Durante, ‘Young at Heart’

The great Durante: ‘Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.’

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