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Monday, February 15, 2010

My Top Five Obscure 60s Teen Artists

OK, so here's the deal- not every artist in the 60s got to have a hit record in the charts. You knew that- but you also knew that just because a record didn't chart, doesn't mean it's not fabulous, wonderful, great, fantastic.

Here is my list of artists, of artists I feel made the best records, had the best voices, had the best material...but just didn't have Top 20 records. All of these guys deserved it though, just listen to their classic, timeless tunes.

Dean Randolph is no stranger to us Teen fans. His real name is Frankie Pescatore and he lived and still lives in Philadelphia, PA. He recorded on Chancellor, Saturn, MGM, and ABC among other labels.

If you had to compare him to a well known teen artists, I would say he is similar to a swingin' Bobby Rydell. Hideaway Heaven, Vol 1 features one of his best tracks, "Fair Weather Friend".

Today he sings in the accapella group "Memory Lane". Dean, if you are reading this, we would love to interview you!

Alan Vallone (real name Alan Sykes) had several releases in the early sixties, mostly on the Philips label, but also on small labels such as VCB. His records always had the finest backing with strings and percussion. He even wrote and co-wrote a lot of his material, and also recorded songs by top notch writers like Jeff Barry.

One of my favorite Vallone tracks, "You Had No Right", appears on the well-acclaimed Rare Rockin Records disc, "The Big Sound". Seek out all of his releases, you won't be dissapointed! Alan, we want an interview with you!

Barry Darvell (real name Barry Peregoy) made a slew of records back in the 60s. He did a have a minor hit with a rockabilly styled record named Geronimo Stomp. But we are here to discuss his amazing teen recordings.

His first teen recording was a classic- "How Will It End". He then moved on to Atlantic for some amazing releases. My favorite is a double sided smash- Atlantic 2138. A KING FOR TONIGHT is a great, mid-tempo teen epic written by the great Pomus and Shuman. ADAM AND EVE is a Dion-styled rocker. Try NOT to dance while the record is playing.

A Barry Darvell 2-CD set can be found on the internet or in your local oldies store featuring all his recordings and unreleased material.

Barry used to have a website, but it has disappeared. Barry, where are you?


Woah, now we are getting to superstar territory. Rick Randell is the stuff of legend. Every record he ever made was golden.

His real name is Rocco Gaeta, and he recorded for ABC, UA, and DECCA among other labels. His release, Dining And Dancing, is considered one of the top teeners ever made. How this was not a #1 hit, I don't know. This record is very rare and goes for top dollar....and it deserves it's legendary status!

His other records on UA such as Stars and Take My Name and Number are amazing as well. He also had a nice 1964 teener named Debbie, which is currently unavailable on CD.

Rick, we love your records and your golden voice!

And finally....

you've waited for it....

NUMBER ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In my opinion, Vinnie Monte made the best records in the 1960s. He had a tremendous voice and recorded on only the best labels. He had over 18 releases!!!!!

There isn't enough room to mention all of his great records here, but one of his most popular is the Belmonts-styled Hey Look At The Winter Snow, and on the B Side was a great, dreamy teener with an amazing, powerful vocal, What's The Matter With Marilyn.

His most famous record perhaps is One Of The Guys, in which Vinnie dreams of being like all the guys on the Billboard charts. The song is hilarious and is a classic teen recording.

Vinnie could sound eerily like Gene Pitney when he wanted to, as evidenced on recordings like "Camera" and "Joanie Don't Be Angry" on Harmon, and also his 1965 northern soul/Pitney-esque gem, "I Don't Have The Heart To Tell Her".

Vinnie, we hope you are reading this and we would love yo hear your stories!

Did your favorite 60s obscure teen artist not make my list? Then comment and tell us who your faves are!

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