Pop Archives

Where did they get that song?

Sources of Australian Pop Records from the 50s, 60s and 70s plus some Aussie originals and some New Zealanders

Originals / Covers / Remakes / Songwriters / Chart Positions



Look what they’ve done to my song

Melanie Safka


Obscure Originator Dept: Portuguese Joe With The Tennessee Rockabillys

There are many songs called Starlight Starbright (thanks to the nursery rhyme) but the one that most Australian Baby Boomers recognise was a hit for Lonnie Lee in 1960. 

It was written by John Marascelco who is far from obscure to those who know their songwriters. Good Golly Miss Molly is one of his.  

More obscure is Portuguese Joe who recorded the original of  Starlight Starbright, a B-side, with The Tennessee Rockabillys. His entire discography is made up of two singles in 1957. After that, no sightings.

The A-side, Teen Age Riot, is co-written by Joseph Alvez, and the consensus is that he was Portuguese Joe. Some sources say that he is the same Joe Alvez (b.1936) the art director and designer who worked on Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Yet to be confirmed, in my view.

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