Pop Archives

Johnny Devlin & The Devils - Stayin’ Up Late (1962)

(Johnny Brandon - Jimmy Williams)
Australia Australia
#20 Sydney #32 Brisbane

Single on Festival label.

Also released in USA on Coral #62335 with Hey Little Angel (an original written by Johnny Devlin & Nat Kipner).

Johnny Devlin (b. 1938 in Raetihi) was a New Zealander who had been a pioneering rock'n'roll star in his home country. Devlin's New Zealand success was in covering American rock'n'roll, and his repertoire included a range of astutely chosen covers, many away from the mainstream. However, most of his charting Australian records were originals, usually written or co-written by himself.

Johnny Devlin had sixteen songs on the Sydney charts alone 1959-1965. His biggest hits were:

  • Turn The Lights Out Johnny (1959, #3 Sydney, #27 Melbourne, #2 Adelaide), an original rocker by Devlin;
  • the novelty Got A Zack In The Back Of My Pocket (1960, #7 Sydney, #19 Brisbane, #8 Adelaide), written by Nat Kipner, (a zack was a sixpenny piece); and
  • Stomp The Tumbarumba (1963, #5 Sydney, #5 Brisbane), by Devlin, a surf craze song that seems to refer to an inland New South Wales town.

As a songwriter, Johnny Devlin's credits also include:

  • Patsy Ann NobleGood Looking Boy (1961, #16 Sydney #6 Melbourne #13 Brisbane #8 Adelaide);
  • Digger Revell & The DenvermenMy Little Rocker's Turned Surfie (1964, #9 Sydney, #16 Brisbane); and
  • Digger Revell's DenvermenSurfside, an instrumental written with Nat Kipner (1963, #1 Sydney, #6 Melbourne).

Johnny Devlin also produced The CicadasThat's What I Want (1964).

Johnny Devlin's Devils also recorded in their own right: see their charting single Teen Beat.

References, further reading: 1. For the full flavour of Johnny Devlin mania from a New Zealand perspective, Bruce Sergent's account is indespensable. 2. Jason Ankeny's article at All Music Guide also captures the essence of the Johnny Devlin phenomenon.

Additional details from Tony Watson and Terry Stacey, thanks.

Kris Jensen - Staying Up Late (1959)

(Johnny Brandon - Jimmy Williams)
Original version

Single on New York label Colpix, owned by Columbia Pictures.

Kris Jensen was a singer from Connecticut (b. 1942). He recorded for a number of labels 1959-65, notably Hickory in Nashville, with whom he had his only national hit with John D. Loudermilk’s Torture (1962, #20 USA). See the Kris Jensen biography at Black Cat Rockabilly.

Rockin’ Country style has a label shot of the Colpix single and a Kris Jensen discography.

Original identified by Tony Watson.