Pop Archives

Johnny Devlin - Chi-Chico-Teek (1963)

(Jeff Barry - Wayne Rooks)
Australia Australia
#30 Sydney

Single on Leedon.

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, 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.


Vico Torriani - Chi-Chica-Chi (1962)

(Jeff Barry - Wayne Rooks - Hans Märten)
Germany Germany

Single on German Decca by Swiss singer, actor and broadcaster Vico Torriani (1920-1998). He also worked in Germany, notably as compere of Der goldene Schuß, the German version of British game show The Golden Shot.

German lyrics by Hans Märten.

Further reading: Vico Torriani entries at Discogs.com and Wikipedia.


Beni Sisters - Chi-Chico Teek

(Jeff Barry - Wayne Rooks)
Japan Japan

This appeared on Rockin’ Tokyo, a Capitol LP of Japanese covers of American songs. See the liner notes and images at the Rockin’ Tokyo feature at the Japanese Classic Oldies site.

This would be circa 1962, going by the vintage of the songs.

Another artist on the album is Michiyo Azusa, whose Konnichiwa Akachan was the source of Noeleen Batley’s Little Treasure From Japan.


Wayne Rooks - Chi-Chico Teek (1962)

(Jeff Barry - Wayne Rooks)
USA USA
Original version

Single on Capitol, co-written by songwriting maestro Jeff Barry.

Wayne Rooks released one single on Jamie in 1959, and two on Capitol in 1962.

BMI’s database shows that Chi-Chico Teek is an alternative title for Chi Chica Chi.