Pop Archives

The Thunderbirds - Teen Scene (1960)

(Teddy Randazzo)
Australia Australia

Single on W&G by long-lasting rock’n’roll band formed in 1957, popular at Melbourne dance venues and as a studio band with many top Australian artists. See, for example, their well-known track Wild Weekend (1960) which charted in Melbourne twice, three years apart.  

See also the B-side Machine Gun which charted in Melbourne.

Further reading: For a good history and appreciation of The Thunderbirds, see Eddie Leahy’s 1998 article from Big Beat of the Fifties [archived page].

Melbourne singer Johnny Chester hosted a TV show on ABC-TV called Teen Scene 1964-65, and released an album with that title (1965): see under So Much In Love.

The Hunters - Teen Scene (1960)

(Teddy Randazzo)

Single on Fontana.

See also Dave Sampson And The Hunters whose Sweet Dreams (1960, #29 UK) was covered in Australia by Col Joye.

The Hunters, from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, had changed their name from The Parker-Royal Five after Dave Sampson joined them in 1959.

They are often likened to their contemporaries The Shadows in style and configuration. Dave was lead singer, but The Hunters maintained their own identity as an instrumental band in the way that The Shadows did with vocalist Cliff Richard.

The Shadows and The Hunters were known to each other. Brian Parker of The Hunters had been at secondary school with Cliff in Cheshunt, and they had both been in the Dick Teague Skiffle Group. Dave Sampson once bought an amp from Jet Harris of The Drifters, soon to be known as The Shadows.

Early in 1960 The Hunters backed Cliff in two London shows when The Shadows couldn’t make it. The song list was sent to The Hunters and Dave stood in for Cliff in rehearsals

Dave’s composition Sweet Dreams was intended for Cliff and The Shadows, but on the advice of producer Norrie Paramor it was recorded by Dave Sampson And The Hunters instead.

Three members of The Hunters were later in Adam Faith’s backing band The Roulettes at various times, including Brian Parker who later formed Unit Four Plus Two and co-wrote their hit Concrete And Clay (1965, #1 UK, #28 USA).

Dicky Doo & The Don’ts - Teen Scene (1960)

(Teddy Randazzo)
Original version

Single on United Artists by band that had charted in 1958 with Click-Clack (#28 USA) and Nee Nee Na Na Na Na Nu Nu (#40). The main man behind the records was the singer-songwriter and disc jockey Gerry Granahan.

The composer of Teen Beat, New Yorker Teddy Randazzo, had a long career in pop music going back to his membership of vocal trio The Three Chuckles in the mid-1950s. He and his collaborator Bobby Weinstein wrote, for example, Goin’ Out of My Head for Little Anthony & The Imperials whose hit recording was produced by Randazzo (1964, #6 USA, an Australian hit for Lynne Randell).

Randazzo also wrote, arranged and produced for The Royalettes, notably on It’s Gonna Take A Miracle (1965, #41 Billboard, #37 Cash Box), written by Randazzo & Weinstein with Lou Stallman, later recorded by Laura Nyro (1971), Deniece Williams (1982, #10 USA), and Manhattan Transfer (1994).