Dion: Lonely Teenager (1960)

 |   |  1 min read

Dion: Lonely Teenager (1960)

Marketing unhappiness to teenagers isn't exactly hard or innovative. Just obvious really. And so way before grunge angst and the miserablism of Morrissey there were songs which aimed straight at a teenager's heart . . . and wallet.

Dion -- who is still recording today, but as a very different artist -- must be one of the luckiest men in show business. With his band the Belmonts back in the late Fifties he was on a package tour with Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper.

When they all got on a light plane in Iowa to make it to the next show early, 20-year old Dion was offered a seat but declined because it was too expensive. We know the rest of that story.

A month later Dion and the Belmonts' next single -- Teenager in Love -- was released and it was a hige hit. Dion, fortunately, was still around to enjoy it.

The band fell apart shortly after and Dion's solo career began with Lonely Teenager, a melodramatic but rather understated heart-tearer.

Like Johnny Ray, he could have milked this sentimental stuff but fortunately he picked up the pace and his subsequent singles are rock'n'roll classics: Runaround Sue and The Wanderer.

Hard to believe listening to Lonely Teenager that Dion would become an acclaimed blues artist. But then maybe not. In this song he ain't nothin' but blue.

It is here with surface noise to add a frisson of age, because it is way more than half a century old.

Miserable teenagers have been with us forever. We've all probably been one.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

George Harrison: Bye Bye Love (1974)

George Harrison: Bye Bye Love (1974)

And it's happy birthday to the former British model Pattie Boyd who turns 67 today, March 17 2011. Boyd is something more than a footnote in pop culture – she was only a model for a few... > Read more

The Gun: Race with the Devil (1967)

The Gun: Race with the Devil (1967)

In the age of Cream (mid '66 to late '68), Blue Cheer and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the power trio became an established form and this group from Buckinghamshire -- two brothers and another --... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BADFINGER and HARRY NILSSON: Without them, no Without You

BADFINGER and HARRY NILSSON: Without them, no Without You

Behind most hit songs -- perhaps even behind many songs -- there can be an interesting story. As songwriters tell us in the Famous Elsewhere Songwriting Questionnaire, very few songs dropped fully... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Marianne Faithfull; Faithfull, A Collection of Her Best Recordings

THE BARGAIN BUY: Marianne Faithfull; Faithfull, A Collection of Her Best Recordings

Elsewhere will concede immediately that we have always been mostly unpersuaded by Marianne Faithfull's much acclaimed genius. Her self-belief is admirable but often the evidence on many albums has... > Read more