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

Marilyn Monroe: You'd Be Surprised (1956)

Marilyn Monroe: You'd Be Surprised (1956)

Although it's hardly surprising that Marilyn Monroe would sing a song as suggestive as this interest alights on who wrote it. Yep, the man also responsible for such classics as Blue Skies,... > Read more

Frank Zappa: The Talking Asshole (1978)

Frank Zappa: The Talking Asshole (1978)

Here's a rare and odd one, taken from the vinyl album You're A Hook: The 15th Anniversary of Dial-A-Poem (1968-1983), a record which came through the label Giorno Poetry Systems. The idea... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

REDD KROSS: RESEARCHING THE BLUES, CONSIDERED (2012): Power pop with attitude

REDD KROSS: RESEARCHING THE BLUES, CONSIDERED (2012): Power pop with attitude

There are always those artists you hold an unnatural affection for: Elsewhere's list includes Pere Ubu, the Dwight Twilley Band, the Unforgiven, Bob Seger (before he went soft), the Rolling Stones... > Read more

BOB THIELE PROFILED (2013): At the helm of the Flying Dutchman

BOB THIELE PROFILED (2013): At the helm of the Flying Dutchman

On paper certain things don't seem to match up in Bob Thiele's professional life, especially in the late Sixties. As a producer at Impulse he had steered the careers of many notable jazz... > Read more