Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kind Tune of the Moment

Dion - A Teenager in Love

Released in 1959, A Teenager in Love shows the doo-wop influence on rock's early vocal groups. Without falling into trappings of schmaltz, melodrama, and overly saccharine wonder bread stylings so typical of the genre, Dion managed to bring something more authentic and interesting to the table. Teenager in Love ranks among the classics of the teenage love genre of the early rock era, along with like Ricky Nelson's Lonesome Town, The Beatles' Love Me Do, and The Everly Brothers' Wake Up Little Susie. While he's often classified as a 50's teen idol, his music and biography reveal something else altogether. He was on Buddy Holly and Richie Valen's fateful tour, but chose to take the bus rather than spend the excessive $36 on the plane ride. By 1960, Dion would check into rehab for heroin, an addiction he had since he was a teenager. He later went on to record more blues and folk based material, including popularizing the civil rights classic Abraham, Martin, & John. Other Dion classics include Runaround Sue, and The Wanderer, which he performed with Paul Simon at the 25th anniversary of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame concert., Simon clearly indebted to his doo-wop and pop sounds. A bit of nostalgia for a time and place that never really existed, but a clear window into the naive romanticism of a teenage boy.