Monday, June 27, 2011

Take me to...Teen Street!

As part of the Disney marketing machine supporting the film In Search of the Castaways starring Maurice Chevalier and Hayley Mills, 1962 also saw the release of the elder and younger star hosting a concept album called Teen Street. Featuring a romance theme the idea behind Teen Street was that teenagers are not only the same all over the world but similar from one generation to the next. The album is a bit myopic culturally and has the standard Disney idealization of what life is like.

The album showcases established recording stars like Disney-staple Annette Funicello and relatively unknown performers getting some exposure that is surely low-risk to the studio. Billy Storm and Gary Shortall both have some good entries to the album. Annette Funicello and the Sylte Sisters add no surprises with entries pretty typical for the young teen market sought by Disney. One song listeners may take exception with is The Wildest as sung by Shortall (22:02). While not his fault the tune sounds so derivative of Dion's The Wanderer that lawyers for the Laurie label must have been high-fiving each other for months after the release, assuming Gary U.S. Bonds didn't have his people all over it first. Pushover by Storm and Rovin' Eyes by Shortall are good listens and I recommend them.

Disappointingly for most fans, Maurice and Hayley do not sing on this album. The soundtrack to Castaways would have been doing well enough at the time and Teen Street was undoubtedly using combined star power to promote sales. They serve only as hosts with Maurice doing most of the talking, introducing the songs in something of a cohesive narrative about young people finding love. The album is mostly referenced for the fun cover featuring Maurice and Hayley dancing on a cartoon street.

You can listen to the entire album as one file here: Teen Street

Here is the track list:

Side One
Teen Street - Group Vocal
Walkin' and Talkin' - Annette
Pushover - Billy Storm
Double Feature Movie - Sylte Sisters
Rovin' Eyes - Gary Shortall
Cinderella Jones - Sylte Sisters

Side Two
Double Date - Billy Storm
Two Against the World - Annette
The Wildest - Gary Shortall
Good Girl - Billy Storm
Teenage Wedding - Annette
To Be Continued - Sylte Sisters

2 comments:

  1. Must. Own. Must. Have. The cover is worth the price of admission alone--I had no idea there was a beautiful cheesetastic nugget like this that descended from Heaven unto the earth. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's so idealized and earnest. But yeah, total cheese, purchased mostly for the cover.

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