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THE ROYAL TEENS
The Royal Teens formed in 1957 and were originally made up of Bob Gaudio (piano), Tom Austin (drums), Bill Crandall (sax) and Billy Dalton (guitar) all from Ft Lee NJ. They cut their first record that year for Power Records. Their first single was an instrumental called "Planet Rock", backed by a song called "Short Shorts" (written by Austin and Gaudio). Both Alan Freed and Dick Clark, gave "Short Shorts" a lot of airplay and it began to take off immediately. Their contract was soon bought out by ABC-Paramount, and soon after that the record reached number 3 on the Billboard charts. Their next charting single was recorded with Larry Qualiano replacing Bill Crandall who had decided to go back and resume his education. This song was called "Harvey's Got A Girlfriend" and it did not fair nearly as well as "Short Shorts", it only managed to reach number 78 on the charts. Another of their novelty tunes released in 1958 called "Big Name Button" managed to make playlists of numers radio stations though did not sell very well. It was about a craze of the time where teenagers would wear buttons with their names written on them.
In Late 1958 The Royal Teens added Joey Villa from Brooklyn, Who had previously sung with The Three Friends and by 1959 the group was comprised of Villa, Gaudio, Austin and a new addition, Ray Mariani. They decided to take a more serious approach and released a song called "Believe Me" The song hit # 28 in late 1959. A good comback indeed, however this would be their last hit song and another great group made its way into the history books of early rock and roll..
Bopper Bob Hennessey