A cautionary tale, indeed. This ballad about a teenage tragedy was written by Jean Dinning and her husband Red Surrey for Jean’s brother Mark Dinning. It was a musical family, as The Dinning Sisters (Ella Lucille, Jean, and Virginia) had been performing through the 1940s into the mid-1950s. Radio stations in the U.S. and the U.K. were concerned to play it because of the subject matter — sometimes to the point of banning it. However, in 1960, “Teen Angel” went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #37 on the U.K. Singles Chart.
Sha Na Na performed the song at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. The song is featured in the 1973 movie American Graffiti.
Here are the lyrics to “Teen Angel” by Mark Dinning:
“Teen angel…teen angel…teen angel…
That fateful night,
The car was stalled
Upon the railroad tracks.
I pulled you out
And we were safe,
But you went running back.
Teen Angel, can you hear me?
Teen Angel, can you see me?
Are you somewhere up above,
And am I still your own true love?
What was it you were looking for,
That took your life that night?
They said they found my high school ring
Clutched in your fingers tight…
Just sweet sixteen,
And now you’re gone.
They’ve taken you away
I’ll never kiss your lips again
They buried you today…
Teen angel… Teen angel…Answer me… Please…”
For More Golden Oldies Music
The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop music, rock and roll hits, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.
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