Way back in the 50s, before Rock 'n' Roll broke through and became the soundtrack of teen rebellion, a strange little genre emerged. The teen tragedy song, otherwise known as "splatter platters" or "death discs". Songs involving the untimely death of a teenager sweetheart, often involving a motor vehicle accident. The genre peaked in popularity in the late 50s and early 60s. Well known classics of the genre remembered to this day include the campy and often parodied The Shangri-Las - Leader Of The Pack (1964) and Ray Peterson - Tell Laura I Love Her (1960).
Weird Fact: In 1960 singer Marilyn Michaels recorded a response from the grave, to "Tell Laura I Love Her", entitled Tell Tommy I Miss Him.
Credited as one of the first ever splatter platters is Black Denim Trousers And Motorcycle Boots by The Cheers (1955). The song was released only weeks before the tragic death of James Dean in a motor accident. It's possible that the song was inspired by the Marlon Brando movie The Wild One. The song is also credited as being the first ever biker song.
Weird Fact: There is a French version of the song "L' Homme à la Moto" recorded by Edith Piaf in 1956, which became one of her biggest hits.
Coming soon... Mix-Tape Mondays... Don't miss the chance to grab some musical retro weirdness every Monday on the Weird Retro blog.