Airdate – Nov 14, 2021
In the early days of television, one of the masters in creating additional revenue streams for TV shows was Ozzie Nelson. His TV series, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, was one of the highest rated TV shows that aired on ABC from 1952 thru 1966. The crooning capabilities of Ozzie’s young son, Ricky Nelson, enhanced the show’s ratings and made his son a teenage idol.
In the early 60s a number of other teenage TV stars took a page out of the Nelson’s song book, performing songs during episodes of the TV series they starred in. This included the likes of Shelley Fabares and Paul Peterson from The Donna Reed Show who, in 1962, introduced us to “Johnny Angel” (#1) and “My Dad” (#6).
And let’s not forget the recently departed Johnny Crawford who starred alongside Chuck Connors in The Rifleman. Crawford had three Top 20 hits in 1962 – “Cindy’s Birthday,” “Your Nose Is Gonna Grow,” and “Rumors.”
In 1962, yet another actor jumped on the bandwagon and cut a couple of singles. However, he was not that successful.
Our unsuccessful performer had the lead role in an American sitcom that ran from 1957 – 1963. Variety magazine once compared his character to that of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer. The show itself was the first of its kind to be written from a child’s point of view – one of being inquisitive and naïve. Counterbalancing this role were ones of an older brother and his friends who were much more “worldly” but still did not have all the answers.
The supporting cast featured the perfect caring father and mother who would let their two boys find their own way while providing a little guidance where needed.
With everything coming out roses in 1962, why not jump on the bandwagon and put out some songs to enhance your image and that of the show’s.
To that end, there are two things that must be considered. One, good material that is worthy of recording and two, the ability to sing.
Unfortunately, in this case, they were 0 for 2 and star actor, Jerry Mathers’ releases failed to chart. You can’t always Leave It To Beaver and Mathers’ listening audience didn’t buy into him telling them “Don’t Cha Cry,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song: