Airdate – Feb 20, 2022
So where were you in ’62? Well, singer/songwriter, Ernie Maresca, was riding high with his Top 10 hit, “Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out).” It was to be his only appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 as an artist. However, his songwriting skills were something else, co-writing “Runaround Sue” with Dion and following up with the writing of “The Wanderer” – both tunes were released by Dion on Laurie Records in 1961 with “Runaround Sue” ending up at the #1 position on the pop charts.
As the resident songwriting guru at Laurie, Maresca took a trio of teenage girls under his wing and eventually got them national recognition.
Originally a quartet hailing from St. Brendan’s High School in Brooklyn, New York, the group was formed in 1962. Personnel changes soon took place and by late 1964 the group was down to three with the only original member being lead singer, Mary Aiese.
It was as a trio that the group recorded and released the Ernie Maresca penned “Your Big Mistake.” Described as a Crystals/Chiffons-styled tune with a Ronettes-like intro, the recording proved to be a mistake, dropping like a stone upon its release.
Wasting no time, the group’s producers, Bill and Steve Jerome, introduced the trio to World Artist Records, a label that was formed in 1963 and had received some well-deserved notoriety with the British duo, Chad and Jeremy, who went to #7 on the charts in July of 1964 with “A Summer Song.”
The move to World Artists proved to be fruitful as the trio debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in early January of 1965 with a Maresca-written song that had been hastily recorded during the last half hour of a recording session. This ‘throw-in’ recording topped out at the 60th position on the charts and was primarily promoted via grueling tours of one-nighters courtesy of Dick Clark’s “Caravan of Stars.”
This girl group, originally known as the Delrons, became Reparata And The Delrons, with lead singer May Aiese adopting the stage name, Reparata, in honor of her high school choir leader, Sister Mary Reparata.
The British Invasion, the competing with other well-established girl groups, and the constant shuffling from city to city promoting yourself certainly took its toll on Reparata And The Delrons … perhaps to the point we can appreciate “Whenever A Teenager Cries,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song: