Monday, June 19, 2006


(Yes, the photo enlarges if you click on it. But do you want that?)
Death was an obsession with teens of the late 50's and early 60's. Morbid music and monster movies became a fad. While there have always been grim pop songs from "Gloomy Sunday" to "D.O.A." somehow, dying was just so much more entertaining, during this era!
The day the music died...was every day on the radio back then.
Bobby Darin snapped his fingers and sang of bodies oozing life. Heck, "The Cheers" recorded a motorcycle wreck song. How cheerful! The answer song to all these deathly singles, "Let's Think About Living," paled next to the morbid numbers that we all found as endearing as fresh flowers on a well-kept grave.
You get the usual motorcycle wrecks and grim songs of dead people ("Tragedy" by The Excellents, "Dead!" by Carolyn Sullivan) and even a few morbid and weird C&W ditties.
Here's Lloyd Price, Mark Dinning, The Shangri-Las, Twinkle, Jody Reynolds, Dickey Lee, Ray Peterson, The Cheers and more...
Use the comments feature to ruminate on faves I've left out (like "Laurie/Strange Things Happen" or "Ode To Billie Joe") or just download these downers and rest in peace:
1. Teen Angel
2. Tell Laura I Love Her
3. Endless Sleep
4. Patches
5. Last Kiss
6. Leader of the Pack
7. Dead Man's Curve
8. Black Denim Trousers
9. Terry
10. I Can Never Go Home Anymore
11. Stagger Lee
12. Tragedy
13. Dead!
14. Me and Little Andy
15. El Paso

Downloading this? "Look out, Look out, Look out!"


nomwl1 said...


Just downloaded this set (I'm so behind on getting your previous entries). Always wanted to make a compilation of these up, but it seemed too depressing to dig them all out, so a big thanks for doing it for us!! Have to look around and see if I have any nominations for any more musical downers and suicidal teenagers.

Love all your posts so far and keep up the great work! Can't wait to download the entries I'm missing.

P.S. You left a comment on a post of mine at the old Lost & Found Albums site a long time ago (if it's the same Ill Folks) in which I had mentioned Gene Barry and I found my copy of his song and I put it up at my blog, so you're free to check it out at

Ill Folks said...

Thanks! I downloaded your great compilations of foreign musicals just a few days ago! Was meaning to add you to my link list and say hello.

I've been watching "Burke's Law" via DVD-R lately. Still holds up. I downloaded your "Burke's Law" song...then accidentally found my misplaced "Gene Barry Sings of Love and Things" and "Burke's Law" is there after all. Never trust "memory!"

But "Mention My Name in Elmira" isn't on it...which he sang on an episode of the show. I think he sang on a few episodes. Later he turned up in a revival of "La Cages Aux Folles," probably tempted out of semi-retirement by the chance to SING ON BROADWAY...

Will try and "rip" Gene in case people want to hear all of his suave baritone efforts...

nomwl1 said...


Just checked over your archives again and I can't believe how far behind I am. I need to make up for two months. The last time I downloaded was the Honor Blackman tracks; I can't believe that was two months ago - time goes by so quickly!

Trying to think of any other teen trauma songs, but couldn't think of any others off the top of my head (although there must be a ton of answer songs for these) except for maybe Sebastian Peabody's - 'Grave In The Desert', but that doesn't really compare to the high profile of these tear-making weepies.

You mentioned 'Let's Think About Living'; I love listening to that song every once in a while. It's a real antidote whenever I listen to 'Teen Angel' or 'Endless Sleep' once too often.

And I figured if you had the other Gene Barry albums, you must've had him singing the theme somewhere. And you've got my vote for putting up more Gene Barry (and please put up your version of 'Burke's Law' too; I'd love to hear it - it probably sounds better than mine).

I didn't realize Burke's Law was on DVD. It does hold up; it's fun spotting all the celebrities. (and where else are you going to get to see another Regis on TV?)

Oh, and thanks for putting me on your link list! I really appreciate it. It's so funny to see my dinky little blog on the list along side the much bigger (and better) blogs.

And I hope you enjoy the compilations of foreign musicals. They're a lot of fun. (Oh, by the way, I found a mistake on the listing. Under the Jacques Brel version of 'Man of La Mancha', the man singing with him isn't Louis Navarre, so you'll have to delete his name on the filename & in the tags. Sorry for the mixup).

Well, keep up the good (ill) work. Can't wait for what ill folks might turn up next!

Ill Folks said...

Nice words! As you know, blogs get such few comments, so it's great to be encouraged.

Burke's Law, alas, has only a few "public domain" titles that have been re-issued on legit VHS or DVD. The whole series (as well as Honey West) is on bootleg DVD-R, thanks to people recording it when TV LAND ran it years ago (and editing out the commercials!) The real DVD-makers just got around to season #1 of "Wild Wild West" and "Perry Mason" so maybe "Burke's Law" will turn up in a real Rolls Royce deluxe edition someday.

Anonymous said...

Hey there, I'd love to hear this compilation. I'm a big fan of death in pop songs. Could you re-up?
Many thanks,