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Tell Laura I Love Her / Corinna, Corinna - Single

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Album Review

The first comprehensive anthology of Ray Peterson's RCA Victor and Dunes recordings rounds up most of his hits and shows the frail-looking teen idol — known primarily for his contribution to the teen tragedy craze, "Tell Laura I Love Him" — to be a talented pop vocalist with a piercing falsetto. Peterson's infrequent rock & roll performances tend to be his weakest; he shines the most on the orchestrated teen ballads that exercise his pure pop vocal abilities. Johnny Vallis' essay details Peterson's troubled journey from his polio-stricken childhood to becoming a sickly, underweight star whose manager physically abused him. Several of Peterson's Dunes songs appear in re-recorded stereo rather than the original mono versions, including his second-biggest hit, "Corrina, Corinna." As a result, the version of that song presented here cannot be accurately considered the hit, but it is so similar to the original that most listeners will not notice the difference. There are a number of oddities in Peterson's catalog, including a pop version of Webb Pierce's country hit "I'm Tired," a vocal version of Pérez Prado's instrumental hit "Patricia," and the dramatic teen tragedy song "Give Us Your Blessings," which later became a hit for the Shangri-Las. Spectorites will be interested in the Dunes recordings that Phil Spector produced, but, unlike the typical Bear Family release, Peterson's anthology does not include a discography or sessionography. Tell Laura I Love Her is a lavish tribute to a teen idol whose fascinating and sometimes tragic biography is as interesting as the music itself.

Tell Laura I Love Her / Corinna, Corinna - Single, Ray Peterson
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