Rock and roll music has always liked a good tragedy song. “Ebony Eyes” by the Everly Brother, “Leader Of The Pack” by the Shangri-Las, “Last Kiss” by J. Frank Wilson, and “Tell Laura I Love Her” by Ray Peterson were all big hits. Thisl brings us to Mark Dinning and “Teen Angel.”
Mark Dinning had the good fortune to be the brother of the Dinning Sisters who were a popular vocal trio during the 1940s and 1950s. Better yet his sister Jean was a songwriter and one of her compositions was “Teen Angel.” When Mark was released from the service he recorded the tune for MGM.
“Teen Angel” was released as a single near the end of 1959 and on February 8, 1960, reached the top of the BILLBOARD Hot 100. Dinning would never again reach the top 50 and would pass away from a heart attack in 1986 at the age of 52.
The song would make a comeback when it became a part of the AMERICAN GRAFITTI soundtrack.