Teenage tragedy song

1960s: Days of Rage


“A teenage tragedy song is a style of ballad in popular music that peaked in popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Examples of the style are also known as ‘tear jerkers’, ‘death discs’ or ‘splatter platters’, among other colorful sobriquets coined by DJs that then passed into vernacular as the songs became popular. Often lamenting teenage death scenarios in melodramatic fashion, these songs were usually sung from the viewpoint of the dead person’s sweetheart, as in ‘Last Kiss‘ (1961), or another witness to the tragedy, or the dead (or dying) person. Other examples include ‘Teen Angel’ by Mark Dinning (1959), ‘Tell Laura I Love Her‘ by Ray Peterson (1960), ‘Ebony Eyes‘ by the Everly Brothers (1961), ‘Dead Man’s Curve‘ by Jan and Dean (1964), and ‘Leader of the Pack‘ by the Shangri-Las

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