Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1978 Leif Garrett – Runaround Sue

Leif Per Nervik was born in Hollywood in 1961 and began acting professionally when he was only five years old. He began using the name Leif Garrett professionally and acting before he was in elementary school. By the mid-seventies, Leif appeared almost constantly in films and television shows. Leif became a teen idol by the age of 15 and graced the covers of Tiger Beat and other similar magazines.

Atlantic Records signed Leif to a five-album recording contract in 1977. His first album came out and the record company released the single Surfing USA. His cringeworthy cover of the Beach Boys tune made it to #20 on the Hot 100 and went all the way to #2 in Australia.

A cover of Dion’s Runaround Sue came out later that year, and in January 1978 the single peaked at #14. Covers of hit records from the sixties seemed to work for Leif, but neither Put Your Head On My Shoulder or the Wanderer penetrated the top forty.

Leif’s last hit came in early 1979, when Leif switched to the Scotti Brothers Records and finally recorded a song that wasn’t a remake. Michael Lloyd had written and/or produced records for the Osmonds and Shaun Cassidy, and he wrote and produced Leif’s single, I Was Made For Dancin’. The record was a full-on disco production, and there was even an extended mix version that ran nearly seven minutes. The single reached the top ten on the US Hot 100 and charts in at least four other countries and coincidentally took Leif back to #2 in Australia.

Leif’s singing career faded away after that hit, and he focused more of his energies on continuing his acting career. He recorded new albums in 2003 and 2007 and did a few recordings for movies. He continued to appear on television shows and movies as recently as 2013.


My books are on sale on Amazon (or free with Kindle Unlimited) and contain a lot more Lost or Forgotten Oldies. You can visit my author page to see them.

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