1965 Reparata and the Delrons – Whenever A Teenager Cries
Here’s one reason a lot of oldies get forgotten: regional hits. At various times I’ve lived on Long Island, in Austin, and in a suburb of Chicago, and I know from personal experience that some of the songs I heard on the radio got little or no airplay around the country.
One example is Whenever A Teenager Cries by Reparata and the Delrons.
Mary Aiese started a group named the Delrons in 1962. Seven other girls at her school were members of the group during the next two years. After graduation, the other two remaining members were Sheila Reilly and Carol Drobnicki. The trio began recording for Laurie Records in 1964 after their producers convinced Mary to begin billing herself as Reparata.
In 1965, the trio recorded Whenever A Teenager Cries for the World Artists record label. Ernie Maresca, who had his biggest hit with the top ten hit Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out) in 1962, wrote the song and arranged the record.
The single entered the WABC chart in January 1966 and peaked a few weeks later at #8. Nationally, peaked at only #60 on the Hot 100 the next month.
The group opened for the Rolling Stones at a concert in Philadelphia and toured twice with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars. The other members left the group, and Mary continued touring with two replacements, including Nanette Licari, an early member of the Delrons back in high school. Lorraine Mazzola eventually became their third member.
While the group struggled to find a hit in the US, the 1968 single Captain of Your Ship reached #13 in the UK.
The group moved to England and toured in Europe. They also provided background vocals for the Rolling Stones on their recording of Honky Tonk Women.
In 1969, the group recorded a cover version of Walking In The Rain, which had been a hit for the Ronettes in 1964.
A month after their single came out, Jay and the Americans released their own cover version of the song and reached the top twenty in the US. The single by Jay and the Americans had “Sorry Reparata” etched into the vinyl.
After that disappointment, Mary left the group in 1969 and got married. The others recruited another singer and toured and recorded for a few more years. Lorraine legally changed her name to Reparata Mazzola so the group could still appear as Reparata and the Delrons. When the group disbanded, she became a member of Barry Manilow’s backup singers.
Mary began a solo career in 1971 and successfully won back the legal right to use the name Reparata. She continued to lead the reformed Reparata and the Delrons until disbanding the group in 2000.
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