Fever of the Week: The Rock-A-Teens // Woo-Hoo

(Freshly Caught // Highly Contagious)

1959. Six young men. One onomatopoeia: Woo-Hoo. This falsetto-refrained instrumental turned a lowly band of high school grads into a force to be reckoned with nationwide. Peaking at #16 on the Billboard charts, these Virginians struck gold early with their catchy, youthful sound and solid, driving beat. Not bad for a group whose rhythm and bass guitarists could barely play their instruments and a bandleader who spent his early teens in-and-out of mental hospitals (Vic Mizelle was given shock treatments for his fits of barking and profanity but his symptoms dissipated when he began writing music). After their unexpected success with Woo-Hoo, which was apparently cut in the back of a record store, The Rock-A-Teens released a proper full length in early 1960 containing seven vocal tracks and five instrumentals. From twangy rockabilly to joyous ravers, The Rock-A-Teens’ first and only LP proves that they were more than just a one-hit wonder, despite what the charts may tell us. More importantly, The-Rock-A-Teens forever solidified a place in America’s big thumping heart…just go ask John Waters and Quentin Tarantino.

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