Cleveland, late 1950s-1960s
Andrea Carroll started as a child star who grew up and became a
major pop star in Cleveland and NE Ohio during the 1960s. She recorded
several nice 45s of which a few got national chart action.
Andrea first broke into performing at age 3 when she appeared on Cleveland's Gene Carroll show in 1949. It was the first of what became a semi regular gig for her through the 1960s, which included having Gene as her manager. She took the stage surname of Carroll (they were not related) from Gene. Her birth name was Andrea DeCapite.
After more than 10 years of singing and performing locally, she got a record deal with Epic records through Gene Carroll and Gene Goodman of Regent Music and started her recording career. As it was with most of the early 1960s teen acts, Andrea was pretty much told what and when to record, but the material she was given worked well for her. Her first recording was "Young And Lonely", and the other side was originally called "I've Got A Date With Elvis" but that was changed from Elvis to Frankie (Avalon) before the record was released. We assume that someone objected and forced the name change.
Her second 45 was another teenage novelty song - "Please Don't Talk to the Lifeguard" which was a big hit in Cleveland and a lesser hit in some other places, but not enough to make the charts. Still, Epic had enough momentum to spring for a color picture sleeve on her next 45 "Gee Dad" which included a glossary of teenage slang words! A fourth and final Epic 45 was a little less novel, and also included a pic sleeve.
While recording for Epic, she continued to perform on the Gene Carroll show and became a very polished performer by the time she was in her mid teens. She went to high school at Valley Forge in Parma, and sometimes appeared with Ray Saporita, who was also a VF student and a couple years younger.
With her Epic contract up, she signed on with the Tokens organization in New York City. The group. known mainly for their enduring hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" had set up their own production company Bright Tunes Music (and later a record label B.T. Puppy). Bright Tunes got Andrea to Big Top Records and their 1st release turned out to be Andera's biggest hit - "It Hurts To Be Sixteen", a true teenage girl anthem, recorded when she was truly 16 years old. The song had been pitched to the successful girl group the Chiffons (who were also Bright Tunes clients) but for various reasons it was not released at the time and Andrea got the song and the hit.
A second 45, "the Doolang" was released on Big Top and even though it's a smashing girl dance record, it was probably drowned by the big wave from Liverpool in the spring of 1964. It wasn't until more than a year later that Andrea returned to recording on RCA records with an all new production team. The RCA 45 was not successful so she moved to United Artists records and released three 45s on UA with roots in her earlier girl group style but updated for the comtemporary market. The record "Hey Beach Boy" got some action and continues to be a fave for people into the sounds of the time.
During the mid 1960s she continued to perform on Gene Carroll and also toured with her own backing band.
By the time her UA contract ran out, she was moving on in her life, attending Kent State University where she appeared on the KSU TV station (a few people recall her doing weather reports among other telejournalist activities). The UA 45s turned out to be her last recordings. In 1973, after many years of absence, she returned to do a special Gene Carroll tribute/retrospective. Gene had passed away the year before and former Upbeat host Don Webster was his replacement (the show ended in 1977).
In 1970 B.T. Puppy records released an LP - which disappeared immediately - that included six songs she had done with Bright Tunes, the four Big Top sides and two previously unreleased songs. The songs were on one side of the LP and the other side was six songs by another Bright Tunes singer Beverly Warren.
Andrea has lead a very interesting and active life since the end of her recording career and can be easily found on the Internet.
Young and Lonely / I've Got A Date With Elvis - Audiodisc acetare
Young and Lonely / I've Got A Date With Frankie - Epic 9438, 1961
Please Don't Talk To The Lifeguard / Room Of Memories - Epic 9450 - 8/61
Gee Dad / The Charm On My Arm - Epic 9471, pic sleeve
Fifteen Shades Of Pink / Miss Happiness - Epic 9523, pic sleeve - 7/62
It Hurts To Be Sixteen / Why Am I So Shy - Big Top 3156 (fake/modern pic sleeve exists) - 7/63
The Doolang / This Time Tomorrow - Big Top 515 - 3/64
Sally Fool / Mr. Music Man - RCA 8618 - 1965
The World Isn't Big Enough / She Gets Everything She Wants - United Artists 982
Hey, Beach Boy / Why Should We Take The Easy Way Out - United Artists 50,039
When People Are Around / Winter In My Heart - United Artists 50062
When People Are Around / blank - Bell Sound acetate
LP - Andrea Carroll and Beverly Warren - BT Puppy 1017, 1970 (songs recorded early 1960s)