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Dean and Jean

Dayton, 1957-66

Dean and Jean was the recording name for Welton Young and Brenda Lee Jones. It's not clear what brought them together, but both had already made seperate recordings. Young had been a singer and guitarist for the Dayton R&B group the King Toppers, while Brenda's debut was a 45 under her own name. The duo was named "Dean and Jean" by their manager C. J. McLin.

Together, their career had a slow start. Their 1st 45, "We're Gonna Get Married" on the Ember label from NYC got some action, but not enough to be a national hit. The song's subject matter was the basis for most of their later 45s, as they traded off lyric verses in a manner that suggested they were a dating couple. After another 45 on Ember, they made a 45 on the local Buckeye label which had a blistering R&B song "Oh Yeah" - their own song, not a Bo Diddley cover - which included a rockin' guitar break which is assumed to be Dean/Welton.

In 1962 they were signed up to the Rust label, a subsidiary of Laurie records. They had a couple unsuccessful 45s to start, but their 3rd 45 for the label, their own composition "Tra La La La Suzy", was a big hit, making to the national top 40. They followed that with "Hey Dean, Hey Jean" which was an even bigger hit, depending on the market. These were both in 1963. When 1964 came around, they needed to update their sound so they recorded songs by up and coming songwriters Boyce and Hart -  "Sticks and Stones" - and Chip Taylor - "In My Way". This, and the next few 45s, got some play and sales based more on their momentum than the record's popularity. 

Over the next few 45s, they moved away from the teen couple stories to a more contemporary soul sound with typical 1965 style NYC productions. By 1966 the duo, burned out from the constant grind of trying to keep up with the rapidly changing music scene, called it quits.

In addition to writing many of the songs they recorded, they wrote "The Majestic" and "King Without a Queen" for Dion.

In the Brenda re-emerged with a new name, Brenda Lee Melson, with a couple strong soul 45s. More details are in the entry under her name. Welton seems to have kept playing off and on. He passed away in 2017. Brenda passed away on 2001.

We're Gonna Get Married / Too Young To Know - Ember 1048, 1958
Turn It Off / Never Let Our Love Fade - Ember 1054, 1959
Oh Yeah / Come and Take A Walk With Me - Buckeye 1001, 1961
The Roach / Come and Take A Walk With Me - Rust 5044, 1962
Mack The Knife / You Can't Be Happy By Yourself - Rust 5046, 1962
Tra La La La Suzy / I Love The Summertime - Rust 5067, 1963
Hey Dean, Hey Jean / Please Don't Tell Me Now - Rust 5075, 1964
Sticks & Stones / In My Way - Rust 5089, 1964
7 Day Wonder / The Man Who Will Never Grow Old - Rust 5094, 1965
Lovingly Yours / Goddess Of Love - Rust 5100, 1965
She's Too Respectable / I Love The Summertime - Rust 5107, 1966 (A side credited to Jean)