1955 Three Chuckles – Runaround
Three musicians from Brooklyn started performing together in the early fifties. They called themselves The Three Chuckles, taking the name from the lost or forgotten candy bar. The initial lineup was singers Tommy “Russ” Gilberto and Tommy Romano on bass and guitar, while Phil Benti played keyboards and the accordion.
A few years later, Phil left the band, and 15-year-old Teddy Randazzo took over on the accordion. He also gave the group a third vocalist. They recorded a single in 1953 that did not perform well, but late the next year the b-side of the record began charting in November. Truck driver Cirino Colacrai had written the song Runaround, and their single remained on the Hot 100 into 1955, peaking at #20.
The group’s success led to an appearance in the rock and roll film The Girl Can’t Help It.
Two more of the group’s singles reached #67 and #70, after which Alan Freed invited Teddy to appear without the rest of the band in the films Rock, Rock, Rock and Mister Rock and Roll.
Teddy left the group to start a solo career, allowing Jackie Farrell to take his place in the group. The group achieved little after that; by 1958, the Three Chuckles had disbanded.
In 1960, the Platters covered Runaround; I wrote about that single in my blog:
Teddy appeared in a few other films and released singles over the next few years that charted, but he never reached the top forty as a solo act.
He also began writing and producing songs for other artists, often co-writing the songs with Bobby Weinstein. He wrote over 650 songs during his career. The first big hit he wrote was Pretty Blue Eyes, which Steve Lawrence took to the top ten on the Hot 100 in 1960. He also started writing and producing songs for Little Anthony and the Imperials, including Goin’ out of My Head and Hurts So Bad.
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