Song:Tell Laura I Love Her
Album:The Wonder Of You: The Very Best Of Ray Peterson 1957-1962
Ray Peterson scored two top ten hits in 1960. Tell Laura I Love Her is the more memorable of the two because it's a death song. It still gets airplay on oldies radio. But I'm sure most younger fans know nothing about Peterson or the song. He was born Apr. 23, 1939 in Denton, TX. Peterson suffered from polio as a child. And while recovering in the hospital, he started performing for the other patients. Peterson has a four octave range. After recovering, Peterson moved to Los Angeles. His manager Stan Shulman got him a deal with RCA. When the single The Wonder Of You was a top 30 hit, RCA thought they might have something. So they brought in their top production team Hugo & Luigi to score Peterson a big hit. At the time, Mark Dinning's death song Teen Angel was a big hit. RCA wanted something similar. Veteran songwriter Jeff Barry wrote Tell Laura I Love Her about a rodeo. RCA asked him to rewrite the song to resemble Teen Angel. The record reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Mission accomplished. The problem was Peterson and Shulman left RCA to start their own label Dunes Records. They brought in Phil Spector to produce a cover of the traditional song Corinna, Corinna. That reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. That was Peterson's final big hit and Dunes closed in 1964. Peterson recorded an album for MGM in 1965. Then he moved to Nashville and tried to reinvent himself as a country artist. When that didn't work out, he became a baptist minister and he occasionally toured the oldies circuit. Peterson died on Jan. 25, 2005 at age 65. You can get his hits on this comp from Jasmine. Here's Ray Peterson performing Tell Laura I Love Her on Shindig! 1965.