Album:Ultimate 50s Collection
Short Shorts was a top five hit in 1958. It turned out to be the only big hit for The Royal Teens. The group was from Fort Lee, NJ and were originally called The Royals and then The Royal Tones. They were forced to change the name to The Royal Teens because those group names were already taken. They didn't like the name The Royal Teens. The leader of The Royal Teens was pianist Bob Gaudio. He is best known as the co-founder of The Four Seasons. Other members were Billy Crandall on sax, Billy Dalton on guitar and Tom Austin on drums. Short Shorts came from an instrumental jam the group would perform on stage. Gaudio and Austin were trying to come up with a title for the song when they saw two girls wearing shorts so short they should be illegal. They were messing around with some leftover recording studio time and they improvised some words for this instrumental. Producer Leo Rodgers brought in a couple of girls to sing the refrain We Wear Short Shorts. After the song was a local hit in New York City, Power Records sold it to ABC-Paramount and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. So now they had to tour. But Billy Crandall was only 14 years old so his parents wouldn't let him tour. He was replaced by Larry Qualiano. The Royal Teens didn't have another big hit. You can get Short Shorts on this 3CD Collectables various artists comp. Of course Bob Gaudio went on to form The Four Seasons. He was replaced by Al Kooper. The Royal Teens split up in 1959. Leo Rodgers tried to revive The Royal Teens in 1962 and there have been various versions of the group over the years. Billy Crandall was the lead singer of the 1966 hit Lies by The Knickerbockers. Here are the Royal Teens performing Short Shorts in the 1959 film Let's Rock.