• The Dell-Coeds

    The Dell-Coeds (San Jose, California)


    Personnel :

    Janet Engen

    Mary Ann Janovec

    Linda Jonas

    Richard George


    Discography :

    1962 -  (I Want A Little) Love In Return / Mr Banjo (Enith 712/Dot 16314)


    Biography :

    Darrell Alexander and Richard George were Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brothers at UCLA and began singing together, inspired by Jan & Dean.  In late 1960 Darrell and Richard (as Spike & Tyke) recorded several of Richard's compositions (including Love In Return). Darrell was dating Janet Engen (whom he later married).  Janet's high school friends included Mary Ann Janovec and Linda Jonas.  All five began singing together as a group which reversed the then popular vocal roles:  in the new group the girls sang lead vocals, and the guys sang background.  They developed new vocal arrangements for several of Richard's songs. During the summer of 1961, Richard brought his Spike & Tyke recording of Love In Return to publishers Norman Malkin and Jack Hoffman, whose offices were located just up the block from the famous Hollywood intersection of Sunset and Vine.  Norman's wife was legendary singer Margie Rayburn, known for her hit, I'm Available. 

    The Dell-Coeds

    She also had a 1955 success with Norman's song Hey Mr. Banjo, recorded with the Sunnysiders. Norman told Richard that, if he would come up with a modern teen arrangement for Hey Mr. Banjo, he would sign Richard's new group and record Love In Return for the flip side. Steven Venet, a young record producer who had earlier produced Linda Carr's Happy Teenager (another of Richard's songs), recorded the Dell-Coeds at Gold Star Studios, known for their unique echo chamber and a steady stream of hits.  Steven (whose brother Nik produced the Beach Boys for Capitol Records) was an extremely in-demand producer, also working frequently for Reprise Records.  Steven went on to a long and successful career in songwriting and music production with an impressive discography. Love In Return was released on independent label Enith International in September, 1961.  It was then that the group learned they had been named the Dell-Coeds.  Richard was happy when Love in Return got all the radio play and became the A side.

    The Dell-Coeds

    After the record starting going up several radio Top 40 charts, the record was re-released nationwide on Dot Records, a major label, in January, 1962. Cover versions of Love In Return were recorded by the Nightingales on Ray-Star Records (produced by H.B. Barnum) and by Christy Cummins on Belaine Records (produced by Jimmy Bowen). The Dell-Coeds performed extensively, promoting their record.  They performed with the Beach Boys.  They were featured with Chubby Checker in 1962 at a historic sold-out concert in San Francisco.  Coincidentally, H.B. Barnum (who produced one of the cover versions of Love In Return) was musical director for the concert.  With nearly 20,000 in attendance, an overflow crowd of 7,000 partied outside the arena!After Happy Teenager and Love In Return, Richard went on to further involvement in the music industry as a songwriter, vocal arranger, and recording artist, and as a music company executive.


    Songs :

    Love In Return                                     Mr Banjo


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