Today's New Oldie comes from a beautiful double-sided Teener that barely cracked into the Top 40 in Canada in 1960, but found considerably more success in Japan.
Dean Morgan was born in 1941 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He attended Mount Royal High School and graduated in 1959. While in his senior year, he put a band together and made his first record using his real name, Joe Padulo.
Here's Chinese Baby by Joe Padulo on London 17045 from 1958:
Chinese Baby failed to make the sales charts, but it did get the attention of a record producer named Rusty Davis who got Joe a deal with Quality Records, became his manager, and changed his name to Dean Morgan.
Here's Promised Land Of Love by Dean Morgan on Quality 1014 from 1960:
And here's the flip side of that single, Come What May:
The record company put a lot of effort into promoting this record. In May 1960, Mat Heft, manager of Southern-Peer's Canadian office in Montreal, and Lee Farley, national sales manager for Quality Records in Toronto, came up with an interesting publicity stunt. They had Dean fly across Canada from Montreal to Vancouver in a jet. As the jet passed over each city, they had radio stations directly under his position play a pre-recorded interview with Dean. He talked about how he was flying over the city and promised to call the station again on his return trip. This did manage to get Dean's record on the radio across Canada, but it didn't sell very well. In Vancouver the song was listed at #54 on the C-FUN Radio Future 'Fun Favorites list. In Toronto, it peaked at #40 on the 1050 CHUM Top 50. The attention landed a deal with Top Rank for International distribution in Australia and Japan. The teens in Japan loved the record and it managed to do much better both in radio airplay and sales over there.
He began working on a new record for 20th Century Fox that was to be the theme for a movie. There was talk of Dean possibly getting offered a movie role in Hollywood, too.
In June 1960 he sang Promised Land Of Love on a midnight television show called Good Evening Mr. Sinclair, hosted by Gordon Sinclair. Earlier that same week he had appeared on another show called Focus where he was interviewed by host Bob McGregor about his recent success as a teenage singing sensation.
Here's Ouch! You're Breaking My Heart by Dean Morgan on 20th Fox 272 from 1961:
And here's the flip side of that single, What's Up Buttercup:
Dean was attending private school between concerts and did not intend to make a lifelong career in the recording industry. His goal was to practice medicine. It never happened.
By 1969 he was a record producer, using his real name again, and running a business called Dean Morgan Associates. He was the Musical Director for a music show on CFCF-TV Channel 12 in Montreal called Like Young, hosted by Jim McKenna (seated with dark slacks) and Diane Dickinson (green dress). He produced an album called The Best Of Like Young on RCA Camden featuring musical performances from that show.
Last I heard, Dean Morgan (Joe Padulo) was still alive and well and living in Montreal. He attended his 50th High School Reunion in 2009.
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