Watch “Short Shorts-The Royal Teens-1957” on YouTube

15 Aug


The term “Short Shorts”was a description Bob Gaudio and Tom Austin had given to the cutoff jeans teenage girls were wearing during the summer of 1957.[1] On that musically fateful afternoon, Gaudio and Austin were driving up Washington Avenue in Bergenfield, New Jersey in Tom Austin’s red and white 1957 Ford Fairlane 500, trying to figure out what to call the latest song they had written for their rock and roll band then known as the Royals, later renamed the Royal Teens by record producer and owner Leo Rodgers. Just then, two girls came strutting out of Luhmann’s (the local teenage sweet shop) wearing cutoff jeans that were cut so short they were almost illegal. At that point, the song

“Short Shorts”

was born.[1]

On the original recording, Tom Austin did the whistle, Billy Dalton mimicked the whistle on guitar, and Billy Crandall said “Man, dig those crazy chicks.”[1] With Tommy on drums, Bobby on piano, Billy Dalton on guitar, and Crandall on sax, along with the female vocal provided by Diana Lee, a girl from Leo’s stable of talented youngsters, the Royal Teens became a success.



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