Spectropop remembers

TEDDY RANDAZZO (1935 - 2003)

Teen idol turned songwriter supreme

Teddy Randazzo, who composed classic songs such as 'Goin' Out of My Head', 'It's Gonna Take A Miracle' and 'Hurt So Bad', has died in his sleep at his home in Florida. He was 68.

A native of Brooklyn, he was born Alessandro Randazzo into a musical family on May 13, 1935. He began his recording career as vocalist/accordionist with the Three Chuckles, charting with 'Runaround' in 1954, before going solo three years later. In the early years of rock, he co-starred in revues staged by legendary disc jockey Alan Freed, appearing with such artists as Chuck Berry and LaVern Baker. Randazzo also had starring roles in such rock films as Hey, Let's Twist, The Girl Can't Help It, Mr. Rock & Roll and Rock, Rock, Rock. In the 'teen idol' era, Randazzo hit the charts with 'Little Serenade', 'The Way Of A Clown' and 'Big Wild World'. He also recorded as leader of an outfit named Oliver & the Twisters. Subsequent releases like 'You Don't Need A Heart' would find belated favour among soul fans.

It was a songwriter and producer, most notably for Little Anthony & the Imperials, that Teddy Randazzo excelled. His 800+ registered compositions consisted mainly of collaborations with lyricists Bobby Weinstein and Victoria Pike, Randazzo's first wife. With Weinstein, he wrote a string of major hits for Little Anthony, including 'Goin' Out Of My Head' and 'Hurt So Bad'. When the Lettermen combined those two songs in a medley, they became pop classics, recorded by a gamut of industry giants, from Frank Sinatra to Dionne Warwick. According to BMI, 'Goin' Out Of My Head' accumulated more than 6 million radio plays, whilst 'Hurt So Bad' received in excess of 4 million. Randazzo and Weinstein's 'It's Gonna Take A Miracle', originally recorded by the Royalettes, was also successful for Laura Nyro and Deniece Williams. He also ran his own labels, Satin and Buttercup. Randazzo was in the process of writing a song called 'I Never Got The Chance To Say Goodbye' with Bobby Weinstein at the time of his death.

He and his family relocated to Florida in the 1970s and kept a lower profile. In recent times he lived part of the year in Hawaii where his second wife has family. He became a major player on the Honolulu recording scene, producing and arranging Keola and Kapono Beamer's best-selling song and album, 'Honolulu City Lights', and composing Marlene Sai's signature tune 'I Love You'.

He is survived by his wife Shelly, their sons Alika, Joshua and Giovanni, daughters Skye and Dominique, and, from an earlier marriage, son Teddy Jr. and daughter, Elisa Rose.

Adapted from obituaries in the Honolulu Advertiser and soulwalking.co.uk

Alessandro (Teddy) Randazzo, songwriter, record producer, singer and actor: born May 13, 1935 - died November 21, 2003.