Noreen Corcoran – a name that would ring no bells with you, unless you were a die-hard fan of 1950s Television. Corcoran was a regular on the hit TV show Bachelor Father, playing the teenage niece of her uncle played by John Forsythe. The show ran from 1957 to 1963, after which point she transitioned over to Teenage Beach Party-themed movies and had a brief foray into Pop Music, signed to the legendary Vee-Jay Records during their journey into the mainstream (i.e. White Teenage) market. As a historic footnote, Vee-Jay were the first U.S. label to have The Beatles after Capitol initially turned them down.
Noreen Corcoran only made two records – neither of which were big hits – and they have long since gone into the annals of sought-after collectibles in the Sunshine Pop genre.
Fluffy stuff – teenage angst; a prevalent theme in Pop music throughout the 1950s and early 60s. Heavy or relevant social messages and songs of protest were only just starting, but were a ways away from getting radio airplay. Instead, the primary diet of most top-40 radio stations at the time was just this sort of wispy, sun-drenched material. Songs of innocent or unrequited love – meeting that magic someone – getting hurt and falling in love all over again.
Not deep or serious, but deep and serious wasn’t in the Mainstream lexicon at the time. The one thing that was consistent with this type of song was the excellent and spacious production that often accompanied it. Strings and an homage to Phil Spector‘s Wall Of Sound. Something that bowled you over with the sheer expansiveness of the angst that went along with it. The desired effect was a feeling of wispy longing and pained nostalgia over loves lost and the feeling of being alone, possibly forever.
After this short stint in Pop, Noreen Corcoran continued her acting career, eventually trading a career in front of the camera to a career behind the camera, and she continued working until her retirement in 2004. Ironically, it will be almost a year exactly since Noreen Corcoran passed away, on January 11, 2016.
No doubt you haven’t heard this track before – unless you were around at the time, or are a collector. It’s not my usual musical fare for the weekends, but it’s different and it’s out of the ordinary. Listen to it as if you discovered it during an archeological dig – a curio of days gone by.