The Teenbeats

Surf Bound

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This album serves as both a mini history of the Las Vegas teen scene in pre-Beatle times and the legacy of the town's number one rock & roll combo, the Teenbeats. In 1961, rival DJs Steve Miller and Keith Austin formed the Teenbeat club, which became the teen hangout, boosted by live radio broadcasts over KLAS. Recruited as a house band was the Checkmates, a local combo who immediately changed their name to the Teenbeats. This 21-track collection features 11 tunes from a live 1962 radio broadcast, both sides of the group's three singles, two unreleased tracks from their third and final session for Downey Records, and assorted jingles and celebrity drop-ins used on the radio (and later TV) show, Teenbeat Las Vegas. The excitement of the live cuts is palpable; this is real teen nightclub music, rowdy and sloppy, a clear historical indicator of what the kids were really dancing to in the dark days of chart domination by manufactured teen idols. The studio tracks are righteous, with "Live Like a King" rock & roll doo wop at its most torrid; the other studio offerings are four square in surf territory, with excellent showings on the title track, "Mr. Moto," and "High Roll." A fascinating glimpse into local-scene rock & roll history.