Kathy Linden

That's What Love Is

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The sweet, sexy voice of Kathy Linden added an adult dimension to her teen pop recordings as she breathily intoned her lovelorn pleas to an assortment of Johnnies, Jimmies, and Billies. She wasn't a vamp on the level of April Stevens, but the amatory undercurrents were unmistakable. That's What Love Is takes its name from a 1960 recording that was not one of Linden's four hits, but is exemplary of her style. Linden's biggest hit was a remake of an old song, "Billy," given a sparkling new teen pop arrangement. The folk-flavored "Goodbye, Jimmy, Goodbye" nearly reached the Top Ten in 1959, but her other two hits were minor. Nevertheless, she recorded quite a bit of material, as this 34-track anthology shows. It gathers most of her early Felsted recordings, including her four hits and most of the tracks from her only album, That Certain Boy, which was the Felsted label's first album release. Later recordings for Monument and Capitol are indistinguishable from her early recordings -- on "Jimmy," from 1962, Linden sounds as childlike as ever. The preponderance of songs directed toward boys by name (and by only a handful of names, at that) is repetitive over the course of 34 songs, and the consistently precious tone works better on singles than on a long anthology. Still, That's What Love Is has many choice moments, and Linden is awfully cute. File under "female teen idol" next to Ann-Margret and Marcie Blane.