The Six Teens' name derived from the average age of the six members divided by six; Ed Wells was the oldest at 17, and Trudy Williams the youngest at 12. Like most teenage groups of that era, they were inspired by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers. Originally the Sweet Teens, they recorded one single under that name ("Don't Worry About a Thing" for Flip Records in 1956), with Wells singing lead on the first recording but Williams taking the helm for subsequent releases. The first Six Teens single, "A Casual Look," became their biggest hit. Flip's owner picked "Teenage Promise" but the disc jockeys flipped it, and it went to number 25 on the pop charts and number seven R&B.
The group began performing and spent much of the summer of 1957 performing in Hawaii. "Send Me Flowers," their second release, was number one there, but their third record, "Only Jim," did nothing to advance their career. The fourth, "Arrow of Love," showed at number 80, and when Flip began marketing the Six Teens to teenyboppers, their songs and lyrics became unbelievably trite. Tunes like "Stop Playing Ping Pong With My Little Heart" had no chance for success, and a personnel shakeup did nothing to stabilize the group.
In 1957, the Six Teens recorded "My Surprise," credited to the Six Teens featuring (14-year-old) Trudy Williams. Three final recordings failed to chart, but they continue performing with different members until the late '60s. They have since regrouped and performed on the doo wop circuit, releasing a CD of new recordings on Lacoriha Records, The Six Teens Greatest Hits. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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