Teddy Randazzo (1935 - 2003)



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Alessandro Carmelo "Teddy" Randazzo (May 13, 1935 – November 21, 2003)
I met Teddy Randazzo and he told me, "The noisiest wheel is the first to be oiled." And THAT was a life-changing experience. You have to speak up if you want this to be a better world.

Teddy Randazzo Biography & Family History

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Famous Singer and Songwriter.
With partner Bobby Weinstein wrote biggest hits of 1960s

"Goin' Out Of My Head," "Hurt So Bad," "It's Gonna Take A Miracle," "I'm On The Outside Looking In," "Pretty Blue Eyes" and "Have You Looked Into Your Heart." All great hit songs and all from the prolific songwriting skills of Teddy Randazzo and Bobby Weinstein!

Teddy Randazzo was born into a musical family. His career began at age 15 as a member of the group, The Three Chuckles, with Teddy as lead vocalist on their very first hit song, "Runaround." Soon Teddy emerged as a solo artist, recording such hits as "Little Serenade" and "The Way of a Clown," and later going on to perform as a headliner in shows with legendary disc jockey, Alan Freed, at the Brooklyn Fox and Brooklyn Paramount Theaters in the heyday of the Freed-inspired rock and roll revolution.

Randazzo starred in such motion pictures as Hey, Let's Twist, The Girl Can't Help It, Rock, Rock, Rock and Mr. Rock and Roll. He also made seven appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, which in future years was to become a prime showcase for major league musical talent, including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Randazzo became totally immersed in the music business, producing and writing songs as well as forming a music publishing firm with famed producer, Don Costa. He arranged and produced records for a diverse group of talents, including Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Royalettes, The Temptations, The Stylistics, The Manhattans and Frank Sinatra.

Randazzo and Weinstein joined forces as a songwriting team in 1957 and the creative juices immediately began flowing. Their first major hit, "Pretty Blue Eyes," was recorded by Steve Lawrence and produced by Don Costa, a pairing which quickly brought the disc to number one on the bestselling charts.

Many hits were to follow, recorded by a parade of hit acts of the time, including The Box Tops, Dionne Warwick, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Jerry Vale, The Lettermen, Linda Ronstadt, Deniece Williams and Luther Vandross, in addition to the aforementioned Temptations, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Royalettes and Frank Sinatra.

Together with Kenny Rankin, Bobby Hart and Tommy Boyce, Randazzo and Weinstein performed as a group in Las Vegas for four years. Over time, they have written many classic songs. Their "Goin' Out Of My Head" alone has sold more than 100 million records by over 400 artists, and ranks in the top 50 of the most recorded songs in the history of records.


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1935 - In the year that Teddy Randazzo was born, on September 8th, Louisiana Senator Huey Long was shot by Dr. Carl Weiss. Weiss was shot and killed immediately by Long's bodyguards - Long died two days later from his injuries. Long had received many death threats previously, as well as threats against his family. He was a powerful and controversial figure in Louisiana politics (and probably gained power through multiple criminal acts). His opponents became frustrated with their attempts to oust him and Dr. Weiss was the son-in-law of one of those opponents. His funeral was attended by 200,000 mourners.

1968 - He was 33 years old when on June 5th, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by Sirhan after celebrating his win in the California presidential primary. He died the next day at Good Samaritan Hospital.

1972 - By the time he was 37 years old, on November 7th, Richard Nixon won re-election, amidst the dawning knowledge of the Watergate scandal, by 60.7% to anti-war candidate George McGovern's 37.5%.

1984 - By the time he was 49 years old, on January 1, "Baby Bells" were created. AT&T had been the provider of telephone service (and equipment) in the United States. The company kept Western Electric, Bell Labs, and AT&T Long Distance. Seven new regional companies (the Baby Bells) covered local telephone service and were separately owned. AT&T lost 70% of its book value due to this move.

1997 - At the age of 62 years old, Teddy was alive when on June 26th, the first Harry Potter book by J. K. Rowling was released. "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was an immediate success and spawned not only sequels but also movies, video games, plays, and amusement park attractions. J.K. Rowling, at the time of the first book a poor single mother, has become a multi-billionaire.

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This obit of Teddy Randazzo is updated by the community. Edit this biography to contribute to his obituary. Include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Posted on: Monday, November 24, 2003
Teddy Randazzo, '50s rock legend, dead at 68

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Teddy Randazzo, a rock icon from the 1950s who composed classic hit songs such as "Goin' Out of My Head" and "Hurt So Bad," died Friday in Orlando, Fla. He was 68.

Teddy Randazzo produced and arranged Keola and Kapono Beamer's best-selling song and album, "Honolulu City Lights."
Advertiser library photo

Randazzo also was a major player on the Island recording scene, producing and arranging Keola and Kapono Beamer's best-selling song and album, "Honolulu City Lights," and composing such signature tunes as "I Love You" for Marlene Sai and "Salty Tears" for John Rowles.
"I talked to him several weeks ago, hoping to put on an acoustic concert," said Tom Moffatt, one of his longtime friends who first introduced Randazzo to Island music fans through the groundbreaking "Show of Stars" revues at the old Civic Auditorium. "He was a rock-era pioneer; we've known each other for at least 45 years, and he became family."

Randazzo was in the process of writing a song called "I Never Got the Chance to Say Goodbye," with his longtime collaborator, Bob Weinstein, at the time of his death, according to Rosemary "Shelly" Kunewa Randazzo, his local-girl wife.

"He was such a good man, who loved the people and the spirit of Hawai'i," said his widow. "He always told me he was a misplaced Hawaiian."

Shelly and Teddy had been married 25 years and met through Tom and Sweetie Moffatt.

"I was doing promotions with Sweetie for Hawaiian Airlines, flying back from Bermuda, and he (Teddy) was picking her up in New York; I saw him afar, and I didn't know him as a rock star. I asked her, 'Who's the guy with the white hair? (Randazzo was prematurely gray)."

They got to know each other when Randazzo was in town, staying with the Moffatts in Nu'uanu.

Moffatt, a deejay, recording industry executive and show presenter, first met Randazzo when he was lead singer with a group called the Three Chuckles; they performed at the old Civic Auditorium, the first rock venue in Hawaii. Their early hits, included "Won't You Give Me a Chance" and "Richer Than I," which Randazzo didn't write. As a solo recording artist, Randazzo also produced chart-busters such as "Little Serenade" and "The Way of a Clown."

He performed in Honolulu in recent years, in shows staged by Moffatt.

Randazzo, a native of Brooklyn, was born into a musical family on May 13, 1935. At 15, he was recording with The Three Chuckles. In the early years of rock, he co-starred in rock revues staged by legendary disc jockey Alan Freed, appearing with such artists as Chuck Berry and LaVern Baker, said Moffatt. Randazzo also had starring roles, and often performed, in such rock films as "Hey, Let's Twist," "The Girl Can't Help It," "Rock, Rock, Rock" and "Mr. Rock and Roll."

With composing partner, Weinstein, they churned out a string of major hits for Little Anthony and the Imperials, including "Goin' Out of My Head," "Hurt So Bad" and "I'm on the Outside Looking In."

"I've been blessed, really lucky, to have all these good songs," Randazzo said in a 1998 Advertiser interview. "I could live without doing the shows, because royalties provided an income."

"Goin' Out of My Head" was never a No. 1 song for Little Anthony, but when The Lettermen combined it with "Hurt So Bad" in a recorded medley, the tunes became pop classics, recorded by a gamut of industry giants, from Frank Sinatra to Dionne Warwick. "I've lost count on how many versions there are," he said.

Randazzo apparently died in his sleep. An autopsy was pending. The couple, which had five children, lived part of the year in Honolulu, where Shelly has family.

"The legacy for our family is the love he showed the kids," said Shelly Randazzo. "(The fans) may know his music, but we know the kind heart, giving person, he always was."

The survivors are sons Alika, Joshua and Giovanni; daughters Skye and Dominique, all of Orlando; and, from an earlier marriage, a son, Teddy Randazzo Jr., and a daughter, Elisa Rose Schwartz, both of California.

Services are pending in Orlando and Honolulu. Shelly Randazzo said the services "will be a celebration of life; Teddy never attended funerals, except my grandmothers, and he preferred to have happy thoughts and a big party."

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations in Randazzo's memory may be made to Musicares, c/o the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Reach Wayne Harada at [contact link], 525-8067 or fax 525-8055.

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