Recording information: Detroit, MI (09/08/1961-06/27/1968); LA (09/08/1961-06/27/1968); Los Angeles, CA (09/08/1961-06/27/1968); RCA Studio A, Los Angeles, CA (09/08/1961-06/27/1968); United (09/08/1961-06/27/1968); Western (09/08/1961-06/27/1968).
The March 3, 1962, issue of Billboard marked the Hot 100 debuts of two teenage actors from the same TV series, The Donna Reed Show, 18-year-old Shelley Fabares with "Johnny Angel" and 16-year-old Paul Petersen with "She Can't Find Her Keys," both on Colpix Records. Petersen's novelty tune only made the Top 20, while "Johnny Angel" topped the charts, but he managed five more chart entries, including the Top Ten "My Dad," before the hits stopped coming in 1964. This comprehensive collection includes the successful discs and some interesting obscurities in a musical career that was always something of a side project for Petersen. His main gig, of course, was the TV show, in which he appeared from 1958 to 1966, but since he could carry a tune it was a natural for him to try a pop singing career in the tradition of Rick Nelson. Most of the music was forgettable, of course, although he did get a chance to essay a Gerry Goffin/Carole King composition, "Keep Your Love Locked (Deep in Your Heart)," and Brian Wilson gave him a suitably surf-oriented production on "She Rides with Me." By 1965, with "You Don't Need Money," he was introducing a vocal growl that made his singing a bit more distinctive, but that was his last Colpix single. Among the rarities are two singles he cut for Motown Records in 1967-1968 that find him fronting the Funk Brothers session band on some decent material, particularly "Don't Let It Happen to Us," and a trio of songs from the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie, including a rewrite of "Kids" called "Folks" on which he's joined by Fabares. Petersen survived his teen idol phase to become a novelist, but along the way he made some representative light pop music of the period, the highlights of which are heard here. ~ William Ruhlmann
Record Collector (magazine) (p.100) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] the Brian Wilson-penned-and produced 'She Rides With Me,' featuring The Honeys on backing vocals and big-production pop-soul..."