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Tab Hunter - Young Love

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Published on May 10, 2013

Late in 1956, Randy Wood - the founder and president of Dot Records - met the young, hot star Tab Hunter. Mr. Wood asked Tab if he would like to make a record. Tab confessed that he was not really a singer, but Randy explained that you do not have to be a great singer to make a good record. On Saturday, December 15, 1956 - at Ryder Sound on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood - Tab had his first recording session. Tab explained in his autobiography that Randy hired "some" singers to harmonize with him - those singers turned out to be The Jordanaires - Elvis' backup group. "Man, this was serious stuff. I was starting to feel the pressure." Tab confessed. After a few takes, his nerves settled down and the 11th take was "it". When - later in the week - Tab heard his record on the radio - he himself had to admit that "I'll be damned - "Young Love" sounded pretty good". Randy rushed Tab back into the studio to make some additional songs. However, when a Warner Bros. attorney heard "Young Love" on the radio - which was becoming a smash hit - things hit the fan. Tab Hunter was under contract to Warner Bros. for EVERYTHING - not only motion pictures. "Jack Warner may have magnanimously declined to pass judgment on my personal life, but if there was a buck to be made - he OWNED me." By February 2, 1957, when the record reached #4 on the charts, a deal was cut whereupon Dot had to pay Warner Bros. a hefty compensation for any Tab Hunter record in release. When the studio's lawyers found out that Randy had enough songs for an LP - they barred Dot from releasing anything beyond singles that had already been shipped. "Randy Wood was holding orders for 100,000 albums. He was sitting on a gold mine, but Warner Bros. had no intention of letting him, or me, profit from a singing voice IT owned. At first I brushed it off, like I usually did. I'd been carried away by my enthusiasm and my naivete, resulting in a guileless breach of contract. Big deal. Then, Randy Wood handed me my first "Young Love" royalty check. I don't recall the total, but I remember precisely the Internal Revenue Service's cut - $56,000. That was just the taxes! I was making WAY more money as a pop singer than as a contract player at Warner Bros. That was a real eye-opener." In an indirect way, Tab's recording success at Dot was an impetus for Warner Bros. to start their own records label - which later on, Tab Hunter wound up recording for (which hopefully made Jack Warner very happy). Tab's record of "Young Love" was a cover of Sonny James on Capitol. In 1966, Lesley Gore recorded her own version of "Young Love" on Mercury Records which was a moderate hit for her.


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  • Category

  • License

    • Standard YouTube License
  • Song

  • Artist

    • Tab Hunter
  • Album

    • 100 Hits of the '50s
  • Licensed by

    • Koch Entertainment (on behalf of Not Now Music); CMRRA, UMPI, Sony ATV Publishing, SOLAR Music Rights Management, and 11 Music Rights Societies

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