On this day, 13 September, 59 years ago, a campaign was started in the UK to ban the American hit, teenage tragedy tune “Tell Laura I Love Her” by Ray Peterson. The song was being denounced in the press as likely to inspire a teen-age “glorious death cult.”
Released in 1960 on RCA Victor Records, reaching #7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, it has been a hit in 14 countries and has sold over seven million copies.
The story told of a lovesick youngster, Tommy, who drives in a stock car race to win the hand of his sweetheart, Laura. He crashes, totally injured, and just before dying, groans out the words “Tell Laura I love her … My love for her will never die.”
An answer song, “Tell Tommy I Miss Him,” was released by Marilyn Michaels in 1960. A year later country singer Skeeter Davis released the same song on her album Here’s The Answer.