BATTLE OF THE BANDS: (More) Child Stars!

Arlee has a great Battle going on over at his place between former child stars (Jerry Mathers, Keith Thibodeaux, and Micky Dolenz). It made me think: they were all child stars before they were rock & roll singers, but what of the child stars who were singers while they were still on TV? I know of three boys this applies to, and also three girls. So, boys first, then girls next time.

Paul Petersen, "She Can’t Find Her Keys": Paul was the TV son of Donna Reed and Carl Betz on the 1958-1966 The Donna Reed Show, and was almost immediately forgotten after that show ended. He had a record in 1962 called "She Can’t Find Her Keys" that reached #19 on the Hot 100.

Johnny Crawford, "Rumors": Johnny played Mark McCain, son to Chuck Connors on 1958-1963’s The Rifleman. "Rumors" reached #12 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1962.

Jay North, "Little Boy Blues": TV’s Dennis the Menace from 1959 to 1963, Jay recorded the 1960 album Look Who’s Singing!, on which "Little Boy Blues" was found. I couldn’t find any Billboard data on the song, but he did sing it on The Ed Sullivan Show that year.

So those are our contestants. You know what to do:

  1. Listen to the three songs.
  2. Decide which song you like the best.
  3. Vote for your favorite by leaving me a comment with your choice. If you feel like telling us why, feel free.
  4. Then, visit the other participants and vote in their Battles:

I’ll tally the votes and announce the winner next Monday, February 22, so be sure and get your vote to me by then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Paul, Johnny, and Jay!

15 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: (More) Child Stars!

  1. JOHN ~

    Back in August of 2018, I ran with this whole BOTB ‘Child Stars’ concept. It may have been the first time this idea was BOTB’d. In fact, I even used Johnny “Rifleman” Crawford in my contest, putting him up against Aileen Quinn of ‘Little Orphan Annie’ fame. The results can be found here:

    I’m sincerely sorry, buddy! I wish I could help you with this shutout, but I can’t. At least, not honestly, anyway. Johnny “Rifleman” Crawford is clearly the class of this field. I’m afraid that you made your bed and now you’re going to have to lie in it.

    So, for what it’s worth (which probably ain’t much), here’s an idea…

    Lee just used a Christian song titled ‘WHY?’ by a former child star doing the lead singing for a band called David & The Giants. (I just got done voting for that song!) How about putting that song up against another Christian song titled ‘WHY?’ by a different Christian singer-songwriter named Michael Card?

    Same title, different songs — but BOTH songs are by Christian singers who are singing about that “Beautiful Outlaw”:

    (I think the ‘Same Title, Different Songs’ concept might have some potential, and I just wish some BOTBer would give ‘er a try. [;^D )

    ~ D-FensDogG

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmm…. I had no idea. Why didn’t you mention it? ;^D

        Well, then, instead of “Same Title, Different Songs”, why don’t you try something different for a change and go with “Different Songs, Same Title”?

        ~ D-FensDogG


  2. That kid from Dennis would be good to sing Lost my 2 front teeth. I vote for Mark from the Rifleman who did the best of the 3. The poor guy from The Donna Reed Show May have lost his keys because someone threw them away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. John,

    The first artists/songs are my favorites of the three. I think my pick is heavily influenced by the time of day at this early hour as my ear naturally gravitates more toward Johnny Crawford sweet vocals singing “Rumors”. I was surprised a few months back when someone shared the secret that Johnny was also a recording artist. I had no clue. I was year old at the end of 1962. I do not remember this song or any of your picks. Did any of these young artists do anything else? Cool battle. I hope you’ll find time if you haven’t already to stop by to vote in my BoTB 2021 Round 4 Showdown – Photograph when you have a moment, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I decided before i read the comments and glad I did or I might have felt like I copied – but

    Johnny Crawford “Rumors” for me

    I know the third one – the blues – was supposed to be talking like that – but feel like he did not sing that much and again – the cadence of the style but felt more recitation –
    good songs to learn about

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh good one! Not so much the recordings, but the continuation of the concept. I know all of the actors, but I had no idea they had recorded any music. I’ll immediately disqualify Jay North because it is absurd childish nonsense, but his was my favorite TV show of the three.

    Paul Peterson was okay for a song of that era.

    My vote goes to Johnny Crawford’s bit of fifties pap. Not too bad, but not something I would listen to much.

    Glad you carried my theme another step further. It’s fun to look back on this ephemera of the days of my youth.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 2 people

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