Jerry Landis (Paul Simon)
The Long Teen Ranger
Release Date: March 2nd, 1962
Words by: Elizabeth Izzo
October 13th, 2012
By 1962, Paul Simon had gone five years without a single hit record. In fact, as a solo artist, he'd never had one. It was only with the help of his childhood friend Art Garfunkel that he'd been able to write and record his last hit in '57, 'hey, schoolgirl'.
So to say that he was desperate to regain the public's interest as a solo act would be the understatement of the century.
In 'the lone teen ranger' we see Simon abandon his usual songwriting style in favor of what he believed to be a more commercial format. With the strategic release of this novelty doo-wop track, he was probably looking to capitalize on the holiday season while simultaneously piggybacking on Dion's 'lonely ranger' success. Unfortunately for him, it was to no avail. Along with a vast majority of the post-Tom & Jerry, pre-Simon & Garfunkel songs he recorded, it barely managed to claw its way into the Top 100.
There's something inherently lovable about this track, though. Despite the awful gunshot sound effects and fact that the lyrics are terrible to the point of being funny("Aaah, pony! Ride! Ride!"), it still manages to be a somewhat enjoyable listening experience. In the same way that I wouldn't listen to Chuck Berry's 'my ding-a-ling'everyday, I wouldn't listen to this, but if nothing else you can always get a kick out of it.