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The Paul Decca Story

Posted on: March 24, 2005 | Views: 72 | Comment

You can't cross the boundaries... if you don't know what they are.

Shot documentary style, The Paul Decca Story documents the rise and fall of late 1950s - early 1960s teen idol, Paul Decca. The players in Paul's life recount his story over old photos and TV clips. In 1958 Jerry Dexter, owner of Shilo Records contacted struggling song writer, Neil Starr to write a song for his new discovery, a likable young kid named Paul Decca. Jerry discovered Paul walking down 17th street in Philadelphia. When Neil sat down to write a song, that number "kinda stuck in his head".

Neil wrote a series of hits for Paul including, 'Sweetheart 17', '17 Wagon Trains', '17 Fever' and 'I've Got 17 Dreams.

By 1961, folk singers were everywhere. Paul wanted to branch out and write his own songs. He contacted famous 60s songwriter PF Sloan for help. Sloan was part of that scene. He hung with the likes of Bob Dylan, John Sebastian and had written songs for crossover artist like Bobby Darin, but he couldn't help Paul Sloan didn't write songs about the number 17. So when Paul began to write his own songs, his career took a turn for the worse. Not that the songs were bad tunes, its just that Paul's glorification of the youth caused many to think he was 'sick'. 

Tags:
teen idol • mockumentary • seventeen • singer