Written by Jeff Barry and Ben Raleigh, this death rock ballad was recorded in the US by Ray Peterson on RCA Victor and in the UK by Ricky Valance on EMI-Columbia, both in 1960. Many radio stations banned this and other death rock ballads such as “Last Kiss” or “Endless Sleep,” fearing they would incite teens to commit suicide. However, it reached #7 on the national record charts in August 1960.
About This Song
Peterson is also known for having recorded “The Wonder of You” (later covered by Elvis Presley), “Missing You,” and “Corinna, Corinna.” Peterson began singing as a child, when he contracted polio. He would sing in the hospital to entertain the ward. He was known for his phenomenal four-octave range. He was also a Baptist minister. He died of cancer in 2005.
This was Jeff Barry’s first big pop hit. He went on to write many more with his wife Ellie Greenwich.
Laura and Tommy were loversHe wanted to give her everything Flowers, presents and most of all, a wedding ring He saw a sign for a stock car race A thousand dollar prize it read He couldn’t get Laura on the phone So to her mother, Tommy saidTell Laura I love her, tell Laura I need herTell Laura I may be late I’ve something to do, that cannot waitHe drove his car to the racing groundsHe was the youngest driver there And the crowed roared as they started the race ‘Round the track they drove at a deadly pace No one knows what happened that day How his car overturned in flames But as they pulled him from the twisted wreck With his dying breath, they heard him sayTell Laura I love her, tell Laura I need herTell Laura not to cry My love for her will never dieAnd in the chapel where Laura praysFor Tommy who passed away It was just for Laura he lived and died Alone in the chapel she can hear him cryTell Laura I love her, tell Laura I need herTell Laura not to cry My love for her will never die Tell Laura I love her Tell Laura I love her Tell Laura I love her