Introduction to Dean and Jean

Short career summary on Dean and Jean

Dean & Jean were a short-lived R&B/pop/soul duo from Ohio. They recorded material together from 1958 to 1966 and scored two Top 40 pop hits: “Tra La La La Suzy” and “Hey Jean, Hey Dean”, and one more Hot 100 item “I Wanna Be Loved” – all released on Rust label. Failing to maintain their music career despite fine releases, Dean and Jean disbanded thereafter.


Weston Young’s early career

Dean and Jean were a short lived R&B/pop/soul duo from Ohio. They consisted of singers and musicians Welton Young (“Dean”) and Brenda Lee Jones (“Jean”) who would later become Brenda Lee Nelson.

Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Welton “Pappy” Young had just moved to Tennessee to join the King Toppers as their guitarist sometime in 1955. The King Toppers later called themselves the Corvettes, after a new car from Chevrolet. Young, who also possesed a bluesy tenor, eventually became a singer of the group as well after one of their members decided not to go with them to New York’s Apollo’s Theater.

Changing their name again to King Toppers, but the group’s career went nowhere because of the member’s own obligations, particularly when many of them got drafted for the service.

Welton Young eventually hooked up with a handful of songwriters to earn some more cash by being a session guitarist for demo records. At that time he was holding a job at Western Union.


Young meeting Brenda Lee Jones; becoming Dean and Jean

In 1958, Welton Young came back home in Dayton, where he also met Brenda Lee Jones. Jones was also a singer, having recorded a single on Apollo label called “I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None” backed by the Vocaltones. Young and Jones later formed Dean and Jean, and went on to record for Buckeye, Ember, and Rust, from 1958 to 1966.


The peak of Dean and Jean’s career, and disbandment

1964 seemed a great year for Dean and Jean, with their three singles — “Tra La La La Suzy, “I Wanna Be Loved,” and “Hey Jean, Hey Dean,” — all charted on the Billboard Hot 100. “Tra La La La Suzy” peaked at #35, “I Wanna Be Loved” at #91, and “Hey Dean, Hey Jean,” at #32, all on Billboard Hot 100. All of these singles were released on Rust label (actually a subsidiary of parent imprint Laurie).

Because of their success at the charts, Dean and Jean even managed to become a part of Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars. The duo enjoyed lots of touring and performing across the country initially, but later on they became burned-out. Despite fine releases as well, Dean and Jean finally disbanded in the mid-1960s.


List of songs by Dean and Jean

This may be an impartial list:

  • “Oh Yeah”
  • “We’re Gonna Get Married”
  • “Too Young to Know”
  • “Never Let Our Love Fade Away”
  • “Turn It Off”
  • “Come Take A Walk With Me”
  • “Dance The Roach”
  • “Mack The Knife”
  • “You Can’t Be Happy By Yourself”
  • “Tra La La La Suzy”
  • “I Love The Summertime”
  • “Hey Jean, Hey Dean”
  • “Please Don’t Tell Me Now”
  • “I Wanna Be Loved”
  • “Thread Your Needle”
  • “Goddess Of Love”
  • “The Man Who Will Never Grow Old”
  • “Sticks And Stones”
  • “In My Way”
  • “Goddess Of Love”
  • “Lovingly Yours”
  • “She’s Too Respectable”
  • “Seven Day Wonder”
  • “The Man Who Will Never Grow Old”