Kris Jensen and His Only Big Hit “Torture”


Introduction to Kris Jensen

Kris Jensen will go down in history as one of the one-hit wonder acts in modern music.  Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, Jensen’s recording career started with Colpix Records during his high school days.  He jumped from one record company to another before he found some success with the song “Torture,” released on Hickory Records.  The song was written by singer-songwriter John D. Loudermilk, and was actually originally intended for the Everly Brothers.  “Torture” was the only charting single for Jensen, becoming a hit during the early 60s music period.  Although he continued to record copiously, none of them  matched the success of his first single and no sooner than that they began to get buried inconspicuously.  That is until at least in 1979 his songs were reissued to a full-length release by Bear Family Records, and in 1995 by Sparkletone Records.

Early life of Kris Jensen

American singer and guitarist Kris Jensen was born Peter Jensen on April 4, 1942 in New Haven, Connecticut. Jensen grew up listening to his father’s record collection of folk and country musicians like Chet Atkins and Burl Ives. Later, he started listening to Elvis Presley who he considered as his big influence.

Jensen’s music career

While Jensen was attending Fort Lauderdale High School in Florida, he was signed to Colpix Records in 1959, releasing the single “Staying up Late” b/w “Bonnie Baby.” After graduating in June 1960, Jensen moved to Leader Records (Kapp subsidiary) in New York. There, he recorded “School Bus” b/w “Perfect Lover” which was later released in August 1960. It was followed by another record and he later left Leader.

In 1962, he switched to Nashville’s Hickory Records where he had his best recordings and worked with Nashville’s top songwriters: Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, Joe Melson, John D. Loudermilk and Roy Orbison. Eventually, a song penned by Loudermilk called “Torture” became Jensen’s first and only hit, peaking at #20 on the Billboard pop chart. With its success, the song was later re-recorded by the Everly Brothers whom the song was originally written for. He continued to release singles for Hickory but these releases did not visit the chart at all. Throughout his career, Jensen had released about 30 songs, including an LP released in 1979 (released on Bear Records) which contained reissues of his previous material. In 1995, the LP was released into a CD format by Sparkletone Records.

Kris Jensen’s discography (may be impartial)

Colpix Records

(Jun 1959)

  • A: Staying Up Late
  • B: Bonnie Baby

Leader Records

(Aug 1960)

  • A: School Bus
  • B: Perfect Lover

(Jan 1961)

  • A: Your Daddy Don’t Like Me
  • B: Please Let Me Love You Tonight

Kapp Records

(May 1961)

  • A: The Jackie Look
  • B: Tender Hearted Baby

(Jun 1961)

  • A: Three Vanilla, Two Chocolate, One Pistachio Ice Cream Cone
  • B: Danny’s Dream

(Oct 1962)

  • A: Mary, Mary
  • B: Busy Signal

Hickory Records


  • A1: Somebody’s Smiling (While I’m Crying)
  • A2: Little Dutch Village
  • A3: No One Really Cares
  • B1: Radio and T.V.
  • B2: Claudette
  • B3: I Went A-Walking

(May 1962)

  • A: Torture
  • B: Let’s Sit Down

(Dec 1962)

  • A: Don’t Take Her From Me
  • B: Claudette

(Feb 1963)

  • A: Poor Unlucky Me
  • B: Cut Me Down (From Your Whipping Post)

(Sep 1963)

  • A: Big As I Can Dream
  • B: Donna, Donna

(Feb 1964)

  • A: Lookin´ For Love
  • B: In Time

(Jun 1964)

  • A: You’ve Only Got Me To Lose
  • B: Come Back To Me (My Love)

(Nov 1964)

  • A: The Little Wind-Up Doll
  • B: Somebody’s Smiling (While I’m Crying)

(May 1965)

  • A: That’s A Whole Lotta Love
  • B: What Should I Do

White Whale Records

(Mar 1966)

  • A: I Got You
  • B: I Can’t Get Nowhere With You

(Dec 1966)

  • A: (Who Likes) Good Pop Music
  • B: I Love To Call You Sweetheart

A&M Records

(Jul 1970)

  • A: Me And Bobby McGee
  • B: Dead End Street
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