Richard and the Young Lions were an American garage rock band from Newark, New Jersey. They produced a moderately successful single with their song, "Open Up Your Door".
Debut single: Open Up Your Door & Once Upon Your Smile. The record was released on Phillips Records in July of 1966 and even got a rice-paper thin picture sleeve. Both sides were written by the songwriting team of Brown, Nader and Bloodworth who also get production credit. Those cats were associated with Detroit's Bob Crewe who was working with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.
Open Up Your Door is a great raver with Richard Tepp's gravely, snot-nosed voice leading the stomper of a song. It's the balance between jangly guitar and fuzz guitar as well as the odd African drum sound that runs throughou...
Once Upon Your Smile. Slow and brooding, Richard Tepp's vocals are in top form. The lyrics are clever and the horns are perfectly utilized. And then you get that really groovy bridge where the horns really shine. (~ON THE FLIP-SIDE)
The Young Lions originally performed under the name, the Emeralds. When Richard Tepp saw the group perform, he was so impressed with the act, he joined the band, which resulted in changing their moniker to the Original Kounts. In addition to having a repertoire conceived of British Invasion cover versions, the band members became known as one of the more rebellious acts as a result of the bandmembers growing their hair long. After being discovered by Larry Brown, (a.k.a. L. Russell Brown) and Ray Bloodworth during a chance encounter in a Newark pizzeria and joining Bob Crewe Productions, the name was changed to Richard and the Young Lions. The core of the group consisted of Tepp (lead vocals and tambourine), Bob Freedman (rhythm guitar and vocals), Marc Lees (lead guitar and vocals), Norm Cohen (drums), Ricky Rackin (guitar and bass guitar), and Jerry Raff (piano).
The Young Lions managed to produce one minor hit with their song "Open Up Your Door". The composition was the first ever recorded using an African hair drum and a fuzz bass. It reached number one in Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Elyria, Ohio; and Salt Lake City, Utah; number two in Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada; number three in Tucson, Arizona; and the Top 10 in many other cities in the US and Canada. Nationally, it peaked at number 99 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 24, 1966 and number 91 on the Record World Top 100 Pops chart on October 8, 1966. The corresponding Cash Box listing was at number 70 on October 22, 1966. The band made several television appearances including The Hy Lit Show and The Jerry Blavat Show out of Philadelphia, PA. They also appeared in the Detroit market on Robin Seymour's Swingin' Time show, out of Windsor, Ontario. A video of that appearance on Swingin' Time has survived to this day and can be found on line. And the band also made two appearances on the Upbeat TV show out of Cleveland, OH, hosted by Don Webster.
Their follow-up release, "Nasty", was chosen and released in late December 1966 and became a regional hit, but did not match the sales of their debut single. The Young Lions' final single, "You Can Make It" was released in February 1967 and received extensive radio play. However, the record company refused to distribute the single to the public, so "You Can Make It" failed to chart. The band sought to compose their own tracks, however they were no longer backed financially which led to their disbandment.
Open Up Your Door & Once Upon Your Smile
A. Open Up Your Door
B. Once Upon Your Smile
1. [3:07] . Richard And The Lions - Open Up Your Door (Live)
2. [2:48] . Richard And The Lions - Lost and Found
3. [2:51] . Richard And The Lions - You Can Make It (Intro)
4. [2:49] . Richard And The Lions - Nasty
5. [2:37] . Richard And The Lions - You Can Make It