'Teen Angel' Writer and Garden Grove Resident Jean Dinning Dies

The New York Times reports that Jean Dinning, who wrote the hit high-school-tragedy song "Teen Angel," died on Feb. 22. She was 86.

Ms. Dinning's younger brother Mark performed "Teen Angel." It's about a couple whose car stalls on railroad tracks; they get out, but the girl goes back to retrieve the boy's class ring and gets hit by a train. The song was a hit in 1959 when it was released. Some radio stations banned the song because of the girl's violent end, but it still shot up to No. 1. The song was later used on the soundtrack of the 1973 film American Graffiti.

In the 1930s and '40s, Ms. Dinning performed with her sisters as the Dinning Sisters, making records and being featured on the radio and in the movies.


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