The “Golden Hits Of The 60s 

Main MenuConcept Refinement The Author..Wayne JancikGolden Age Of The 50sGolden Age Of The 60s1970s and There After




(LARRY FINNEGAN, Vincent Finnegan)

Old Town 1113

No. 11    April 21, 1962




Johnny Lawrence Finneran was born in 1939 in New York City.   With his brother Vinnie he studied and

played guitar, piano, and drums, then got the shot at several radio and TV appearances.    At Notre

Dame College, he played a few dances, wrote songs, and listened to Del Shannon records.


In 1961, instead of cracking the books in his senior year at Notre Dame, John worked with Vinnie on a

song derived from the familiar “Dear John letter” format.   Once all the words had fallen into place and

the melody felt just right, John recorded a demo, and walked the track into the offices of Hy Weiss’ Old

Town Records.   Weiss- – known for his sucessess with THE FIESTAS, ROBERT & JOHNNY and THE

CAPRIS–waited not, and signed the boy on the spot; or so the story goes.  “Dear One” was issued in

November 1961, with John’s last name altered to “Finnegan.”  The response was incredible, as the up-

tempo and country-flavored tune worked its way up the nation’s pop charts.


Finnegan’s follow-up flopped, as did a fine country number produced by session guitarist Billy Mure–of

DADDY- O’S fame-­ -called “Pick Up The  Pieces.”   In 1964, John returned to the tried and true with

“Dear One, Part Two”: in the sequel, our hero gets the unfaithful hussy back.   No one seemed to care, or

even notice.   Even Finnegan’s tribute to Ringo Starr called “The Other Ringo” (based structurally on

LORNE GREENE’S “Ringo”) failed to stir more than a few grains of interest.


In 1966, Finnegan moved to Stockholm to set up his own independent record label, Svensk-American.

He returned in 1970 though died of a brain tumor on July 22, 1973.