Welcome to another edition of the Coulda-Shoulda-Woulda Files, in which we try to win your hearts and minds with a forgotten song that deserved a better life.
Artist: The Shivvers
Song: “Teenline,” 1980
What happened: Milwaukee teen Jill Kossoris hooked up with some fellow powerpop devotees in the late ’70s, and the group they formed–the Shivvers–started off by practicing cover songs in her parents’ basement. Kossoris penned the ode to phone-chat love “Teenline” in 1980, and it was the A-side of their lone single; the band gigged around Wisconsin, opening for the Shoes and the Stooges, before breaking up a few years later.
Why it should have been a hit: We’ve played “Teenline” for many friends of ours, and they all have the same reaction: “Where did you find this?!” It’s about as bright a pop gem as you can find, from its instantly hummable guitar opening to the piano-fueled coda that closes it out. Thankfully, the band’s hooky songs haven’t been lost to the used-vinyl dustbins–the tireless pop archivers at Hyped2Death have collected their entire output, including performance videos from local TV shows.