Richard and the Young Lions was an American garage rock band from Newark, New Jersey.


 [hide*1 Career


The Young Lions were originally called The Emeralds before Richard Tepp joined the band. When Tepp came on board the group changed their name to The Original Kounts and then, after hooking up with Larry Brown, Ray Bloodworth and 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).

They were a one-hit wonder with their song "Open Up Your Door". That song was the first ever recorded using an African hair drum and a fuzz bass.[citation needed] It reached No. 1 in Cleveland, OhioDetroit, MichiganElyria, Ohio; andSalt Lake City, Utah; No. 2 in Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada; No. 3 in Tucson, Arizona; and the Top 10 in many other cities. Nationally, it peaked at No. 99 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 24, 1966 and No. 91 on the Record World Top 100 Pops chart. The corresponding Cash Box listing was at No. 70.

Their follow-up releases failed to generate sufficient sales to reach the charts.

Band membership[edit]Edit

  • Current members:
    The Twig
    Lou Vlahakes
    Fred Randall
    Rick Robinson
    Mike Fornatale
  • Past members:
    Bob Freedman
    Marc Lees
    Norm Cohen
    Ricky Rackin
    Jerry Raff
    Eric Rackin
    Lawrence Smith
    Shelly Riff
  • Richard Tepp died of leukemia in 2004.


documentary on the band was produced in 2004, entitled Out of Our Dens: The Richard and the Young Lions Story[1] by James Hannon and Leon Leybs, and narrated by Pat St. John. It featured the group's history from their early days to their reunion shows in the early 2000s.

Cover versions[edit]Edit

The Invaders, a punk group featuring the original singer from The Sonics, recorded a cover version of "Open up Your Door" (retitled "Open up Yer Door") in 1979. The Romantics, a hit pop group from the 1980s, recorded the same song, which appeared on their albumIn Heat, and on two of their live albums. "Open Up Your Door" has also been covered by; Bill Kennedy's Showtime, The Raving Mojos, The Demolition Doll Rods, The Flakes, The Goldstars, The Hunchmen, The Stance, and The Future Primitives. And their song, "You Can Make It" was covered by Las Membranas.



  • "Open Up Your Door" / "Once upon Your Smile": Philips 40381 (1966) (both US and Canadian pressings)
  • "Nasty" / "Lost and Found": Philips 40414 (1966) (both US and Canadian pressings)
  • "You Can Make It" / "To Have and to Hold": Philips 40438 (1967) (both US and Canadian pressings)

Compilation albums[edit]Edit

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