Born Too Late

Album: Born Too Late (1958)
Charted: 5 7
  • Thanks to Tom VK for supplying this photo. He writes:
    This record was the Poni Tails' very first from 1957 recorded in Cleveland and issued on Point records, a local label. Sources say that it achieved modest sales in that area, but never cracked the national charts. The main side was the flip of the pic, "Your Wild Heart." Unfortunately for the PTs, it was covered by another young girl, Joy Layne, whose rather overdone (IMHO) singing managed to make it into the top 40 briefly. The PTs version had Toni's smoother singing that was less annoying.
    The side "Que La Bozena" is apparently the girls' own creation, probably from Toni Cistone's Italian background. That side clearly gives credit to the three PT members, Topinka, Cistone and McCabe, who must then be the originals. When Topinka left the group, supposedly because her folks did not like her traveling all over the country, she was replaced by Lavern Novak. Then, in 1958, their big hit "Born Too Late" hit the airwaves and made them famous. It was their only big hit, which was probably a blessing, because they got out of the business and led normal lives after that, instead of the more common show biz mess.

Comments: 13

  • Mark from Baltimore This is a possible answer for Theresa from Lewisville, TX, concerning the sax player on Born Too Late. That’s something I’ve wanted to know for years. I found a photo of the original 45 rpm. On the record under the Poni-Tails name it mentions the Al Tercek Orchestra, a polka band from Cleveland (also the home of the Poni-Tails). I looked that up and found the name of the saxophone player for that band — Frank Jencen. I believe there’s a good chance that’s the guy.
  • Bonnie from Flat Rock, NcDoes anybody have the song lyrics to "I'll Keep Tryin'"? There is one line I just can't understand, making me crazy for years!
  • Tom from Oro Valley, Az"Born Too Late" is a permanent entry in my top 10 favorite recordings of all time, all the way from the '20s through the '70s.
    In the recording of "Born Too Late" by the Poni Tails, there is a single note that has caught my interest over the years every time I hear it.
    In the bridge they sing the word "see" (I see you walk with another) using a harmony chord that is repeated in the next line on the word "wish" (I wish it could be me).
    But on the third line the corresponding word "long" (I long to hold you and kiss you) sounds different, as if one harmony part was raised a half note.
    That different chord to me sounds like longing, and adds greatly to the effect of the record. It may or may not have been intentional, but I think it helped convey the emotion of the lyric.
    Listen to it yourself over and over and see if you hear the same thing!
  • Chris from Fort Worth, TxI was 10 years old in 1958 when "Born Too Late" came out. Singing along with songs on the radio back then was as much a part of me as breathing air was. I ended up singing in my high school's "Select Choir."

    To this day (06/19/2010), The Poni-Tails' "Born Too Late" is not only my favorite all-time female song; it may just be my all-time favorite song, period. The first time I heard those voices all blend into that incredibly rich harmony, it went right down into my very soul, and still does! I would love to meet the ones of the group who are still living and get their autographs. GOD BLESS THEM.
  • Tammy from Wooster, OhThere was another member of the Poni Tails, Beverly Swerline. She only sang with the group for about a year when she bought out of her contract. It is almost impossible to find any information about her being a part of this group.
  • Sal N Brad from Birmingham Uk, United KingdomWe are removing old wallpaper from our bedroom wall and found this song title and group written on the wall. It looks like the previous owners where fans of this song. We had never heard of this group so we used this site to hear the song. We are going to write our favourite song and group on the wall along side it!
  • Bob from Schenectady, NyI don't recall which game specifically, but a side-scrolling shooter on the NES similar to the likes of Defender had a tune that sounded just like this for its 'death' (ie: ran out of lives) music.
  • AnonymousI remember as a little toddler maybe one or two years old hearing that song and it always stuck in my head. It was strange. Then as a teenager I started to listen to oldies radio stations and actually hearing that song again for the 1st time.
  • Joe from Joliet, IlThis song is such a part of my past. I love it, and I loved that romantic era. Can anyone give me any 411 on the two girls in the "Oh-Boy" Kittens version of Born To Late? It's on YouTube and I would just like to learn more about their personal background. I think they did a great job on their rendition of the song. Thanks very much.
  • Donald from Wayne, NjI love this song the minute I heard it.It's a sad song but a sweet one.The poni- tails were a great group but that song made them stars.thanks poni-tails for a great song.
  • Roy from San Antonio, TxOn the first sheet music " Your Wild Heart" is the girl on the bottom left Karen. Has anyone ever see the sheet music for the second song "Can I Be Sure". Is Karen Topinka still alive? I love to find out things about old singers. Thanks
  • Theresa from Lewisville, TxDoes anyone know who played the sax on "Born Too Late" by the Poni-tails?
  • Bob from Elmira, OhIn sometome around 1960, I went to a friend's birthday party, where the poni-tails performed. One of the girls was a friend of my friend's older sister. IL graduated from the same high school in 1962.
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