#10: Armful Of Teddy Bears by Barry Allen

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CJCA
Peak Month: January 1967
Peak Position in Edmonton: #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ Playlist
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Armful Of Teddy Bears
Lyrics: N/A

Barry Allen Rasmussen was born in 1945 in Edmonton, Alberta. His family was musical, and he learned guitar and sang from an early age. Barry wrote for the Canadianbands.com website decades later of himself: “While attending Victoria High School, he was a member of the curling club, and had aspirations of becoming a chartered accountant. But by the time he’d graduated, he was looking at a musical future, and spent the next couple of years in a number of makeshift groups, honing his chops and emulating his British invasion idols.” He joined Wes Dakus and the Rebels in 1965. They band went to New Mexico and recorded with Norman Petty, producer of Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Roy Orbison, Buddy Knox and others. Petty was taken with Barry Allen’s vocal abilities and suggested Allen make some solo records. The outcome were the single releases in early 1965, “Easy Come Easy Go”, and “It’s Alright With Me Now”. The first single climbed to #6 in Edmonton in January 1965, and made the Top 30 in Regina (SK) and Calgary (AB). The followup single climbed to #9 in Edmonton in July 1965.

In September 1966, Barry Allen had a #9 hit in Hamilton (ON) with “Turn Her Down”. The song also made the Top 20 in Peace River (AB), Edmonton (AB), and Regina (SK).

In late 1966, Barry Allen was part of Wes Dakus’ band who released “Armful Of Teddy Bears”.

Armful Of Teddy Bears by Barry Allen

Barry Allen wrote “Armful Of Teddy Bears”. The song is about a guy who is walking though a carnival. He wishes he could have a girlfriend on his arm. But, all he’s “got is an armful of teddy bears.” Presumably, he won the teddy bears at some of the booths on the fairway. He laments as he walks through the carnival with his armful of teddy bears, that “no one cares for me.” All he’s got are these teddy bears, “and lots of memories.” Behind the vocals is an amusement park melody, but slowed down and sad. He hopes that somehow in the morning when he wakes up, “things won’t look so bad.” Why he would have turned a corner after staying up late at the carnival looking crestfallen, melancholy and dejected, the lyrics don’t reveal. It may be just wishful thinking on his part. We can only guess at the memories he’s accumulated over the years. What do you think? Was he dumped by an ex-girlfriend who he once went to this carnival with?

“Armful Of Teddy Bears” peaked at #3 in Edmonton, and Grande Prairie, AB, #8 in Regina, SK, and #23 in Dayton, OH.

In June 1967, Allen’s cover of the 1962 Barbara George song, “I Know”, was a #13 hit in Edmonton.

Allen formed Southbound Freeway in 1967 and concurrently continued with Wes Dakus’ Rebels into 1968. From 1969 to 1972, Allen hosted a variety show in Calgary titled Come Together.  The TV shows backup band, Cheyenne Winter, toured with him in 1971.

While in 1970, Allen signed with Randy Bachman’s Molten Records. He recorded a song written by Bachman and previously recorded by the Guess Who titled “Wednesday In Your Garden”. It spent seven weeks in the Top Ten on CHED in Edmonton.

In 1972 he formed Painter, which included some former members of the 49th Parallel. He produced records after he established Bumstead Studios. He won a number of awards as a producer and in 2013 relaunched The Rebels after Wes Dakus died. At the age of 74, in 2020, Barry Allen died after a battle with cancer.

December 18, 2023
Ray McGinnis

Barry Allen, Dwayne Osepchuk, “Barry Allen,” Canadianbands.com, April 11, 2022.
Barry Allen, Edmonton musician, Dead at 74,” CTV, April 5, 2020.

Armful Of Teddy Bears by Barry Allen
CJCA 930-AM Edmonton (AB) Top Ten | January 29, 1967

One response to “Armful Of Teddy Bears by Barry Allen”

  1. Tom Locke says:

    Timing has a lot to do with recording success. I believe this song would have enjoyed greater success nationally if it had been released prior to the Beatles and others invading North America.

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