We Need To Talk About Youngstown
The greatest boy band you've never heard of.
The late 90s and early 00s were pretty much the golden age of boy bands. Sure, the 80s gave us New Kids On The Block and the 10s gave us One Direction, but we're talking about the era of the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, 98 Degrees, Hanson . . . and Youngstown.
"Who?" I can hear most of you asking.
I'm so glad you asked, disembodied voices.
Youngstown was a boy band comprised of three members: DC Yeager (left), James Dallas (center), and Sammy Lopez (right). Their Wikipedia page is pretty sparse, but it does explain that their name paid homage to their hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.
Their first single was released on the soundtrack for Disney's live-action adaptation of Saturday morning favorite, Inspector Gadget. If, like me, you've forcibly repressed all memory of the film, you probably don't remember "I'll Be Your Everything." But you should, because this song is actually amazing.
Wait, did they just sample the Inspector Gadget theme? Yes. Do the lyrics really include the line, "I just call out 'go go Gadget?'" They do. Cheesy? Sure. Is it just as good as any number of other catchy pop singles from the era? Absolutely.
Listen to those vocals! The synth bass! LOOK AT THE SEXY WOMEN IN TRENCH COATS.
In fact, this single was so fire that it actually cracked the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #71 in 1999.
The following year, Youngstown performed "Pokémon World" (with oft-forgotten girl group Nobody's Angel) for the Pokémon the Movie 2000 soundtrack. They also released music for Disney's The Famous Jett Jackson.
Wait, it gets better.
Youngstown actually had another small hit in 2001, when "Sugar" reached #21 on the US Hot Singles Sales chart.
Like "I'll Be Your Everything," "Sugar" was earworm-y pop perfection. But despite managing to chart, the single flew under the radar, probably because everyone was a little distracted by another boy band in 2001.
Youngstown disbanded shortly after, doomed to a future of "where are they now?" posts and dreams of what tuneful melodies could have been.