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Gary Lewis


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1) It would be difficult to find a rock & roll star — and that was what he was for two years in the mid-’60s — less likely than Gary Lewis, or a less probable chart-topping act than Gary Lewis & the Playboys. Lewis himself was possessed of a limited singing range and didn’t have what could be considered good looks, yet with a lot of help he managed to make some exceptionally good (and good-selling) records out of Los Angeles, in the midst of the British Invasion, and teenagers loved him. He was the son of actor/comedian/director/producer Jerry Lewis, who was then one of the most popular entertainers in the country. Gary Lewis was born in 1946, before his father’s ascent to the top of the entertainment world, but by the time he reached his teens — and had begun playing drums and leading a combo of his own, which included Dave Walker on rhythm guitar and Dave Costell on lead, Al Ramsey on bass, and John West on the cordovox (a kind of electric accordion) — Jerry Lewis was a major star and one of the hottest box office and television attractions in the world. He could get a television series on the air, and networks and sponsors opening their checkbooks to back it, just by indicating he wanted to do one, and get a movie made by writing — or just okaying — a script. If he had any peer in the business in those days, it was Frank Sinatra.

The younger Lewis and his band got a gig during the summer of 1964 playing at Disneyland, and that engagement, coupled with some urging by the elder Lewis, helped get the band a hearing from Snuff Garrett, a top producer based at Liberty Records. Garrett saw some possibilities for the group and encouraged them to work in the studio at developing a sound.

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  • Neurobyte

    Why is this not more popular? This angers me.

    13 Aug 2011 Reply
  • mug1956

    gee i cant believe i found this... i am so happy this music is great....

    21 Sep 2008 Reply

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