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Joanie Sommers

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Buffalo, United States (1960 – 1970, 1980 – present)

Joanie Sommers (born February 24, 1941) is an American . Once billed “The Voice of the Sixties”, Sommers’ vocal stylings are sprightly and versatile, fitting the variety of instrumentation and styles found in her body of work, predominantly infused with influences. She associated with a selection of well-regarded composers and musicians of the day, recording ten albums in the span of a decade. Her public conception, however, remains inexorably tied to her biggest, yet decidedly uncharacteristic hit, “Johnny Get Angry”.

Born Joan Drost in Buffalo, New York, as a child growing up Sommers would often sing to herself as a way of dealing with her difficult upbringing. Though having not received any musical training, Sommers began her career as a jazz singer in Los Angeles, California. In 1960, she recorded a demo with composer/arranger Tommy Oliver, earning her a recording contract with Warner Bros. Sommers. Her debut single, “One Boy” from the musical Bye Bye Birdie, reached #54 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Throughout the 60s, she also maintained a byline as a singer of jingles for Pepsi-Cola (specifically, “It’s Pepsi, for Those Who Think Young” and “Come Alive! You’re in the Pepsi Generation”), earning her the nickname of “The Pepsi Girl.” Years later, she also recorded a jingle for Diet Pepsi, though her work was uncredited. Fittingly, two of her albums — For Those Who Think Young and Come Alive! — were named after her classic jingles.

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