Aficionados of the '60s pop classics have cause to rejoice with the return of Gary Lewis & The Playboys.
Gary Lewis was about as close to being an "overnight success" in the recording field as anyone can get. And - just because it happens so seldom - it is always a special thrill when show business lightning strikes twice in the same family. The comedy antics of Jerry Lewis skyrocketed him to fame when he was just barely out of his teens. No. 1 son Gary had achieved comparable success in the music field... also at a young and carefree age.
The son of a famous father - in any field - is often faced with serious problems in finding and maintaining his own identity. But when Gary Lewis and The Playboys auditioned for their first job at Disneyland, no one there knew Gary was anybody but a thin drummer. The entertainment director of the park merely liked what he saw and heard, and hired Gary and the boys on the spot - much to their surprise. The boys were enthusiastically accepted by the audiences from the very first night, and as the word spread it was not long before they were playing to a packed house every night.
It was the summer of 1964 when Gary Lewis and The Playboys were discovered by producer Snuff Garret. Before long, with the producer/arranger team of Garrett and Leon Russell behind them, they took their first single, This Diamond Ring straight to number one. After their second hit titled Count Me In went to number two, Gary and the band proved that they would be a continued success. They followed with more Top 10 songs such as Save Your Heart For Me, Everybody Loves A Clown, She's Just My Style, Sure Gonna Miss Her, and many more.
In 1965 Gary himself was Cash Box magazine's "Male Vocalist of the Year", winning the honor over other nominees Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. He was the first and only artist during the 1960's to have his first seven releases reach Billboard magazine's Top 10 on the Hot 100 chart. Along with his appearances on various popular television shows including American Bandstand, Hullabaloo, and The Tonight Show. Gary accumulated an impressive five appearances within two years on the Ed Sullivan Show.
With the reoccurring interest in oldies music, Gary Lewis & The Playboys are one of the hottest acts around. Gary Lewis, along with the Playboys, continues to tour and entertain fans across the country and abroad.
BILLY J. KRAMER:
THE BRITISH ARE COMING!
THE BRITISH ARE COMING!
Not only were those words shouted by Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride in 1775, but they were also shouted by every DJ in America in 1963. BILLY J. KRAMER was one of the British artists who stormed American audiences then, and continues to do so.
Born William Howard Ashton, Billy grew up in Liverpool, England, the soon to be Mecca of popular music of the 1960's. Upon leaving school, he became a trainee engineer by day and an aspiring singer by night, performing under the stage name Billy Kramer (with "Kramer" chosen at random from the telephone directory). Billy's performance at local rock clubs around Liverpool soon brought him to the attention of Brian Epstein. Acknowledging Billy's pop-idol potential, Brian set out to add Billy to his growing managerial empire, which already included The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers. Needless to say, Billy jumped at the opportunity to become a full-time entertainer. Soon after, Billy met up with John Lennon at Brian's office and John was the one who made the suggestion that Billy add the "J" to his name to give it more appeal.
Upon handing Billy a tape of what was to become the first in a succession of smash hits written for Billy by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, John apologized for the quality of the recording. John had to record "Do You Want To Know A Secret" in the bathroom, as it was the only place where he could find any peace and quiet. With this tune, Billy and his back-up group, The Dakotas, claimed the #1 chart spot in England, toppling The Beatles themselves.
The Lennon-McCartney compositions, "Ill Keep You Satisfied", "From A Window", "I Call Your Name" and the smash hit "Bad To Me" all became international million sellers for Billy, and appearances on the TV shows Shindig, Hullabaloo and The Ed Sullivan Show secured Billy a place in Rock and Roll History.
Although Billy greatly appreciated the songs given to him by John and Paul, he decided to follow the smash hit "Bad To Me" with a song written by American songwriters Mort Shuman & John Leslie McFarland. Billy's insight proved correct as "Little Children" became a worldwide hit!
Billy's international momentum has continued through the years with sellout concert appearances and standing ovations.
Billy always felt that America was the home of rock and roll, and he finally fulfilled a life-long dream to move to the United States, where he presently resides with his wife Roni and their dogs Rupert and Bernadette.
Billy J. has recently put together an incredible band consisting of some of New York's finest musicians with Liberty Devitto on drums, Frank Annunziata on guitar, Muddy Shews on bass and Andy Burton on keyboards.
Saturday Beatles Brunch