Gary Lewis and the Playboys
This American rock group from the 60s was formed by Gary Lewis who is the son of well known comedian Jerry Lewis. Their hottest selling number one single was “This Diamond Ring” in 1965. The original members of the rock group were Gary Lewis vocals and drums, David Walker guitar, Alan Ramsay bass, David Costell guitar, and John West electronic accordion. Their first performances were playing at Disneyland as simply Gary and the Playboys and they brought in a full house every night. When they finally recorded “This Diamond Ring” the name of the band was changed to Gary Lewis and the Playboys with the thought that Gary’s famous name might sell more records. This song not only brought them fame but it went on to sell more than a million copies and became a gold disc.
By 1965 Gary Lewis had become Cash Box magazine’s “Male Vocalist of the Year”. The group’s first seven Hot 100 recordings made it to the Top 10 charts. Songs like “Count Me In”, “Save Your Heart for Me”, “Everybody Loves a Clown”, “She’s Just My Style”, “Sure Gonna Miss Her”, and “Green Grass”.
Then in 1967 Gary Lewis was drafted into the U.S. Army. While he was out of the country his record company released “Sealed With a Kiss”. He was discharged a year later and went right back to recording. However the band wasn’t able to regain their previous popularity so Lewis made his band into a nostalgic act and they went on tour. He has also performed on his father Jerry Lewis’ well known Labor Day telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Gary Lewis also came out with party songs that did quite well in the mid-60s. Some of the songs were “My Heart’s Symphony”, “Where Will the Words Come From” and “Rhythm of the Rain”.
Later on in the mid-1970s Gary had two of his hits, “My Heart’s Symphony” and “Count Me In” rose up on the U.K. Top 10 charts. An arrangement of the hit “She’s Just My Style” was used in an Oldsmobile TV ad. Gary has also endorsed such products by Kelloggs and Coca-Cola.
Altogether Gary Lewis and the Playboys had eight gold singles, seventeen Top 40 hits, and four gold albums. They appeared on various TV shows including The Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand.
Gary released a new single “You Can’t Go Back” in 2012. In the summer of 2013 he went on tour with a group of musicians popular in the 1960s.
- Gary Lewis and The Playboys
remembering 1950s, 1960s, 1970s rock and roll
© 2016 Gypsy Rose Lee
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