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Gary Lewis and the Playboys

Updated on September 17, 2017
Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

I'm a writer, a poet, a dreamer. Born and raised in New York City. I live in the suburbs of Riga, Latvia. I have a wonderful cat named Sid.

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.

© 2016 Gypsy Rose Lee

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    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image
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      Gypsy Rose Lee 15 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Perhaps he could have become similar to Dean Martin - a romantic crooner.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 15 months ago from Central Florida

      I do remember Jerry Lewis singing in his silly voice in his silly movies. I wonder what he'd sound like if he used his normal voice.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Rose Lee 15 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Well Shauna I always explore something in music and this also surprised me. I do remember that Jerry Lewis himself could sing even though his voice was nothing terrific so some of his talent rubbed off on his son who could sing much better. Take a look at this link

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50xGa0rQ3s4

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 15 months ago from Central Florida

      Rasma, I feel silly. I never knew Gary Lewis was Jerry Lewis' son! I always learn something new from your music hubs.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Rose Lee 16 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thank you Manatita. Yes, I would have thought he might have followed in his dad's footsteps and gotten into show business.

      You welcome Ruby. When I look to see what band I might write about I usually come up with some interesting ones. One was a band with just one hit and not much about them so I just passed them up.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Funny, but I don't remember them. It was nice to read about them though. Thank you...

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 16 months ago from london

      Son of Jerry Lewis, eh? Didn't know that. Loved 'Sealed With A Kiss.' Didn't make it so big, though. Probably the Army. Hard to say. Nice Hub.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Rose Lee 16 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Well I'm not saying they were so great yet, they sure sold records. Perhaps that means that teens were just mindlessly listening to their music and accepted it if they could dance to it Bill. When I wrote this and listened to the songs I wondered if I should even bother mentioning them but then I thought why not? I mean there have been even worse who rose to great fame for even a short time.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      This is just my opinion and has nothing to do with the way you wrote this article.....this was one of the few 60's groups I considered practically talentless. LOL

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      This is just my opinion and has nothing to do with the way you wrote this article.....this was one of the few 60's groups I considered practically talentless. LOL