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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Jerry Keller born 20 June 1938

Jerry Keller (born Jerry Paul Keller, 20 June 1938*, Fort Smith, Arkansas) is an American pop singer and songwriter. He is best known for his 1959 million selling record, "Here Comes Summer."

Born in Arkansas, Keller's family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he was aged six, and Keller attended Tulsa's Will Rogers High School, graduating in 1955.  He was known as a vocal soloist in various school productions, and was often invited to do guest
vocals with top bands touring the area. He formed 'The Lads of Note' quartet in his teens, joined the Tulsa Boy Singers and toured the Midwest.

He won a talent contest organized by bandleader Horace Heidt which earned him the vocalist job with Jack Dalton's Orchestra. He then spent nine months as a disc jockey in Tulsa before moving to New York in 1956. He recorded a series of demos for record companies before fellow performer Pat Boone introduced him to Marty Mills who became his manager.

Keller's biggest self-penned hit was 1959's "Here Comes Summer." It climbed to #14 in the Billboard Hot 100. The record reached number one in the UK the same year, but lack of further chart appearances branded Keller as a one-hit wonder. "Here Comes Summer" reached the number one spot in the UK in, ironically, the autumn of 1959.

He sang on radio and television in Tulsa while in high school, and was a disc jockey over KAKC in Tulsa. Coming to New York in 1956, he was a publisher, and made television appearances in Europe. He has made many records. Joining ASCAP in 1958, his other popular-song compositions include "The Great Chase", "Little George Got the Hiccups", "My Year of Love", "That's Me", "Fight, Fight", "Sweetheart Roses", "Wild and Wonderful", "The Tears Keep Falling Down", "Bedtime Story", "The Legend of Shenandoah", and "You Can't Be a King".

In 1960, he toured the UK replacing Eddie Cochran in a package
tour engagement after Cochran had died in a car crash. Despite the lack of subsequent hits as a singer, his songs charted handsomely for artists such as Andy Williams with “Almost There”. He also co-wrote the song "A Man and a Woman", which was recorded by such artists as Matt Monro, Ella Fitzgerald, Engelbert Humperdinck, Johnny Mathis and José Feliciano . In addition he co-penned "How Does It Go?" recorded in 1965 by Ricky Nelson.

In the film arena, Keller wrote soundtrack music for I Saw What You Did (1965) and Angel in My Pocket (1969). He also wrote
"The Legend of Shenandoah", recited by James Stewart in the 1965 film Shenandoah. Keller went on to be a number one call vocalist for TV jingles throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He also had cameo role as the orchestra music director in You Light Up My Life, a 1977 romantic comedy/drama film, directed and written by Joseph Brooks.

(Info mainly Wikipedia) * 1938 given by Keller's own bio .Other sources give birthyear as 1937.

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

You'll find Here Comes Summer and many more hits of 1959 here: