August 18, 2015
Sometimes life is a lot easier when you have a famous parent, which brings us to Gary Lewis, the son of comedian Jerry Lewis.
Gary Lewis and The Playboys experienced success right from the start of their career. An appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show propelled their first single release, “This Diamond Ring,” to the top of the BILLBOARD Pop Chart on Feb. 20, 1965, where it remained for two weeks.
Lewis produced a simple but melodic brand of pop and his first seven releases all made the top ten. “Count Me In” and “Save Your Heart For Me” just missed the top of the chart stalling at number two.
The band had ten hits within a two year span but Lewis was drafted in late 1966. When he returned from his military service, his career never regained its momentum. He still appears in concert from time to time but never had another chart entry.
January 26, 2010
Gary Lewis had a built in advantage at the beginning of his career. He was the son of comedian Jerry Lewis and so he debuted his first single on The Ed Sullivan Show which was seen by millions of Americans. “This Diamond Ring” promptly shot to the top of The American singles charts for two weeks in Jan. of 1965.
His records all contained simple melodies with with uncomplicated lyrics and Lewis’ voice is pleasant. It was typical inoffensive radio fare and his singles sold in the millions.
His backing group was the Playboys and consisted of guitarists Al Ramsey and John West, keyboardest David Walker, and bassist David Costell. Lewis played the drums during the early part of his career.
Gary Lewis and The Playboys would place 15 singles on the American charts between 1965 and 1969 with seven entering the top ten.
He would be drafted into the army in early 1967 and give a farewell performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. By the time he was discharged the music world had changed drastically and he quickly faded from the scene although he remains active on the oldies scene.
“This Diamond Ring,” written by Al Kooped and with arrangements by Leon Russell remains a nice relic of a simplier time.