DEAR JERRY: I would like some information about a song by Jerry Keller titled “Here comes Summer,” such as when was it released?
As for Jerry Keller, did he record any more hits? What direction did his career take? Do you know where he is from?
Steve, Oakland, NJ
DEAR STEVE: Born, June 20, 1937 in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Jerry Keller wrote and recorded “Here Comes Summer” in the spring of 1959.
Though “Here Comes Summer” reached the Top 15 and became one of that year's biggest summertime hits, Keller never managed another chart hit at least not as a singer.
Jerry continued his other passion, writing songs, and churned out more than 60 of them. Several of his compositions became hits for other artists, including: “Almost There” (Andy Williams); “Turn Down Day” (Cyrkle); and “A Man and a Woman” (Tamiko Jones & Herbie Mann as well as Ferrante & Teicher).
Besides writing music for films (“A Man and a Woman;” “I'd Rather Be Rich;” “What's So Bad About Feeling Good;“” and “The Shakiest Gun in the West”), Jerry also spent some time in front of the cameras, with acting roles in “You Light Up My Life” (1977) and “If I Ever See You Again (1978).
I believe that covers everything you ever wanted to know about Jerry Paul Keller, one of those wonderful one-hit wonders.
DEAR JERRY: I need some information on a tune titled “Lovely Dee.” I have a tape with approximately one minute of this song and it is listed as being by the O'Jays and recorded by Imperial.
However, I have been unable to find a complete recording of the song, or even determine for sure that the one on my tape is by the O'Jays.
I have also seen “Lovely Dee” listed by the Untouchables but cannot find it, though several oldies sites on the Net have “Lovely Dee” credited only to the Untouchables.
Are there two different versions of “Lovely Dee”?
Bill Rutherford, Union Grove, Ala.
DEAR BILL: Yes indeed! Both groups recorded “Lovely Dee.”
Coming off three great releases on Madison (1960-'61), the Untouchables signed with Liberty and “Lovely Dee” became their first single for their new label (Liberty 55335).
Though not a big success when released in 1961, this track became a huge favorite of the Beach Music scene in the '70s. Original singles of this infectious number now rank as the group's most valuable recording, fetching $75 to $85.
As for the O'Jays, their “Lovely Dee” came out in 1964 (Imperial 66037), one of three Imperial singles issued that year, none of which charted.
Success did not arrive overnight for the O'Jays. From 1960 through '71, not one of their singles made the Pop Top 40. All that changed in the summer of '72 when “Back Stabbers” reached No. 3, and a few months later “Love Train” topped the Pop and R&B charts.
“Love Train” is their only No. 1 hit, but some of their other Soul classics are “Put Your Hands Together” (1973); “For the Love of Money” (1974); “I Love Music” (1975); and “Use Ta Be My Girl” (1978).
Whether the group on your mystery tape is the Untouchables or the O'Jays should be known by finding either one of the two singles and giving it a spin.
IZ ZAT SO? In 1960, Cincinnati's King label issued two singles by an R&B group named the Mascots: “Story of My Heart” (King 5377) and “Lonely Rain” (5435). But neither single nor anything about the Mascots grabbed the attention of the broadcast media. That would change, eventually.
For all of their subsequent recordings, this soulful quintet switched from being mere Mascots to a more distinctive name. They became the O'Jays.