1959 Jerry Keller – Here Comes Summer
While still a teenager, Jerry Keller formed the Lads of Note Quartet and later joined the Tulsa Bay Singers. After winning a talent contest with his singing, he joined Jack Dalton’s Orchestra. After working as a disk jockey in Tulsa for less than a year, he moved to New York City in the mid-fifties.
Jerry was fortunate enough to have met Pat Boone at church. Pat introduced him to Marty Miller, who became Jerry’s manager. Jerry began recording demos, and that led him to a contract with Kapp Records. He wrote his second single, Here Comes Summer, which climbed up to #14 on the Hot 100 in the Summer of 1959. Towards the end of the Summer, the record also reached the top of the UK charts.
Jerry recorded an album that included a collection of songs both old and new. His next single in 1959 was If I Had A Girl, but the song failed to reach the charts. Rod Lauren successfully covered the song the next year and even sang his version on American Bandstand (see Lost Or Forgotten Oldies Volume 2 for details!)
When Eddie Cochran died in a car crash, Jerry filled in for him on a tour of the UK. Jerry released at least a dozen additional singles on multiple record labels but never reached the charts again.
Jerry found some success as a songwriter and is credited on songs recorded by a wide variety of musicians. He was the co-writer of Almost There, which Andy Williams released as a single that reached #67 on the Hot 100 in 1964. He co-wrote Turn-Down Day, which was a #16 record for the Cyrkle in 1966. He also wrote the English lyrics to the song A Man And A Woman. You would recognize the instrumental version from several movie soundtracks and commercials, while Tamiko Jones and Herbie Mann took the version with Jerry’s lyrics to #88 on the Hot 100 in 1966.
Jerry acted in two films by Joe Brooks, You Light Up My Life and If Ever I See You Again. He also sang on countless jingles created for television ads in the seventies and eighties.
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