1967 Jay & The Techniques – Keep The Ball Rollin’
Jay Proctor was the lead singer of Jay and the Techniques, a group formed in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the mid-sixties. The seven member band also had a second singer and five other members on instruments: guitar, bass guitar, drums, saxophone, and trumpet. Jerry Ross produced their records using studio musicians. Future stars Ashford and Simpson provided backup vocals, long before they had their own hit in 1984 with the single Solid.
The group’s very first single on Smash Records, Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie, peaked at #6 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the R&B chart in 1967. Maurice Irby, Jr. wrote the record and Jerry offered to produce the song for Bobby Hebb, who turned it down for being too much like a novelty record. Jerry then produced the record for Jay and the Techniques and their single sold over a million copies, helping their first album get onto the Billboard Top 200 album chart.
They followed that with two more singles that reached the top forty on the Hot 100, but never got onto the R&B top forty charts again. Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer wrote Keep The Ball Rollin’, and the single by Jay and the Techniques reached #14 on the Hot 100 later in 1967. The Philadelphia Eagles put out a special version of the record with a special jacket in 1981 to celebrate the City of Champions Philadelphia Eagles when they won the Super Bowl.
Jay and the Techniques last top forty single came out the next year. Strawberry Shortcake barely reached the top forty in February when it spent a week at #40 followed by a single week at #39.
The group continued to release singles for at least four different labels until they disbanded in 1976.