1968 Gene & Debbe – Playboy

1968 Gene & Debbe – Playboy

Gene Thomas grew up in Texas and began recording for United Artists Records. He wrote and sang Sometime, which was the B-side of one of his singles. The record got enough airplay to reach #51 on the Hot 100 in 1961.

Paul Revere and the Raiders covered the song in 1965, probably resulting in some royalties for Gene, but their version only bubbled under the top 100.

A string of singles failed to repeat the success of his first chart record, and Gene retreated to working as a staff songwriter for Acuff-Rose.

In 1965, he met Debbe Neville, and the two of them began recording pop/country duets and eventually got married. Their single Go With Me stalled at #78 in 1967, and Gene then wrote their second single, Playboy. The record peaked at #17 on the Hot 100 in 1968.

They earned a gold record when the single sold over a million copies.

The single was not related to the song Playboy that was a hit for the Marvelettes in 1962.

Gene and Debbe recorded enough additional songs to release an album, but their only other charting single peaked at only #81 and the pair broke up in 1969. They also got divorced.

Debbe struggled to get a solo career going, but to no avail. She also went through two more husbands and quit the music industry after the birth of her daughter in 1983.

Gene returned to a career in songwriting. While he wrote songs that were recorded by several Country artists, he doesn’t appear to have written any more hit records. He died in 2012 because of lung cancer.


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