This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Gary Lewis.
Gary Lewis and The Playboys will perform their greatest hits at the Suncoast Showroom, September 29 and 30.
Gary Lewis was about as close to being an “overnight success” in the recording field as anyone can get. In this case, show business lightning struck twice in the same family. The comedy antics of Jerry Lewis skyrocketed him to fame when he was just barely out of his teens – and his No. 1 son, Gary, achieved comparable success in the music field, also at a young age.
The son of a famous father – in any field – is often faced with serious problems in finding and maintaining his own identity. But when Gary Lewis and The Playboys auditioned for their first job at Disneyland, no one there knew Gary was anybody but a thin drummer. The entertainment director of the park merely liked what he saw and heard, and hired Gary and the boys on the spot – much to their surprise. They were soon playing to packed houses every night.
It was the summer of 1964 when Gary Lewis and The Playboys were discovered by producer Snuff Garret. Before long, with the producer/arranger team of Garrett and Leon Russell behind them, they took their first single, “This Diamond Ring,” straight to number one. After their second hit, “Count Me In” went to number two, Gary and the band proved that they would be a continued success. They followed with more Top 10 songs including “Save Your Heart For Me,” “Everybody Loves A Clown,” and “She’s Just My Style.”