Monday, April 16, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jewel Akens

Artist:Jewel Akens
Song:The Birds and The bees
Album:Oldies But Goodies Vol. 9: Golden Anniversary Edition

Jewel Akens had his biggest success with the 1965 top five hit The Birds and The Bees. He was born Sept. 12, 1940 in Houston. His mom wanted a girl and was going to name the child Jewel. When it was a boy instead, she kept the name. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1949 and Akens grew up singing in church. He first recorded in 1958 as a member of The Four Dots led by Jerry Stone of The Fascinators. They recorded for the Liberty Records label Freedom and shared a manager with Eddie Cochran. He played guitar on those records. Then Akens teamed up with his buddy Eddie Daniels and they recorded as Jewel and Eddie for the same manager Jerry Capehart. They also recorded on Imperial as The Astro-Jets. Akens joined The Turnarounds and they signed with Atlantic Records co-founder Herb Newman's Era label. The group recorded one single. Then Newman offered them The Birds and The Bees. The song was written by Newman's teenage son. The Turnarounds split up because none of them wanted to record the song...except lead singer Jewel Akens. Akens recorded it as a solo artist and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. You can get The Birds and The Bees on this various artists comp. Akens left Era in 1966 after subsequent singles did poorly. He recorded for Colgems and toured with The Monkees. And he produced the 1973 album Super Taylors featuring Little Johnny Taylor for Paula Records in 1973. Jewel Akens still tours the oldies circuit and does a Sam Cooke tribute as part of his show. But he will always be remembered for his one big hit The Birds and The Bees. Here's Jewel Akens performing The Birds and The Bees on Shindig 1965.

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