Album:The Best Of The Girl Groups Volume 2
Wonderful Summer was a top 20 hit in 1963. Dot Records tried to sell that the singer was a teen. But the singer was actually veteran session singer Jackie Ward. It's a long story. Jackie was born in Hawaii in 1941 and she grew up in Nebraska. Her dad was in the US Air Force. Jackie and her sisters sang together. After winning a talent contest, they moved to Los Angeles. She sang on KTLA's TV show Bandstand Revue and after that got into singing demos and that led to studio work. That was Jackie singing backup vocals on the 1962 Pat Boone hit Speedy Gonzales. Producer Perry Botkin Jr. had Jackie sing a demo of Wonderful Summer. Botkin wrote the song with Gil Garfield. Botkin liked Jackie's performance so much he decided to release it as a single. He added some sound effects and Jackie suggested releasing it as Robin Ward after her daughter so listeners would think the singer was a teen. The record reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Robin Ward recorded an album but it didn't sell. It's available on CD but it's expensive. Most fans will only want Wonderful Summer and you can get it on this Rhino various artists comp. Jackie Ward had a long career as a studio singer. She sang on variety shows like Red Skelton and Danny Kaye. She was part of a group of singers led by Ron Hicklin who sang on hundreds of movies and TV shows. For example, they were the backup singers on The Partridge Family records. Also, she was a regular with Anita Kerr and Ray Coniff. And she dubbed her singing voice in movies for actresses like Natalie Wood, Janet Leigh and Linda Evans. So that studio work was Jackie's bread and butter. Wonderful Summer was a brief detour. Here's a video of Wonderful Summer by Robin Ward.