Gary is a person anyone can relate to
I first met Gary Lewis at the Greenfield Fair in Greenfield Mass. His Group, Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven top ten hits between 1965—1966! This is quite remarkable since the Beatles had arrived on the scene in 1964, and were putting out records that were not only good but were capturing all the top positions on the charts. Gary Lewis’s “This Diamond Ring” reached number One just one year after the Beatles had their first number one hit with “I Want To Hold Your Hand”.
So what does Gary account for having such great success? He told me he credits his success to producer Snuff Garrett. He had the uncanny ability to know what songs to release and when. For instance if the Beatles had too many tunes out…he would hold back on some of the Playboy’s releases.
Gary Lewis and the Playboys got their big break while playing at Disneyland. Band Leader, Les Brown knew Gary’s famous father Jerry Lewis and told producer Snuff Garrett that Jerry’s son had a band and they were playing at Disneyland. Sometimes it helps to have a famous father, and Jerry Lewis got WINS disc Jockey, “Murray the K” to play “This Diamond Ring” and in turn the Playboys agreed to appear in Murray’s Rock N’ Roll shows. Jerry Lewis also was able to get the Playboys several appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. This exposure helped bring attention to the group.
So what were the seven biggest hits that Gary Lewis and the Playboys had on the charts between 1965 and 1966? “This Diamond Ring”, “Count Me In”, “Save Your Heart for me”, “Everybody Loves a clown”, “She’s just my style”, “Sure Gonna Miss her” , and “Green Grass”
I remembered from going to see Gary Lewis, that he really loved meeting his fans after the shows. I told him that I was impressed with that as a lot of artists will not come out and meet their fans. Gary, told me that he wished that more singers would remember that it’s the fans who buy the records and make them stars.. Gary has never forgotten that! And he’s a person anyone can relate to!