Gary Lewis, c. 1965 (YouTube)

Gary Lewis, c. 1965 (YouTube)

Though [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Gary Lewis[/lastfm] was, in the words of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Snuff Garrett[/lastfm], “not a very good singer,” the producer managed to blend Lewis’ vocals in such a way that he could turn out a string of Top 40 hits. Having [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jerry Lewis[/lastfm] as his Dad didn’t hurt Gary’s chances either.

According to a quote in The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Garrett said that when he got done mixing [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Gary Lewis and the Playboy[/lastfm]s’ records, Lewis “sounded like Mario Lanza.”

With “This Diamond Ring,” the band’s first hit, a call from Garrett to famed DJ Murray the K got the record played in New York and a call from Jerry Lewis to Ed Sullivan got him on the famed variety show.

With that kind of “umph,” “This Diamond Ring” had no trouble breaking the Top 40 chart in January 1965 and spending 2 weeks at Number 1 by February. Another eleven hits would come but for GL&TP, “This Diamond Ring” was their diamond hit.

There’s a lot more ammo where this came from. Check out more songs that were “#1 with a Bullet” here…


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