Gary Lewis, son of comedian Jerry Lewis, was born on July 31, 1946, in Newark, New Jersey. For Gary, growing up under the influence of parents who’ve made their living from show business seemed only logical that he would follow their footsteps as he became older. While he did indeed make a career out of the entertainment industry, the son of Jerry Lewis carved his own path as he founded and headed the band, The Playboys. Instead of taking up comedy or acting, Gary Lewis embarked on a music career, primarily within the genre of pop-rock. From 1964 until 1970, Gary and his group enjoyed a prolific career run where fourteen albums were recorded and released. Although the band officially folded as of 1970, another version later resumed, but for touring purposes only.
Tour of Duty
Gary Lewis’ music career had to wait in 1967 when his enrollment in the US Army had him drafted into the Vietnam War, sending him overseas. Upon his return to America in 1968, Lewis had hoped to realize the same level of success he did before performing his tour of duty. Not only did this not happen, but by 1970, The Playboys had also disbanded. Lewis had since moved forward with a solo career, but even there never quite achieved the height of success he felt at the start. In addition to the fourteen studio albums credited to Gary Lewis & The Playboys’ discography, so are four compilation albums, as well as twenty-four singles. Among those singles, sixteen of them made appearances on the music charts.
Top 10 Gary Lewis & The Playboys Songs
#10 – Sealed With a Kiss
In 1960, “Sealed With a Kiss” was originally released by the Four Voices and was first made a hit in 1962 by Brian Hyland. Gary Lewis & The Playboys, covered this song in 1968, which is one of two songs found on the album, “Gary Lewis Now.” On the US Billboard Hot 100, the song charted at number nineteen while on Canada’s RPM Top Singles it peaked even higher at number seven. In Australia, the song reached number seventy-four on the Kent Music Report. On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart, Sealed With a Kiss peaked at number thirty-two.
#9 – My Heart’s Symphony
“My Heart’s Symphony” was recorded on the album, “(You Don’t Have To) Paint Me a Picture,” which was released in 1966 through the label of Liberty Records. On the one and only occasion, Gary Lewis & The Playboys would realize a charted hit on the UK Singles Chart, the song peaked at number thirty-six. As widely received as he and his bandmates were in North America and Australia, the nations such as the United Kingdom had not quite warmed up to them as much. In Australia, My Heart’s Symphony peaked on its chart at ninety-eight. On the US Billboard Hot 100, the song charted at number thirteen and with Canada’s RPM Top Singles Chart at number thirty-one.
#8 – (You Don’t Have To) Paint a Picture
Among the tracks recorded on the 1966 album, “(You Don’t Have To) Paint Me a Picture,” the single sharing the same title would realize it’s one and only chart success with the nation of South Africa and its Springbok Radio chart as it peaked to number seven. In Australia and its Kent Report, the song charted to number fifty-eight. The US Billboard Hot 100 saw this song chart to number fifteen while Canada’s RPM Top Singles Chart had it placed ninth.
#7 – Sure Gonna Miss Her
From the 1966 album, “Hits Again,” the single, “Sure Gonna Miss Her,” achieved number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart, number twenty-one on Canada’s RPM Top Singles Chart, and number seventy-two on Australia’s Kent Report. The original recording of this song by Gary Lewis & The Playboys was mostly played by guitar and drums but was rejected by the label, Liberty Records. The next recording added the sound of horns to the song, which was accepted. The single became a hit as it charted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number nine, on RPM Canada’s Top Singles at number twenty-one and on Australia’s Kent Report at number seventy-two.
#6 – Everybody Loves a Clown
Recorded on the 1965 album with the same name, “Everybody Loves a Clown,” was a hit single that peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as tenth on RPM Canada’s Top Singles Chart. The Kent Report in Australia peaked the song at number sixty-two. Since its release, it had also been covered by Jan & Dean in 1966 for their album, “Filet of Soul,” and was also played during an episode on the animated series, “The Simpsons.”
#5 – She’s Just My Style
“She’s Just My Style,” both album and single, were recorded and released in January 1966. The song became a hit as it peaked third on the US Billboard Hot 100. On Canada’s RPM Top Singles Chart, it peaked in fifth place while on Australia’s Kent Report at number fifty-three. Of all the hit singles Gary Lewis & The Playboys have recorded and released, She’s Just My Style is the one that currently receives the most amount of playtime on American radio.
#4 – Green Grass
On Canada’s RPM Top Singles, “Green Grass” reached the top of its chart after it was released in 1966. Coming from the album, “Hits Again,” the song also charted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number eight and on Australia’s Kent Report at number sixty-four. This song was the seventh consecutive top ten hit for Gary Lewis & The Playboys.
#3 – Count Me In
The second hit single from Gary Lewis & The Playboys that would realize chart success was “Count Me In.” In 1965, the song was recorded on the album, “A Session with Gary Lewis and the Playboys,” and charted as high as second on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as third on RPM Canada’s Top Singles. On Australia’s Kent Report, Count Me In peaked at number forty-nine.
#2 – Save Your Heart for Me
The third hit to reach the charts for Gary Lewis and the Playboys was “Save Your Heart for Me,” which was recorded and released on their 1965 album, “A Session with Gary Lewis & The Playboys.” On the US Billboard Hot 100, the song placed as high as second place while on Australia’s Kent Report, the song peaked at number sixty. As for RPM Canada’s Top Singles and US Billboard Adult Contemporary charts, Save Your Heart for Me would reach first overall for the first time.
#1 – This Diamond Ring
The debut single, “This Diamond Ring,” comes from the debut album of the same name, which was released in January 1965. The song reached the top of the charts on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as placing third on RPM Canada’s Top Singles and sixth on Australia’s Kent Report. This song was originally recorded and released by Sammy Ambrose, also in 1965, but it was Lewis’ version that would chart first. On January 9, 1965, both versions of this song would appear on the US Billboard Hot 100, but it would be Lewis’ version that would keep charting until it reached number one.