Classic Rock

Introduction to Andy Kim

Andy Kim

 

Short career summary on Andy Kim

Andy Kim is a Canadian singer­-songwriter who hails from Montreal, Quebec. Several classic oldies music and pop tunes are connected to him. After releasing a series of unsuccessful singles, he encountered producer/Steed Records boss Jeff Barry who signed Yuoakim to his label. His first single under Steed, “How’d We Ever Get This Way” was a US Top 40 hit in 1968. He and Barry co-wrote songs for the fictional, animation TV series band The Archies (based on the popular cartoon series) such as “Sugar Sugar” and “Jingle Jangle” which became big hits. Kim achieved his first US Top 10 hit “Baby I Love You” in 1969 and then the chart­-topper “Rock Me Gently” during the 70s music era. After that, he periodically popped on the scene, where at once he used another stage name Baron Longfellow. In 2010 Kim’s album Happen Again contains songs he composed with Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson (a Kim fan) and Ron Sexsmith

 

 

 

Beginnings and rise to fame

Andy Kim was born Andrew Yuokim in Montreal Quebec, to Lebanese immigrants who ran a grocery store. Different sources cite that he was born on December 5, 1946, or December 5, 1952.

Early on, he developed a passion for music. Determined to make it big, he left Canada with only a few dollars to spare, and headed to New York City to pursue a music career. Like many budding artists, Andy struggled early in his career. He released as few singles with little success.

The young upstarting singer met Jeff Barry, who had penned hits with Ellie Greenwich. Barry, impressed with Kim’s talent, signed him to Steed Records which Barry owned and ran. The song that Barry and Kim wrote, “How’d We Ever Get This Way?” first appeared on the charts in the spring of 1968; it would eventually go to #21. “Shoot ‘Em Up” came out later that year, reaching at #31.

Jeff Barry was one of the writers and creators of the fictitious animated TV rock group The Archies. In 1968 Andy Kim helped Barry write several songs for the “group”, namely “Sugar, Sugar” which became a #1 hit US single in the summer of 1969; and “Jingle, Jangle”, which went to #10 later that year.

 

Also in 1969, Kim scored his first US Top 10 hit with “Baby, I Love You”, written by Barry, Greenwich and Phil Spector. It appeared on Kim’s third LP of the same title, also released on Steed Records label (the album went to #82 on the Billboard 200). Another single “So Good Together” peaked at #36 on the Hot 100.

Andy Kim scored many minor singles (including “A Friend in the City” and “It’s Your Life”) before he hit the Top 20 pop charts again in 1970 with “Be My Baby” (at #17 and #24 on the adult contemporary). His singles again later reached the lower rungs of the Hot 100 (“I Wish I Were Here” and “I Been Moved”).

Kim scored the biggest hit of his career with his self­penned single “Rock Me Gently” in 1974. The single soared to #1 on the US pop charts as well as on the Canadian charts. It also peaked at #2 on the UK singles chart. The single’s LP Andy Kim became the singer­-songwriter’s most successful outing in his career so far, peaking at #21. It sold over three million copies, earning it a gold certification. However, it was to be his last major hit.

 

Later status as a Canadian rock luminary

His style — mostly bubblegum pop — was declining in favor among the audience; Kim decided to shift gears, writing songs under the name Barry Longfellow. He even released a couple of albums under that moniker.

Little was heard of Andy Kim until he resurfaced in 1995, where he performed at the Kumbaya Festival with the Barenaked Ladies. The band’s lead singer Ed Robertson professed to be an Andy Kim fan, as many other Canadian musicians in the new generation who revered Kim and his music. He found to be a part of the contemporary music scene in Canada, working and performing with the likes of Robertson, Ron Sexsmith and the popular Canadian indie group Broken Social Scene.

As a part of his charity work, in 2005 Kim established the Andy Kim Christmas Show concert where he performs yearly along with many of Canada’s popular musicians.

In 2011, Kim released his latest studio album Happen Again, courtesy of the UK-­based label Angel Air Records. His classic song “Rock Me Gently” was adapted and used by Jeep in their TV advertisement.

 

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