60s Music

Jewel Akens and His Hit “The Birds and the Bees”

Jewel Akens
Jewel Akens. (Source: Wikipedia)

Introduction to Jewel Akens

Jewel Akens was born on 9/12/1940 in Houston, TX.  He was a male and R&B singer known mostly for his mega-hit single “The Birds and the Bees” during the mid-60s music era. Jewell was a member of The Four Dots (Eddie Cochran played on these records), Jewell and Eddie, The Astro-Jets, and The Turnarounds before going solo in 1964. At that time he recorded “The Birds and the Bees” which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.  His next single “Georgie Porgie” was not a success, and even though Jewell recorded records until 1983, he is considered a one hit wonder.  In 1989 he joined a group called The Feathers, whose songs never really caught on.  In 1973 he produced a highly acclaimed album titled Super Taylors featuring Ted Taylor and Little Johnny Taylor. Jewel later sang with a group called The Feathers, from 1989-91, before continuing his solo career.

Other Jewel Akens hits include: “Dear Heart,” “Sniff-Sniff-Poo-Pah-Pahdoo,” “Sukiyaki,” “Love Potion #9,” “The Vegetable Love Song,” “King Of The Road,” “So This Is Love,” “Tic Tac Toe,” “It’s The Only Way To Fly,” “Little Bitty Pretty One,” “You Better Move On,” “A Slice Of The Pie,” “Michael,” “Around The Corner (From My House),” “Opportunity,” “Who Can I Count On,” “You Sure Know How To Hurt A Fella,” “Doing The Hully Gully,” “Runaway and Hide”,”Ain’t Nothin’ Shakin’,” and “Wee Bit More Of Your Lovin’.”

 

Jewel Akens’ early life

American singer and record producer Jewel Akens was born Jewel Eugene Akens on September 12, 1933 in Houston, Texas. Akens was into singing when he was young. His mother who was his number one fan, advised his son to relocate to Los Angeles to try his luck in the music business. Akens took his mother’s advice which he did not regret at all. In Los Angeles, he first became a back-up singer for Herb Newman, founder of Era Records.

 

 

Booming with “The Birds and the Bees”

In 1965, Newman offered Akens a song to record on his label called “The Birds and the Bees.He quickly cut a session and released the song later that year. Despite of the booming British Invasion, “The Birds and the Bees” became a success. The song charted at #3 on the national charts where it stayed for twelve weeks and peaked at #2 on the Cashbox chart. It also did well on the UK singles charts, reaching #29 and sold over one million copies that gained the record a the gold disc. Penned by Newman, it was Akens’ only Top 10 hit single throughout his music career.

 

Later years

Around the same time, Aken was engaged in numerous tour dates which included some tribute shows for his mentor Sam Cooke. Later, he issued the second release of  “Georgie Porgie” but it failed to sell and only reached #68 on the pop charts. He also became the front man of the new formation of The Coasters.  Between in the late 60’s and mid 70’s, he continued to work in the music business despite of lacking of hits and he was able to embark on a tour with The Monkees.

On March 1, 2013 at a hospital in Inglewood, California, the 79-year old Akens died due to complications from his back surgery.

 

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