Thursday, March 07, 2013

Singer Jewel Akens Has Died

Jewel Akens, best remembered for his top three hit, "The Birds And The Bees" from 1965, died Friday (March 1) in a Los Angeles hospital of complications from back surgery at the age of 79. Born in Houston in 1933, Jewel (his mother had expected a girl) and his family moved to Los Angeles, where he formed a group called the Four Dots in 1959, connecting with Eddie Cochran's manager, Jerry Capeheart and recording for Freedom and Liberty Records (with Eddie playing guitar). A year later he joined with Eddie Daniels as a duo and also as the Astro-Jets. Next, he recorded for Era Records in the Turnarounds where the label decided to have him record "The Birds And The Bees" solo. Unfortunately, its follow-up, "Georgie Porgie," only got to #65 in 1965 and "It's The Only Way To Fly" stumbled at #120 that year. Subsequent recordings on Paula and Colgems failed as well, but he continued to perform for the rest of his life.