During the first half of February 1965 I was grooving to the number one hit by the Righteous Brothers — “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.” But after two weeks at the top spot of the Billboard Top 100 the song was supplanted by the first number one hit by Gary Lewis & The Playboys entitled “This Diamond Ring.” I knew all the words to this one and was surprised that I still do after listening to my upload. Sixties classic pop was the best — wasn’t it!
The band frontman, Gary Lewis, was the teenaged son of the entertainer Jerry Lewis (now of the Annual MD Telethon Fame), but Gary wasn’t always the group lead vocalist. WWW. Classicbands.Com has a nice article on the tenure of the group, so I won’t rehash here when you can just click on the link and read all about what transpired on the group’s journey to fame and fortune.
You can also read up on the band at the Official Gary Lewis and the Playboys Web Site.
Composed by by Al Kooper, Bob Brass and Irwin Levine, “This Diamond Ring”, which was a cover version, remained in the #1 spot for the two final weeks of February 1965.
The first 1964 soulful recording of “This Diamond Ring” by Sammy Ambrose, just so happened to reach #117 on the Billboard Chart January 9, 1965 — just a month before Gary Lewis & the Playboys’ pop/rock cover went straight to the top of the chart.
Last but not least please enjoy co-composer Al Kooper‘s funky rock rendition of this classic.
- Al Kooper (rkadlec.wordpress.com)