Here Comes Summer!

Gary: I was thinking about this driving home from the Golf Course today.  Summer is now officially here and here is a song that truly identifies with “Summer”.

Jerry Keller

Here Comes Summer / Kapp 277 / July 1959
#14 Billboard

Born in Arkansas, Keller’s family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma when he was aged six, and Keller attended Tulsa’s Will Rogers High School, graduating in 1955.

He was known as a vocal soloist in various school productions, and was often invited to do guest vocals with top bands touring the area. He formed ‘The Lads of Note’ quartet in his teens, joined the Tulsa Boy Singers and toured the Midwest.

Keller was educated at the University of Tulsa. He moved to New York in 1956, and Pat Boone who attended the same church as Keller, sent him to see Marty Mills who became Keller’s manager.

Keller’s biggest self-penned hit was 1959’s “Here Comes Summer.” It climbed to #14 in the Billboard Hot 100. The record reached #1 in the UK the same year, but lack of further chart appearances, branded Keller as a one hit wonder.

Here Comes Summer” ironically reached the #1 spot in the UK in the Autumn of 1959.

He also co-wrote the song “A Man and a Woman”, which was recorded by such artists as Matt Monro, Ella Fitzgerald, Engelbert Humperdinck, Johnny Mathis and José Feliciano. In addition he co-penned “Almost There”, a successful single for Andy Williams, plus “How Does It Go?” recorded in 1965 by Ricky Nelson.

In the film arena, Keller wrote soundtrack music for I Saw What You Did (1965) and Angel in My Pocket (1969).

Keller went on to be a number one call vocalist for television jingles throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He also had cameo role as the orchestra music director in the 1977 film You Light Up My Life.(lastfm)


Gene Vincent and Jerry Keller at the airport

– per Adrian’s Comment (below)


2 responses to “Here Comes Summer!

  1. Adrian Owlett

    Hi Guys

    It seems that there’s always a Gene Vincent connection! And so it is with Jerry Keller.

    Eddie Cochran was killed in England on 17th April 1960 whilst on the way back, by car to London Airport, for a brief visit to the US with Gene. That is history. However, the series of shows was scheduled to continue after the break and Jerry Keller was booked to replace Cochran.

    It was a fairly curious placement as Keller, although having scored with a monster hit, was not recognised as being of the same calibre of Cochran – at least to the Teds and rockers in the UK!

    I caught the show at Guildford on 7th May 1960 and I have to say that Keller was pretty good – although not a rocker in the classic sense. In many ways he was a good antidote to the menace of Gene Vincent on stage and that went down quite well. He wore a brown cardigan over a white shirt, with black slacks (very casual) and contrasted greatly with the demonic Vincent clad top to toe in black leather. Jerry closed the first half of the show and was backed by The Beat Boys.

    During his short time this side of the pond he recorded a session for the BBC Saturday Club and I distinctly remember him touting his “latest” recording – “My Name Ain’t Joe”. Indeed he performed this on stage as well but, as far as I remember, it was never actually released as a single. If anyone knows different, please let me know!

    I have attached a pic of Gene with Jerry Keller arriving at London airport at the start of their tour…

    Gene Vincent and Jerry Keller at the airport

  2. Hi Adrian
    There certainly appears to have been a contrast in style between these two.

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