TV Stars become Singers?

Gary: “An exciting new TV Series hit our screens in 1958 and lasted until 1964…”

77 Sunset Strip

Now, believe it or not 2 hit records came from the actors of this series.  One could not sing a note, Edd Byrnes (above).

The other actor could sing, Connie Stevens, and she was gorgeous (my vote!)

Hawaiian Eye

1.  Kookie, Kookie, (Lend Me Your Comb) Edd Byrnes & Connie Stevens/ Warner 5047/ 4/27/1959/ #4 Billboard

2.  Sixteen Reasons (loved this song and her)/ Warner 5137/ 3/14/1960/ #3 Billboard

Connie Stevens:

Her first album was titled Concetta (1958). She had minor hits with the songs Blame It On My Youth, Looking For A Boy, and Spring Is Here. She appeared opposite James Garner in a comedy episode of the TV western series Maverick entitled “Two Tickets to Ten Strike,” and after making several appearances on the Warner Bros. hit TV series 77 Sunset Strip, she recorded the hit novelty song Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb, a duet with one of the shows stars, Edward Byrnes. She also recorded the hit single Sixteen Reasons (1960). It hit the top five in both Billboard and Cashbox.

Edd Byrnes

Kookie’s character—a valet parker at Dean Martin’s “Dino’s Lodge” restaurant next door to 77 Sunset Strip—frequently acted as an unlicensed detective who helped the private eyes (Zimbalist and Roger Smith) on their cases. He called everybody “Dad” and was an example of the hipster of the late ’50s and early ’60s who talks jive talk and knows “the word on the street.”

Kookie’s constant tending of his ducktail haircut led to many jokes and a hit song, “Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb“, which he recorded with Connie Stevens, and which reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also appeared on an album of Edd Byrnes “songs” called “Kookie“. His fan mail reached 15,000 letters a week, according to Picture Magazine in 1961.

Byrnes walked off the show in the second season demanding a bigger part that the producers eventually acceded to.

Owing to restrictions in his Warner Brothers contract, he was forced to turn down roles in Ocean’s Eleven (1960), Rio Bravo (1959), North to Alaska (1960) and The Longest Day (1962). However he appeared in the Warners films Darby’s Rangers (1957) (replacing Tab Hunter), Marjorie Morningstar (1958), Up Periscope and Yellowstone Kelly (both in 1959). He tested for the role of John F. Kennedy in PT 109 but the President preferred Cliff Robertson.

His typecasting led him to buy his way out of his contract with Warners.



2 responses to “TV Stars become Singers?

  1. Adrian Owlett

    Yep, we loved this series this side of the pond, as well! Kookie was cool, and as for Connie ……

    But what fantastic words – and what the hell is “smog in my noggin”?

    Kookie, Kookie
    Lend me your comb
    Kookie, Kookie

    Well now, let’s
    Take it from the top
    And grab some wheels
    And on the way, we’ll talk
    About some cuckoo deals

    But Kookie, Kookie
    Lend me your comb
    Kookie, Kookie

    Now you’re on my wavelength
    And I’m reading you just fine
    Don’t cut out of here
    ‘Til we get on cloud nine

    But Kookie, Kookie

    I’ve got smog in my noggin’
    Ever since you made the scene

    You’re the utmost

    If you ever tuned me out, dad
    I’m the saddest, like a brain

    The very utmost
    Kookie, lend me your comb
    Kookie, Kookie

    Man, I got my British lineage
    And my flaps are gonna bend
    You’re gonna send me
    To that planet called
    You know it, baby, the end

    Kookie, Kookie
    Lend me your comb
    Kookie, Kookie

    If you ever cut out
    Then I’d be a stray cat
    Cause when I’m flying solo
    Nowhere’s where I’m at

    Kookie, Kookie
    Lend me your comb
    Kookie, Kookie

    What’s with
    This comb caper, baby
    Why do you wanna
    Latch up with my comb

    I just want you to
    Stop combing your hair
    And kiss me
    You’re the maximum utmost

    Well, I’m beamed
    And I’m dreamsville
    And I’m moving right now
    Cause that’s the kind
    Of scene that I dig
    Baby, you’re the ginchiest

    Rock on


  2. Come on, Daddy-O. Haven’t you ever had Smog in the Noggin? With me it seems to happen when I’m supposed to remember more than 3 things on a shopping list. I call it Brain Fade.

    Many thanks to Adrian for the complete Kookie lyrics!

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