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Jewel Akens

13 March 2013













Jewel Akens

Jewel Eugene Akens (September 12, 1933, Houston, Texas – March 1, 2013, Inglewood, California) was an American singer and record producer.

Biography

He recorded with The Medallions on Dootone, with The Four Dots on Freedom, and then with singer Eddie Daniels as "Jewel and Eddie" on the Silver Records label in 1960. A number of his recordings featured Eddie Cochran on guitar. He later went solo and recorded "The Birds And The Bees" in 1965, on the Era Records label. The single went to Number 3 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart that year, and Number 2 on the Cash Box chart. It reached Number 29 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. But the follow-up, "Georgie Porgie" only reached Number 68.
Akens toured regularly since 1965 and included a tribute to his mentor, Sam Cooke, in most of his shows. He also fronted a group billing itself as The Coasters, though it featured no actual original members of the group. Akens considered cover versions of Thurston Harris' "Little Bitty Pretty One" and Arthur Alexander's "You Better Move On" to be his finest recordings. He toured with The Monkees and continued to record until the mid 1970s in a variety of styles. In 1973 he co-produced the critically acclaimed Super Taylors, a duet album of Southern soul by Ted Taylor and Little Johnny Taylor. Between 1989 and 1991, Akens recorded three singles with a group called The Feathers.

Death

On March 1, 2013, Akens died from complications of back surgery, aged 79. He is survived by his wife, Eddie Mae


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