Jewel Akens

The Birds and the Bees: The Best of Jewel Akens

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One-hit wonder Jewel Akens struck gold with "The Birds and the Bees," a Top Three pop hit in 1965. A sound-alike sequel, "Georgie Porgie," fared poorly, thus ending Akens' brief chart career. Akens' brand of good-time novelty R&B, like that of Joe Jones or Ernie K-Doe, was already passé in 1965, so it's no surprise that record buyers didn't respond to throwbacks like "It's the Only Way to Fly," which sounds, like many of his recordings, like something from 1961 or 1962. The Birds and the Bees: The Best of Jewel Akens rounds up his complete Era recordings, including his two hits and a previously unreleased alternate take of "Sniff-Sniff-Poo-Pah-Pahdoo." The songs vary wildly, from a cover of Roger Miller's country classic "King of the Road" to an English-language version of Kyu Sakamoto's "Sukiyaki." Akens also covers "Love Potion No. 9," the easy listening hit "Dear Heart," and folk favorite "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore" in addition to the assorted copycats and novelties that followed in the wake of "The Birds and the Bees." "The Vegetable Love Song" is the silliest of the bunch, but it's still fun and fairly funny. Despite the 1965 recording dates, Akens' music belonged in the early '60s and will find an appreciative audience among those who enjoy the teen music of that era.

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