Robin Ward

The Story of Robin Ward

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Jackie Ward, session singer extraordinaire, used her daughter's name and affected a youthful-sounding voice when she recorded "Wonderful Summer" as Robin Ward in 1963. Ward was originally hired to sing on a demo of the song, but producer Perry Botkin, Jr. was so pleased with her performance that he had her record it for commercial release. The song became a hit, but Ward was unable to tour or make personal appearances lest she reveal that she wasn't really a teenager. To sustain the ruse, her Dot album, Wonderful Summer, didn't even feature a photograph of her. The Story of Robin Ward is a grey-market anthology that collects her Dot album and singles, duets with Wink Martindale, and eight Dale Ward recordings (no relation). Robin Ward sang background vocals on Dale Ward's hit "Letter from Sherry," but doesn't appear on most of his recordings despite being listed on the inlay card as his duet partner on every track. Ward's Dot album contains her versions of pop oldies and adult contemporary songs such as "Moon River," "Teach Me Tonight," and "I Could Have Danced All Night" performed in the teen style. Her other Dot singles, including the regional hit "Winter's Here," are immaculately performed but lack the immediate appeal of "Wonderful Summer." Some of the duets travel in oldies territory, too, including the Wink Martindale collaborations "Born Too Late" and "Hey Girl, Hey Boy" (an update of the Louis Prima-Keely Smith song). The Story of Robin Ward, being mastered from vinyl, is adequate in the absence of a legitimate anthology.