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Watch 1960s Hitmakers Gary Lewis And The Playboys’ ‘Sure Gonna Miss Her’ On ‘Sullivan’

The group, fronted by the son of comedian Jerry Lewis, are seen on the February 27, 1966 edition.

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Gary Lewis and the Playboys photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Gary Lewis and the Playboys photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

A vintage performance by fondly-remembered 1960s hitmakers Gary Lewis and the Playboys is among the latest clips to be shared from the archives of The Ed Sullivan Show.

The group, fronted by the son of comedian Jerry Lewis, are seen on the February 27, 1966 edition of the famous variety series performing their Top 10 single “Sure Gonna Miss Her.” That week’s Sullivan show also featured performances by two other favorite artists from the era, Nancy Sinatra and Petula Clark.

Gary Lewis and the Playboys first appeared on the show in March 1965, on an edition also starring Connie Francis, Tony Bennett, and actress-singer Melinda Marx, the daughter of comic legend Groucho. This was shortly after the group had topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks with their debut hit, and always their best-known single, “This Diamond Ring.” They appeared on Sullivan again in late 1966 and in 1968.

The quintet consisted of Brooklyn-born Lewis on vocals with guitarists Al Ramsey and John West, David Walker on keyboards, and David Costell on bass. Prolific chart regulars at a time when many American artists were unable to compete with British talent on the charts, they have the distinction of being one of only two acts, the Lovin’ Spoonful being the other, whose first seven singles all reached the Top 10 on the Hot 100.

“Sure Gonna Miss Her” was the sixth of these, written by Bobby Russell and produced by their regular collaborator Snuff Garrett. Russell and Garrett both recorded their own versions, as did Chet Baker, Patty Duke, and others. Entering the chart in March 1966, Lewis and co. climbed to No.9 with their Liberty Records release. There was one more US Top 10 hit for the group to come, later the same year, with “Green Grass,” and three further Top 20 appearances up until 1968, the last a version of “Sealed With A Kiss.”

Listen to ‘Sure Gonna Miss Her’ on The Legendary Masters Series.

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