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John Fred And The Playboy Band

His group, John Fred and the Playboys, was formed in 1956 when Fred was 15; their first hit single was in March, 1959's "Shirley". He appeared on Alan Freed's show, but when Dick Clark asked him to sing on American Bandstand, Fred had to turn him down because he had to play in a basketball game. Fred played basketball and baseball at Louisiana State University and Southeastern Louisiana University.

By 1967, the band was renamed John Fred & His Playboy Band (to avoid confusion with Gary Lewis & The Playboys) and Fred and band member Andrew Bernard co-wrote "Judy in Disguise", whose name is a parodic play on the title of The Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". The song, issued by Louisiana-based Jewel Records on the Paula label, became successful, knocking another Beatles song ("Hello, Goodbye") out of the #1 chart position on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in January 1968. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. With the success of the single, John Fred & His Playboy Band was branded as a novelty act and never had another major success. The followup single, "Hey, Hey, Bunny" peaked at #57 on the Billboard chart and the band never again hit the Hot 100. Only after years of struggles did Fred obtain full legal rights to "Judy in Disguise" and its royalties.


John Fred (born John Fred Gourrier, May 8, 1941 – April 14, 2005) was a blue-eyed soul, Cajun swamp pop and bubble-gum pop performer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, best known for the song, "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)".

 

Judy in Disguise
His group, John Fred and the Playboys, was formed in 1956; their first hit single was 1958's "Shirley". He appeared on Alan Freed's show, but when Dick Clark asked him to sing on American Bandstand, Fred had to turn him down because he had to play in a basketball game.

In 1967, Fred and band member Andrew Bernard co-wrote "Judy in Disguise", a parody of The Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". The song, issued by Louisiana-based Jewel Records on the Paula label, became enormously successful, knocking another Beatles song ("Hello, Goodbye") out of the #1 chart position on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in January 1968. Although Fred actually had a well-rehearsed and talented group honed by years on the road, now known as John Fred & His Playboy Band, he was branded as a novelty act and never had another success. Only after years of struggles did Fred obtain full legal rights to "Judy in Disguise" and its royalties. They also covered "You're On My Mind" by The Animals.

Fred continued to perform in bands, coached high school basketball and baseball, remained a fixture at concerts and shows in his hometown, and hosted a popular local radio show, The Roots of Rock 'n' Roll.[citation needed] In 2002, he released his final album, Somebody's Knockin. In 2004, his health began to fail and he received a kidney transplant. Complications ensued, culminating in a long hospital stay, and finally, death in 2005. Fred was survived by his wife, Sandra, and a son.

In April 2007, John Fred (Gourrier) was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. He has been inducted into the Delta Music Museum in Ferriday, Louisiana.

50s, 60s Hits

Judy In Disguise

Members of this Group


al8tor

click67

clubuser08

foolsgold01

Jeff

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