Bobby Lewis Biography

17 February 1933, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Lewis grew up in an orphanage before being adopted by a Detroit family at the age of 12. He reportedly worked with jazz greats Duke Ellington and Wes Montgomery during his youth and befriended a young Jackie Wilson in the mid-50s. Lewis’ first single, for the Parrot Records label, was released in 1956. Three years later he met the doo-wop group the Fireflies, whose lead singer, Richie Adams, went on to write songs for the New York Beltone label. Lewis signed to Beltone and recorded ‘Tossin’ And Turnin’’, a danceable rock ‘n’ roll song Adams had co-written with Joe Rene. The record stayed at number 1 for seven weeks in 1961, becoming one of the year’s biggest-sellers (in the UK it was covered by the Ivy League). Lewis followed it up with ‘One Track Mind’ another Top 10 hit, but subsequent efforts were commercially disappointing. He still performed at oldies concerts in the early 90s.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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