There's no doubt Andy Kim's Steed albums sound
very "sixties" with the various rhythms, cover tune selections and
topics explored. These albums also prove without question that Andy Kim
and Jeff Barry were the prince and king of the bubblegum genre. "Sunday
Thunder", from the How'd We Ever Get This Way album, reminds
me of the Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday" with the arrangement and
instrumentation. "Just Like Your Shadow" has a horn arrangement
reminiscent of "Solitary Man." You can surely tell that Jeff Barry had
a hand in the producing of these tunes especially when you get to "Do
You Feel It Too." If you take out Andy's vocals on that one and
substitute Ron Dante's vocals, you have an Archies song that's just as
candy-coated and wonderful as "Sugar Sugar." If you listen carefully to
"You Got Style" you can hear the same rhythm guitar and bass line as "A
Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You." "Resurrection" is a total departure
from everything else. It's almost as though it's by a different artist
altogether. Could Andy have been influenced by the psychedelic songs of
that era or possibly the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album?
(review by Michael Gmyrek)
I like it! You could tell without a doubt that
Andy and Jeff Barry were
influenced by the Beatles on this one!!! "Baby While You're Young"
sounds like a typical arrangement off the Sgt. Pepper album
electric guitars and "psychedelic" effects on the vocals. Even the 5
Andys on the back album cover look like something Peter Max would draw
back in the 60's and are very reminiscent of the Beatles cartoon
characters on "Yellow Submarine". The distorted guitar effects on "I
You" sound like something from the Beatles' "A Day In The Life". There
is a nice diversity of musical styles on this album ranging from rock
"Rainbow Ride" to a Spanish-style ditty on "To Be Continued". You can
even hear Bob Dylan's influence on "Nobody's Ever Going Anywhere". The
only style that is not so prevalent on this album is the bubblegum pop
that Andy was cranking out at the time and was a trademark of his other
'60's albums. All in all this album showcases Andy's versatility as a
singer/songwriter and clearly represents the musical styles that were
typical of the late 60's. (review by Michael Gmyrek)
On Andy Kim's Baby I Love You album,
"Let's Get Married" has a very typical 60's rhythm that one would hear
in some songs of that time like "Hang On Sloopy" or the middle section
of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling." "This Is The Girl" is another
example of a song that would have made a great Archies cover tune. I
Like Andy's covers of "If I Were A Carpenter" and "By The Time I Get To
Phoenix." "This Guy's In Love With You", however, sounds very corny
especially with his recitation of the lyrics over his singing of the
lyrics. It is quite interesting nevertheless. All-in-all the albums
satisfied my sweet tooth for some candy-coated gems by that
masterful bubblegum songwriting team of Kim & Barry (or is it Barry
& Kim?) (review by Michael Gmyrek)
Rainbow Ride STEED ST-37002
Baby, I Love You STEED ST-37004
Andy Kim's Greatest Hits STEED ST-37008
Andy Kim UNI 73137
Andy Kim CAPITOL ST-11318
Baby I Love You: Greatest Hits CAPITOL/EMI ELECTROLA 7243 8 38258 2 0
Andy Kim Live at OldiesFest 2002
Concert review by Michael Gmyrek
I saw Andy Kim live for the very first time yesterday as part of an "Oldiesfest" concert. He's currently touring with The Kingsman, The Grass Roots and Gary Puckett. Gary Puckett was supposed to be the headliner, but in my personal opinion, Andy was the headliner.
He came on stage wearing a black suit, white shirt and a black tie. He looked more like an orchestra conductor rather than a pop star. He launched immediately into "Baby, I Love You." He looked fit and trim and sounded almost exactly as he did on his albums. I was amazed at how well his vocal abilities fared over the years. He did many of his hits from the late 60's and early 70's including "Baby How'd We Ever Get This Way," "So Good Together," and "Be My Baby." He told the audience he was apprehensive at doing a remake of the old Ronettes hit because, as he put it, remakes seldom live up to the original hit. But he said he was pleasantly surprised when his version of "Be My Baby" sold over a million copies. Things slowed down a bit when he performed the contemplative "I Wish I Were" which Andy said was about a lost love. The true angst of the song really came through in the live version - but it was somewhat ruined at the end by a jolly little jazz riff played by a saxophone player which had me puzzled. It sounded way out of place. The conclusion of the song would have been much more satisfying to me if the sax was left out.
Andy was quite personable and showed his humorous side when he related the story of his tune "Sugar Sugar." He said that some "enterprising" individuals recently came up with the idea of putting on a touring kids show featuring live singers portraying The Archies characters. Andy said he wanted to see if it would work so he asked for volunteers from the audience to play the parts of Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead. Andy said he would play Archie. Well, it turned out to be quite hilarious as they all sang "Sugar Sugar". By the last chorus, Andy had the entire audience clapping and singing along.
Andy told the story of how he tried to get his career back on track towards the mid-seventies. He called up several agents and one of them recommended that Andy go to Los Angeles to jump start his stagnant career. Andy said he wasn't familiar with LA so an agent's assistant agreed to show Andy around. Andy said before long he felt himself falling for her and decided to write a song for her. The song was "Rock Me Gently" and the rest is history.
Andy said many years ago he took an extended
sabbatical from writing and
performing in order to take a close look at his life and decide if he
wanted to continue doing this. He said last year, after much
soul-searching, he made the decision to hit the road again and do what
he loves doing best. He said that was one of the best decisions he ever
made. His love and enthusiasm for performing really showed last night.
I would highly
recommend seeing him. Although he was sandwiched between other acts,
Andy alone was well worth the price of admission (do I sound a little
Buffalo, New York (June 8, 2002) 'The Concert - Andy Kim'
Review by Diane Safir, freelance journalist
The expression "everything old is new again" was exemplified June 8th at the concert at Shea's Performing Arts Theater in Buffalo, New York. Music from the sixties and seventies continues to gain popularity and after watching this performance it was very evident to see why.
From beginning to end the crowd was treated to a rock n' roll buffet. Elvis impersonator Terry Buchwald kicked off the evening with a rocking montage of Elvis songs. Classic renditions were belted out by The Kingsmen ("Louie Louie"), The Grass Roots,("Temptation Eyes", "Midnight Confession"), Gary Puckett ("Young Girl", "Woman Woman") and the legendary Mitch Ryder,("Devil With A Blue Dress On"). These popular hits had the crowd clapping, stomping, and shouting out for more.
However, without a doubt the highlight of the evening was the performance of Andy Kim. Known to his legion of fans as simply "the voice", Andy possesses a voice as strong and beautiful today as it was in the late 60's, when his career blossomed. That career began when a young Canadian teenager with a burning desire to perform followed his dream to the distant shores of New York City. Today that passion still holds sway as his music enveloped the audience with an array of emotion from the heartbreaking "I Wish I Were" to the classic anthem to bubblegum music "Sugar Sugar".
The seven song set opened with his gold record "Baby I Love You" followed by the boy-aches-for-girl, rendition of "So Good Together". Andy's rapport with the audience was exhibited when four participants were chosen to offer up their own version of "Sugar Sugar". While there were no Ron Dante's in the bunch, the crowd enthusiastically applauded their effort.
Andy's suave, debonair appearance enticed numerous women to the front of the stage where their cameras immortalized the moment.
Although normally a very private person, Andy divulged a glimpse of what inspired his six million seller hit "Rock Me Gently". It was during the afterglow of a one night dalliance with a quintessential California girl that the inspiration to pen this world famous classic came to him.
Only time constraints prevented Andy from performing such audience pleasing hits as "Rainbow Ride", Shoot Em Up Baby" and "I've Been Moved". Gary Puckett did find a way to maximize Andy's stage time by bringing him back for a show-stopping duet of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman".
From the late 60's to the early 80's, Andy was responsible for creating and performing a multitude of hits. Once the music scene changed he chose a self-imposed hiatus. One can only be thankful that this talented and gifted singer/songwriter decided to take to the stage once again.
If anyone has the opportunity to see these artists in person they won't be disappointed. The oldies shows are not only a showcase for some remarkable talents but also rekindle memories of an innocent time.
Long Live the oldies!!
At last, a book about bubblegum music for adults, by adults! If you were a young teen sometime between 1965 and 1979, you'll love this! Bubblegum Music Is the Naked Truth contains a series of essays on the biggest names of bubblegum music: The Archies, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, Bay City Rollers, Tommy James, and a whole slew of long-forgotten names. They even manage to make a case that Kiss was more bubblegum than heavy-metal. Both Andy Kim and Neil Diamond figure heavily into the bubblegum scene, and this book explains the hows and whys. Andy gets several mentions in the context of his work with The Archies, The Monkees, Jeff Barry and Steed Records. There's 13 pages devoted to Jeff Barry, including an interview. The essays look at those gone-but-not-forgotten days with a mixture of affection, wry humor and a full understanding of historical context. The writers manage to be smart, without being smart-assed. They love Toni Wine (The Archies), and revere Neil Diamond as the purveyor of masterful gooey gum and describe, in fascinating detail, the dark, sometimes morbid and frightening themes of albums by The Cowsills (II x II) and The Poppy Family (Which Way You Goin' Billy?)
None of the photos are in color, but the pictures of toys, records, teen magazines and memorabilia are priceless. Buy this book! It's hard to come by this amount of information on this subject in one place. It's a hoot, and there's always something interesting and entertaining to read in it.
Bubblegum Music Is the Naked Truth
Published 2001, Feral House
Edited by Kim Cooper and David Smay
Collectables from Around the World
US Steed stock 45 w/sleeve
"How'd We Ever Get This Way/Are You Ever Going Home"
(non-LP "B" side)
US Steed picture sleeve
"So Good Together/I Got to Know"
US Steed picture sleeve
"A Friend In the City/You"
(non-LP "B" side)
US Capitol picture sleeve
"Fire, Baby I'm On Fire/Here Comes the Mornin'"
"Be My Baby" 45- Japan
Baron Longfellow LP - Canada
Prisoner By Design LP - Canada
|Unofficial Andy Kim CD|
Barron [sic] Longfellow LP- West Germany
|Unofficial Andy Kim CD|
Mark Chadbourne has an excellent series of pages about Jeff Barry. Andy
Kim's story heavily interlocks with the Jeff Barry story. Check out
The Andy Kim/Neil Diamond Connection
These articles are Copyright 1999-2002, K.F. Louie,
unless otherwise indicated. May not
be reproduced without the written permission of the author.
OldiesFest 2002 review is
Copyright 2002, Michael Gmyrek.
'The Concert- Andy Kim' review
and photos are Copyright 2002, Diane Safir. Used with permission from
Questions, or comments about Andy Kim can be sent to
The "Thank You" List:
Mike Gmyrek, for providing more amazing Neil/Andy similarities and writing reviews of several Andy Kim albums.