A perfect song for the end of Summer this week on Wayback Wednesday….Robin Ward, with Wonderful Summer, a Million seller from 1963. Songwriter and producer Perry Botkin, Jr hired singer Jackie Ward for a “demo” recording of the song, which he and Gil Garfield wrote. The purpose of which was to try to sell the song to big name singers, showing them how it might be done. Botkin decided the song might sound better at a higher pitch, so he sped up the tape, so the 21 year old Jackie would sound like a teenager. With the surf and bird sound effects added, Botkin thought it was good enough to release. Since it didn’t really sound much like Jackie Ward (who had previously sung the la-la-la parts on Pat Boone’s “Speedy Gonzalez”), she suggested using her daughter’s name Robin on the record. Dot Records put it out in the fall, and had a huge hit with it.
While Robin Ward didn’t have much more success, Jackie had quite a career, as one of the singers on The Red Skelton Show, Danny Kaye Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. She sang on hundreds of commercials, notably “Rice A Roni”, the San Francisco treat. She’s also one of the real singers of the hits attributed to The Partridge Family! And Jackie was a member of easy-listening groups like The Anita Kerr Singers and Ray Conniff Singers.
A salute to a great end of Summer memory, and a great behind the scenes story!