Thursday, August 31, 2006

Jumpin' Gene Simmons dead at 69

Jumpin' Gene Simmons passed on August 29, 2006. He wrote one of my favorite Halloween tunes, "Haunted House". Part of an article I wrote (Halloween Music : It's Not Just Monster Mash) covered Jumpin' Gene and his hit song...

Jumpin’ Gene Simmons: fortunes from a Haunted House
Haunted House was first recorded in the late 1950s by Johnny Fuller (Specialty 655) but failed to chart. In 1963 Domingo Samudio (a.k.a. Sam The Sham) was performing Haunted House live clubs and on television. People went nuts when he performed the song. Jumpin’ Gene and Sam the Sham were playing clubs together in the early sixties. Gene saw how folks were reacting to that song. Ray Harris at Hi Records asked Gene to see if Sam would record Haunted House for Hi Records. Sam declined and said he wanted to cut the record on his own. Harris wanted to proceed with their recording of the song and asked Jumpin’ Gene if he would cut the record. Simmons has said the session was not like his others in that "everyone involved had fun." By August 1964, Haunted House (Hi 2076) had made it to Number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. After years of unsuccessful releases Haunted House would be Jumpin’ Gene Simmons first hit and would launch him on his first world tour.

Click here to read the story about Jumpin' Gene...

TUPELO, Miss. (Aug. 30) - Rockabilly singer and songwriter Jumpin' Gene Simmons, who worked with Elvis Presley and had a top 20 hit in 1964 with the bouncy "Haunted House," has died. He was 69. He died Tuesday at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo after a long illness, according to Holland-Harris Funeral here...

Jumpin' Gene will be missed.

Mark Harvey
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