On this day in music history: January 20, 1968…

On this day in music history: January 20, 1968 – “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” by John Fred & His Playboy Band hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written and produced by John Fred Gourrier and Andrew Bernard, it is the biggest hit for the the pop band from Baton Rouge, LA. The son of Detroit Tigers third baseman John Fred Gourrier, Sr., John Fred forms John Fred & The Playboy Band in 1956 when he is only fifteen years old. After attending college at Louisiana State University from 1960 to 1964, John Fred reforms the band after graduating. Gourrier changes the name to John Fred & His Playboy Band in 1967 to avoid confusion with Gary Lewis & The Playboys. In June of 1967, John Fred hears The Beatles “Lucy In Sky With Diamonds” on the radio for the first time. He mishears the lyric, thinking that John Lennon is singing “Lucy in disguise with diamonds”. That inspires him along with songwriting partner Andrew Bernard to write a song initially called “Beverly In Disguise (With Diamonds)”. They change the girl’s name to “Judy” when both realize that it flows better. The songs’ lyric about “cross your heart, with your living bra” makes a cheeky reference to the famous television commercials advertising Playtex Living Bras which make their debut around that time. The band cut the track at Robin Hood Studios in Tyler, TX in the Fall of 1967. Entering the Hot 100 at #99 on November 25, 1967, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later, ironically unseating The Beatles’ “Hello Goodbye” from the number one spot. Though “Judy In Disguise” is their only hit, the song has enduring popularity being covered numerous times, with the original recording being a staple on oldies radio. John Fred Gourrier dies from complications from surgery after a kidney transplant on April 15, 2005, at the age of 63. “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.