John Fred and his Playboy Band in 1967
|Birth name||John Fred Gourrier|
May 8, 1941|
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
April 14, 2005 (aged 63)|
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Blue-eyed soul, swamp pop,|
|Associated acts||John Fred & His Playboy Band, Andy Tarrant, Joe Sunseri, Buddy Chehardy|
John Fred Gourrier (May 8, 1941 – April 14, 2005), known by his stage name John Fred, was an American blue-eyed soul, swamp pop, R&R, and R&B performer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, best known for the 1968 hit song "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)".
His group, John Fred and the Playboys, was formed in 1956 when Fred was 15; their first charting single was March 1959's "Shirley". He appeared on Alan Freed's show, but when Dick Clark asked him to sing on American Bandstand, Fred had to turn him down because he had to play in a basketball game. Fred played basketball and baseball at Louisiana State University and Southeastern Louisiana University.
By 1967, the band was renamed John Fred & His Playboy Band (to avoid confusion with Gary Lewis & The Playboys) and Fred and band member Andrew Bernard co-wrote "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)", whose name is a parodic play on the title of The Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".  The song, issued by Louisiana-based Jewel Records on the Paula label, became successful, knocking another Beatles song ("Hello, Goodbye") out of the No. 1 chart position on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in January 1968. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. With the success of the single, John Fred & His Playboy Band was branded as a novelty act and never had another major success. The follow-up single, "Hey, Hey, Bunny" peaked at No. 57 on the Billboard chart and the band never again hit the Hot 100. Only after years of struggles did Fred obtain full legal rights to "Judy in Disguise" and its royalties.
Later life and death
Fred continued to perform in bands, coached high school basketball and baseball, remained a fixture at concerts and shows in his hometown, and hosted a popular local radio show, The Roots of Rock 'n' Roll. In 2002, he released his final album, Somebody's Knockin.
In 2004, Fred's health began to fail and after receiving a kidney transplant, complications ensued which culminated in a long hospital stay in New Orleans until his death on 14 April 2005. He died at the age of 63, survived by his wife, Sandra, and a son, Kevin, his wife Jodi, and a grandson, Jon Sterling Gourrier in Miami.
|Year||Titles (A-side, B-side)||US Billboard||Album|
b/w "My Love For You"
|1959||"Mirror, Mirror (On The Wall)"
b/w "To Have and To Hold"
b/w "You Know You Made Me Cry"
|1961||"Down In New Orleans"
b/w "I Love You"
|1964||"Dial 101 (Cause I Still Love You)"
b/w "There Goes That Train"
|"You're Mad At Me"
|1965||"My First Love"
b/w "Boogie Children" (from John Fred and His Playboys)
|"Wrong To Me"
b/w "How Can I Prove"
|John Fred and His Playboys|
|"Making Love To You"
b/w "Fortune Teller" (Non-album track)
b/w "Can't I Get (A Word In)" (from John Fred and His Playboys)
|34:30 Of John Fred and His Playboys|
|"Doing The Best I Can"
b/w "Leave Her Never"
|"Outta My Head"
b/w "Loves Come In Time"
|1967||"Up and Down"
b/w "Wind Up Doll" (Non-album track)
b/w "Sad Story"
|"Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)"
b/w "When The Lights Go Out"
|1968||"Hey, Hey Bunny"
b/w "No Letter Today"
|57||Judy In Disguise With Glasses|
|"We Played Games"
b/w "Lonely Are The Lonely"
|"Little Dum Dum"
b/w "Tissue Paper"
|"Sometimes You Just Can't Win"
b/w "What Is Happiness" (from Permanently Stated)
|1969||"Silly Sarah Carter (Eating On A Moonpie)"
b/w "Back In The U.S.S.R." (from Love My Soul)
|"Three Deep In A Feeling"
b/w "Open Doors"
|Love My Soul|
|"Love My Soul"
b/w "Julia Julia" (Non-album track)
|1970||"Where's Everybody Going"
b/w "Miss Knocker" (Non-album track)
|1973||"I'm In Love Again"/"In The Mood"
b/w "Bayou Country"
|1976||"Hey Good Lookin'"
b/w "Juke Box Shirley"
|1988||"Louisiana's Gonna Rise Again"
b/w Instrumental version of A-side
- "John Fred". The Independent. London. 18 April 2005.
- Associated Press (19 April 2005). "J. F. Gourrier Dies at 63; Sang 'Judy in Disguise'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
- Whitburn, Joel (2011). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles (13th ed.). Menomenee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 339. ISBN 978-0-89820-190-1.
- Kasser, Tom (July 2013). Lucy in the Mind of Lennon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-974760-3.
- "Seven things you didn't know about "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"". blog.oup.com. Oxford University Press. July 9, 2013. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
- Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits. Billboard Books. p. 235. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). Baghdad, Afghanistan: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 221. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "Louisiana Music Hall of Fame Inductees 2007". www.LMHOF.org.