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Come A Little Bit Closer


Jay & the Americans

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This was the biggest hit for Jay & the Americans. Kenny Vance, who is an original member of the group, told us: "'Come A Little Bit Closer' was recorded in the last probably five minutes of a session where we were trying to record something else that we spent the whole session on. In those days, a session ran three hours, I think the musicians got $65 for a three hour session. They didn't want to go overtime, and they had recorded this one song and they needed a flip side, and they just said, Okay, boom, let's do it. And we recorded it, and that's it. There it is. It just captured that. Willie Bobo played timbalis and Johnny Rodriguez played conga drums, Gary Chester played drums. 'Come A Little Bit Closer' was written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, and I think that Jerry Leiber re-wrote the last verse and he never got credit for that. But as I recall, that's how it went down." (Read more in our interview with Kenny Vance.)
For the songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, this was their first Top 10 hit. As part of the Brill Building/Aldon Music songwriting scene in New York City, they became a very successful songwriting duo, scoring many of The Monkees' hits.
Jay & the Americans
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Comments (6):

On March 3rd 1965, Jay & the Americans performed "Come A Little Bit Closer" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'...
Six months earlier on September 6th, 1964 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #86; and on November 15th it peaked at #3 (for 2 weeks) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
And on November 30th, 1964 it reached #1 (for 1 week) on the Canadian RPM Singles chart...
In 1978 the duo of Janie Fricke and Johnny Duncan covered it; their version peaked at #4 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart...
It was Jay & the Americans highest peaking record on the Top 100, they had three other Top 10 hits; "She Cried" (#5 in 1962), "Cara, Mia" (#4 in 1965), and "This Magic Moment" (#6 in 1969)...
R.I.P. Jimmy O'Neill (Shindig's host; 1940 - 2013).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
John 'Jay' Traynor passed away January 2nd, 2014 at 70...
He was the original 'Jay' of the group Jay & the Americans...
He sang lead on the group's first Top 10 record, "She Cried", which entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart on March 11th, 1962, and on May 13th it peaked at #5 (for 1 week) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
May he R.I.P.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
What a rocker of a song! I still love it. And weren't there some brass instruments on it too? I think so. It really accentuated the beat. And that plot-line! Almost like "El Paso," but rocking. Way back when, I was a fan of Jay & The Americans' hits. I always thought their biggest hit was a "toss up" between either "This Magic Moment" or "Cara Mia." Guess I was wrong. "Come a little bit closer, you're my kinda guy, so big & so strong - and the night is so long!" Fun!
- Rotunda, Tulsa, OK
This has the same "plotline" if you will, to "Gimme Three Steps" ! (or, if you want to go in the other direction plot-wise, there's always Marty Robbins' "El Paso"!:)
- maggie, St Paul, MN
Opinion: I don't know if it's true or not, but "Smokey Joe's Cafe" by Buddy Holly has nearly the same lyrical content as this song. I can't help but think this song was written after hearing Buddy Holly's song.
- VonBowda, Sunrise, FL
This is an excellent song to sing along to, and the final verse should come as no surprise, I get a chuckle out of it every time I hear it. Also, the instruments stand out in a terrific way, adding the right dimension to this fun tune.
- Camille, Toronto, OH
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