98.6

Album: Ain't Gonna Lie (1967)
Charted: 24 7
  • Backing vocals were provided on this by harmony kings The Tokens.
  • Barry James Keefer (aka Keith) told Mojo magazine June 2008 about this effervescent celebration of the joys of love: "I had very little hope it would be a success. I was talking to my girlfriend after that session, saying I couldn't believe I had just recorded a song with a number related to a person's body temperature."
  • Keefer first recorded with The Admirations, when he was originally called Keif. His name was changed to Keith when it was noted that Keif was too close to the Moroccan word for cannabis. The Admirations' sole single flopped in 1965, but their producer Jerry Ross, who produced Bobby Hebb's hit "Sunny", didn't forget Keith and led him to #39 in the US charts with "Ain't Gonna Lie." This song was the follow-up and became an international hit. Keith later spent a couple of years as the vocalist in Frank Zappa's band.

Comments: 7

  • Mavis from Upper MidwestThis reminds me of winter nights studying in my room, or dreaming, and Sunday afternoons sitting in my window seat. I was a sophomore. I loved the jaunty melody...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 5th 1967, "98.6" by Keith peaked at #7 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on December 4th, 1966 at position #90 and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 3 of the 14 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    He had a total of four records make the Top 100; with "98.6" being hit biggest hit, his next highest charted record was "Tell Me To My Face" (it reached #37, and is on You Tube)...
    Keith, born James Barry Keefer, will celebrate his 65th birthday in three months on May 17th (2014).
  • Winston (forrest) from Sacramento, Ca98.6 is the sun. It's what makes one healthy and normal when it comes out to give what he wants, "his baby".
  • Mark from St. Paul, MnOne of my all-time favorite songs! This song was on the air waves in Jan. and Feb. of 1967. I remember going to the St. Paul Johnson High School hockey games and cheering on the "Governors!" I always associate this song with the great Johnson hockey team of 1966-67 who ended up 2nd in the state that season!
  • Lisa from Eveleth, Mni like his voice. i have always loved this song
  • Ted from Phoenix, AzKeith doesn't have much of a singing voice, but this song works anyway as a counterbalance to the heavier stuff that was happening at the time.
  • Drew from Bloomfield, NyThe one story I heard about "98.6" was that John Lennon was a fan of this song and actually got to meet with Keith to tell him what a great song he thought it was.....by chance in a public restroom.
see more comments

Billy Gould of Faith No MoreSongwriter Interviews

Faith No More's bassist, Billy Gould, chats to us about his two new experimental projects, The Talking Book and House of Hayduk, and also shares some stories from the FNM days.

Marvin GayeFact or Fiction

Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?

LecraeSongwriter Interviews

The Christian rapper talks about where his trip to Haiti and his history of addiction fit into his songs.

Amy Lee of EvanescenceSongwriter Interviews

The Evanescence frontwoman on the songs that have shifted meaning and her foray into kids' music.

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

Guy ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.