98.6

Album: Ain't Gonna Lie (1967)
Charted: 24 7
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Songfacts®:

  • 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: 11

  • Anonymous from Milwaukee, Wi15 yrs old then and loving this song.
    The melody was catchy and can still remember every word at 70 now. Really nice sing-a-long tune. Good times then, too bad life isn't simple as that any more.
  • Covingtunes from NycGreat "semi-lost" pop tune!
  • Ken from Lasalle, OntarioSeventhmist From 7th Heaven, if they put out a global version of this song and excluded the US it would be revised to "37". The whole world went metric.
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenIf they put out a Canadian version of this song, would it need to be revised to "37?"
  • 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.
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