K-Chuck Radio: The many hits of one-hit wonder Robin Ward

Robin Ward has recorded hundreds of songs.  But not under her real name.  Heck, Robin Ward isn’t even Robin Ward’s real name … so follow along with me.

Jackie Ward was a very accomplished pop singer who was in high demand as a background vocalist and demo performer.  In fact, it’s her voice of “The young Mexican girl” that can be heard in the background of the Pat Boone novelty song “Speedy Gonzales.”  Just ignore the rest of the cringe-worthy lyrics to this song.

Ugh.  Okay.  That’s over with.

In 1963, Ward made a demo recording for producer Perry Botkin; as a “demo song,” the recording would be used to show other performers how to best re-create the song for their own hit.  But with all the work put into the demo, Botkin thought the song might actually be a hit of its own.  So here’s Jackie Ward’s hit song “Wonderful Summer.”

And just because I’m in a good mood today, here’s the ultra-rare stereo version of this song.

Notice I said “Jackie Ward.”  The song was credited to “Robin Ward,” because Jackie’s voice was sped up to make her sound like a teenager.  So she credited the performance to her infant daughter Robin Ward, and that’s how the record was labeled.  In fact, here’s a recreation of what her voice would have sounded like at the corrected pitch.

Here’s another sweet Spectropop track from Robin Ward, her voice multi-tracked and presented as a studio group called The Joys.

Here’s another “studio group” consisting of Robin Ward and her several selves, now presented as “The Rainbows” and singing about the drummer of some then-new popular band.

She also worked as a duet partner with other singers, including Bobby Paris on this track “Who Needs You.”

And if you’ve watched any number of 1960’s-era films, you might have heard Robin Ward’s voice … albeit coming out of someone else’s mouth.  For example, here’s Robin Ward as Natalie Wood’s voice in “Sweetheart Tree,” a song from the film The Great Race.

And here’s actress Linda Evans, lip-syncing to Robin Ward’s voice in the song “He’s My True Love.”  Man, can you imagine Frankie Avalon’s dilemma – he’s sitting next to Annette Funicello (mmm) and Linda Evans is on stage (mmm).  Go figure.

And if you’ve watched more than one episode of The Partridge Family, you’ve heard Robin Ward’s voice as one of the background singers.  Like, for example, in this track from one of their early episodes.

So, yeah, you’ve heard Robin Ward in lots of places.  Not just in a sped-up version of a lush 1963 teen-pop ballad.

Not bad for a day on K-Chuck Radio, eh?