Though having not received any musical training, Sommers began her career as a jazz singer in Los Angeles, California. In 1960, she recorded a demo with composer/arranger Tommy Oliver, earning her a recording contract with Warner Bros. Sommers. Her debut single, "One Boy" from the musical Bye Bye Birdie, reached #54 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Throughout the 60s, she also maintained a byline as a singer of jingles for Pepsi-Cola (specifically, "It's Pepsi, for Those Who Think Young" and "Come Alive! You're in the Pepsi Generation"), earning her the nickname of "The Pepsi Girl." Years later, she also recorded a jingle for Diet Pepsi, though her work was uncredited. Fittingly, two of her albums -- For Those Who Think Young and Come Alive! -- were named after her classic jingles. Despite being a hit single,"One Boy" was passed over for inclusion on her debut album, Positively the Most!, whose cover touted the teenaged Sommers as "the greatest discovery in singing talent in the last fifteen years." This marked the beginning of a continuing trend for Sommers: alternating between commercial pop singles and more artistically challenging and varied albums, more often than not keeping the two completely disparate. In 1962, "Johnny Get Angry" (co-written by legendary songwriter and lyricist Hal David) became Sommers' biggest hit, driven by an anachronistic dark bass line and unusual instrumentation such as kazoos. However, the song drew noted criticism aimed at its lyrical content, perceived by some as having sexist or masochistic overtones. The follow-up single was "When the Boys Get Together", which reached #94 on the charts, becoming her final Hot 100 single, though she would later have two songs on the Adult Contemporary charts. In 1970, Sommers temporarily retired as a singer to focus on raising a family, making only one recording during the following decade, a soundtrack single for scrapped animation film The Peppermint Choo Choo.
She resumed her career at the turn of the decade, recording the album Dream in 1980. She has maintained a sporadic career of recording and performing ever since, continuing to experiment with a variety of musical styles. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more