September 1967 was a historic month for Jay And The Techniques, a little-known band from Allentown, PA. In 1966, the band—led by Jay Proctor–was discovered by songwriter Jerry Ross (whose partner and management client at the time was Kenny Gamble). During his career, Ross amassed his own impressive list of accomplishments—not the least of which include roles in writing songs such as “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” by The Supremes and The Temptations, discovering artists like Bobby Hebb and Bill Deal & The Rhondels, and producing sessions by Jerry Butler. However, Ross was also hired to run a new label, Smash Records, as a subsidiary to Mercury Records—and one of his first signings was the Allentown pop group. In 1966, he had discovered a demo of a song written by Maurice Irby called “Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie”; a friend of Ross’, working as a DJ in Allentown at the time, suggested the local band would be perfect to record the song.
In September 1967, Jay And The Techniques’ version of “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie,” scaled the Billboard music charts, peaking at #6; that same month, the band performed the song on The Ed Sullivan Show on New Year’s Eve. (The follow-up, “Keep The Ball Rolling,” would later hit the charts at #11.) A two-and-a-half minute blast of upbeat Motown-esque soul, “Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” has since become a staple on oldies radio stations, and an important collectible of the Northern Soul movement.
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