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Remembered for his 1967 Top Ten smash "98.6," singer Keith was born James Barry Keefer in Philadelphia on May 7, 1949. According to legend, he earned his first record deal with Columbia after camping out on the doorstep of A&R executive Jerry Ross; the resulting single, 1966's "Caravan of Lonely Men," was credited to Keith and the Admirations. When Ross moved to Mercury Records he took Keith with him, and the singer soon cracked the Top 40 with his solo debut, "Ain't Gonna Lie; " "98.6" reached the number seven position in the first week of 1967, but except for one last Top 40 entry -- "Tell Me to My Face" -- he never again appeared on the U.S. charts. After his 1968 sophomore LP Out of Crank failed to create public interest, Keith signed to Frank Zappa's Discreet label to issue the single "In and Out of Love"; after one final album, 1969's RCA release The Adventures of Keith, he retired from performing, briefly attempting an unsuccessful comeback during the mid-1980s.
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