Meet Huey Lewis & The News [PHOTOS, VIDEOS]
Huey Lewis And The News are a San Francisco-based pop band that scored 19 top-ten singles across the Billboard Hot 100, Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Rock charts in the 1980’s and early 1990’s!
Huey Lewis was born Hugh Anthony Cregg III, in New York City, on July 5th, 1950.
On the band’s official website, Huey describes his early years this way:
“Huey was born a long time ago in New York City. He moved to Marin County, California when he was 4 years old (better sandboxes!). At the tender age of 13, he went east to boarding school at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, where he began to play the harmonica …”
Yes, Huey Lewis has a Jersey connection…now, that’s NEWS!
Huey continues: “After graduating, he hitch-hiked throughout western Europe playing his harmonica for a year, and then attended Cornell University for a year and a half, where he played in bands, and went to some classes. After dropping out of Cornell, Huey moved back to California where he soon joined the country-rock band Clover.
Clover played 3 or 4 sets a night, five or more nights a week for six years before being signed by Phonogram Records in London.
They lived in London, recorded two records in Wales, disbanded and moved back to San Francisco… in 1977.”
Huey formed a new band, “Huey Lewis & The American Express,” consisting of himself on lead vocals and harmonica, with former Clover band mate Sean Hopper on keyboards and backup vocals. Plus, three guys from San Francisco Bay Area rival band, Soundhole: drummer Bill Gibson, Johnny Colla on guitar and sax, and bassist Mario Cipollina.
After signing a contract with Phonogram Records 1978, the new band went into the studio. The 1979 single “Exo-Disco” (a disco version of the theme from the film “Exodus”) was ignored.
Soon, guitarist Chris Hayes would join the band, and they switched labels, to Chrysalis.
January 1980 would bring another change…a name change. After the American Express company complained, the band became “Huey Lewis And The News.”
The band’s first studio album, “Huey Lewis And The News” was released in late 1980…and went unnoticed.
“Some Of My Lies Are True (Sooner Or Later)”
and “Now Here’s You” failed to chart.
In 1982, the band released their second studio album, the self-produced “Picture This.”
The album went gold, thanks to the breakout success of the hit single “Do You Believe In Love” (#7/1982).
Largely because of the single, the album remained on the Billboard 200 album chart for 35 weeks, and peaked at #13!
“Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do” (#36/1982).
and “Workin’ For A Livin'”, followed.. the video got heavy airplay on MTV! (#41/1982).
Due to record label delays on the release of their third studio album, “Sports,” late 1983 saw Huey Lewis and the News touring small clubs in a bus to promote the record (eventually known as the “Workin’ for a Livin'” tour).
The new album initially hit #6 in the U.S. when first released. However, “Sports” slowly became a number-one hit in 1984, and achieved multi-platinum success in 1985. All due to the band’s frequent touring and videos that received heavy MTV airplay. Four singles were huge hits:
Heart And Soul (#8/1983).
“I Want A New Drug” (#6/1984).
“The Heart Of Rock & Roll,” (#6/1984).
“If This Is It” (#6/1984).
The album has sold over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone!
Their song “The Power Of Love” went to #1…
…and was featured in the 1985 film “Back To The Future,” for which they also recorded the song, “Back In Time.”
As you can see, Lewis has a cameo appearance in the film…
…telling Marty McFly that his band is “just too darn loud.”
“The Power of Love” was nominated for an Academy Award.
Following the success of “The Power of Love” and Back To The Future, Huey Lewis and the News released their fourth studio album, “Fore!” in 1986.
By now, the band was on a roll…and like “Sports,” “Fore!” was a #1 album. The album spawned the number-one singles: “Stuck With You”
and “Jacob’s Ladder.” (1987)
“Hip To Be Square” was a #3 single (1986).
and “Doing It All For My Baby” went to #6 in 1987…
This video is really a mini-movie…..its…electrifying!
In all, the album had five top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified triple platinum.
The band continued to tour throughout 1987, and released “Small World” in 1988.
After two multi-platinum albums, “Small World” was considered a commercial disappointment, peaking at (only) #11, and only going platinum. The album, which was thought to be more jazz and less rock than their previous albums, had one top ten single:
“Perfect World” reached #3 (1988) on the pop chart.
At the end of the Small World Tour in 1989, the band took a break from recording and heavy touring and left Chrysalis Records.
In 1991, they released “Hard At Play” on the EMI label.
“Couple Days Off” (#11/1991).
and “It Hit Me Like a Hammer” (#21/1991) were released.
The album was certified Gold (one million sales) and the band headlined another world tour in support of it, which would be their last album of new material for a decade.
The band changed labels again, signing with Elektra.
1994 saw release of the album “Four Chords And Several Years Ago.” It featured doo-wop and rock songs from the 1950’s and 1960’s.
“But It’s Alright” could only manage to go to #54 in 1994…
…and I played it on Philadelphia radio!
In early 1997, the band released their first greatest hits album, “Time Flies,” which focused on the hits from “Picture This,” “Sports” and “Fore!” plus four new songs.
After Lewis’s co-starring role in the 2000 film, “Duets” with Gwyneth Paltrow
(in which they performed their cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Cruisin'”), the News released their first album of new material, “Plan B,” on Jive Records in 2001. It only briefly made the charts, while the single, “Let Her Go & Start Over”, became a minor adult hit.
In December 2004, Huey Lewis and the News recorded the live album “Live At 25,”
celebrating their 25th anniversary as a band.
Another compilation “Greatest Hits & Videos” was released in 2006!
In 2008, they recorded the theme song to the action-comedy film “Pineapple Express.” The song plays over the end credits, and appears on the film’s soundtrack album.
Huey and the band returned to the studio in 2010, recording their first album of new material in nearly a decade. “Soulsville” is a Stax Records tribute album.
While the band’s lineup has changed somewhat since the mid 1990’s, Huey Lewis And The News has been touring regularly for about the last 10 years. They average about 70 shows a year!
At the moment, Huey Lewis And The News is working on a new album…and hitting the road, touring to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the “Sports” album!
They will be at the State Theatre in New Brunswick on Friday, May 10th at 8pm…WIN tickets all weekend, from New Jersey 101.5!! (To BUY tickets, you can click here).
Just one more thing…
WHERE did the name Huey Lewis come from?!
“Lewis” explains on his website:
“Huey Lewis was a nickname my first girlfriend’s father gave to me in my teen age years. It grew from “Huey Louie” to Huey “Lewis.”
Check out the band’s cool official website here….you’ll especially enjoy the “Ask Huey” section!
“Like” them on their official facebook page, by clicking here!
And, enjoy the show at the State Theatre on May 10th, with New Jersey 101.5!