"Huey Lewis & The News" is a (beloved) pop-rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1979...that would go on to have 19 Top-10 hits thru the 1980s and into the '90s.

Our thenightshiftshow.com/nj1015.com spotlight song, "Do You Believe In Love"...

I believe..."Do You Believe In Love" is playing on New Jersey 101.5! (Craig Allen photo).
I believe..."Do You Believe In Love"...is playing. (Craig Allen photo).

...would be the band's first chart hit.

And, I'll bet that you didn't know...Huey has a "Jersey Connection."

First, some quick band history to bring us to that first hit.

The FUTURE is (still) so bright, Huey has to wear shades! (Craig Allen photo).
The FUTURE is (still) so bright, Huey has to wear shades. (Craig Allen photo)

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 …"

I told you...Huey Lewis has a Jersey connection...and, that's NEWS.

By the way, he graduated at age 16.

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."

He was the harmonica player ("I started playing harmonica in high school")...not a lead singer.

On his harmonica playing, Huey says: "I pretty much learned harmonica from listening to records. I remember playing along with the record, then putting the needle back, playing along, then putting the needle back..."

Of Clover, Huey adds: "They lived in London, recorded two records in Wales, disbanded and moved back to San Francisco...in 1977."

As the music timeline continues, Huey formed a new band of his own, "Huey Lewis & The American Express."

Huey stepped into the spotlight, taking on lead vocals and playing harmonica, along with former Clover bandmate 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.

Their first single was ignored.

Soon, guitarist Chris Hayes would join the band, and they changed record labels.

The dawn of the "Big Decade,"--January 1980--would bring another change...a name change.

After the American Express company complained, the band became "Huey Lewis And The News."

"Vintage Huey" from my music library! (Craig Allen photo).
"Vintage Huey" from my music library. (Craig Allen photo).

The band's first studio album, the self-titled "Huey Lewis And The News" was released in late 1980...and went unnoticed.

Check out their early sound:

"Some Of My Lies Are True (Sooner Or Later)"...

...and "Now Here's You" failed to chart.


Listen again...

...I don't know about you, but I hear the "Huey Lewis sound" that we all know and love...in there. I'm just saying (but, I digress),

At this point, Chrysalis Records head honchos told the band that they would be dropped if their next album didn't produce a hit.

In 1982, the band released their second studio album, the self-produced "Picture This."

"Picture This" from my personal music library. (Craig Allen photo).
"Picture This" from my music library. (Craig Allen photo).

Those same record company managers who threatened the band with termination strongly "suggested" that a certain song be included....and, it turned out to be a good thing.

The "Picture This" album went gold (1 million sales), thanks to the breakout success of our spotlight song.

"Do You Believe In Love" roared up the Hot 100 chart! (#7/1982).

It was written by Robert "Mutt" Lange, who had produced "Clover" when they were in England!

Huey Lewis had spent 6 years in Clover...and was 30 when he formed the News...so:

He, and the guys, were determined to make music on their own terms...but gave in to their manager Bob Brown...and recorded "Do You Believe In Love."

This "overly commercial" record...saved their record deal...paid the bills...and paved the way for all the success to come.

You could say that the band was "wildly popular" by the mid-1980s, as they opened the 1985 Grammy Awards...contributed to the movie "Back To The Future" (there are many "Fun Facts" associated with the movie and those Huey hits...but, that's for another time)...and Huey Lewis sang on "We Are The World."

In fact, Huey Lewis says one of the best parts of "fame" is hanging out with his musical idols...a highlight was staying up til 8-am with Stevie Wonder ("he is so supremely talented and important"), Bob Dylan, Ray Charles ("he was always my favorite singer..I met him...and I was so in awe, I couldn’t say anything."), and Willie Nelson at the "We Are The World" recording session.

Huey & The News in 1984...on my prized Picture Disc. (Craig Allen photo).
Huey & The News in 1984...on my prized Picture Disc. (Craig Allen photo).

Huey Lewis & The News' subsequent albums "Sports" and "Fore!" produced 11 of their 19 "Top-10" hits.

I'll bet that you can sing along to: "Heart And Soul," "I Want A New Drug," "The Heart Of Rock & Roll," "If This Is it," "The Power Of Love," "Stuck With You," and "Hip To Be Square," among others.

The band has continued to release new music over the years...and there have been several "Greatest Hits" compilations.

And, while the band's lineup has changed somewhat since the mid-1990s, Huey Lewis And The News had been touring regularly...averaging about 70 shows a year.

Until 2018: Huey Lewis shocked the music world on April 13th, 2018...

"Two and a half months ago, just before a show in Dallas, I lost most of my hearing. Although I can still hear a little, one on one, and on the phone, I can't hear music well enough to sing. The lower frequencies distort violently making it impossible to find pitch. I've been to the House Ear Institute, the Stanford Ear Institute, and the Mayo Clinic, hoping to find an answer. The doctors believe I have Meniere's disease and have agreed that I can't perform until I improve. Therefore the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows. Needless to say, I feel horrible about this and wish to sincerely apologize to all the fans who've already bought tickets and were planning to come see us. I'm going to concentrate on getting better, and hope that one day soon I'll be able to perform again.

Sincerely Huey"

Of course, then and now, we wish Huey Lewis...Lawrenceville School grad...all the best...

In the immediate aftermath of his announcement, Huey Lewis posted his thanks to his fans, saying: "The response from my colleagues, friends, and fans has been truly overwhelming. And extremely heartening. It helps me to focus on improving, and finding a way to sing again. Thanks to everyone. – Huey"

On his Meniere's disease, Huey says it makes singing difficult. Some days, his hearing is "bad." Some days, he's "deaf" (his words), adding "it's important to be thankful for just everything I have."

In 2019, the single "While We're Young" was released...

...ahead of the 7-song album "Weather" in 2020. The songs were recorded just before the start of Huey Lewis' hearing issues.

Meniere's disease.

As I have said before, not all "facts" are "fun" in the rock 'n' roll world.

But, I would like to end on a fun note, so:

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 teenage years. It grew from “Huey Louie” to Huey “Lewis."

Check out "Huey Lewis & The News" cool official website by clicking here...you'll especially enjoy the "Ask Huey" section.

Like them on their official Facebook page by clicking here.

Hang in there, "Huey Louie!"

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