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music friday: kookie

Edd Byrnes died on Wednesday.

In the mid-1950s, Warner Brothers began producing television series that were versions of their old B-movies. There were Westerns like Cheyenne, Maverick, and Sugarfoot, detective shows (77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye), and the like. 77 Sunset Strip, which ran for six seasons, was about a private detective agency in Los Angeles. A supporting character, Gerald Lloyd Kookson III, known as "Kookie", worked as a parking attendant next to the agency offices, and he, as well as actor Edd Byrnes, who played him, became breakout stars.

Hawaiian Eye was a similiar series that took place in Hawaii and ran four seasons. One supporting character, photographer and singer Cricket, was played by Connie Stevens.

What followed was inevitable, given Byrnes' popularity with teenagers: a hit single, "Kookie Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)", performed by Byrnes and Stevens. Here they are lip syncing on American Bandstand:

A clip from 77 Sunset Strip:

And an episode of Family Feud featuring the casts of Hawaiian Eye and Lost in Space:


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