The Talented Jumpin’ Gene Simmons

The Talented Jumpin’ Gene Simmons

Jumpin’ Gene Simmons

Jumpin’ Gene Simmons (July 10, 1933 – August 29, 2006) was an American rockabilly singer and songwriter, best known for his 1964 novelty single “Haunted House”.

Jumpin’ Gene Simmons
Birth name Morris Eugene Simmons
Born July 10, 1933
Itawamba County, Mississippi, United States
Origin Tupelo, Mississippi, United States
Died August 29, 2006 (aged 73)
Genres Rock and roll, pop, rockabilly
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1958–2006

 

Biography

He was born Morris Eugene Simmons in Itawamba County, Mississippi, and began his recording career with Sun Records in 1958 while performing as an opening act for former labelmate Elvis Presley. However, the label released only one (non-charting) single from his recording sessions. His first and only Top 40 hit was “Haunted House”, a cover of a 1958 recording by Johnny Fuller which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964; the song represented one of Hi Records’ early successes. The track was later covered by the Compton Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ace Cannon, Hasil Adkins, Sam the Sham, John Fogerty, and John Anderson. His last work was “Indian Outlaw,” which he co-wrote, and was a hit for country music artist Tim McGraw in 1994.

Simmons’ Hi Records recordings were released as an anthology, Haunted House: The Complete Jumpin’ Gene Simmons on Hi Records, in June 2001. Sun Records followed suit in December 2006 with the 33-song collection Drinkin’ Wine: The Sun Years, Plus. He had recorded several albums with both labels but they were never released.

Brian Setzer covered one of Simmons’ singles, “Peroxide Blonde in a Hopped Up Model Ford,” for his 2005 album Rockabilly Riot, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Sun Records. A year later, Simmons died at age 73 in his hometown on August 29, 2006, on the 42nd anniversary of “Haunted House’s” entrance into the top 40, after a long illness.

Kiss bassist Gene Simmons (birth name: Chaim Witz) chose his stage name as a tribute to the singer.

 

Discography

Goin’ Back to Memphis (1987)
706 Union Ave. And Beyond (1998)
Haunted House: The Complete Jumpin’ Gene Simmons on Hi Records (2001)
Drinkin’ Wine: The Sun Years, Plus (2006)

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