At the height of his career, Philadelphia-born singer Keith (no surname) was making $15,000 a week and getting back-slapped by a Beatle who told him what a great record Keith’s 1967 Top Ten hit 98.6 was.
The nadir came just two years later when US Army officials nabbed him for draft evasion in the middle of a concert tour. He was inducted and stationed for a year in New Jersey, “making coffee for generals”.
When he got out, Keith did some independent recording and joined Frank Zappa‘s 1973 touring band, trying to inject some Philly soul into toilet-joke tunes like Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow.
He eventually settled into a routine of tending bars for a living and playing local clubs in Los Angeles, drawing well, thanks to frequent oldies airplay of 98.6 there.
His Redondo Beach house was equipped with a 16-track studio and he continued to put out records, alternately under the names Keith and Barry Keefer (James Barry Keefer was his real name).