Hello, Edward Byrnes was born Edward Breitenberger on July 30, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. Ed is an actor known for his starring role in the television series 77 Sunset Strip. He was in the 1978 movie, Grease as Vince Fontaine. His most famous role was as Gerald Lloyd “Kookie” Kookson III. He played a hair-combing valet parker at a restaurant next door to 77 Sunset Strip. He played an unlicensed detective who helped the private eyes on their cases. He called everybody “Dad” and was a hipster, who talked the jive and was street smart.
His constant hair combing led to many jokes and of course a big hit record. On April 20, 1959 Edd charted his first hit record, KOOKIE, KOOKIE (LEND ME YOUR COMB) on Warner Records, the female voice on the record is actress Connie Stevens. Edd “Kookie” Byrnes record climbed the Billboard Hot 100 to #4 and remained on the chart for 13 weeks. The song was so popular that Edd and Connie Stevens appeared together on ABC’s, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom. The song is a narative with Connie Stevens and Edd talking about “Kookies” comb. She is trying to get him to stop combing his hair, but with little success. The hip words flow throughout the song, with the final word from “Kookie” being…”baby your the ginchiest”
On August 10, 1959 Edd charted his second hit record, LIKE I LOVE YOU. The single charted at #42 on the Hot 100 and remained on the chart for 9 weeks. It would be his last charted hit. The success of KOOKIE, KOOKIE (LEND ME YOUR COMB) led to Warner Records releasing an album. Edds music career was short but his “Gold Record”, is still a favorite on oldies radio, more than 50 years after it was one of the biggest records in the USA.
In later years Edd appeared in many television programs and movies. In 1996 he wrote an autobiography entitled “Kookie No More”. Edd Byrnes made it cool to be hip, in 1959 and in the process, became part of the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”.
Till the next time—Joe