Andy Kim (b Andrew Jouachim or Yoakim; also known as Baron Longfellow). Songwriter, popular singer, b Montreal 5 Dec 1952. Andy Kim attended school in Montreal and recorded his first single, "Give Me Your Love," for 20th Century Fox. He left Montreal for New York in 1967 to concentrate on his dream of entering the pop-music world. There Kim was signed by songwriter Jeff Barry to his new label, Steed Records. The two became a phenomenally successful songwriting team, beginning with Kim's recording of their "How'd We Ever Get This Way," a major hit in 1968 in both Canada and the US. There followed a string of ten hit Kim recordings, most co-written with Barry for the teen market, including the million-sellers "So Good Together" and "Baby, I Love You" (the latter by Barry with Phil Spector). Kim had equal success co-writing with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich for The Archies and their televised cartoon series. One of these tunes, "Sugar, Sugar," released in 1969, sold over 13 million copies. His "Shoot 'Em Up Baby" fared less well in the US, being mistakenly associated with urban unrest.
In 1974 Kim moved to Los Angeles, returning frequently to Montreal. A career downturn ended when in Montreal Kim and his brother Joe (his manager) formed Ice Records and released the album Andy Kim and his composition "Rock Me Gently." This recording signalled a more mature sound in Kim's songwriting than his earlier "bubblegum" or "teenybopper" style. The single reached the number one position in Canada and the US and was very popular in the United Kingdom and abroad.
1980s - 2005
Following "Rock Me Gently," Andy Kim maintained a low profile until Gordon Mills, manager of Tom Jones, signed him and recommended he adopt the name Baron Longfellow to distance himself from his teen idol image. In 1980 Kim-Longfellow released the adult contemporary single "Amour," nominated for Juno awards at home and popular in Europe. He enjoyed moderate success as Baron Longfellow, through the 1980s and 1990s continuing to write, record and occasionally perform, but remaining largely out of sight until he reappeared with yet another single, "I Forgot to Mention" (co-written with the Barenaked Ladies' Ed Robertson), and the 2005 release Powerdrive. These late successes demonstrated Andy Kim's longevity as a songwriter over almost four decades.
Recognition and Awards
Andy Kim appeared on North American television (eg, the Dinah Shore show in 1975) and on German television. His tours include a world tour in 1974, and performances in the 1980s in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Europe. He received the 1969 Juno award for top male vocalist, and numerous other Juno nominations, and performed at the 1975 Juno ceremony. In 2005 he was named Canadian Independent Music's favourite solo artist. His songs have received several BMI awards and have been recorded by Michelle Wright, James Last, the Monkees, Sha Na Na, Bobby Goldsboro and Tom Jones; "Sugar, Sugar" was used in the film A Very Brady Sequel (1996). Andy Kim has been compared in sound to Neil Diamond, and in career path to the earlier teen idol Paul Anka.