He was 79.
According to the LA Times obit, Akens began his career in the late 1950s, working with Eddie Daniels and guitar legend Eddie Cochran, and later recorded singles with the Four Dots doo-wop group.
In 1965, he was singing with an ensemble called the Turnarounds when record producer Herb Newman brought them "The Birds and the Bees," written by his teenage son. The rest of the group disliked the tune, but Akens decided to record it solo.
It became an instant hit, rising to the No. 3 spot on the Billboard pop chart in 1965.
None of Akens' later singles enjoyed the success of "The Birds and the Bees," but he went on to tour with the Monkees in the 1970s and performed into his 70s.
Jewel Eugene Akens was born Sept. 12, 1933, in
Houston, the seventh of
nine children in a working-class family. He became interested in music early in
life, singing for the church choir as a child.
In 1950, Akens moved with his family from
to Los Angeles, where he graduated from . Fremont High School