People & Places
A Brief History
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mann began his career in entertainment as a comedy writer for Danny Thomas and Red Buttons, until his friend and songwriter, Bernie Lowe, encouraged him to try writing lyrics for the music industry. Mann co-wrote songs with Lowe and Dave Appell, yielding a number of manor rock and roll hits, such as Charlie Gracie's "Butterfly," which sold more than two million copies and also became a million seller for Andy Williams. He also co-wrote hits for Elvis Presley, Bobby Rydell and Chubby Checker.
In 1956, Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe founded Cameo Records, which later expanded into a subsidiary label called Parkway. With Parkway they signed an unknown singer, Ernest Evans, to their label. Ernest Evans would change his name to Chubby Checker, which helped Cameo/Parkway become one of the largest independent record labels in America.
Kal Mann was a great lyric writer and a real nice man. He was a funny guy and always had a funny story to tell you. I had a very good relationship with Kal.