Bertie Higgins

Singer/songwriter Bertie Higgins was born Elbert Joseph Higgins in Tarpon Springs, Florida on December 8, 1944. He’s best-known for his 1981 hit single “Key Largo”, which reached the Number 8 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The single also hit Number 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and Number 8 on the Country Singles chart. Higgins began his career in showbusiness as a ventriloquist at the age of 12. His musical career began in high school playing dances and sock hops. A few years later, after graduating college, Higgins became the drummer in Tommy Roe and the Roemans and toured alongside bands like The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, and others. After leaving the Roemans, he switched to guitar and began working on his songwriting thanks to creative input from industry vets Bob Crewe, Felton Jarvis, and others. Higgins became a popular concert draw in Florida and befriended actor/director Burt Reynolds, who offered him advice on screenwriting. Higgins co-wrote and recorded “Key Largo”, which was initially rejected by his label, but they relented and issued the single, which became a huge hit. In 1982, he released his debut album, Just Another Day in Paradise, which climbed to the Number 38 spot on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The album also included the singles “Casablanca” and “Port O Call”. He released his second album Pirates and Poets in 1983. The album didn’t fare as well as his debut, although he remained popular in Japan. His next two albums – Gone With the Wind (1984) and Back to the Island (1991) – were released only in Japan. The Back to the Island album was repackaged with a different track list and reissued in 1994. Higgins continued to release studio albums and compilations throughout the next two decades including his 2019 album Wanted.

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