He later went solo and recorded "The Birds And The Bees" in 1965, on the Era Records label. The single went to Number 3 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart that year, and Number 2 on the Cash Box chart. Across the Pond it reached Number 29 in the UK Singles Chart. But the follow-up, "Georgie Porgie" only reached Number 68.
Akens has toured regularly since 1965 and includes a tribute to his mentor, Sam Cooke, in most of his shows. Akens also recorded what he considered to be his finest recordings, cover versions of Thurston Harris' "Little Bitty Pretty One" and Arthur Alexander's "You Better Move On". He toured with The Monkees and continued to record until the mid 1970s in a variety of styles. In 1973 he co-produced the critically acclaimed Super Taylors, a duet album of Southern soul by Ted Taylor and Little Johnny Taylor. In 1989-91 Akens recorded three singles with a group called The Feathers.
However, lack of further commercial success leaves him labelled as a one-hit wonder.