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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Len Barry born 12 June 1942

 Len Barry (born Leonard Borisoff, June 12, 1942, West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States) is a retired American vocalist, songwriter and record producer.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Barry had little thought of a show business career while still in school. Instead, he aspired to become a professional baseball player upon his graduation. It was not until he entered military service and had occasion to sing with the U.S. Coast Guard band at Cape May, NJ, and was so encouraged by the response of his military audiences, that he decided to make music a career.

Upon his discharge from military service, Barry returned home to Philadelphia and joined The Dovells as their lead singer. His is the lead voice on their best selling records "Bristol Stomp", "Hully Gully Baby" and "You Can't Sit Down", among others. "Bristol Stomp" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Barry also made film appearances with The Dovells in films such as Don't Knock the Twist, as well as guest appearances on US television on The Dick Clark Show, Shindig, and Hullabaloo. Soon after leaving the group, Barry recorded his first solo single "Lip Sync".


As a predominately blue-eyed soul singer, he recorded two hits in 1965 for Decca Records in the US and released by Brunswick Records in the UK: "1-2-3", and "Like a Baby", both of which made the Top Ten of the UK Singles Chart. Those songs also peaked at #2 and #27 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart respectively. "1-2-3" sold over one and three quarter million copies, and gave Barry his second gold disc. Both "1-2-3" and "Like a Baby" were composed by Barry, John Madara and Dave White, one of the original Juniors from Danny & the Juniors. Barry also covered "Treat Her Right" by another blue-eyed soul act, Roy Head and the Traits.

In 1969 Barry and Madara co-produced The Original Version: Journey To The Moon LP for Buddah Records. According to Madara, "Neil Bogart wanted to be the first record company out with authentic conversations with the astronauts and others, including President Nixon, using original music that we composed."[5] Barry used Madara's studio band (including Daryl Hall of future Hall & Oates fame) that would become Gulliver: (Tim Moore (guitar), Tom Sellers (bass), Daryl Hall (keyboards), Jim Helmer (drums) and named them the 'Sound of Genesis' for this album. Sellers arranged it and it was billed as
being recorded live on Earth, in Space and on the Moon. According to Madara, this album "was approved by NASA, who sent in the tapes every day to us of the moon flight, which we used on the LP."

Barry, obsessed with Indian culture, then went on to write and produce "Keem-O-Sabe" (which his longtime friend, sometime manager, and America's first club DJ Alan White called the first disco hit record), and was later instrumental in the creation of the Philadelphia disco sound. Again, Sellers arranged it and the future Gulliver performed it (this time as The Electric Indian) in conjunction with two musicians, Bobby Eli
(guitar) and Vince Montana (vibraphone), who would go on to fame with MFSB and the Salsoul Orchestra. "Broad Street", the single's B-side, also written and produced by Barry and never issued on an LP, was an instrumental.

Even after his period of hit records ended, Barry continued performing his entertaining stage act, and later moved into songwriting and production work with WMOT Productions. With Bobby Eli he helped write the hit singles "Zoom" for Fat Larry's Band, and "Love Town" for Booker Newberry III.

In May 2008, Barry reinvented himself as a writer with the publication of the semi-biographical novel, Black-Like-Me. The storyline involved a pair of Caucasian siblings growing up in a largely African-American neighborhood, accepted by some, rejected by others; in a sort of reverse-perspective morality tale.(Info Wikipedia)



boppinbob said...

For Len Barry's LP 1-2-3 go here:

1. 1-2-3 (2:20)
2. Will You Love Me Tomorrow (2:52)
3. Treat Her Right (2:16)
4. I.O.U (2:36)
5. Would I Love You (2:59)
6. Lip Sync (2:34)
7. You Baby (2:42)
8. Like A Baby (2:50)
9. Bullseye (2:43)
10. At The Hop 65' (2:42)
11. Don't Throw Your Love Away (2:07)
12. Happiness (2:24)

stonefish55 said...

I was thinking about a Len Barry post myself BB, so it was good to be able to relax and read somebody else's writeup of the man. I might even steal some of your info when the time ever comes for me to complete such a post (I'm sure you won't mind). Thanks also for the link - I have been meaning to chase up a compilation of his hits somewhere and that also solved that problem. Real English weather over here today - plenty of fog and misty rain - two days in a row and let me tell you, it's awfully hard t play golf in fog (as I found out yesterday). Cheers.

zephyr said...

Many thanks Bob :)