Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Today In Oldies 11/30/2010

Golden Hits Radio & GHR-2's Everything Oldies........we report the Oldies, you decide

Oldies on TV

  • Natalie Cole -- Tavis Smiley - PBS (check local listings)
  • Stevie Wonder -- Larry King Live - CNN
  • Rod Stewart -- The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - NBC

Where In The World Is.........Len Barry?

Most folks aspire to a show business career from a very young age, but not Len Barry.  He initally planned to gain fame playing professional baseball, and it was yet another vocation, the military, that provided the path to stardom. 

Born Leonard Borisoff in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Len Barry was more athlete than musician growing up.  Upon graduating high school, he joined the Army and had the opportunity to sing in the Army band.  Encouraged by the response of the audience, he embarked upon a music career following his discharge, and it was onward and upward from there. 

Returning to Philadelphia, Barry became the lead singer of The Dovells.  He sang lead on several of their hits, including the million-selling "Bristol Stomp".  He also got his first taste of acting during this stint, appearing in the feature film Don't Knock The Twist.

In 1965, he struck out on his own.  Signed to Decca Records in the U.S. and Brunswick Records in the U.K., his success as a singer continued independently of The Dovells.  Very few artists can claim to have had one of their records in John Lennon's personal jukebox, but Len Barry pulled that off with his first smash solo hit.  "1-2-3" hit #2 in the U.S. and was a Top 10 hit in England.  Barry scored another minor American hit with "Like A Baby". 

Two hits didn't produce others for Len Barry, and by 1969, he moved to the other side of the recording studio glass window as a producer.  Capitalizing on an idea he had with "1-2-3" co-writer John Madara and record mogul Neil Bogart, Barry co-produced The Original Version: Journey To The Moon, album featuring conversations with NASA astronauts, President Richard Nixon, and others involved in the U.S. space program's defining moment set to original music co-written by Barry and Madara.  The group put together to perform the original music included a young Philadelphia area keyboard player named Daryl Hall, later of Hall & Oates.  Barry also wrote and produced "Keem O Sabe", which foreshadowed the emergence of disco in the early 70's.  

Barry continued performing, and later ventured into songwriting and producing with WMOT Productions.  He has retired from the music business, but in 2008 he took on a brand new role......writer.  His first novel, the semi-biographical Black Like Me, involves a pair of white siblings growing up in a largely African-American neighborhood.  He still lives in Philadelphia.  

If you were having trouble counting in 1965, Len Barry was there to provide a helping hand.........


Golden Hits Radio & GHR-2's Burning Question of the Day 

Which artist holds the record for the longest time between their first and last #1 songs?

Check back tomorrow @ Everything Oldies for the answer.....and leave a comment here with your best guess! 

Yesterday's Burning Question (and Answer) of the Day

For their third "appearance" on the Ed Sullivan Show on June 5, 1966, The Beatles made what are considered to be two of the first music videos ever created.  What 2 songs did they "perform" via videotape?

Answer: "Rain" and "Paperback Writer"


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