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[New!]Tony Talent & the Coalitions

Golden Bells & Contessas

Sweet Delights

Sammy Strain & the Imperials, 1964 -, Part 4 in the series

Sammy Strain & the Imperials, 1961 - 1963 Part 3

Sammy Strain & the Fantastics Part 2

Sammy Strain & the Chips Part 1

Asbury Park Vocal Groups Pt. 2

Asbury Park Vocal Groups, Pt.1

Philly's Original Capris

Little Jimmy & The Tops

Teddy & Twilights, Deckers

Groups from Philly's Francisville - Belltones, Joe Cook's Thrillers, Royal Demons, Madison Brothers

Sensations - Part 1

Sensations - Part 2

Johnny Maestro, the Crests & Brooklyn Bridge

Johnny Stiles & the Medallions on Essex

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The Vic Donna Story

Orioles' Deborah Chessler

Tyrone & the Nu-Ports

Windy City Harmony: Calvaes, Blenders & Accents

        The Del Larks

Richard Barrett Part 1: The Valentines

Richard Barrett
Part 2:
Frankie Lymon & Teenagers

Richard Barrett
Part 3: The Chantels, Clickettes,
Fashions Veneers

Richard Barrett
Part 4:

Little Anthony & Imperials

Richard Barrett
Part 5: Lewis Lymon
&
Teenchords Jimmy Castor & Juniors

Richard Barrett
Part 6: The Channels,
Isley Bros, Del Knights

Richard Barrett Part 7: The 3 Degrees, Showmen

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Renovations to the Classic Urban Harmony Library

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bullet [New!]TNT with Vic Donna Group & Charlie Horner
 
bulletAsbury Angels 2014, Bobby Thomas
 
bulletRichard Nader Doo Wop Concert XXV
 
bullet2014 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
 
bullet Billy Vera Big Band at the Cutting Room NYC
 
bullet VGHA Extravaganza III
 
bullet Asbury Park Gospel Explosion

African American
Museum Philadelphia
Gospel Awards Ceremony

 
bullet Ray Goodman & Brown in Plainfield
 
bulletRe-MemberThen
at NJ Doo Wop Singers Club 2013

 
bulletEncounters at Somerset Run
 
bulletRichard Nader's Doo Wop Celebration XXVI
bullet
2013 Asbury Angels Plaque Dedications
 
bullet VGHA Acappella Extravaganza II
 
bullet2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
 
bullet Time Capsule Show 50th Anniversary
bullet
2013 Portsmouth, VA Gospel Concert
 
bulletRe-MemberThen
at Manchester, NJ

 
bulletRe-MemberThen
at New Providence Library

 
bulletJohn Moore's Middle Room Records Closes
 
bulletLittle Isidore in Fair Lawn, NJ
 
bulletNJ Doo Wop Singers Club Jan 2013
 
bulletCelebrating Asbury Park's West Side Harmony
 
bulletDoo Wop Singers Club 4th Anniversary
 
bulletChuck Berry Honored by the R&R Hall of Fame
 
bulletQuiet Storm at Somerset Run
 
bulletAsbury Angels 2012 Induction Ceremony
 
bullet2012 Philly Doo Wop Festival
 
bullet2012 Lead East
 
bulletTNT R&B and Doo Wop Party, Aug 2012
 
bulletPam Nardella's Frankie Lymon Tombstone BBQ
 
bullet Classic Urban Harmony Celebrates Vocal Harmony & the Masqueraders 50th Anniversary
Multi-Part
 
bulletFrankie Lymon Tombstone Finds a New Home
 
bulletStormin Norman Seldin & Return of Ray & Darchaes in Monmouth Beach NJ
 
bullet2012 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
 
bulletTNT North Jersey R&B and Doo Wop Party - 2nd Anniversary
 
bulletAcappella Extravaganza at Molloy College 2011
 
bulletDoo Wop Singers Club (NJ) Third Anniversary
 
bulletSoul of Asbury Park Concert
 
bulletMasqueraders Silver Star Competition
 
bullet6th Annual Philly Doo Wop Festival
 
bulletSouth Philly String Band Club After Party to 6th Philly Doo Wop Festival
 
bulletTymes' Norman & Peggy Burnett BBQ 2011
 
bullet2011 Lead East
 
bullet Morris Museum Acappella & Doo Wop Concert # Two
 
bullet Morris Museum Acappella Concert # One
 
bulletClassic Urban Harmony Presentation NJ Doo Wop Groups Part 2
 
bulletClassic Urban Harmony Presentation NJ Doo Wop Groups Part 1
 
bulletMorris Museum LaBamba & Quiet Storm Concert
 
bulletMorris Museum Jersey Rocks Exhibit Opening
 
bulletMorris Museum Jersey Rocks Launch Party
 
bulletEvening With Vocal Group Legends Concert
 
bulletRe-memberThen Finds Its Echo
 
bulletSteve Applebaum Tribute Concert
 
bulletWFDU Fundraiser, Teaneck, NJ March 2011
 
bullet Four J's Jimmy Testa Tribute & Benefit Concert
 
bulletVic Donna Group Rehearsal at CUH Headquarters
 
bulletPam & Charlie's 5th Anniversary Celebration - Multi Parts
 
bullet2010 Philly Doo Wop Festival
 
bullet"Doll Face" Musical Comedy
 
bulletNJ Doo Wop & Street Corner Harmony Association
 
bulletNick @ Nite Open Mic Night
 
bulletLeins Wedding
 
bullet"Fun-Raiser" at South Philly String Band Club
 
bulletRichard Nader’s Summer Doowop Reunion XXI
 
bulletPhilly Doo Wop Diner Mural
 
bulletMaking Crossroads 2
 
bulletCornerstone CD Release Party
 
bulletVirginia Legends of Gospel Concert
 
bulletS. Philly Stringband Club Jan 13, 2010
 
bulletRemembering Ronnie I. Concert Nov 2009
 
bulletPGHA's Heavenly Harmony XII Concert
 
bulletS. Philly Stringband
Club
Testimonial
 
bulletFilming a Documentary
on Acappella
 
bulletAcappella Group Soul'D
Out on
Celebrity
Solstice
Oct 2009
 
bulletBattleship New Jersey Dance & Concert
 
bulletWVLT Cruisin' 92.1 Concert
 
bulletTymes' Norman & Peggy Burnett 2009 BBQ
 
bullet2009 Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival
 
bulletAcappella Group Choice at Franklin Township Public Library
 
bullet American Bandstand Studio Fundraiser
 
bulletAcappella at the South Philly String Band Club Revisited
 
bulletFour Man Trio at At Dover NJ's Attilio's Tavern
 
bulletNicky Addeo at Asbury Park's Wonder Bar
 
bulletASAP's First Acappella Concert
 
bulletAcappella at the South Philly String Band Club
 
bulletVisiting Radio's Past & Present at WDVR-FM
 
bullet Chicago SoulTrip USA
 
bulletR&R Hall
of Fame
Interview with
Orioles' Deborah
Chessler

 
bulletSilhouettes' John Wilson Visits CUH World Headquarters
 
bulletNJ Doowop Group Harmony Club, 2009.
 
bullet New Years Eve 2008 with Nicky Addeo & Nite Owls
 
bullet 2008 European Road Trip: Deep River Quartet & Golden Gate Quartet
 
bullet 2008 Black Swan Burlington Concert
 
bullet 2008 Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival
 
bullet Mills Bros,
Ink Spots
Beach Haven

 
bulletPhilly Doo Wop
Festival 2008

 
bullet Philly Doo Wop
Festival 2006

    PROFILES IN
    HARMONY

    In Tribute

bullet [New!]Robert Murphy, Neighbors Complaint
 
bullet Walter McNeil, Gospel Nobleaires
 
bullet Jewel Akens, 4 Dots
 
bulletVirgil Johnson, Velvets
 
bulletCleotha Staples, Staple Singers
 
bulletDarlene McCrae, Cookies, Raeletts
 
bulletGregory Carroll, Four Buddies, Orioles, Dappers, Ink Spots
 
bulletJerome Ramos, Velours
 
bulletMickey "Guitar" Baker
 
bulletEarl Speedo Carroll, Cadillacs
 
bulletMajor Harris, Delfonics, Nat Turner Rebellion, R&B Soloist
 
bulletBilly Scott, Prophets
 
bulletCleve Duncan, Penguins
 
bulletDeborah Chessler, Songwriter,Mentor to the Orioles
 
bulletWilla Ward, Ward Singers, Gay Charmers
 
bulletBobby Thomas, Vibranaires, Vibes, V-Eights, Orioles
 
bulletJohn Jones, Moments Pleasure, Norristones, Copians
 
bulletChester Brown. The Counts
 
bulletJimmy Ellis, Trammps, Cordells, Exceptions
 
bulletJimmy Castor
 
bulletJack Scandura
 
bullet Cadillacs' Bobby Phillips
 
bulletBobby Robinson
 
bulletRobins' Grady Chapman
 
bullet Blue Notes' Roosevelt Brodie
 
bullet Moonglows' Harvey Fuqua
 
bulletCrests' & Brooklyn Bridge's Johnny Maestro
 
bulletDelroys' Reggie Walker
 
bulletSolitaires' & Vocaleers' Herman Dunham
 
bulletValentines' & Del-Knights' Eddie Edgehill
 
bulletChris Bartley
 
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bulletLes Paul
 
bullet Castelles' Billy Taylor

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bullet40 Years of Group Harmony: Ray Block's Photos of Vintage, Ad-Libs, Reunion, Bon-Aires, East River Drive
 
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Angelic Gospel
Singers

 
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The 60th Anniversary of the Vinyl 45 RPM Single

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bullet Vocalaries' White Christmas
 
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bulletDominoes' Christmas In Heaven
 
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Lonely Christmas

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2011 What's New?

This is an archive of our What's New Page from 2011.  Events are in reverse order with the latest events on top, the older events farther down.  For events from other years that our website existed, see...

What's New (Current)
2013 What's New Page
2012 What's New Page
2010 What's New Page
2009 What's New Page
2008 What's New Page
 

The Year 2011 in Review

2011 has been an eventful year in Classic Urban Harmony.  We had some very happy and some very sad times.  We wanted to do something special and wrap up the year with a slide show of some of the many memories that we've captured in photograph.  We couldn't cover everything but we hope you the slide show below will bring back some fond memories of the year gone by.  Happy New Year! - Charlie & Pam

To view the 81 photos: Clicking on any thumbnail photo enlarges it.
 

Vic Donna Group at CUH Headquarters

Re-MemberThen finds its echo!

Lar-Kings singing at the WFDU Fundraiser

In Memorium: Steve Applebaum with Charlie

Carole Applebaum with Pam at Steve Applebaum Tribute at South Philly String Band Club

Charlie Horner & Eddie Natale at Steve Applebaum Tribute at S. Philly String Band Club

Nostalgia 5 at Steve Applebaum Tribute at South Philly String Band Club

Pam & Charlie with Val Shively at Steve Applebaum Tribute

Re-MemberThen singing at Steve Applebaum Tribute at South Philly String Band Club

Mills Bros Society Reunion in Bellefonte

Bellefonte, PA: ancestral home of the Mills Bros

Mills Bros Society officers: Anthony DiFlorio, Dan Clemson & Charlie

Pam overseeing the Mills Bros memorabilia display

The Mills Brothers: John Mills & Elmer Hopper in Bellefonte

Charlie & John Mills in Bellefonte

Elmer Hopper, Pam & Charlie in Bellefonte

Charlie (guest appearance) with Felix Hernandez on WBGO

Alan David Stein & Charlie (guest) on WMTR

Classic Urban Harmony presentation at Garwood (NJ) Library

Classic Urban Harmony presentation at Garwood (NJ) Library

Classic Urban Harmony presentation in Washington's Crossing, PA

Pam and our memorabilia display in Washington's Crossing, PA

Classic Urban Harmony presentation in Washington's Crossing, PA

Legends Concert in Centerton, NJ

Swallows performing in Centerton

Swallows lead Eddie Rich & Pam

Bobby Thomas & Quiet Storm in Centerton

Jersey Rocks Exhibit and Program at the Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ

Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ

Pam & Charlie with some of their displayed memorabilia at the Morris Museum

More memorabila from the CUH Archives on display, Morris Museum

Flyer from the two-part Classic Urban Harmony presentations at the Morris Museum

The Morris-Tones open the first Classic Urban Harmony presentation, "New Jersey Doo Wop Groups Part 1"

CUH presentation, "New Jersey Doo Wop Groups Part 1" at the Morris Museum

Carl Anderson & Ted Bennett of the Plurals view their display at the Morris Museum

Duprees' founder, Tom Bialoglow, at the Duprees display, Morris Museum

The Morris-Tones open the second CUH presentation, "NJ Doo Wop Groups Part 2" at the Morris Museum

Celebrity NJ doo wop singers at the CUH Morris Museum second presentation

14 Karat Soul performs at the Morris Museum Jersey Rocks Acappella Concert #1

Sheps singing at Jersey Rocks Acappella Concert #1

Copians singing at Morris Museum Acappella Concert #1

Nicky Addeo & Nite Owls at Jersey Rocks Acappella Concert #1

Poster for the second Jersey Rock Doo Wop & Acappella Concert (designed by Warren Tesoro)

Joe Ziza & Friends; Jersey Rocks Doo Wop Concert #2

Quiet Storm at the second Doo Wop & Acappella Concert at Morris Museum

The Del Larks at the 2nd Jersey Rocks Doo Wop & Acappella Concert

Bobby Thomas & Quiet Storm tribute to the Orioles at the second Morris Museum Doo Wop & Acappella Concert

Pam, Bobby Thomas & Charlie at the Morris Museum

Classic Urban Harmony presentation at Franklin Township (NJ) Library

Classic Urban Harmony presentation at Franklin Township (NJ) Library

JT's Emeralds (now the Fashions) perform at a CUH concert at the Franklin Township (NJ) Library

Vic Donna Group perform a CUH acappella concert in Somerset, NJ

Our second CUH presentation of the year at Garwood (NJ) Library

In memorium: Lenny Sanchez and Re-Vels' John Jones (right)

Philly Doo Wop Festival flyer

Pam & Charlie at 2011 Philly Doo Wop Festival

Re-MemberThen at 2011 Philly Doo Wop Festival

Pam & Charlie with Vic Donna Group at 2011 Philly Doo Wop Festival

Pam & Charlie with Neighbors Complaint at 2011 Philly Doo Wop Festival

Jerry Blavat, Pam & Charlie at 2011 Philly Doo Wop Festival

Pam & XM Radio's Cool Bobby B at 2011 Philly Doo Wop Festival

Pam & Charlie swing dancing at 2011 Philly Doo Wop Festival

Junior & 4 Seniors at South Philly String Band Club after the Doo Wop Festival

Joe Grimaldi, KJ O'Doherty, Buzzy Garland at String Band Club

Quiet Storm singing at the South Philly String Band Club

Poster from Silver Stars competition in Nashville

Masqueraders competing in Silver Stars competition

Masqueraders take 2nd Place (out of 300) in 2011 Silver Stars competition, Nashville

Pam & Charlie & the Masqueraders in Ryman Auditorium, Nashville

Soul of Asbury Park Concert

Bobby Thomas backed by Quiet Storm in Asbury Park Concert

Reunion of the Broadways, Asbury Park Concert

Lenny Welch at Asbury Park Concert

Bobby Thomas & Pam at Asbury Park Concert

Still Around, singing at the (NJ) Doo Wop Singers Club 2nd Anniversary

Earls' Larry Chance backed by Re-MemberThen at Doo Wop Singers Club 2nd Anniversary

Pam & Charlie at Doo Wop Singers Club 2nd Anniversary

Acappella Extravaganza at Molloy College poster

Vic Donna Group at Acappella Extravaganza

Sheps at Acappella Extravaganza

Happy Holidays from Pam & Charlie

 

"It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" A Listing of Those Who Touched Our Musical Lives and Left Us in 2011.

And now the sad part.  During 2011 we've had to say goodbye to more than 75 people who gave so much to our world of harmony.  About a third of those on this list, we knew personally.  Some were very dear friends, others we knew casually.  But each person on this list was known to us through their contributions to the music we love.  All touched our lives and all will be missed.

Just when we thought we'd completed this list, we lost Al Russell of the Do Ray Me Trio (see below), who passed away on Christmas Eve.  Please take a moment to scan the list below and give thanks that these people were a part of our lives, even if for too short a time. - Charlie & Pam   



 

Do Ray Me Trio's Al "Stomp" Russell Dies at age of 90.

Al Russell was born in Columbia, SC, and began playing piano in the 8th Grade.  After graduating high school, he began a career as an entertainer that lasted 65 years.  First with the Al Russell Trio and later with the Do Ray Me (Do-Re-Mi) Trio, Al Russell had more than 30 records released on a dozen different labels.  Since 1946 Al Russell and his group was based in West Philadelphia.  Though a trio, the Do Ray Me's were an important early influence on many vocal groups.  Al died December 24, 2011 of cancer at the age of 90.


 

Al Russell Trio, ca. 1946.  Al Russell on right at piano.
(Photo courtesy of Paul Ressler)


Do Ray Me Trio, ca. 1954.  Al Russell at piano.
(Photo courtesy of Paul Ressler)


(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)
 

Dan Clemson's Article, "The Mills Brothers Trace Roots To Bellefonte" Published in Pennsylvania Heritage magazine!

Congrats to Mills Brothers Society co-founder, Dan Clemson, for his outstanding ten-page article on the Mills Brothers just published in the Winter 2012 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine!  Dan Clemson's article traces the history of the Mills family from their escape from slavery on the Underground Railroad in the 1820's through their establishment as prominent residents of Bellefonte, PA.  It tells the story of the Mills Brothers origin and career in clarity and detail not previously published in one article.  For more details see our Mills Brothers Society webpage.

Etta James Hospitalized with End-Stage Leukemia

Etta James, one of the most known singers in R&B history, spent Christmas in a Riverside, CA.  She is under sedation, while being treated for late stage leukemia.  The 73-year old singer began her career with the R&B vocal group, the Peaches.

Great Mills Brothers Christmas Song now posted to our Mills Brothers Society Page!

Group harmony would not exist in its present form had it not been for the vocal innovations of the Mills Brothers.  We picked out a Mills Brothers Christmas song to post on our Mills Brothers Society Page, that is one of our personal favorites.  It's a side that is not that well known, but one that deserves recognition.  Recorded and released in 1949 on Decca 24768, "My Christmas Song For You" is an outstanding recording done almost acappella, except for a faint guitar.  Released originally as a 78, we do have a 45 of this record.  Group harmony fans, you've got to hear this.  Click on our Mills Brothers Society Page and scroll down to the YouTube. - C&P
 

Happy Holidays from Pam & Charlie at Classic Urban Harmony LLC

To you, our extended Classic Urban Harmony family, we convey our warm thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year!  We hope that during the past year, your visits to this website have been informative and enjoyable.  We'll try our best to again be a voice for R&B, Doo Wop, Gospel and Soul Harmony in 2012.  Again, our sincere thanks for your support.  Happy holidays! - C&P


 

Our Annual Holiday Harmony Feature this year is the story of the song "Christmas In Heaven" by Billy Ward & the Dominoes, featuring Jackie Wilson on the King label.

Read the story of one of R&B's classic holiday records - "Christmas In Heaven" by Billy Ward & the Dominoes, featuring Jackie Wilson.  To see a photo of the group members and listen to this song from 1953, click Dominoes


(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)
 

Ronald Mosley of the Skarlettones and Ruby & The Romantics Dies

Sad to report that Ronald Mosely of the Skarlettones ("Do You Remember" on the Ember label), Supremes ("Another Chance To Love" on the APT label) and Ruby & The Romantics ("Our Day Will Come") passed away on December 3, 2011.  He was 72.

Acappella Group, Quiet Storm to issue a new CD!

The fine Philly acappella group, Quiet Storm, has announced they will be releasing their next CD shortly.  We'll let you know when it comes out.  In the meantime, here's a taste of what's in it!


 

Soul singer, Dobie Gray Dies at the age of 71.

Soul singer, Dobie Gray, best known for songs like "The In-Crowd" and "Drift Away" died in Nashville on December 6, 2011.  He was 71.  Dobie Gray (real name, Laurence Darrow Brown) was born in Simonton, TX on July 26, 1940.  He moved to Los Angeles in the early sixties where he made several recordings for small labels under different names.  His career was helped by Sony Bono, who was responsible for the name change to Dobie Gray.  Dobie Gray's song "Drift Away" was done acappella by Reunion and has since become an acappella group favorite.

Spinners' Edgar "Chico" Edwards Dies

Edgar "Chico" Edwards, early member of the legendary soul vocal group, the Spinners died December 3, 2011.  Chico and his brother James were early members of the group before they recorded in the late 1980's.  Chico left the group prior to their first Tr-Phi lable recordings but rejoined them in 1963, in time for their Motown recordings.  Chico was on the Spinners' hit records, "Truly Yours" and "I'll Always Love You".  He left the group in 1967 before they switched to the Motown subsidiary, VIP.  Chico was replaced at that time with G. C. Cameron.

Acappella Extravaganza in Rockville Centre, NY, featured 22 Vocal Groups.  Photos posted.here.

An acappella extravaganza was held at Molloy College’s Hays Theatre in Rockville Centre, NY, on the evening of December 3, 2011.  Randy Bergen (“Mr. Acappella”) has been producing shows here for many years.  This may have been his last (but we hope not).  It was a marathon of doo wop acappella lasting five hours and featuring twenty-two vocal groups.  Classic Urban Harmony was there to document the event in photos.  To take a look, click Acappella Extravaganza.

Howard Tate Dies; Soul Singer and former member of the Gainors

Howard Tate, soul singer of extraordinary talent, and former member of the Philadelphia Gospel group, the Evening Star Quartet and the 1950's doo wop, the Gainors, died Friday December 2, 2011, of complications of Leukemia and Myeloma.  He was 72.

Howard Tate was born in Macon Georgia, on August 14, 1939.  He moved with his family to North Philadelphia in the early 1940's.  One of the more popular Gospel groups in Philly in the late 1940's and early 1950's was the Evening Star Quartet, a group led by "Little" Joe Cook and Sam Bell.  When Joe Cook left the group to form the R&B group, Little Joe & the Thrillers, the Evening Star Quartet replaced him with Howard Tate.  At that time, the Evening Stars also contained future soul singer Garnet Mimms and Sam Bell.  By 1958, the Evening Star Quartet would themselves evolve into an R&B group, the Gainors.  The Gainors consisted of Garnet Mimms, Sam Bell, Howard Tate, Willie Combo and John Jefferson.  The Gainors recorded numerous vocal group recordings for the Cameo, Mercury and Tally-Ho labels.  One of the best known is "The Secret" on Cameo.  Eventually, Mimms and Bell left to form Garnet Mimms & the Enchanters.  Howard Tate went solo.  Much has been written about Howard Tate's career as a soul singer.  We want to make sure he's also remembered for his vocal group records with the Gainors.

Gainors Discography

Cameo 151        The Secret / Gonna Rock Tonight
Cameo 156        You Must Be An Angel / Follow Me
Red Top 110      Follow Me / Gonna Rock Tonight
Mercury 71466   A Message With Flowers / She's My Lollipop
Mercury 71569   She's Gone / Please Consider
Mercury 71630   I'm In Love With You / Nothing Means More To Me
Tally-Ho 102      Where I Want To Be / This Is A Perfect Moment
Tally-Ho 105      Tell Him / Darlin'

Howard Tate


Howard Tate's first record with the Gainors
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)


One of the rarest of the Gainors' records
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)
To hear this recording click the YouTube below.



 

Jerry Lawson to make guest appearance on NBC-TV's "The Sing Off" on Monday December 5, 2011

Jerry Lawson, long time lead of the acappella group, the Persuasions, and more recently of Talk of the Town, will make a guest appearance on the popular NBC-TV show, "The Sing Off," on Monday evening December 5, 2011.  Jerry is tentatively scheduled to sing three songs with the cast.  Check your local TV listings for time in your area.

Our article on Philadelphia's Capris ("God Only Knows") now posted on this website!

For years, misinformation has circulated about Philadelphia's Gotham label Capris (not the "Moon Out Tonight" group - the black group from West Philly that recorded "God Only Knows," "It's A Miracle," "It Was Moonglow," etc.).  Then, this year, after more than 30 years of research, Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie Horner published the definitive Capris' bio in Echoes of the Past magazine.  Over the years, Charlie had interviewed four original members of the Capris and had produced the anthology LP of the group that was released by Collectables Records in the early 1980's.  We have now reprinted the Capris bio on this website (with permission of Echoes of the Past).  We also changed the label scans to color and added numerous color photos of the Capris at Charlie's radio show that we discovered in our archives after the original article was published.  Even those of you who subscribe to Echoes (and we hope you all do) will want to take a look at the Capris article a second time in it's updated form.  Click Capris Article to take a look.  Then use the Return arrow to return to this page.


Recently uncovered Capris photo from Charlie's radio program, 1980.
Top, left to right: Eddie Warner, Harrison Scott, Charlie Horner (with
Gotham label T-shirt), Ruben Wright.  Bottom: Charlie Stroud.
Click Capris for article and more previously unpublished photos.

JT's Emeralds to Change name to the Fashions

Just heard from our friend, Frankie Lafaro, that the Philadelphia acappella group, JT's Emeralds, will be changing their name to the Fashions after the first of the year.  The name change will avoid any confusion with the other Philly acappella group, the Emeralds.  Frankie Lafaro, of course, is well known as leader of his previous vocal group, Frankie & the Fashions.  The current group will only use the name Fashions, since they will not be doing Frankie's prior group's songs and in addition, three members of the current group share the leads.

The last appearance of the group under the name JT's Emeralds will likely be on the evening of November 30, 2011, at the South Philly String Band Club, where they will be featured in place of Mid Life Crisis, due to an illness of one of its members [see Our Events Calendar for details].

Word has it that the Fashions will be opening Jerry Blavat's Oldies Show at the Kimmel Center on January 28, 2012.  The show is scheduled to also star Ben E. King, Shirley Alston Reeves, Chris Montez, Lenny Welch, Darlene Love, the Honeycombs and the Trammps.  We'll be posting details on Our Events Calendar shortly.


JT's Emeralds, soon to be known as the Fashions, at a Classic Urban Harmony
event in 2011.  Photo courtesy of Marian Cicerale.
 

Latest Echoes of the Past magazine now out!  Contains our articles on Little Jimmy & the Tops ("Puppy Love") and our review of this summer's Morris Museum "Jersey Rocks" events!

The latest issue (#98) of Echoes of the Past magazine is now out!  It contains Charlie's bio of Little Jimmy & the Tops ("Puppy Love") and Pam's review of all of this past summer's "Jersey Rocks" events at the Morris Museum.  [We're both writers, you know.]  Also in the magazine are George Frunzi's article on Ruth McFadden, Bob Bosco's article on the Tridels, Carl Janusek's article on the Tommy Charles Quartet and more!  Highly recommended - we subscribed for years before we started writing for them.  A year subscription is only $16.99 (four issues) in the U.S.  Email Bob Belniak at echoes.past@yahoo.com for details.


 
 

South Philly Teen Idol Carlo Gerace Dies.  Recorded with Carlo & the Secrets

South Philly singer Carlo Gerace died November 24, 2011.  Carlo gave us a couple of vocal group numbers including "Daddy Knows Best" (possibly backed by the Fabulous Four/Four J's) and "Pony Time" by Carlo & the Secrets.  The Secrets may have contained Anthony Maresco (of Anthony & the Sophomores) and some members of the Four J's).

Carlo Gerace Discography

As Carlo Gerace
Chancellor 1080 - Too Young To Love / Wild About That Girl             1961
Chancellor 1093 - Daddy Knows Best / A Teenager Sings The Blues    1961

As Carlo & the Secrets
Throne 801 - Pony Party / A Hundred Pounds Of Clay                       1962

Carlo Gerace
(Photo courtesy of King Arthur)
 

(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

To hear "Daddy Knows Best" click the Youtube below.


 

Todd Baptista's article on the Bop Chords in Goldmine Magazine

Our friend and fellow group harmony historian, Todd Baptista, has published a comprehensive article on the Harlem doo wop group, the Bop Chords, in Goldmine magazine.  It is also posted on-line at Goldmine's website.  To read it click http://www.goldminemag.com/article/harlems-bop-chords-built-their-own-castle-in-the-sky
 

Bop Chords' "Castle In The Sky"
One of two more desirable ways to have this record.
In Todd Baptista's article he shows a photo of the record
on an orange Holiday label (probably the first issue).
We've scanned the record on the black Holiday label.
More common is the red Holiday label.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Doo Wop Singers Club of NJ Celebrates its Second Anniversary and Classic Urban Harmony Is There!

What a fabulous celebration of vocal group harmony at the NJ Doo Wop Singers Club's Second Anniversary on Sunday November 20, 2011.  Naturally, Classic Urban Harmony was there to review the event and capture all of the groups and celebrities in photos.  Click Doo Wop Singers Club 2nd Anniversary to take a look.


Dale McCaskill, lead of Beach Music group, the Catalinas, killed in car accident

We just received the tragic news that Dale McCaskill, lead singer of one of our favorite Carolina Beach Music groups, the Catalinas, from 2006 to 2010, was killed in a car accident on November 19, 2011.  Dale had also led the groups, Blue Condition and Second Nature.  He was 61.  We had the opportunity to talk with Dale when we attended the 4th Annual Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival in 2009.  We enjoyed conversing with Dale about the Catalinas and his singing career.  He seemed like such a nice guy.  Our condolences to Dale's family and friends.


Catalinas' Dale McCaskill & Charlie Horner, 2009
 

New CD by Darchaes Just released!!!  Many previously unreleased sides.

If you follow this site, you know what fans we are of Asbury Park (NJ) vocal harmony.  One of our favorite groups from the area is the Darchaes.  It turns out that Ray & the Darchaes recorded numerous great sides back in the early 1960's that were not released at the time.  Now, for the first time, many of these songs have been made available.  The newly released Darchaes CD contains 19 cuts - only four of which were ever released before.  17 recordings are from back in the day.  Two others are newly recorded by the Darchaes.  Click the YouTube video below for a preview of the album.  For more info, email TheDarchaes@gmail.com



 

Soul of Asbury Park Concert a Historic Reunion of West Side Singers!!!

The Soul of Asbury Park Concert was a historic reunion of Asbury Park (NJ) R&B singers.  Sponsored by the Asbury Park Press, the and the Asbury Park Historical Society the November 12, 2011 concert was held in the historic Paramount Theatre and featured such Asbury Park legends as Lenny Welch, Ray Goodman & Brown, the Broadways, Bobby Thomas, Nicky Addeo & the Nite Owls, Patsy Siciliano, Johnny Petillo, Nicky Addeo Jr. and New Era.  The concert relived the roots of the Asbury Park music scene before Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny.  Classic Urban Harmony was there to catch every minute of the concert.  To see our review, click Soul of Asbury Park.
 

More Losses to our Group Harmony Family

We are again saddened to hear of more losses in the group harmony community.

Darryl "Cappy" Lewis of the Six Teens ("A Casual Look") and Elgins (Flip, Titan & Lummtone labels) passed away on Thursday, November 10, 2011.

Alton "Bart" Hollowell, tenor and baritone of the Enchanters (Mercer & Coral labels), Fabulous Playboys (Daco and Apollo labels), Falcons (Atlantic and Big Wheel labels), Minor Chords (Flick label), died in early November.  Alton's career spanned the 50's R&B era ("True Love Gone") to the soul era ("Standing On Guard," "I Must Love You).  [Alton Hollowell is not the Alton Howell who sang with Billy Butler & the Enchanters. - Thanks to Rockin' Richard for clearing this up. - C&P]


 

The Falcons on the Big Wheel label.
We believe Alton Hollowell is on the far right.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)
 

Percy L. Williams, lead of the Detroit soul vocal group, the Metros, died of cancer in early November.  He was 65.  The Metros recorded some great singles and an album for RCA Victor ("Sweetest One," "The Replacer").  Vocal harmony fans will remember the superb version of "Blue Velvet" that's on the LP. 


Boxing Great and Soul Singer Joe Frazier Dies.

The boxing world lost one of its all time greats on November 7, 2011, when Philadelphia legend Smokin' Joe Frazer passed away from liver cancer at the age of 67.  Much has been written about Joe's incredible boxing career and we won't repeat that here.  We would like to point out that Joe Frazier also had a notable career as a soul singer.  We'll add to this tribute in the near future, but in the meantime, we'll list some of Smokin' Joe's soul singles below.

    Cloverlay 100    -    The Bigger They Come / Come And Get Me Love
    Cloverlay 101    -    Good News / You Got The Love
    Jobo 100          -    Knock On Wood / Try It Again                                 1974
    Knockout 101    -    Answer Me / You Got The Love
    Knockout 711    -    My Way / Come And Get Me Love                            1971
    Prodigal 0623    -    Little Dog Heaven / What Ya Gonna Do When The Rain Starts Fallin'       1976
    Motown 1378    -    First Round Knockout / Looky Looky (Look At Me Girl)   1975
    Capitol 2479     -    If You Go Stay Gone / Truly Lovin' Me                        1969 
    Capitol 2661     -    Knockout Drop / Gonna Spend My Life

Singer/Songwriter Jimmy Norman Dies, sang with O'Jays, Viceroys, Coasters, Harlem River Drive; Wrote the lyrics to "Time Is On My Side"

We are sorry to report the passing of Jimmy Norman, singer, songwriter and musician more recently associated with the Coasters.  Jimmy Norman was born in Nashville, TN on August 12, 1937.  In his early career, Jimmy recorded several records for the Little Star label including "I Don't Love You No More" (recorded solo in 1962, Little Star #113).  Shortly there after, Jimmy's recordings were backed by the vocal groups the Viceroys ("You Crack Me Up," Little Star #121) and the O'Jays (""Love Is Wonderful," Little Star #126).  As a songwriter, Jimmy wrote the lyrics to "Time Is On My Side" for Irma Thomas.  The song later became a hit for the Rolling Stones.  In 1969 he produced a record for the Coasters ("Act Right" b/w "The World Is Changing" for the Turn Table label) and ended up joining the group as a permanent member.  In 1975 he also found time to be the lead vocalist in the group Harlem River Drive ("Need You," Arista label).  Jimmy Norman died on November8, 2011.

Cadillacs Earl Carroll Recovering in Harlem Nursing Home

We are constantly asked about the condition of Cadillacs lead Earl "Speedo" Carroll.  Last we heard he was recovering from some sort of heart trouble in a Harlem nursing home and rehabilitation center.  If you'd like to drop Earl a get well card (we did), the address we have for him is The Greater Harlem Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center Co. Inc., 30 W. 138th Street, NY, NY 10037.  If you hear any updates on Earl's condition, please let us know.  In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with Earl.

We Are Back!

We've returned from a two week vacation that included a trip to Canada immediately followed by an early morning flight to Nashville to cheer for our friends the Masqueraders as they competed in the Silver Stars competition (See the link below).  We've just added new events to Our Events Calendar Page.  Check out all that's happening, including a celebration of Asbury Park (NJ) group harmony on November 12.
 

Masqueraders Take Second Place in Tennessee's Silver Stars Competition!!!!

When HealthSpring held it's annual Silver Stars competition this year, it opened up the contest to performers from both Nashville and Memphis, TN.  Performers had to be at least 60 years of age.  More than 300 performers tried out for the coveted prizes, including our friends, the soul vocal group, the Masqueraders.  When the preliminary trials were over, the Masqueraders were among the ten finalists, scheduled for a run-off in Nashville on October 23, 2011.  In spit of the fact that we had just gotten back from Canada on October 22 and the next day was our anniversary, we were on an early morning plane to Nashville to show support for our friends the Masqueraders.  To view numerous photos and read about the finals, held in the legendary Ryman Auditorium, click Silver Stars 2011.
 

More Sad News: Vocal Harmony World Mourns Loss of Five More Singers

We are deeply saddened to report the losses of more members of our vocal harmony community:

Freddy Ferrara, baritone and founding member of the Del Satins, died October 21, 2011 at the age of 71 of amyloidosis.  Freddy was also a member of Brooklyn Bridge.

Reese Palmer, lead of the Marquees from Washington, DC, died on October 27, 2011, after a long illness.  Reese's group, the Marquees, as well as recording songs like "Wyatt Earp" and "Hey Little School Girl" for Okeh, were the first group Marvin Gaye sang with.  Reese also sang for more than ten years with the Legendary Orioles.

Paul Leka, member of the Chateaus of Sharon, CT, who recorded "Honest I Will" for the Coral label in 1963, died on October 12, 2011, at the age of 70.Also a songwriter, Paul wrote songs for Steam and the Lemon Pipers and arranged for REO Speedwagon and others.

Bill Dalton, original member of the Royal Teens ("Short Shorts," "Believe Me") died on October 23, 2011.

Tommy Storm, lead vocalist of the soul group, the Fabulous Peps died of cancer in October (date unknown) 2011.
 

Funeral Arrangements Announced for Tymes' Donald Banks

We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Donald Banks, original bass singer of the world famous Philadelphia vocal group the Tymes.  Donald died Friday, October 7, 2011, of complications from a stroke and cancer.

The funeral will be held at 10 AM, Thursday October 13, at the G Choice Funeral Chapel, 2530 N. Broad St., (near Broad & Lehigh) Philadelphia, PA 19132.  The phone number there is 215-227-0100.

The Tymes story began in the mid-1950's in North Philadelphia when Norman Burnett, Albert (Ceasar) Berry III, Donald Banks and George Hilliard started singing together as the Latineers.  In 1960, the group added George Williams Jr., as lead singer.  Williams' voice was simialr to that of Johnny Mathis.

The Latineers career took off after they entered a talent contest hosted by WDAS Radio, called the Tip Top Talent Hour.  Their performance led to an audition with Billy Jackson, A&R man for Cameo-Parkway Records.  Jackson who would become one of Philly's greatest soul music producers, had previously sang with the Re-Vels.

Changing their name to the Tymes, the group's first record, "So Much In Love" hit #1 on the Pop Charts in the summer of 1963.  It was followed by "Wonderful Wonderful" which reached #7.  More hits followed, including "Somewhere," "To Each His Own," "The Magic Of Our Summer Love" and "Here She Comes".  The group moved to Columbia Records and scored a moderate hit in 1968 with "People".

In 1974 the Tymes rebounded in a big way.  Billy Jackson recorded some new material with the group, including a song called "You Little Trustmaker" to which he added his his own voice on lead.  The record was a huge hit, reaching #12 on the national charts.  The follow up, "Ms. Grace" barely made the charts in the U.S. but quickly became a #1 record in the U.K.  "Ms. Grace" has also gained a big following among followers of Carolina Beach Music.

Donald Banks retired from singing a couple years ago, but did rejoin the Tymes for special occasions such as the dedication of the Doo Wop Mural in Germantown (Philadelphia) in 2010.

The Tymes remain one of the top vocal groups around, recently returning from a major soul music concert in the U.K.


The Tymes in their classic "looking at their watches" pose at the Doo Wop Mural, 2010.
From left to right:  George Hilliard, Caesar Berry, Donald Banks, Norman Burnett


(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)


Charlie and Donald Banks


Donald Banks, Pam, George Hilliard


"So Much In Love" Canadain pressing, blue vinyl.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

 

Sylvia Vanderpool Robinson Dies

Sylvia Robinson, well-known R&B singer and record company owner, died September 29, 2011 in Secaucus, New Jersey.  She was 75.  She was born Sylvia Vanderpool in New York City in 1936.  She first recorded for Columbia Records in July 1950 with Hot Lips page's band.  By the early 1950's she began recording R&B vocals under the name "Little Sylvia" for Savoy and Jubilee Records.  In 1955, Sylvia teamed with guitarist Mickey Baker to record a series of popular duets, including the hit record, "Love Is Strange".  "Love Is Strange" reached #11 on the Pop Charts.  In 1964, Sylvia married Joe Robinson and together they formed All Platinum Records in 1968, releasing smash hits by the Moments, Donnie Elbert and many others.  Continuing as a recording artist, she recorded "Pillow Talk" in 1973 under the name "Sylvia".  In the 1970's the Robinsons started the Sugar Hill label, a key label in the introduction of rap music.


(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

More Losses

We are saddened to report the passing of three more members of our music community.

Leo Blakely, member of the Egyptian Kings died September 27, 2011.  Leo, a childhood friend of the group's lead Morris Wade, joined the group in 1961.  He was on their Nanc recording, leading the group on "I Need Your Love".   

Marvin Tarplin, guitarist for Smokey Robinson & the Miracles died September 29, 2011 at the age of 70.  Marvin co-wrote "The Tracks Of My Tears," "Goin' To A Go-Go," "Ain't That Peculiar," "I'll Be Doggone" and "Being With You."

Clarence Johnson, member of the Chanteurs who later evolved into the Chi-Lites.  Clarence left the Chi-Lites in 1964 at the age of 22.  He died on September 23, 2011 at the age of 69.
 

Classic Urban Harmony Website Passes 50,000 Visitors!!!!

 

 

 

When we started this website three years ago we never expected the response would be so great.  Last week we had our 50,000th visitor to our site.  Our sincere thanks to all of you who visit us to follow what's happening in the group harmony field.  With your support we'll continue to bring you timely news about our music. - Pam & Charlie
 

 

 

 

Review and Photos from the 6th Annual Philly Doo Wop Festival and After Party at the South Philly String Band Club are Here!!!

We had a great time on Saturday, September 17th's 6th Annual Philly Doo Wop Festival.  We've posted a review and lots of great photos from the Festival and After Party at the South Philly String Band Club.  If you were there, you'll have fun reminiscing.  If you couldn't be there, you enjoy seeing what went on.  Click 6th Philly Doo Wop Festival to take a look at the photos from the Philly Doo Wop Fest.  After that click South Philly String Band Club to see photos from the After Party.

  Lenny Sanchez, former co-producer of Charlie Horner's Radio Program Dies

We were very saddened to hear that our good friend, Lenny Sanchez, long time former co-producer of Charlie Horner's "Classic Urban Harmony" radio program on WXPN-FM in the late 1980's and early 1990's has passed away.  He was 73.  As the guy who answered the phones and read the dedications on the air, Lenny was often the first voice people heard when the called Charlie's radio show.  A popular figure on the radio show, Lenny left the show to move to St. Louis in the early 1990's.  He died suddenly in his home in St. Louis on September 13, 2011.  We'll miss Lenny's enthusiasm and dedication to our music.  Most of all we'll miss Lenny as a close friend.

Lenny Sanchez (third from left) with members of the Re-Vels at WXPN
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)
 


Katrina Trowery of Perfect Blend Dies

Katrina "Trina" Trowery, whose beautiful soaring voice was an integral part of the Philadelphia acappella group, A Perfect Blend, died Thursday, September 15, 2011, after a battle with cancer.  Another great voice has been silenced and Trina's absence will be felt throughout our music community.

 

Another Great Time at the Classic Urban Harmony Presentation at the Garwood NJ Public Library

Pam & Charlie Horner returned to the Garwood NJ Public Library to present "Doo Wop Groups From New Jersey - Part 1", on Wednesday evening September 14 and what a great time we had!  We talked about groups from Asbury Park, Plainfield, Newark, Jersey City and more.  When we covered the Vibranaires, Vibes and V-Eights, group member Bobby Thomas was there to confirm all that we told and he greeted an enthusiastic audience.  Angelo Pompeo, who grew up in Jersey City with the Duprees added some additional info about the Duprees.  WMTR Radio personality, Alan David Stein was on hand to greet some of his listeners.  We handed out our updated printed program listing more than 200 New Jersey vocal groups and gave out several CD's to some very knowledgeable people in the audience who were the first to identify our mystery artists.  Most important, those in attendence gave us their ideas for future presentations.  We're looking forward to returning to Garwood with NJ Groups Part 2 plus some more interesting talks.  Click Garwood NJ Groups One to view some photos of the event.

Masqueraders Among Finalists in HS Silver Stars Contest!  Final Round in Nashville, TN, Oct 23, 2011

Our friends the Masqueraders (Robert Tex Wrightsil, Sammie Hutchins and Harold Sundance Thomas) have just been named finalists in the HealthSpring Silver Stars competition - sort of an American Idol-like competition for entertainers over 60 in Tennessee.  Out of 300 competitors, the Masqueraders were among ten finalists - three from Memphis and seven from Nashville.  The finals will be held in Nashville on October 23, 2011 (from 4 - 6 PM) at the famous Ryman Auditorium.  Admission to the auditorium is free and opened to the public.  Our congratulations to the Masqueraders!  Although the competition is tough, we look for the Masqueraders to finish #1.

We'll keep you up to date but you can also visit the Silver Stars website at www.hssilverstars.com.

 

The Masqueraders at the HS Silver Stars competition, 2011

 

Weather Forecast Perfect for this Saturday's Philly Doo Wop Festival

The weather forecast looks perfect as final preparations as being made for this Saturday's (Sept 17) giant Philadelphia Doo Wop Festival.  This year's outdoor Philadelphia Doo Wop Festival at Penn's Landing will feature the following vocal performers:  Herb Cox & The Cleftones, Cornerstone (Featuring Golden Voice Harry) and their band, Quiet Storm, The Vic Donna Group, The Larkings, Neighbors' Complaint, 45 RPM, Now & Then, Frankie Lafaro, Men of Jubilee and Re-MemberThen.

It will all take place from 1 PM to 7 PM.  This is always a special event for fans of vocal group harmony.  The event is free to attend, though you must pay for parking and we encourage you to make a generous contribution to the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center.  Click on the poster below to see a larger version or visit www.phillydoowopfestival.org for more details.


The acappella group, Re-MemberThen warming up for the Philly
Doo Wop Fest at a recent backyard Barb-B-Q.  Re-MemberThen
is one of many groups that will perform this Saturday.

Golden Gate Quartet subject of an Article in latest issue of Juke Blues

The Golden Gate Quartet is the subject of an informative article is the latest issue of the British music magazine, Juke Blues.  The article was written by Seamus McGarvey and appears in issue #71.  Other articles in this issue include pieces about the Chicago soul group, The Steelers, Part 2 of the Smiley Lewis story and a tribute to Bobby Robinson.

 

Re-Vels' Bass, John Jones Dies

We are deeply saddened to report the passing of John Henry Jones, Jr., original bass singer of the legendary North Philadelphia R&B vocal group, the Re-Vels.  John died on August 9, 2011 in Philadelphia.  He was 72.  From the mid-1950's, the Re-Vels have long been a part of the Philly music scene, beginning with their first recording of "My Lost Love" for the Atlas label.  From there the group recorded for the Teen/Sound label complex, including such classics as "So In Love," "You Lied To Me" and "Dream My Darling Dream".  Among the group's biggest hits were "False Alarm" (Chess label) and "Dead Man's (Midnight) Stroll" (Norgolde label).  John Jones' bass voice can be heard on all the Re-Vels recordings.  While Billy Jackson of the group became a legendary Philadelphia record producer, responsible for hundreds of great soul and pop records, including those of the Tymes whom he mentored, the Re-Vels would still get together on occasion and perform as a group.  While Charlie Horner was on WXPN radio, he interviewed the group on his show.  This led to an appearance by the Re-Vels on Charlie's live stage show at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA.

"The Re-Vels were always one of my favorite groups and getting to know them and hear them sing again was one of the more important accomplishments in my involvement with our music.  John was a great guy and his passing is a major loss both to our music and to our Classic Urban Harmony extended family." - Charlie Horner


Re-Vels, ca. 1957
(Autographed photo from the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)
 


The Re-Vels at Charlie Horner's radio program, 1991.  John Jones is in the center.
On left is Henry Colclough (lead on "False Alarm").  On right is Sam Hart (lead on "You Lied To Me").
 

John Jones at WXPN, 1991


Re-Vels sing "Dream My Darling Dream" on Sound label, 1956
John Jones was one of the song's writers.
Sam Hart, lead; John Jones, bass.


The Re-Vels sing "Talking To My Heart" on Norgolde label, 1959
Henry Colclough, lead; John Jones, bass


Happier times.  Henry Coclough, John Jones, Charlie Horner, Sam Hart

 

Photos from the Peggy & Norman Burnett (Tymes) 2011 Bar-B-Q

Whenever we're invited to a Bar-B-Q at the home of our friends Norman Burnett (of The Tymes) and his wife Peggy, we make sure we're available that day!  Norman & Peggy's parties are among the highlights of our annual social calendar.  We always run into old music industry friends and meet new ones.  Check out photos by clicking Tymes Bar-B-Q 2011.

Random Photos from Saturday Afternoon at 2011 Lead East

Charlie & Pam slip away from their busy schedule to visit the 2011 Lead East on Saturday afternoon, September 3 at the Parsippani (NJ) Hilton.  Billed as the world's biggest 1950's party, Lead East has more classic cars, vocal groups and fifties music than you can imagine.  Click Lead East to see some random photos including lots of acappella groups.
 

Vinnie Tucker of the Philadelphia acappella groups, Quiet Storm and the Copians Dies

We are saddened to report that Philadelphia acappella singer Vinnie Tucker formerly of Quiet Storm & the Copians has passed away.  Vinnie was one of the original members of Quiet Storm, leading the group in songs like "Silhouettes," "My Autumn Love," "Baby Please," and "Come Home Soon".  Vinnie left Quiet Storm due to health problems with diabetes and pneumonia but upon feeling better he joined the Copians.  A relapse a couple months ago left Vinnie hospitalized and in a coma from which he never recovered.  A benefit concert to raise money for Vinnie's family during this difficult time is scheduled for the South Philly String Band Club on Saturday September 10.  Performing will be Quiet Storm, The Copians, Junior & The 4 Seniors, The Tributes and other surprise performers.  The benefit concert starts at 7 PM but arrive early for a parking spot.  $20 donation at the door will go to Vinnie's family to help with medical costs.  The South Philly String Band Club is located at 2820 Porter Street (near 28th & Passyunk).  For more details see our Events Calendar.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Vinnie's family.

We are back from Vacation!!!

If you've been wondering why you haven't heard from us for awhile, it's because we've taken a brief (non-music related) vacation in Maine.  We have a lot of catching up to do, so please be patient with us.  But we are back now and are picking up where we left off.  We've just added a number of items to our "What's New Page" (scroll down) and many new events to our Events Calendar.  We had a great time in Maine but it's good to be back! - C&P


Charlie Horner & Steve Applebaum Article on the Deckers, Teddy & the Twilights and Related Philly Vocal Groups now viewable on this website!

In 1977 Charlie Horner and the late Steve Applebaum began work documenting the history of the Philly group, Teddy & the Twilights and related groups, the Deckers, the Buddies, the Tiffanys, the Mohawks as well as artists they backed up including Freddy Cannon, Mark Valentino, Rochell (Brenda) Johnson, Esau Isaac.  Early work was published in Yesterday's memories 34 years ago.  Over the years much more info has come to light.  Charlie updated the original article and published it in Echoes of the Past magazine earlier this year, in memory of Steve Applebaum.  We've now posted the article on this website complete with color photos of the group's important record labels.  To view click Teddy & the Twilights.

Latest Issue of Echoes of the Past magazine contains our article on Philadelphia's Capris ("God Only Knows").

The latest issue of Echoes of the Past magazine contains our article on Philadelphia's important 1950's R&B group, the Capris.  The complete story of this West Philadelphia R&B vocal group has, until now, never been told.  The Capris recorded four records for Gotham and its subsidiary label, 20th Century, including "God Only Knows".  But the Capris story goes far beyond those four recordings.  This is a must read for anyone trying to understand the origins of "The Philly Sound".  To subscribe to Echoes of the Past, the only magazine with a major emphasis on fifties R&B and doo wop vocal groups, email Bob Belniak at echoes.past@yahoo.comOur article is not the only great story in this magazine.  There's Bob Bosco's article on Neighbor's Complaint, Steve Kahn's article on the Clusters, George Frunzi's article on La La Brooks & the Crystals and more,  Don't miss another issue!  With four issues a year for only $16.99 this is a winner.


More Losses Felt by our R&B Community

We are very saddened to report more losses in our R&B and vocal harmony world.

Jerry Leiber, songwriter and producer, who, along with his partner, Mike Stoller, helped shape the landscape of our music through their work with the Robins, Coasters, Drifters, Ben E. King, Elvis Presley and hundreds more, died on August 22 of a heart ailmentat the age of 78.  For details on Jerry Leiber's music career we recommend the book, Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography.

Nick Ashford, songwriter and singers, half of the popular soul duet of Ashford and Simpson.  Ashford died August 22 in NYC of throat cancer.  As performers, Nick Ashford and his wife Valerie Simpson are best known recording wise for songs like the 1984 hit "Solid (As A Rock)".  As songwriters, the duo wrote songs like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Hand)".  Ashford was 70.

Ross Barbour, founding member of the Four Freshmen, one of the world's greatest close harmony groups.  Ross died August 21 of lung cancer.  He was 82.  Ross was the last of the original Four Freshmen, who over their career recorded more than 50 albums.  Ross retired from the Four Freshmen in 1977.

Mrs. Alice Winfield, beloved wife of Harptones' lead singer Willie Winfield, died on August 18 at the age of 78 after a long illness.  Our heart-felt condolences to Willie and his family.

Jerry Ragovoy, songwriter and producer, died July 13 at the age of 80.  As a music buyer for the appliance store Treegoob's in West Philadelphia in 1953, Jerry listened to a young street corner group called the Castelles play their penny arcade demo in his store.  Along with store manager Herb Slotkin, he decided to form the Grand record label to record the Castelles' "My Girl Awaits Me".  The record was a hit and started Ragovoy's music career.  In 1962, Jerry wrote and produced "A Wonderful Dream" for the Majors.  He also wrote and produced "Cry Baby" for Garnett Mimms & the Enchanters.  Jerry's later song compositions were recorded by the Rolling Stones ("Time Is On My Side") and Janis Joplin ("Piece Of My Heart").

Rudy Negron, lead singer of the Chicago soul vocal group the Mystics, who recorded "That's the Kind Of Love" (Teako label) died during the week of June 6.  
 

Morris Museum Doo Wop & Acappella Concert #2 Videos Now Posted!

If you missed Morris Museum Acappella Concert #2 on July 29, 2011, we've just added fourteen video clips to our review of this fabulous concert featuring Bobby Thomas (of the Vibranaires) with backing from Quiet Storm, The Del Larks, Quiet Storm and Joe Zisa & Friends' Jersey Tribute featuring former members of the Duprees, Happenings and Joey & the Lexingtons.  Click Morris Concert #2 to check out the videos, photos and concert review.

As the Morris Museum "Jersey Rocks" Exhibit and project draws to a close (Sept. 5), we take time to summarize all the events we took part in.  These are our postings in the order that they happened.  Click on any or all.  Enjoy - C&P.

Morris Museum "Jersey Rocks" Exhibit and Happenings - Summer 2011 - A Look Back

Jersey Rocks Exhibit Opening - May 5, 2011 - Our first glimpse of the Jersey Rocks Exhibit with numerous photos of the exhibit, Duprees' Tom Bialoglow, Royal Teens' Tom Austin and more.

Jersey Rocks Launch Party - May 13, 2011 - Photos of the Exhibit Launch Party including the Springsteen tribute band, E Street Shuffle.

LaBamba & The Hub Caps and Quiet Storm Concert - June 3, 2011 - Concert review and photos of LaBamba & the Hub Caps and the acappella group, Quiet Storm.

Classic Urban Harmony Presentation of New Jersey Doo Wop Groups Part 1 - June 8, 2011 - A huge event in itself, with not only our presentation but guest appearances by members of the Duprees, Del Larks, Vibranaires, Darchaes, Plurals, Vito & Salutations, Memories of You, Copians and Re-MemberThen and even some live impromptu acappella singing by some of our guests.  See photos and videos plus a review of the event.

Classic Urban Harmony Presentation of New Jersey Doo Wop Groups Part 2 - June 15, 2011 - Another huge event with not only the continuation of our NJ group presentation but guest appearances by members of the Ad Libs, Royal Teens, Fourteen Karat Soul, Mixed Company, Shades of Brown, Del Larks, Memories of You, Copians, Fabulous Dudes and Re-MemberThen.   We again were treated to some live impromptu acappella singing by some of our guests.  See photos and videos plus a review of the event.

Morris Museum Acappella Concert # 1 - July 15, 2011 - A review, many photos and eight videos from an unbelievable doo wop acappella concert that featured Fourteen Karat Soul, the Sheps, Nicky Addeo & the Nite Owls and the Copians.

Morris Museum Acappella and Doo Wop Concert # 2 - July 29, 2011 - A review, many photos and fourteen videos from another great doo wop acappella concert that featured Bobby Thomas of the Vibranaires backed by Quiet Storm doing a tribute to the Orioles plus the Del Larks, Quiet Storm and Joe Zisa & Friends' Jersey Tribute.
 

Dee Jaskel of the Philly Acappella Group, Street Corner Five, Dies

We are saddened to report the passing of Dee Jaskel, second tenor of the Philly acappella group, Street Corner Five.  Dee died August 9, 2011 of cancer, after a long illness.  Dee grew up in the Kensington & Allegheny (K&A) section of Philadelphia and as a youngster sang with the group, the Hollanders.  Street Corner Five was one of the acappella groups that formed from the collection of singers that used to hang out and sing at John Moore's Middle Room Records on Friday evenings in the early 1980's.  Dee sang with Street Corner Five from their beginning until more recently when she became ill.  She'll be greatly missed by all of us who appreciated the sounds of Philly acappella.  Our condolences to Dee's husband, Ron, her family and friends.

Morris Museum Acappella Concert #1 Videos Now Posted!

If you missed Morris Museum Acappella Concert #1 on July 15, 2011, we've just added eight video clips to our review of this fabulous concert featuring Fourteen Karat Soul, The Sheps, The Copians and Nicky Addeo.  We'll be adding videos to the #2 concert shortly.  Click Morris Concert #1 to check out the videos, including a great clips of 14 Karat Soul doing "Jump Children," "Take Me Back Baby" and "That's the Way It Goes," plus clips of the Sheps and Copians.

Fourteen Karat Soul
(Photo courtesy of Janet Markman)
Check out the videos!

Morris Museum Acappella & Doo Wop Concert #2 Concludes a Fabulous Celebration of Group Harmony in New Jersey!

What a fabulous summer for group harmony in Morristown, New Jersey!  While the Jersey Rocks Exhibit at the Morris Museum continues until September 5, the R&B and doo wop harmony events concluded with July 29th's second of two major concerts celebrating our music.  Those in attendance enjoyed  an evening of great vocal harmony from the Vibranaires' Bobby Thomas, Quiet Storm, the Del Larks and Joe Zisa & Friends' Jersey Tribute!  We've just posted many photos and a review of the concert and you can view our posting by clicking Morris Concert #2.  Videos of the groups performances will follow shortly. 

Classic Urban Harmony Website Turns Three Years Old!

On August 1, 2011, this website, www.classicurbanharmony.net turned three years old.  Beginning with a single page, we've now grown to become one of the more respected websites in our field.  Thanks to all of you for supporting us with more than 47,000 hits during that time.  We hope to add more and more interesting content to this site in the months and years to come. - C&P

Vic Donna Group is Magnificent at Somerset NJ Private Concert!  See Videos on this website!

The Vic Donna Group, one of the finer doo wop acappella groups around, recently gave an hour-and-a-quarter private concert at our home base, the Somerset Run Active Adult gated community in Somerset, NJ.  About a hundred of our friends and neighbors came out to see Vic and the guys gave an incredible performance.  We wish the concert could have been open to the public, but since it wasn't we're posting photos and a review here.  We've also added some not-to-be-missed video clips.  Click Vic Donna Group.

The Vic Donna Groups will be appearing at Nick's Lobster House, 2777 Flatbush Ave., in Brooklyn on July 28 beginning at 7:15 PM.  See Our Events Calendar for details.
 

Acappella group Re-MemberThen sings live on WMTR Radio, Friday Evening July 22.

Our friends Re-MemberThen sang live doo wop acappella on Alan David Stein's "Doo Wop Drive" radio program Friday evening July 22.  They did a great job.  To the delight of Alan's audience, the Earls' Larry Chance called in to the program and was put on the air.  Alan's show airs between 7 - 10 PM in the Morristown, NJ, area on WMTR-AM (1250 AM locally) and over the Internet on www.wmtram.com.  Re-MemberThen has also been added to the line up of the coming Philly Doo Wop Festival, September 17.

Re-MemberThen


Classic Urban Harmony Presentation, "Doo Wop Groups of New Jersey - PART 2" at Franklin Township Public Library, Somerset, NJ on Thursday July 14 another great time.  Photos now Posted on this website.

Charlie & Pamela Horner returned to Franklin Township Public Library for Part 2 of the multimedia presentation, "Doo Wop Groups of New Jersey".  Building on our previous presentations on this topic, we added a section on the Kodaks and even some interesting videos.  To see some photos of the event, click Franklin Township NJ Groups 2.
 

Morris Museum Acappella Concert # 1 was ...
INCREDIBLE!!! - Review and Photos now posted on this website.

If you missed the first Morris Museum Acappella Concert on July 15 you missed a once in a lifetime show.  It featured the spectacular return of Fourteen Karat Soul plus outstanding performances by Nicky Addeo & the Nite Owls, the Sheps and the Copians!  To see our review of the concert plus over three dozen photos click Morris Museum One.  Videos to follow shortly.
 

Steve Applebaum's Collection of Charlie Horner Radio Show tapes donated to Classic Urban Harmony Archives

When Steve Applebaum passed away earlier this year, we lost not only one of our closest friends but the archivist to all the "Charlie Horner Show"/"R&B Show"/"Classic Urban Harmony Show" radio programs.  Over the twenty five years that Charlie Horner did regular group harmony radio shows, Steve maintained a library of cassette tapes of nearly every one of the programs.  When ever we needed one of Charlie's radio interviews with an artist for an article we were writing, Steve usually locate it and send us a copy.  (Steve also co-produced the "R&B Show" during the 1975 - 1976 era).

Recently, Carole Applebaum donated to us Steve's collection of nearly all of the cassettes of Charlie's radio programs - over 1000 cassettes amounting to close to 3000 hours of programming between 1970 and 1995.  While most of the records played on the show are now easily found on YouTube, at the time Charlie started airing them you had to have original label vinyl 45's to do such a radio program.  Of greatest interest to us, of course, are the radio interviews Charlie conducted with numerous group harmony singers. many of which are no longer with us.

Our sincere thanks to Carole Applebaum and to Carl Tancredi and Holly Heinz for facilitating the transfer of tapes to Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters..


Nearly complete set of cassettes of Charlie Horner's radio programs.
 

JT's Emeralds Sing to Standing Room Only Crowd at Franklin Township Library!  Photos now posted to this website.

JT's Emeralds gave a fabulous performance before a capacity crowd at the Franklin Township Public Library in Somerset, NJ, on Wednesday, July 6, 2011.  The Philadelphia area group sang two very entertaining acappella sets for an enthusiastic audience of over a hundred people.  An unknown number of people who tried to register late were turned away.  To see photos of the event, click JT's Emeralds.

JT's Emeralds in concert at the Franklin Township Public Library
(Photo courtesy of Marian Cicerale)

 

Special Discount Offer on Morris Museum Acappella Concerts for Classic Urban Harmony Website Visitors!  Still tickets left to see Fourteen Karat Soul, Nicky Addeo & the Nite Owls, The Sheps and The Copians on July 15!

As a reward to those who loyally visit our website, the Morris Museum is offering a special discount to those purchasing tickets to both the July 15 and July 29 "Jersey Rocks" acappella concerts at the Museum's Bickford Theater.  Call to buy a ticket to both concerts at once and mention the secret password, "streetcorner" and the cost will be $20 per ticket ($40) instead of the regular price of $25 per ticket ($50).  That's a savings of $10 per person.  Remember you must purchase tickets to both shows and mention the password, "streetcorner" to receive the discount.  The Friday, July 15, concert stars Nicky Addeo & The Nite Owls, Glenny T & Fourteen Karat Soul, The Sheps and the Copians.  The Friday, July 29, show stars The Del Larks, Bobby Thomas & The Vibranaires, Quiet Storm and Joe Z's group Jersey Tribute.


Back from Japan and sounding great!
Don't miss Glenny T and Fourteen Karat Soul
at the Morris Museum Acappella Concert #1
July 15, 2011
 

Butch Stone, Poor Souls' Tenor Dies

Word has reached us that Thurman Buie "Butch" Stone, original and forty-year member of the Carolina Beach Music group, the Poor Souls died on June 9, 2011 of lymphocytic leukemia.  He was 62.  The Poor Souls' bass, Bobby Smith passed in November 2009.  We pay tribute to Butch through the following very moving video, sent to us by the Poor Souls' manager and producer, Chauncey Edwards.  To read the full story of the Poor Souls (just updated) on our website, click on Poor Souls Bio.

The Poor Souls had just completed a new CD, "Try To Remember" prior to Butch's passing.  It is available through www.thepoorsouls.net.


(Video slide show courtesy of Chauncey Edwards)


Poor Soul's Butch Stone in the studio, only months before he passed.
(Photo courtesy of Chauncey Edwards)

 

Our article about vocal groups from the North Philly area of Francisville, now posted to this website.  Read about the Belltones, Little Joe Cook's Thrillers, the Royal Demons and the Madison Brothers.

Our recent article from Echoes of the Past magazine about the vocal groups from the North Philly neighborhood of Francisville, including the Belltones (Grand label), Little Joe Cook's Thrillers, the Royal Demons and the Madison Brothers, is now updated and reprinted on our website.  These groups recorded some of the greatest and rarest of Philly's R&B group sounds.  We've made additions and added color photos and label scans.  Click Francisville Groups to take a look.

If you're not subscribing to Echoes of the Past, you should be.  There are a lot more articles about vocal groups in each issue besides our articles.  Email Bob Belniak at echoes.past@yahoo.com for subscription details. 
 

Classic Urban Harmony Guest Radio Appearances with Alan David Stein - Photos Posted

The name Alan David Stein is well known to listeners of New Jersey radio, especially to those who love R&B and doo wop group harmony.  That is why we anxiously accepted Alan's invitation to visit his popular Friday evening WMTR-AM (Morristown, NJ) radio program, "Doo Wop Drive" and play some New Jersey doo wop music on the air.  Things went so well that Alan invited us to discuss doo wop music in general the following Tuesday as he hosted a talk radio program on New Brunswick's WCTC-AM.  Click Alan David Stein to see photos of our recent radio guest appearances. 

Classic Urban Harmony Presentation at Traditions @ Washington Crossing, PA, Another Success!

On Friday evening, June 24, 2011, Charlie & Pam Horner took their Classic Urban Harmony multimedia presentation, "Under The Streetlamp:  Tales from the Doo Wop Era - Part 1" to Washington Crossing, PA, where they entertained nearly 100 residents of the Traditions Active Adult Community.  We had a fabulous time with an enthusiastic capacity crowd.  To view photos of the event, click Washington Crossing

Classic Urban Harmony Website Passes 45,000 Visitors! !!!

With still more than five weeks to go until our website's third anniversary, we have now passed 45,000 visitors.  Almost 20,000 of your visits have come in the past year.  This has been a great year for us and we thank each and every one of you for supporting our website and our activities. - C&P

"Evening With Vocal Group Legends" Concert Photos Now Posted on this Website

We attended the "Evening With Vocal Group Legends" concert in Pittsgrove, NJ, on JUne 18 and found it to be one of the better concerts in recent memory.  The concert starred Quiet Storm, The Vic Donna Group, Bobby Thomas & The Vibranaires, and Eddie Rich & The Swallows.  All the acts were outstanding!  Congrats to Jim Bakay for producing such a fabulous event.  We've now posted photos and a review of the concert.  To view them, click Vocal Group Legends Concert.

Our Morris Museum NJ Groups Part 2 presentation Photos and Videos now Posted!

In one of the more unique happenings in our music’s history, our two-week event at the Morris Museum combined a major New Jersey music exhibit with a historical presentation of NJ group harmony’s history.  Attendees were able to meet and greet some of the singers discussed in the presentations and represented in the museum displays.  As an added touch, both weeks featured impromptu demonstrations of how vocal harmony was put together on the street corners by spontaneous acappella singing.  Any one of these elements may have been done before but the combination will likely never happen again.  Those who were present were treated to an enjoyable and educational one-of-a-kind occurrence. 

The events just keep getting better and better at the Morris Museum's "Jersey Rocks" program!  We had an unbelievable time Wednesday, June 15, 2011, with another packed house, plenty of celebrity guests, an impromptu acappella group singing and our final presentation "New Jersey Doo Wop Groups - Part 2".  We've now posted a review and many photos plus some videos on this website.  Click Morris Museum NJ Groups - Part 2 to take a look!


Morris Museum June 3 Concert with LaBamba & Hub Caps and Quiet Storm Photos Posted

Better late than never, we've now posted photos and a review from the June 3 concert of  LaBamba & the Hub Caps and Quiet Storm at the Morris Museum's Bickford Theater.  To take a look, click LaBamba/Quiet Storm.
 

Carl Gardner, lead singer and founder of the Coasters dies.

Just heard the sad news that Carl Gardner Sr., lead singer and founder of the Coasters, died Sunday June 12, 2011, in Port Lucie, FL at the age of 83.  We'll add more details of Carl's long music career shortly.  Our condolences to the Gardner family.

Classic Urban Harmony presentation "New Jersey Doo Wop Groups - Part 1" Rocked The Morris Museum!!!!!!

What a fabulous time we had Wednesday with a packed house at the Morris Museum as we gave Part 1 of "New Jersey Doo Wop Groups".  How about those acappella singers?  And all those celebrity guests?  Click Morris Museum NJ Groups Part 1 to relive that fabulous night!  See you all next Wednesday for Part 2! - C&P

Tickets Still Available for Wednesday Evening (June 15) Event at the Morris Museum!  Some will also be available at the door.

Tickets are still available for next Wednesday's (June 15) Morris Museum event.  There also should be some tickets available at the door, especially for people arriving around 5 PM.  However, late comers at Part 1 found themselves sitting in the hallway so we advise you to have a ticket and come early!  You can call the Museum Box Office at 973-971-3706 during regular daily hours and have tickets held for you at the Box Office.  Or you can arrive early and purchase tickets when you get to the museum.

Remember, doors open at 5 PM for those who want to view the exhibit, "Jersey Rocks: A History of Rock & Roll In New Jersey" and meet and greet NJ celebrity singers like original Ad Libs' Norman Donegan, Royal Teens' Tom Auston, Blentones' Bill Keith, Mix Company's Jeff Chandler and most likely Hi-Fives' David Brigati and Johnny Barlow from Shades of Brown and now the Sheps.

At around 5:30 you'll be able to hear live doo wop acappella singing from some members of the acappella group, The Copians.  To hear an example of The Copians' harmony click the YouTubes below.

You'll receive a copy of our updated printed program, listing 200+ recorded R&B, doo wop and acappella vocal groups.  And you'll get to see numerous photos of other New Jersey doo wop groups.

At 6:30, we'll begin our presentation, "Doo Wop Groups of New Jersey - Part 2", specially prepared for the "Jersey Rocks" program.

Tickets are $20 per presentation.  Attendees will also be able to purchase tickets to both "Jersey Rocks" July doo wop acappella concerts.

Hope to see you there! - C&P 
 

The Copians to sing live doo wop acappella at June 15 Morris Museum Classic Urban Harmony event!

The fine acappella group, The Copians, have volunteered to sing prior to our June 15 presentation, "Doo Wop Groups of New Jersey - Part 2" at the Morris Museum, 6 Normany Heights Road, Morristown, NJ.  Doors open at 5 PM and you can tour the Jersey Rocks exhibit, meet our celebrity NJ doo wop singers and listen to the Copians harmonize.  Our presentation (Part 2) begins at 6:30.  If you've never heard the Copians, click the Youtubes below.  They'll be singing the first one ("Human") for Norm Donegan of the Ad Libs who will also be there.

Hope to see you there. - C&P


 


The Copians doing the Starlites "Missing You" (Peak label).

 

Steve "Sharkey" Schmidt, lead of NJ acappella group Reunion dies.

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve "Sharkey" Schmidt, lead singer of the NJ acappella group, Reunion.  Our relationship with the group Reunion goes back to the early 1980's when the group appeared at UGHA and sang live on Bill Swanke's original "Big Beat Show" on WRSU.  Since then we have seen Sharkey and the group sing numerous times and have always enjoyed their performances.  Steve died June 2 after suffering a stroke some days before.  He was 62.  We'll post some photos in tribute to Steve soon.
 

Last Two Members of the Guytones Die.

The last two members of the Guytones have passed away.  Stanley Evans (lead and tenor) of the Guytones dies on Friday May 13.  James Brown Robinson (lead and tenor) died of cancer on Tuesday May 17 at the age of 78.  The Guytones got together in 1957 in the Queens Village section of Philadelphia.  The group was signed by DeLuxe records where they released six singles, including songs like "She's Mine," "This Is Love" and "Baby I Don't Care".  RIP Stanley and James.  You'll be missed.

Live doo wop acappella singing to be a part of the June 8 Morris Museum "NJ Doo Wop Groups" Presentation!

Our June 8 event at the Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown, NJ, just keeps getting better and better.  For those arriving early for our multimedia presentation, you'll now be serenaded with some live doo wop acappella singing while you walk around the Jersey Rocks exhibit and meet & greet your favorite celebrity NJ vocal group members.  Some members of the talented NJ acappella doo wop group, "Re-MemberThen" have volunteered their voices in combination with some of our celebrity guests.  Just like the old days under the streetlamp, this is the real roots of Rock & Roll.  Thanks to the Morris Museum's "Jersey Rocks" program, we have the opportunity to have our music recognized by a major museum.  Please support us.  The world is watching!

Wednesday, June 8, doors open at 5 PM; multimedia presentations at 6:30.

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Admission to the exhibit "Jersey Rocks: A history of Rock & Roll in the Garden State"

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Meet & Greet/Autograph Session with original members NJ Pioneer R&B and Doo Wop Vocal Groups

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Live acappella doo wop singing

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Additional display of New Jersey Vocal Group photos

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Souvenir printed program listing 200+ New Jersey Recorded R&B, Doo Wop & Acappella Groups

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Classic Urban Harmony Multimedia Presentation "Doo Wop Groups of New Jersey - Part 1"

For a list of expected celebrities, see the item below.  New Jersey Groups - Part 2 will take place June 15.
Admission is $20 per presentation, $35 for both (purchased together).
To order tickets, call the Museum Box Office, 973-971-3706.
 

List of Special Guests Announced for the Meet & Greet/Autograph Session at the Morris Museum June 8 Classic Urban Harmony Presentation on History of New Jersey Doo Wop Groups - Part 1

We now have a list of special guests that we expect to have at the Morris Museum Meet & Greet/Autograph Session on June 8, prior to our presentation, "History of New Jersey Doo Wop Groups - Part 1".  Please join us at 5 PM to visit the "Jersey Rocks" exhibit and meet some of your favorite singers. 

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Tommy Bialoglow, original first tenor and founding member of Jersey City's The Duprees

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Bobby Thomas, lead and founding member of Asbury Park's The Vibranaires, as well as
former member of The V-Eights and Sonny Til's Orioles.

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Sammy Campbell, original lead and Ron Taylor, original tenor/baritone of Plainfield's The Del Larks.

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Carl Anderson and Ted Bennett of Newark's The Plurals.

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Representing Elizabeth's The Parakeets, Vic Donna of Vic Donna & The Parakeets

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Shelly Buchansky, original member of Brooklyn's Vito & The Salutations, now a NJ resident.

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Frank Cicerale, Randy Croce and Jim Offner of the acappella group, Re-MemberThen

June 15 event guests to be announced in a few days.  Tickets get you into the 5 PM exhibit, meet & greet autograph session, the display of 50 additional New Jersey vocal group photos, the 6:30-8 PM multimedia presentation on the "History of New Jersey Doo Wop Groups - Part 1" and a special souvenir program listing 200 NJ doo wop and acappella groups.

Tickets are $20 per presentation ($35 for both weeks, when purchased together).  Tickets are only available in advance from the Morris Museum Box Office, 973-971-3706.


Morris Museum Jersey Rocks Concert June 3 presents band LaBamba & the Hubcaps plus acappella group Quiet Storm.

In the first of the Morris Museum's "Jersey Rocks" formal concerts, Friday June 3, at 7:30 PM, will present live, dynamic vocalist and trombone player Richie "LaBanba" Rosenberg and his band, the Hubcaps, plus acappella group, Quiet Storm.  LaBamba has toured with Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny and Diana Ross.  For the past two decades he's been a nightly fixture on TV with Conan O'Brien.  LaBamba and the Hubcaps will have you dancing the night away.  Philadelphia acappella group Quiet Storm is a sensational doo wop acappella group.  Tickets are available at the Morris Museum Box Office, 973-971-3706 at $45 per person.

 

Next Up:  Classic Urban Harmony Celebrates New Jersey R&B and Doo Wop Groups at the Morris Museum's "Jersey Rocks" Exhibit, June 8 and June 15.

Tickets are now available for our next major Classic Urban Harmony event – a two-part presentation held at the Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown, NJ Wednesday evenings June 8 and 15, 2011, we’ll be celebrating New Jersey vocal group harmony with a two-part presentation on “R&B & Doo Wop Vocal Groups from New Jersey”.  There’s a lot more going on here than one of our regular presentations!

Each week, doors will open at 5 PM and ticket holders will be able to peruse the major exhibit, “Jersey Rocks: A History of Rock & Roll in the Garden State”.  See the “R&B Roots” section of the exhibit with our Avons fan club and business cards, our blue vinyl Plurals record.  See the photo card of Frankie Lymon visiting Georgie Hudson at WNJR!  Flip through the book of photos with write ups of New Jersey doo wop groups, like the Vibranaires, Coleman Brothers, Del Larks, Parliaments, Plurals, Ad Libs, and many more.  See Tommy Bialoglow’s original Duprees jacket, the exhibit on the Shirelles, the Four Seasons exhibit and the Brigati corner paying tribute to David (Hi-Fives) and Eddie (Rascals) Brigati (includes the original Rascals organ).  Many types and ages of NJ R&R are represented.  Plan on spending about an hour in the museum (or see half one week and the rest the next).

Each person attending will receive our recently updated printed program listing more than 200 New Jersey Doo Wop and Acappella groups.

Each week prior to our presentations we’ll have tables set up where you can flip through some of our additional New Jersey Group memorabilia.

Also, at the tables will be members of some of your favorite New Jersey Doo Wop Groups that you can talk to and have them sign autographs or perhaps acquire group photos or CD’s from.  We’ll be announcing who will be at each presentation soon.  We’ve already lined up member(s) of the Ad Libs, Del Larks, Duprees, Plurals, Vibranaires, Royal Teens, Mixed Company and Vic Donna (representing the Parakeets) and Shelly Buchansky of Vito & the Salutations (OK, we know the Salutations are from Brooklyn, but Shelly lives in New Jersey now!).  Expect a lot more.

Our multimedia presentations will begin at 6:30 PM sharp.  Each presentation will tell the stories of several famous New Jersey Doo Wop Groups, including music clips, rare group photos, record labels, sheet music and memorabilia photos.  Plus there’ll be mystery songs with CD prizes for those who guess the artists.

o   June 8 will present Part 1 of New Jersey Doo Wop Groups.  It will include artists like the Coleman Brothers, the Vibranaires, Lenny Welch, the Rivieras, the Duprees, the Plurals, the Del Larks, the Four Lovers and roots of the Four Seasons and more.

o   June 15 will present Part 2 of New Jersey Doo Wop Groups.  It will include artists like the Rivals, the Shirelles, the Ad Libs, The Hi-Fives, early Joey Dee & Starlites, The Royal Teens, the Criterions, the Avons, the Fiestas, the Monotones, Ronnie & Hi-lites and many more.

Admission is $20 per presentation ($35 for both, purchased at once).  You can get tickets to Part 1, Part 2 or both.  Discounts are available for Morris Museum members.

Tickets will include admission to the Jersey Rocks Exhibit and the Meet/Autograph Session with the NJ Doo Wop Singers before each presentation.

Get tickets in advance by calling the Morris Museum Box Office at 973-971-3706 and ask for tickets to “Jersey Rocks Lecture Series 2”, New Jersey Doo Wop Groups Parts 1 and/or 2.

As our music is only one part of New Jersey’s contribution to Rock & Roll, your support is critical to determining how museums all over will view the importance of 50’s and 60’s group harmony in future cultural exhibits.  Please come out to our presentations and the Jersey Rocks Doo Wop concerts scheduled for later in July.

Please see the attached flyer for more details or visit either www.classicurbanharmony.net’s Events Calendar or www.morrismuseum.org


Bob Flanigan of Four Freshmen Dies

We are saddened to report the passing of Bob Flanigan, founding member of the Four Freshmen.  Bob died May 15, 2011 at the age of 84.  The Four Freshmen were one of the greatest close harmony groups ever to sing.  Bob sang with the group for 44 years from their beginning in 1948 until 1992.  He continued directing the group after his retirement from singing.
 

Four Freshmen of the 1950's.
Bob Flanigan is second from the right.

 

Morris Museum's "Jersey Rocks" Launch Party Scores Big! 

The Morris Museum officially kicked off its "Jersey Rocks" Exhibit with an extremely successful launch party and Classic Urban Harmony was there.  The Boardwalk-themed bash was filled to capacity as we enjoyed fine food and drink while participating in a silent auction, raffles and of course the Jersey Rocks exhibit.  For entertainment we had "E Street Shuffle," a great Springsteen tribute band.  We especially enjoyed talking to people who stopped by the Jersey doo wop section of the exhibit.  For photos, click Jersey Rocks Launch Party.  Hope to see all of you out at our NJ Doo Wop presentations at the Museum, June 8 and 15. 

Classic Urban Harmony Presentation, (Doo Wop - PART 3) at Garwood (NJ) Public Library, Another Success Story!

Our return to the Garwood NJ Public Library on Wednesday evening May 11, 2011, for the third time in less than a year, was another success story!  This time we presented a newly updated "Under The Street Lamp: Tales From The Doo Wop Era - Part 3" to an enthusiastic crowd.  Celebrities in the audience included Frank Cicerale, lead of the acappella group Re-memberThen and Tommie Shider, lead of the acappella group, The Sheps.  Also present were WRDV-FM radio personality Night Train Jim Bakay as well as well known music authorities Angelo Pompeo and Carl Tancredi.  To see photos of and read about the event, click Garwood 3.
 

Morris Museum Exhibit "Jersey Rocks" Opens in Morristown, NJ.  Classic Urban Harmony Reviews the Exhibit with Photos!

The Morris Museum opened its "Jersey Rocks" exhibit on Thursday May 5, featuring New Jersey's contributions to Rock & Roll.  Classic Urban Harmony contributed to the 1950's R&B and Doo Wop section but this was our first chance to see the exhibit and take photos for our website.  Join us as we view the exhibit by clicking "Jersey Rocks".  Don't forget, we'll be presenting "New Jersey Doo Wop Groups, Parts 1 and 2" at the Museum on Wednesdays June 8 and 15.  Our presentations start at 6:30 PM but come out between 5:00 and 5:30 PM to view the exhibit before our talks.  Admission to the Jersey Rocks Exhibit is included in your tickets to our presentations.  We'll also have tables set up with our own Jersey Doo Wop memorabilia and a number of famous New Jersey Doo Wop singers will be there to sign autographs.

Admission to Morris Museum's "Jersey Rocks" Exhibit now included with your ticket to Classic Urban Harmony "NJ Doo Wop Groups" Presentations

Through special arrangement with the Morris Museum, when you purchase a ticket to Classic Urban Harmony's "Doo Wop Groups of New Jersey" Parts 1 or 2, you may arrive an hour early and tour the "Jersey Rocks" exhibit free of charge.  Tickets to each of our presentations are $20 pp and now include free admission to the exhibit (a $10 value).  [Tickets to both Part 1 and Part 2 of our presentations can be purchased at once for $35, saving an additional $5).

Our presentations begin at 6:30 PM sharp, but another reason to arrive at 5:30 is that each presentation will include a chance to meet some famous NJ doo wop singers who will be signing autographs prior to thr presentation.

We have also arranged for ticket holders to the acappella concerts to tour the Jersey Rocks Exhibit prior to those concerts free of charge. 
 

Acappella Group "Re-memberThen" finds its Echo - Now with Videos Added!

When an anonymous source tipped us off that one of our favorite up-and-coming doo wop acappella groups, “Re-memberThen,” would be holding an impromptu rehearsal in the commuter tunnel under the railroad five minutes from Classic Urban Harmony headquarters, you had to know we’d be there to cover it.  To see what we saw, click Re-memberThen.  Update:  We've now added Videos of the event!!!


Singer Jack Scandura Dies.  Sang with the Blue Stars, Blend-aires, Cliftonaires, 5 Discs, Kid Kyle's Kool Kats

We were shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of our friend, Jack Scandura.  Jack was one of the most talented and versatile singers we knew.  His voice was key to the intricate harmonies of many groups, including the Blue Stars, Blend-Aires, Cliftonaires, 5 Discs and Kid Kyle's Kool Kats.  Jack died of a heart attack during the early morning of May 3, 2011.  He was 64.  We've posted a tribute to Jack Scandura on this website.  Click Jack Scandura to visit it. RIP, Jack.  We miss you. - Charlie & Pam
 

Castaleers' Lead Joe Hill Dies

Though we don't yet have details, we've heard that Joe Hill, lead of the Castaleers out of Providence, RI, died sometime in April, 2011.  Joe led the group on "That's Why I Cry" on the Planet label.

 

New Details and Schedule Announced for Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ) "Jersey Rocks" Program.  Classic Urban Harmony presentations moved to 6:30 PM starts.

Tickets are now available for the many events at the Morris Museum's "Jersey Rocks: A History of Rock & Roll In the Garden State" program which opens Thursday May 5.  [Note: The Museum is closed friday May 6 for a special event.]  New events and details on all of the lectures and concerts can be viewed by going to Our Events Calendar.  For those planning to attend our two presentations on New Jersey Doo Wop Groups, please note the starting time is now 6:30 PM on June 8 and 15 but you might want to get there even earlier!  We'll have even more details shortly but we plan to invite many famous Jersey doo wop singers for you to greet and get autographs.  This is turning into quite an event.
 

New Classic Urban Harmony Events Announced on our Events Calendar

Check out the new Classic Urban Harmony events coming up on our Events Calendar.  We've announced some new presentation dates, and an upcoming live concert by Philly's JT's Emeralds at the Franklin Township Public Library in Somerset, NJ.  Don't forget, our Doo Wop - Part 3 presentation at Garwood NJ Public Library is now open for Registration.  Don't delay.
 

Classic Urban Harmony visits WBGO-FM and Felix Hernandez' "Rhythm Review" Radio Program

Pam & Charlie Horner visited Felix Hernandez' WBGO-FM "Rhythm Review" radio program on April 16, 2011, where Charlie played some extremely rare soul vocal harmony group records.  Felix's popular classic soul program airs every Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM.     Charlie and Felix have been friends for over 35 years.  Click "Classic Urban Harmony on Rhythm Review" to see photos of the event and label scans and backgrounds of all the records played.  Felix Hernandez' website is www.classicsoul.com and his program can be heard each Saturday from 10 AM - 2 PM EDT on www.wbgo.org.  
 

April 2, 2011, Mills Brothers Concert and Mills Brothers Society Reunion in Bellefonte, PA

The Mills Brothers concert and Mills Brothers Society Reunion in Bellefonte, PA, was a fabulous event.  We've got a full review and about 50 photos of the concert, memorabilia display and video session and numerous photos of Bellefonte points of historical regarding the Mills Brothers.  If you want to see where our group harmony music originated more than 100 years ago, start here!  To see photos from this event, click Mills Brothers Return to Bellefonte.

The Mills Brothers Society Now Part of Classic Urban Harmony Website

Following a fabulous reunion in Bellefonte, PA, The Mills Brothers Society has now been reactivated as a part of the Classic Urban Harmony website!  To check out the Society's new webpage, click The Mills Brothers Society.
 

More Details Now Available on Third Acappella and Doo Wop Concert for Morristown (NJ) Morris Museum "Jersey Rocks" Events

We now have advanced information on the third concert at the Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ) as part of the "Jersey Rocks" summer exhibit and celebration of New Jersey's contributions to Rock & Roll.  It will take place on Friday evening, July 29, 2011 at the museum's Bickford Theatre and will feature the following vocal groups; Sammy & the Del Larks, Bobby Thomas of the Vibranaires (and group), Quiet Storm (acappella group) and Jersey Tribute (an all star NJ group containing a former original member of The Happenings, The Duprees and Joey & The Lexingtons!).  See Our Events Calendar for details of the exhibit and all of the group harmony events.

Bob Marcucci, owner of Philadelphia's Chancellor Records Dies.

More sad news.  Bob Marcucci, owner of the Philadelphia record label, Chancellor Records, died March 9, 2011, at the age of 81.  Of course Bob will be remembered for discovering and recording Fabian and Frankie Avalon.  Group harmony fans also remember the many vocal groups Bob recorded for Chancellor, including sides for the Four Dates, Hearts, Day Brothers, Fabulous Four, Del Knights, Maureen Gray (and group), Five Satins and Dean Randolph (with group).  More details later.

Jacks' lead, Willie Davis Dies

Saddened to hear that Willie Davis, lead singer of the Jacks ("Why Don't You Write Me") and member of the Cadets ("Stranded In The Jungle"), Peppers, Thor-Ables, Flares ("Foot Stompin") and Rocketeers passed away February 20, 2011 at the age of 78.  We'll have more details later. 

South Philly String Band Club Hosts Steve Applebaum Tribute Concert

On Friday, March 25, 2011, the South Philly String Band Club held a concert to commemorate the life of our good friend, Steve Applebaum.  The club was packed with Steve's friends and seven groups volunteered to sing.  It was a great way to celebrate Steve's life with the music he loved.  We've written a full review of the night and included numerous photos for those who were not able to attend and for those who were there and want to remember.  Click Steve Applebaum Tribute Concert to take a look.

Randy & Rainbows' Bass, Kenny Arcipowski Dies

We are saddened to report that Kenny Arcipowski, original bass singer for Randy & the Rainbows, passed away Wednesday March 23, 2011, after a brief, sudden illness.  He was 67.  Kenny was on all of the group's Rust label recordings including their national hit, "Denise".  While he left the group in the late 1960's, Kenny remained close to the other members, occasionally joining them on stage when they played their home base in Queens, NY. 

Randy & the Rainbows:  Kenny Arcipowski top right.
 

Classic Urban Harmony Website Passes 40,000 Visitors!

Our website, www.classicurbanharmony.net, has just passed 40,000 visitors!  Considering that we started from scratch a little more than two and a half years ago, we're very pleased.  Our sincere thanks to all of you who visit our website.  We hope you keep coming back.
 

More Details Announced for the Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ) Major Exhibit and Summer Celebration of New Jersey's Contributions to Rock & Roll.  Classic Urban Harmony to Assist with Display Photos, Memorabilia and Two Presentations on 1950's R&B and Doo Wop Music From New Jersey.  First Two Concerts Announced!


The Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ 07960, has scheduled a summer of exhibits, concerts and related events showing New Jersey's contributions to the history of Rock & Roll music.  A partial schedule of events is now available (see below).  The Morris Museum and this website will be announcing more details and how to obtain tickets, shortly!

May 5 - September 5, 2011 (Wednesdays through Sundays) - See www.morrismuseum.org for hours and directions.

The Jersey Rocks Exhibit

The centerpiece of the celebration will be a major exhibition of music photos and memorabilia from New Jersey artists called "Jersey Rocks - A History of Rock & Roll in the Garden State".  The exhibit has displays on many NJ artists from early 1950's R&B through the Four Seasons, Springsteen and Bonjovi.  Classic Urban Harmony has lent numerous items from our Archives and assisted in the write ups and captions for the 1950's R&B Section of the exhibit.  If the rest of the exhibit is as good as the part we worked on (and we know it will be) this is a not to be missed display!

Friday, June 3, 2011.

Concert featuring La Bamba & Quiet Storm

The first concert of the "Jersey Rocks" celebration will be held on Friday evening, June 3 at the Morris Museum's 312-seat Bickford Theatre.  It will feature the well known r&b, rock & soul band, La Bamba (visit www.labambaandthehubcaps.com).  Opening for La Bamba will be the popular doo wop acappella group, Quiet Storm.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011, 7 - 8:30 PM

Classic Urban Harmony Multimedia Presentation: "Doo Wop Groups from New Jersey, PART 1"

Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie & Pamela Horner will give Part 1 of the multimedia presentation, "Doo Wop Groups of New Jersey".  In Part 1 of this two-part series, we'll cover the stories of The Coleman Brothers, The Vibranaires, Lenny Welch, The Rivieras, The Del Larks, The Parliaments, The Plurals, The Duprees, Ronnie & The Hi-Lites, The Hi-Fives, the roots of The Four Seasons and more.  We'll be using a large screen to show you photos of the groups, record labels, sheet music and other memorabilia while we tell you the groups' own stories.  We'll also be playing music clips of the groups' songs.  A Q&A will follow the presentation.  We'll be displaying our own books of photos of NJ vocal groups.  Plus, everyone attending will leave with a complimentary pamphlet listing all of the doo wop groups of New Jersey - a real collectors item.  Expect quite a few of the group singers we'll talk about to be in the audience, too.  Feel free to greet them after the talk.  And don't forget to come early to wander through the exhibits.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 7 - 8:30 PM

Classic Urban Harmony Multimedia Presentation: "Doo Wop Groups from New Jersey, PART 2"

Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie & Pamela Horner will give Part 2 of the multimedia presentation, "Doo Wop Groups of New Jersey".  In Part 2 of this two-part series, we'll cover the stories of The Monotones, The Avons, The Ad Libs, The Fiestas, The Shirelles, The Kodoks, Nicky Addeo, The Darchaes and many more.  As in Part 1, you'll see photos of the groups, record labels, sheet music and hear music clips while we tell you the groups' stories.  There'll be more group singers in the audience, too.  You don't have to attend Part 1 to attend Part2, but you'll want to be there for both!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Doo Wop Acappella Concert featuring Nicky Addeo & the Nite Owls, The Copians, 14 Karat Soul's Glenn T (backed by the Copians) and the Sheps

The second concert of the "Jersey Rocks" celebration will be an all acappella doo wop and r&b event held on Friday evening, July 15 at the Morris Museum's Bickford Theatre.  It will feature Asbury Park's own Nicky Addeo (formerly of The Darchaes, Uniques, Plazas, Historians) with his group, The Nite Owls; The Copians; Glenn T (formerly of the great East Orange group, 14 Karat Soul) backed by the Copians; and The Sheps.

Additional events, including another acappella concert are being planned.  Come early to any of the events and visit the exhibits first.  We'll let you know how to get tickets to any or all the events as soon as they're available.  See our Events Calendar Page for more details or visit www.morrismuseum.org once details are announced.

 

Both Part 1 and Part 2 of Our Sensations ("Yes Sir That's My baby", "Let Me In") Story now viewable on this website!

Both Parts 1 and 2 of our Sensations article are now posted on this website for your viewing.  The label scans are now in color and we have a great discography.  We know Northern Soul fans will appreciate seeing our mint copy of Yvonne Baker's "You Didn't Say A Word" on Parkway.  To read both parts of this fascinating story of a great Philadelphia doo wop group, click Sensations Part 1, the hit the Back button and click Sensations Part 2.  Both articles previously ran in Echoes of the Past magazine.  Scroll down to see how to subscribe.
 

 

A Fabulous Time at the WFDU-FM Fundraiser in Teaneck NJ (March 10, 2011)

We had a fabulous time at Christine Vitale's WFDU-FM Fundraiser Concert at the Mexicali Live Restaurant in Teaneck, NJ, on March 10, 2011.  What a great concert, featuring the Expressions, the Lar-Kings, Quiet Storm, the Magic Touch, the Vic Donna Group and the Persuasions!  We've posted a review, many photos and even a few videos of the concert.  Click WFDU Fundraiser to take a look!
 

Carl Rainge of the Spaniels Dies

Carl Rainge, first tenor for the R&B group, the Spaniels, died Sunday, March 6, 2011 after a long illness.  He was 74.  Carl joined the Spaniels in 1956, after the group group had already scored big with songs like "Goodnight Sweetheart".  He briefly replaced James Pookie Hudson as lead.  Hudson had quit the Spaniels for a short time.  When Pookie Hudson returned to be the group's lead again, Carl was retained as first tenor.  Rainge recorded with the Spaniels on songs like "Everyone's Laughing" and "You're Gonna Cry".
 

Cadillacs' Bobby Phillips Memorial Service Plans Announced

Bobby Phillips, original founding member of the legendary R&B group, the Cadillacs, passed away Sunday, March 6, 2011.  A memorial service for Bobby will be held on Tuesday March 15 at 6 PM at:

Unity Funeral Chapel
2352 Fredrick Douglas Blvd. (8th Avenue)
Between 126th and 127th Streets
New York, NY
212-666-8300

To see our tribute page to the Cadillacs' Bobby Phillips, click Here.

Another great voice in our music has been stilled.  RIP Bobby.

The Cadillacs & Pam Horner at the R&B Foundation Awards Ceremony, 2008
Bobby Phillips is on the right.
(Photo from the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)
 

Latest Issue of Echoes of the Past is out - Features our article on the Belltones (Grand label), Little Joe Cook's Thrillers, the Royal Demons and Madison Brothers plus much more!

The latest issue of Echoes of the Past (Issue #95) magazine is now out and features our article on the R&B groups from Philadelphia's Francisville section of North Philadelphia - the Belltones, Little Joe Cook's Thrillers, the Royal Demons and the Madison Brothers.  Also in the magazine are Bob Bosco's article on Dale & the Cashmeres, George Frunzi's article on Billy Galante and much more.    For info on subscribing to Echoes of the Past ($16.99 for 4 issues a year) email Bob Belniak at echoes.past@yahoo.com


 

Monte Owens of Mellomoods & Solitaires Dies

Monteith P. "Monte" Owens, first tenor and guitarist for the Mello Moods and Solitaires in the 1950's, died March 3, 2011 in the Bronx, New York, after a long illness.  He was 75.

Born March 31, 1936, Monte and his Bronx neighborhood friends, lead singer Ray Wooten, bass Jimmy Bethea, and tenors Alvin Baylor, and Bobby Williams formed the Mello Moods in 1949 and scored a national hit with their 1951 debut release, "Where Are You" in 1952.  The Mello Moods appeared at the Apollo and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.  They recorded three additional singles for Red Robin and Prestige Records in 1952-53 including "I Couldn't Sleep A Wink Last Night", "Call On Me", and "I'm Lost", before going their separate ways.

The Mellomoods, Monte Owens with guitar
(Photo courtesy of Todd Baptista)
 

In 1953, Owens briefly sang and played with the Caverliers, a Brooklyn group that later evolved into the Fi-Tones, but was best known for his work with the Solitaires.  Baylor brought his fellow Mello Moods Owens and Williams into the Solitaires prior to the group's first recording session in 1954.  A skilled guitarist who also possessed a clear first tenor, Owens played and or sang on "Blue Valentine", "Please Remember My Heart", "South Of The Border", "Ghost of A Chance", "Later For You Baby", "The Angels Sang", "Walking Along", "Please Kiss This Letter", "Helpless", and others.  Owens participated in all of the Solitaires' Old Town releases except one ("Walkin' and Talkin'"/"No More Sorrows"), often arranged their material, and served as musical director in concert appearances following the departure of Williams in 1956.  His soaring high tenor anchored the background harmony in the group's signature ballad, "The Angels Sang".  [The above information excerpted from an obit supplied and (c) by Todd Baptista.]
 

  Memorial Concert Planned for Steve Applebaum at South Philly String Band Club

A Steve Applebaum Memorial Concert will be held at the South Philly String Band Club on the evening of Friday March 25, 2011.  Doors open at 6 PM.  This will be an open MIC night with Quiet Storm, Junior & the Four Seniors and the Copians (Jim Bakay's new group) already signed up to perform.  More groups are expected to sign up.  $20 will get you in the door, a great buffet, and a lot of great music.  The South Philly String Band Club is located at 2820 Porter Street (near 28th & Passyunk) in South Philly.  For this and other South Philly String Band Club events please see Our Events Calendar or contact Eddie Natale at eddie7792@gmail.com 
 

[New!]Detailed Plans Announced for the Mills Brothers Concert & Mills Brothers Society Reunion, April 2 in Bellefonte, PA.

1932 Mills Bros Post Card.  One of a couple hundred Classic Urban Harmony Archive
items of Mills Brothers memorabilia on display April 2 in Bellefonte, PA

Plans are complete for the Saturday, April 2, 2011, Mills Brothers Concert in historic Bellefonte, PA (near State College) and the accompanying reunion of Mills Brothers Society members and fans.  The Mills Brothers concert features John Mills, son of Donald Mills, who is carrying on the Mills Brothers’ tradition with the help of Elmer Hopper, 21-year member of the Platters.  Classic Urban Harmony has taken a key role in the events of Saturday afternoon leading up to the concert.

@ 1 PM:
Reunion of members of the Mills Brothers Society (and anyone else interested) at the Governors Pub, 211 W. High Street in Bellefonte.  The Pub is located on the exact spot where the Mills family barber shop stood many years ago.  The gathering will enjoy refreshments while watching rare videos of Mills Brothers performances through the years. 
Also on view will be one of the largest collections of Mills Brothers memorabilia ever publicly displayed, direct from the Classic Urban Harmony Archives.  We’ll bring a collection of nearly 100 pieces of Mills Brothers sheet music plus numerous rare Mills Brothers photographs, post cards, lobby cards, programs and other memorabilia.

@ 5 PM
Dinner at the Governors Pub (Dutch treat).

@ 7:30 PM
The Mills Brothers Concert at the Bellefonte Area High School, 830 E. Bishop Street, Bellefonte, PA.  Tickets are $25 per person and are available at the afternoon gathering and at the door.  The concert is sponsored by the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association. 

In addition to the members of the Mills Brothers Society, the afternoon video and memorabilia display is open to others with an interest, but anyone wishing to attend must register in advance as space is limited.  You can register by emailing CUH@att.net with your name, contact information and number of people attending.

You are responsible for your own lodging arrangements but some suggestions are listed on Our Events Calendar page.
 

Excerpts from Classic Urban Harmony Presentation now Viewable on this Website

For those who have not yet attended one of our Classic Urban Harmony Presentations, here are some excerpts from "Under The Streetlamp: Tales From the Doo Wop Era - Part 3" given in 2010.  It starts with our memorabilia display table and ends with an 8 minute segment on the Moonglows' Harvey Fuqua. We give our presentations at libraries, historical societies, museums, active adult communities, etc. We are located in central New Jersey.  If interested, contact us at CUH@att.net. -- Charlie & Pam Horner


Group Harmony World Loses Two More Friends

Our world has grown sadder this past week with the loss of two more friends who were an integral part of our group harmony scene; former Maryland group harmony radio personality Charlie Coleman (WKHS-FM) and record collector Joe Ronco.  We will miss them both.

Group Harmony World Mourns the Loss of Music Authority and Friend, Steve Applebaum

Words can not express our sorrow in learning of the passing of our dear friend and colleague in the research of R&B group harmony, Steve Applebaum.  Steve died Tuesday afternoon, February 22, 2011, after a long fight with cancer.  He had just turned 64.  Steve Applebaum and Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie Horner had been close friends since late 1969, when Steve became the first regular listener to Charlie's radio program.  At the time, Charlie was on a small carrier current radio station, WXDT, who's signal was only broadcast to Drexel University buildings.  Steve worked across the street from Drexel at the time and was able to reign in the signal while at work.  Steve Applebaum and Charlie soon became good friends, a friendship that grew even stronger over the next forty one years.  Steve and Charlie shared a love of the music that led them to be the first to track down, interview on the radio, and write a definitive bio of the Castelles on the Grand label.  When Charlie Horner moved to WXPN-FM radio in 1975, Steve co-produced the program with Charlie for the first couple years.  We are preparing to update and reprint an article for Echoes of the Past magazine that Steve and Charlie wrote together in 1977 on The Deckers/Teddy & the Twilights.  It will be published in Steve's memory.

Steve Applebaum's knowledge of fifties R&B vocal groups was encyclopedic and his love and support of our music was immeasurable.  We will forever miss his input on the research we are doing.  Most of all, we'll miss him as our friend.  We could write pages about how Steve touched our lives, but instead we'll post the following photos and remember.  RIP, Steve. - Your friends Charlie & Pam.
 

Steve & Carole Applebaum


Pam, Charlie & Steve


Steve Applebaum & Charlie Horner
 

Four J's Jimmy Testa Tribute and Benefit Concert a Huge Success

The tribute and benefit concert for the late Jimmy Testa of the Four J's and Fabulous Four was a huge success.  The Waterfall Room of Swan Caterers in South Philadelphia was packed to standing room only on Wednesday February 16, 2011, a tribute to the respect and admiration people had for the late singer.  Over a dozen acts performed, including Charlie Gracie, Billy Carlucci of the Essentials, Billy Harner, Purple Reign, JT's Emeralds, 45 RPM and many more.  To see photos from the event, click Jimmy Testa Tribute.
 

Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie Horner to make guest appearance on Felix Hernandez' WBGO "Rhythm Review" Radio Program on April 9 (1 - 2 PM), playing the rarest of the great soul harmony 45's.

Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie Horner will make a guest appearance on Felix Hernandez' WBGO-FM radio program (88.3 FM and www.wbgo.org).  Felix's popular classic soul program airs every Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM.  On April 9, Charlie will be playing super rare great soul harmony records from 1 - 2 PM on Felix's show.  Charlie and Felix have been friends for over 35 years.  If you want to hear some "one of a kind" great 60's and 70's soul harmony 45's tune in by Internet.

Also check out Felix Hernandez' website at www.classicsoul.com.
 

Article about The Del Larks and the song "Job Opening" featured in New Jersey Newspapers!

The Sunday, February 20 edition of central New Jersey's Home News and several related newspapers ran an article about our friends from Plainfield, NJ - Sammy Campbell, Ron Taylor and the Del Larks ("Remember The Night," "Lady Love," "I Never Will Forget" and "Job Opening").  The article, written by Chris Jordan, tells the story of the group and their rare Northern Soul recording of "Job Opening".  Classic Urban Harmony contributed a few quotes and there were photos of Sam & Ron and the Del Larks.  If you weren't able to pick up the paper, it will be posted on the Internet for a short while.

Click www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20110220/NJENT01/110218032/1026/NJENT/Soul-survivors to read the article then use you Back Button to return to our website.

Also to read our detailed bio of the Del Larks click Del Larks Bio.  A video of Sam and Ron singing "I Never Will Forget" with some of the Sheps at our anniversary is also available below.



 

Vic Donna Group holds rehearsal at Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters

After making their professional debut as a vocal group at our anniversary celebration, the Vic Donna Group's reputation for tight harmony is rapidly growing.  The YouTube of their performance collected more than five hundred hits within the first four weeks of us posting it (click Anniversary Videos to watch).  Last week, the Vic Donna Group honored us by holding one of their rehearsals at Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters, our own private concert.  We had a few other quests visit that evening and had quite a time!  To see photos of the Vic Donna Group rehearsing at CUH Headquarters, click Vic Donna Group.   
 

Video Clips From the Horner's 5th Anniversary Now Posted!!!!!

We've finally posted high-definition video clips from the Pam & Charlie Horner 5th Anniversary celebration on this website and on our YouTube Channel (chorner1).  See excerpts from the performances of the Masqueraders, the Sheps and the Vic Donna Group, Vibranaires' Bobby Thomas (with the Sheps), the Del Larks (with the Sheps), Cornerstone's Golden Voice Harry Schmitt (with the Sheps), Vito & Salutations' Shelly Buchansky (with the Vic Donna Group), the Bill Keith Group, Frankie Lafaro and Little Isidore!!!

Go to our 5th Anniversary Page and then click on Part 6 -Video Clips from the concert!
 

Robins' Grady Chapman Funeral Arrangements Announced

For relatives, friends and fans of the Robins' Grady Chapman, funeral services will be held on Monday, January 17, 2010 @ 11 AM at
Cottonwood Church
3311 Saucilito Street
Los Alamitos, CA
(714) 947-5300

His burial will be at Forrest Lawn in Cypress, CA on Tuesday @ 11 AM.
 

Royal Jesters' Oscar Lawson Dies

Oscar Lawson, founding member of the Royal Jesters out of San Antonio, TX, died Saturday, January 8, 2011.  We'll pass on further details as we receive them.  The Royal Jesters are known for numerous great R&B group harmony songs on San Antonio labels like Cobra, Harlem, Clown and Jox.  See the YouTube below of "My Angel Of Love," their record on Harlem out of San Antonio.



 

Bobby Robinson dies.  Label owner, record producer, record store owner and music giant.

Just got word that Bobby Robinson, a legendary in the history of our music, passed away January 7, 2010, at the age of 93.  Bobby Robinson owned record labels like Red Robin, Whirlin' Disc, Fire, Fury and Enjoy.  Bobby started the record shop, Bobby's Happy House, on 125th Street in Harlem in 1946.  Through his many record labels he discovered and produced groups like the Vocaleers, Velvets, Mellomoods, Scarlets, Channels, Continentals, Teenchords, Kodaks, and dozens of others.  To view our tribute page to this icon of our music, click Bobby Robinson Page.  We have some great photos and label scans there.


Grady Chapman of the Robins dies.

Grady Chapman, great tenor lead of the Robins died January 4, 2011 of heart failure in a Los Angeles hospital.  According to Grady's daughter, Tania, he 81, having been born on October 1, 1929.  Grady joined the Robins in 1952.  He is heard leading many of the groups' classic recordings on RCA Victor, including "How Would You Know," "Oh Why," "My Heart's The Biggest Fool," and "Ten Days In Jail."  Grady also led the Robins on "Whataya Want" on the Spark label and "Since I First Met You" (Whippet label).  To see a tribute to Grady, click Grady Chapman Page.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by LaTasha Company, Long Beach Colonial Mortuary, 628 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802.  For details, call them at 562-436-1601 or email them at lbcolonial@yahoo.com


Joseph Jones Jr. of the Tams dies.

Joseph Jones Jr., former member of Joe Pope's Tams died December 31, 2010 from pancreatic cancer.  He was 64.  Joe joined the Tams in 1972.  When the Tams later split into two groups, Joseph remained with Joe Pope's group, singing with them until he retired from singing in 2008.

Tams' Joe Jones with Pam & Charlie, Charleston, SC, 2004.
(Photo from the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)
 

Larry Hancock of the soul group, the Intertains dies.

Larry Hancock, lead of the Cleveland soul group, the Intertains, passed away on January 3, 2011.  Larry's tenor voice was featured on the Intertains' first recording, "Gotta Find A Girl" on the Uptown label in the mid 1960's and three follow up releases.  Larry also sang with the group S.O.U.L (Musicor) and Truth (S.O.C and Devaki labels).
 

Intertains' first record
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)




(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)
 

The flip of "Glad I Found You" was "Need Your Love," a Northern Soul classic.  To hear a Youtube of "Need Your Love," click below.



 

Many New Group Harmony Events Scheduled for Beginning of 2011.

While we're busy finalizing our own schedule of Classic Urban Harmony events for 2011, we've just posted a number of new group harmony happenings that we support for the beginning of this year.  Visit our Events Calendar to check them out.


Musical Comedy Dollface's run shortened due to scheduling problems.  Show now ends January 9th.

After finally being recognized (and reviewed) by the New York Times, Little Isidore's hilarious musical comedy, Dollface's run has been shortened due to scheduling problems.  It will now end Sunday January 9th instead of the previously publicized January 16th.  If you're holding tickets for the cancelled week, please call the theater and change your reservation.  See our Events Calendar for details on the show.
 

 

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