Classic Urban Harmony, LLC

"We Take You Back In The Day"





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Presentation and Event Photo Album

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    Pam's Bio


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    our Presentations

    Articles & Press
    About Us

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    Articles by Us

[New!]Wally Osborne & Starfires

Satan & the Angels - Blue Eyed Soul

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

The Plurals

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

    Visit Our

Our Photo Gallery:
Our Musical Family

Our Photo Gallery:
CUH Archives

Renovations to the Classic Urban Harmony Library

    Concert Reviews,
    Photos & Events

bullet [New!]Choice at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Philly Ringtones at Franklin Township Library
[New!]Curators Talk, Spirituals to Soul Exhibit
bullet [New!]Sonny Til's son & grandson visit Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters
bullet [New!]Re-MedmberThen at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Quiet Storm at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Spirituals to Soul Museum Exhibit, Freehold
bulletVelvet Candles in Barcelona, Spain
bulletFilming Doo Wop Documentary
bullet2015 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
bullet Monmouth University West Side Music Exhibit
bulletAsbury Park West Side Music Exhibit Monmouth University - Set Up
bulletAsbury Park West Side Music Exhibit, Heaven Gallery
bullet2014 Philly Doo Wop Festival
bulletTNT 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
at NJ Doo Wop Singers Club 2013

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

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
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
bulletFilming a Documentary
on Acappella
bulletAcappella Group Soul'D
Out on
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

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


    In Tribute

bullet Dick Rietveld, Deep River Quartet
bullet 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
bulletSilhouettes' John Wilson
bulletLes Paul
bullet Castelles' Billy Taylor

    1950's R&B &
    Doo Wop


The Academics 


The Avalons


The Avons


The Blue Notes (original)


Claude Robinson & Creations


The 5 Embers


The Juveniles/ Twilights/ Embers


The Silhouettes

    1960's Soul

bulletThe Ad-Libs
bullet Jackson Five (Pre-Motown & Other Rarities)

    Carolina Beach Music

bullet The Poor Souls

    Modern Era
    Doo Wop Groups

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

    Gospel Groups

Angelic Gospel

bulletClaude Jeter & the Swan Silvertones

    Early Black
    Vocal Groups
    1870 -1930


The American
Jubilee Singers



The Dinwiddie Quartet

   History of


The 60th Anniversary of the Vinyl 45 RPM Single

    Rare Record

bulletHico Label

   Holiday Harmony

bullet Vocalaries' White Christmas
bulletPenguins' A Christmas Prayer
bulletDominoes' Christmas In Heaven
bulletCameos' Merry Christmas
bulletDrifters' White Christmas
Lonely Christmas


bullet Philadelphia Area Doo Wop & Acappella Groups
bulletBermuda Vocal Groups


Unknown Vocal Groups

     Great LINKS




[New!]Chris Bartley Tribute

Chris Bartley, 1947 - 2009
(Photo courtesy of Jeff Chambers by way of Ray Block)

On October 26, 2009, the world lost another golden voice.  Chris Bartley, R&B, Soul, Doo Wop and Gospel singer has died of kidney failure.  He was 62.

We didn’t know Chris well, having only met him once or twice, but we were big fans of his music.  Several of our friends knew Chris very well and by all accounts he was a great guy as well as an exceptional singer.  Ad Libs' Ray Block said of Chris Bartley, "He had a voice laced with honey and delivered in silk.  He is truly missed."

Leroy “Chris” Bartley was born in Harlem, about four blocks from the Apollo Theater, on April 17, 1947.  As a youngster, Chris was influenced by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers.  Chris was attending Frederick Douglass Junior High in Harlem in 1959 when he started singing in his first vocal group, the Soulful Inspirations.  He continued singing part time with this group for the next ten years, while the group itself went through numerous personnel changes.  When the group evolved into the Mindbenders in the mid-1960’s they were introduced to producer Van McCoy by their manager, Bill Downs.  Downs also managed the vocal group, Ad Libs at the time.

Van McCoy didn’t like the group but he did like the voice of their lead singer, Chris Bartley.  He quickly signed Chris to his Vando, a label Van McCoy was just starting with radio dee jay, Jocko Henderson.

In July 1967, Chris Bartley’s first record, “The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven,” was released.  The record was distributed by Cameo-Parkway.  It soon hit #32 on the Pop Charts and #10 on the R&B Charts.  The song did well enough that Van McCoy then released an album by Chris.  All the Chris Bartley songs on Vando were written and produced by van McCoy.

First pressing of Vando 101
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Odd Green label pressing of Vando 101
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Chris Bartley’s follow up record, “Baby It’s Wonderful” was a nice record but it failed to chart.

Picture sleeve to Vando 3000.
Photo used is the same as for the album.

Vando 3000
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

This was followed by a cut off of the LP, “For You.”  “For You” had previously been a hit for the Spellbinders.

Vando 3002
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

As Cameo-Parkway was in decline, Van McCoy started having his Vando label records distributed by Amy-Mala.  The next Chris Bartley record was “Truer Words Were Never Spoken.”

Vando 14,000
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

The last record on Vando was Chris Bartley’s “I Found A Goodie,” released in 1968.  It would later find interest among Northern Soul fans in the UK.

Vando 14,001
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

In 1969, Van McCoy got Chris Bartley signed to Buddah Records where he had two singles released, the first being a remake a song Van McCoy wrote as a hit for Barbara Lewis, “Baby I’m Yours.”

Buddah 93
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Chris Bartley didn't record again until 1971 when he had one single on the Musicor label.  This was Chris' first recording not associated with Van McCoy.

Spanish picture sleeve to Musicor 1437

Sometime in the early 1970's, Chris Bartley's name is listed as the soul vocalist for the soul/funk band, the Ray Alexander Technique.  The group released a single (Lu Jun label) and LP (Harlem Sound label).  While we are still trying to confirm that this is the same Chris Bartley, the voice sounds like his and the group is from New York City.

Ray Alexander Technique LP

One nice Chris Bartley release, apparently dating back to the Van McCoy produced sides, was issued only in the UK in 1975 on the Right On label.

Issued only in the UK.

In the mid-1970’s Chris Bartley joined the Ad Libs, more than ten years after their big hit, “Boy From New York City.”  For the complete story of the Ad Libs click Ad Libs Profile.  The Ad-Libs returned to the studio in 1982 to record “I Don’t Need A Fortune Teller” (now a Northern Soul classic) on the Passion label.

Ad Libs, ca. 1981
Left to right: Dave Watt, Natalie ????, Chris Bartley, Eller Weas Little, Jimmy Hollinger.
(Photo courtesy of Jeff Chambers by way of Ray Block)

The Ad-Libs at the United in Group Harmony Association, Feb 1981
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Chris recorded "I Don't Need No Fortune Teller" with the Ad Libs.
Only a few copies have survived and the
Northern Soul classic is much sought after.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

The Ad Libs appeared in the 1985 doo wop movie, “Joey,” along with the Silhouettes, Teenagers, Elegants and others.

By 1988, the Ad-Libs had undergone more personnel changes.  The group now consisted of Chris Bartley, Dave Watt, Mary Ann Thomas, Abby Grant and Ray Block.  Ray Block and Abby Grant had been part of the group Vintage (Catamount label) in 1972 along with James Wright from the Creators, Cada Brooks from the Atlantics , and Eller Weas Little from the Spellbinders.

The Ad Libs recorded four records for John Taylor’s Johnnie Boy label at this time.  The first was a remake of the Creators’ “I Stayed Home,” this time featuring Chris Bartley’s lead.

The Ad Libs at UGHA in the Spring of 1988.
(Left to right:  Dave Watt, Abby Grant, Ray Block, Mary Ann Thomas, Chris Bartley)
(Photo courtesy of Ray Block)

The Ad-Libs at WFUV 90.7 FM, Fordham University, The Bronx, 1988.
(Left to right:  Dave Watt, Ray Block, Abby Grant, Mary Ann Thomas, Chris Bartley.
In the background is the late music historian and author, Mitch Rosalsky.)
(Photo courtesy of Ray Block)

Acappella recording of "I Stayed Home" with Chris Bartley doing lead.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Johnnie Boy #2 in blue vinyl
(Donated to the Classic Urban Harmony Archives by Ray Block)

Johnnie Boy #3
(Donated to the Classic Urban Harmony Archives by Ray Block)

Johnnie Boy #4 in green vinyl
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

By 1991, the Ad Libs' personnel had changed again, but Chris Bartley remained a fixture in the group along with lead Mary Ann Thomas and original Ad Lib Dave Watt.

More recently, Chris Bartley sang with the Newark Community Choir.  He then he joined the gospel group New Vintage.  The group was formed by former Spellbinders' Eller Weas Little.  The members were: Jimmy Hollinger, Toni Byrd, Abbey Grant, Chris Bartley and Eller Weas Little.  Ray Block performed with the group on occasion.

A Vintage/Ad Libs/Spellbinders get-together a couple years ago.
(Left to right: Norman Donegan, Abby Grant, Chris Bartley, Dee Grant,
Pat Magnacavello, Eller Weas Little, Ray Block, Bobby Shivers)
(Courtesy of Ray Block)

In 2006 Chris joined the Spellbinders for an appearance at SoulTrip USA New Jersey.  Members of the group were
Chris Bartley, Abby Grant, Eller Weas Little and Bobby Shivers.

The Spellbinders at SoulTrip USA New Jersey, 2006
(Left to right: Chris Bartley, Abby Grant, Eller Weas Little, Bobby Shivers)
(Courtesy of Bobby Shivers)

The Spellbinders at SoulTrip USA New Jersey, 2006
(Left to right: Abby Grant, Chris Bartley, Eller Weas Little, Bobby Shivers)
(Courtesy of Bobby Shivers)


Chris Bartley Singles Discography

As Chris Bartley

Vando 101         - The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven / Love My Baby  7/67

Vando 3000        - Baby It's Wonderful / I'll Be Loving You                    10/67

Vando 3002        - For You / You Get Next To My Heart                        12/67

Vando 14000       - Truer Words Were Never Spoken / This Feeling You Give Me  68

Vando 14001       - I Found A Goodie / Be Mine Forever                          68

Buddah  93          - Baby I'm Yours / I'll Take The Blame                         69

Buddah 115         - One Wonderful Girl / I Know We Can Work It Out         69

Musicor 1437        - A Man A Woman / Tomorrow Keeps Shining On Me      5/71

As Chris Bartley [UK only releases]

Right On 105        - I See Your Name / [Instrumental]                          75

Move 4 [EP]         - Baby I'm For Real / [rest of EP reissues of Vando material]  85
                            [this is actually an Ad Libs' cut w/ Chris Bartley on lead]

With Ray Alexander Technique

Lu Jun 2001         - Let's Talk / [Instrumental]                                 ca. 74

With the Ad Libs

Passion 1           - I Don’t Need A Fortune Teller / Spring And Summer      82

Johnnie Boy 1     - I Stayed Home / I Stayed Home [acappella]                1/88

Johnnie Boy 2     - The Tide Has Turned / The Tide Has Turned [instrumental]     88

Johnnie Boy 3     - Close To Me / Close To Me [instrumental]                            88

Johnnie Boy 4     - I Stayed Home / Santa’s On His Way                          11/88



Richard Pack, "Chris Bartley," Soul Survivor No.6 (1986/87), pp. 18-19

Thanks to Ray Block (Ad Libs), Bobby Shivers (Spellbinders), Jeff Chambers, Jeff Beckman.


Copyright © 2009, Classic Urban Harmony LLC.  All Rights Reserved.