Classic Urban Harmony, LLC

"We Take You Back In The Day"





    What's New?

Mills Brothers Society

    Our Events

  Bookshelf & DVD's


Presentation and Event Photo Album

    Charlie's Bio

    Pam's Bio


    Responses to
    our Presentations

    Articles & Press
    About Us

   Our Brochure

    Articles by Us

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

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 [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
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



What's New?


This is where we'll announce the most recent additions to our web site as well as what's going on in the group harmony field. If you've visited us before and want to know what's changed, take a look here first.  This is also where we announce recent news and our latest activities.  For older archived news, click 2013 What's New, 2012 What's New, 2011 What's New, 2010 What's New, 2009 What's New, or 2008 What's New.

Site last modified, April 14, 2014.



[New!]Next Public Classic Urban Harmony Presentation is the newly updated doo wop presentation of "Under The Streetlamp: Tales From the Doo Wop Era - Part 1" scheduled for the Westfield (NJ) Memorial Library, Wednesday, April 23.

Classic Urban Harmony's newly updated doo wop presentation debuts at the Westfield Memorial Public Library, 550 E. Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090, on Wednesday evening April 23, 2014, from 7 - 8:30 PM.  Even if you've seen this presentation before, you'll enjoy the new additions and modifications we've added.  Come join us as we begin a new year of celebration of doo wop music.  The presentation is free to attend but you must register.  Registration is now open.  Go to the Calendar page of www.wmlnj.org to register.


[New!]All New, "Doo Wop Groups of Central New Jersey" presentation planned for the Franklin Township Public Library, June 16, 2014.

Classic Urban Harmony has put together a completely new multimedia presentation on Doo Wop and R&B groups from Central New Jersey.  We'll be covering groups from New Brunswick, Trenton, Plainfield, Somerville and the surrounding area.  Come hear about groups like the Golden Bells, Contessas, Majestics, Admirations, Parliaments, Del Larks and many more.  We'll even play videos of some of the current area acappella groups.  It takes place on Monday evening June 16 from 7 - 8:30 PM at the Franklin Township Public Library, 485 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ.  The presentation is free to attend but you must register.  We'll let you know when you can sign up.

[New!]FREE, Live, Acappella Concert by "A Perfect Blend" at the Franklin Township Public Library, July 9, 2014.

Each year Classic Urban Harmony is pleased to assist the Franklin Township Public Library by recommending a great acappella group for their free Summer Concert Series.  This year, we have another great acappella group, the Philadelphia R&B and doo wop vocal group, A Perfect Blend.  If you haven't yet heard this fine Philadelphia group, you're in for a treat!  It takes place on Wednesday evening July 9 from 7 - 8:30 PM at the Franklin Township Public Library, 485 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ.  We expect registration to fill up quickly for this one, so watch our website to find out when you can register.



[New!]Classic Urban Harmony's April 4 "Crossing Jordan" presentation well received at Caldwell College's Lifelong Learning Institute.

Our sincere thanks to to the staff of Caldwell College's Lifelong Learning Institute and all those whop came out to see our presentation, "Crossing Jordan: How African American Spirituals Changed the World" on Friday April 4.  The lecture hall at Caldwell College was a great place to give presentations, with two electronic screens as well as the large projection screen.  The audience was very enthusiastic and well met a lot of nice people.

Charlie talking about Spirituals

Pam displaying Spirituals sheet music and photos


[New!]Jazzman Records UK visit Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters

On April 6, 2014, Jazzman Gerald and Liam Large, of the UK's Jazzman record label, dropped by Classic Urban Harmony's world headquarters for an afternoon visit.  Jazzman Records is looking to legally re-release a rare jazz album recorded by former Castelles' bass singer, Ron Everett, back around 1980.  The late Ron Everett had been a friend of Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie Horner and had given Charlie a few of his jazz recordings, but unfortunately we did not have the album Gerald and Liam were looking for.  If anyone reading this has Ron Everett's Vagabond King label album or knows the whereabouts of Ron's family, please email us at CUH@att.net and we'll pass the info on to Jazzman Records.  Visit Jazzman Records' website at www.jazzmanrecords.co.uk.

Gerald, Charlie and Liam at Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters


[New!]The Whiptones sing the National Anthem before 30,000 people at the Mets' 2014 Opening Game!

Our friends, the teenage acappella doo wop group from Whippany NJ, the Whiptones, were outstanding in singing the "Star Spangled Banner" at the New York Mets' opening game at CitiField, on March 31.  Our crowd of more than 30,000 saw the group sing live, with probably a million more (including us) watching on TV.  The Whiptones won the spot from a strong field of competitors who auditioned March 10 at the 2014 NY Mets Anthem Search.  The Whiptones have also been kept busy lately making several television appearances.  Our congratulations to the Whiptones!  [Watch a Youtube of the group singing the national anthem, below and then visit the Whiptones' website at www.thewhiptones.com/ ]


Classic Urban Harmony presentation, "Crossing Jordan: How African American Spirituals Changed the World" at the Lifelong Learning Institute, Caldwell College, 10 AM, Friday April 4, 2014.

If you haven't heard Classic Urban Harmony's inspirational multimedia presentation of "Crossing Jordan: How African American Spirituals Changed the World," you'll have one more chance to take it in.  We'll be giving it as part of Caldwell College's Lifelong Learning Institute.  While the presentation will take place from 10 - 11:30 AM, there'll be a pre-lecture social beginning at 9:15, where you'll get a chance to flip through our collection of gospel group memorabilia.

Caldwell College's Center for Student Success is located at 120 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ 07006 (see the map below).  We'll be in Werner Hall, Building #6 on the map.  The presentation is open to the public ($10 per person) with registration.  No pre-registration is necessary - just attend.  Park in the main parking lot (top of map).  For info call 973-618-3000 or visit lli@caldwell.edu.

Map of Caldwell College's Center for Student Success
Werner Hall is Building #6 on map

Work on our January 2015 Gallery Exhibit on Asbury Park West Side Music taking shape!

We continue working hard on preparations for our January 2015 gallery exhibit of photos and memorabilia from Asbury Park's West Side music.  We may be soon be announcing the location and dates when it will be opened.  After running for a couple weeks in an Asbury Park NJ downtown gallery as part of the 2015 Light Of Day celebration, the exhibit is expected to move to Monmouth University.  The exhibit is being designed by Classic Urban Harmony and the Asbury Park Historical Society.  The Light of Day Foundation supports research into Parkinson's Disease and each January they sponsor a week of music concerts and events in Asbury Park that attract music fans from around the globe.  We have already collected over a hundred photos from Asbury Park's West Side from which we'll choose those to display.  We also will have numerous memorabilia items on display, including records, posters, uniforms and musical instruments from the West Side.  We even have the giant sign from Springwood Avenue's Turf Club.

The exhibit will cover the West Side's music history from 1910 until 1970, beginning with early jazz artists connected with Asbury Park, including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Sonny Greer, Fats Waller and Claude Hopkins.  It will also have displays of Asbury Park's early R&B artists like Bobby Thomas & the Vibranaires, Lenny Welch, the Ray Dots, the V-Eights, the Uniques, Broadways and many more.  Another segment of the exhibit will be Asbury Park's gospel music.  If anyone has photos, posters or music memorabilia to donate or lend to our exhibit from the glory days of Asbury Park's West Side, please email us at CUH@att.net.

We recently attended a panel discussion of the West Side's jazz scene produced by the Ocean Township Historical Museum.  It featured as panelists, Asbury Park jazz musicians, Gladstone Trott, Clifford Johnson and Dorian Parreott.


Left to right:  Gladstone Trott, Clifford Johnson, Dorian Parreott

On our last visit to Asbury Park, we took the opportunity to visit with Leon Trent, former member of the soul vocal group, the Broadways, and now performing as part of the Waterfront Duo.  Leon just released a song he recorded in Nashville, "Gonna Find Me An Angel".  It's available for download on Amazon and ITunes.

Pam & Charlie Horner, Leon Trent

Latest Classic Urban Harmony Free Email Newsletter (#19) now out.

This is our biggest issue yet.  If it's not in your In Box, send your name and email address to CUH@att.net

Breaking News!!! The Whiptones to sing the National Anthem at the Mets' 2014 Opening Game!

This just in!  Our friends, the teenage acappella doo wop group from Whippany NJ, the Whiptones, will be singing the "Star Spangled Banner" at the New York Mets' opening game at CitiField, on March 31 at 1 PM.  The Whiptones won the spot from a strong field of competitors who auditioned March 10 at the 2014 NY Mets Anthem Search.  We saw the group highlighted on Fox News, who covered the auditions.  Our congratulations to the Whiptones!  [Visit the Whiptones' website at www.thewhiptones.com/ ]


(Photo courtesy of the Whiptones)

Our article on the Golden Bells & Contessas, now posted to this website.

Our article on the Golden Bells (Sure label) and Contessas (WGW label) that recently appeared in Echoes of the Past magazine, is now posted to this website.  We've updated it with new photos and converted the label scans to color.  You can read the entire article by clicking Golden Bells/Contessas.

Golden Bells


New Echoes of the Past (#107) is now out.  Contains our article on Tony Talent & Coalitions.

The newest issue of Echoes of the Past magazine is now out.  It includes our article on Tony Talent & the great soul group the Coalitions as well as article on the Volcanos, Majestics (Jordan label) and much more.  For info on the magazine, email Bob Belniak at echoes.past@yahoo.com.


Stephen Propes' new book, "Old School: 77 Years of Southern California R&B & Vocal Group Harmony Records 1934 - 2011," now reviewed on Our Bookshelf Page.

Record by record, author Stephen Propes chronicles the history of Southern California R&B vocal groups (and solo artists) with group members, musicians, original labels, dates, local radio and record store charts, fascinating stories about the groups and records and even an idea about each record's value.  Propes knows more about Southern California R&B than anyone we know and this book covers his original research and interviews with hundreds of singers.  Entries on more than 1400 records by 850+ groups and solo artists.  Read our complete review on Our Bookshelf PageConsidering Propes' last book on L.A. vocal groups has been selling for $200, you might want to grab this one while you can.


Legendary Pittsburgh radio personality Porky Chedwick has died.  We'll have more posted shortly.

Legendary Pittsburgh radio personality, Craig "Porky" Chedwick has died on March 2, 2014 at the age of 96.  Porky Chedwick was an important part of our group harmony music heritage.  He began playing R&B music in 1948, one of the first white radio dee jays to bring R&B to black and white teenagers.

Porky Chedwick

Bob "Big Murph" Murphy of acappella group, Neighbors Complaint, passes.  Tribute Page now posted on this website.

Robert "Big Murph" Murphy, founder and lead of the legendary Philadelphia doo wop acappella group, Neighbors Complaint, died of a stroke on February 27, 2014.  One of the area's most important acappella groups, Neighbors Complaint paved the way for many of the Philadelphia acappella groups of today.  Murph and Neighbors Complaint were closely associated with Charlie Horner's radio program in the 1980's.  We've posted a tribute page to "Big Murph" with the complete story of Neighbors Complaint with many photos and Charlie's recollections of those times.  Click Neighbors Complaint to take a look.

Robert "Big Murph" Murphy & Charlie Horner

2014 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert another great one!!!  Photos & Review now posted to this website.

Rev. Brenda Boone's annual Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert was another one for the record books!  Running almost six straight hours, the program featured many of the most exciting gospel groups and soloists around.  Classic Urban Harmony's Pam & Charlie Horner were there to detail the event in words and many photos.  To take a look, click 2014 Portsmouth Gospel Concert.

Elder Ron Harper leading the Harmonizing Echoes at
Rev. Brenda Boone's annual Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
The Harmonizing Echoes have been singing for 52 years!


Take 6 Celebrates 25 Years with a great performance at Princeton's McCarter Theatre

Since bursting on the national music scene in 1987, Take 6’s innovative blend of intricate harmonies and jazz influenced rhythms have made them one of the most important vocal groups of our time.  Take 6 is the original beacon for mixing gospel, jazz, R&B, doo wop and pop acappella using syncopated rhythms while their harmony is at the forefront.  A gospel group that has had a major influence on the development of hip hop harmony, Take 6 is the most awarded vocal group in history (10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award, and more) as they continue to celebrate their 25th Anniversary!   Quincy Jones has called them “the baddest vocal cats on the planet!”  When the group appeared at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ on February 22, it was our first time seeing Take 6.  We were excited to see choreography added to the mix.

In addition to their familiar gospel selections, a portion of their program was devoted to their roots.  They sang a parody of songs by artists they grew up listening to.  They harmonized songs by Earth Wind and Fire, The Bee Gees, The Doobie Brothers, Ben E. King, and Michael Jackson.  An impression of Michael Jackson including a moonwalk was a lighthearted surprise.  The sextet’s repertoire also included Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”, “Stand by Me”, “Mary Don’t You Weep”, and “Spread Love”.  A doo wop version of “Smile” was pure dreamy ecstasy to this harmony fan.

It only took us 25 years to see Take 6 but hopefully it won’t be the last time.  If you can open your heart to all harmony, give Take 6 a try.  You won’t be disappointed.  This was a very enjoyable show! - Pam Horner



Classic Urban Harmony interviewed for Asbury Park promotional video.

On Tuesday February 4, 2014, we traveled to Asbury Park, NJ, where Charlie was interviewed on camera for a promotional video about Asbury Park's musical legacy.  The video is being produced by Mackanic Media LLC for Design Four Four Six and will be viewable on the Internet in the near future.

Charlie was interviewed at the historic Asbury Park Armory, home of numerous concerts by the Orioles, Ravens and others back in the day.  On camera, Charlie talked about Asbury Park's West Side music scene from 1910 to 1970, with emphases on Bobby Thomas & the Vibranaires, Lenny Welch & the Mar-Keys, the Broadways and much more.  Of course a number of people were interviewed for the video, so Classic Urban Harmony is only a small part of the whole story.

We'll let you know when the video is available for viewing.

Charlie in the Asbury Park Armory



Jackson Southernaires Added to Rev. Brenda Boone's Annual February Portsmouth VA Gospel Program!

Concert also features the Fantastic Violinaires, Luther Barnes & Sunset Jubilaires, Frankie Davis, King David's Harp, Gospel Travelers, Rev. Brenda Boone's Higher Praise Community Choir of Hampton Roads VA featuring Sister Mattie Wood, the Harmonizing Echoes, the Templeaires, the Gospel Disciples, the Word Singers and More!

Just when we thought Rev. Brenda Boone's annual gospel concert in Portsmouth VA couldn't get any better, we've just heard that the Jackson Southernaires have been added to the program!

Rev. Boone's programs have been known to run more than five hours long and are heavy on great quartet singing groups, a style that we love!  This year's line up is every bit as spectacular as in years past.  Besides the Jackson Southernaires, it will feature the Fantastic Violinaires, Luther Barnes & the Sunset Jubilaires, Frankie Davis & the Mighty All Stars, Van Jones & King David's Harp, Min. Paul Boone & the Templeaires, Elder Ronald Harper & the Harmonizing Echoes, the Gospel Disciples, the Word Singers and Pinewood label recording artists the Gospel Travelers of Garysburg, NC.   Also singing will be Rev. Brenda Boone's Higher Praise Community Choir of Hampton Roads VA featuring Pinewood label recording artist Sister Mattie Wood, Sis. Carolyn Smith, Elder Doris Pittman and 13-year-old Logan Hitchman.  MC's will be Steve Alexander and Reggie McDonald of WGPL (PEACE Radio) Radio.  The program will take place at Willet Hall, 3701 Willet Drive, Portsmouth, VA, on Sunday February 23, 2014, beginning at 4 PM.  Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.  For information call 757-477-3828 or 757-227-2200.


Next Echoes of the Past magazine to feature our article on Tony Talent & the Coalitions

Get ready for another great issue of Echoes of the Past magazine, due out in March.  Among other articles, the magazine will feature our article on Tony "Talent" Anderson and the great West Philadelphia soul group, the Coalitions.  If you're not familiar with the Coalitions' "Instead... How Are You" on the Re Dun label, click the YouTube below.  The group is still singing under the name Rheel Menn.  The interview was conducted at the home our our good friends Charles & sandra Anderson (no relation to Coalitions' Tony Anderson).  Echoes of the Past is available at $16.99 for a one year (4 issue) subscription.  Contact Bob Belniak at echoes.past@yahoo.com.

The Coalitions' "Instead ... How Are You"

Charles Anderson, Charlie Horner, Tony "Talent" Anderson

Pam Horner, Charles & Sandra Anderson, Tony Talent

Pam & Charlie Horner, Sandra Anderson, Tony Talent


Gerylane Edgehill of the Sweet Delights Passes.

We are deeply saddened today to learn of the passing of our dear friend, Gerylane Edgehill, member of the Philadelphia soul group, the Sweet Delights. Gerylane (far left in the photo) died this morning, January 20, 2014, at the age of 71. We have recently posted the story of the Sweet Delights on our website. You can read it by clicking Sweet Delights.  The article was first published in Echoes of the Past magazine.  Gerylane was predeceased by her husband, Eddie Edgehill of the Valentines and Del Knights. - Charlie & Pam Horner

Gerylane Edgehill (far left)

Classic Urban Harmony Embarks on Latest Asbury Park Project

 On January 16, 2014, Classic Urban Harmony's Pam & Charlie Horner officially began work on our latest Asbury Park project.  Working with the Asbury Park Historical Society we are preparing a museum-like exhibit of Asbury Park's West Side Music Legacy to run in a downtown Asbury Park, NJ, art gallery for two weeks during the January 2015 Light of Day celebration.  The exhibit will contain photos, records, posters, musical instruments, uniforms and other memorabilia of Jazz, R&B, Gospel and Doo Wop artists who were connected to the West Side (1910 to 1970).  At the January organizational meeting of the APHS (held at the Asbury Park Public Library) Charlie & Pam presented a 45-minute slide and music clip program of West Side artists, including Count Basie, Erroll Garner, Claude Hopkins, Bobby Thomas & the Vibranaires, Lenny Welch, the Ray Dots, V-Eights, Broadways and many more.  We are seeking help from the community to provide additional items for the display.  Anyone having photos or memorabilia to donate or lend to the exhibit is encouraged to contact us at CUH@att.net.

Charlie talking about Bobby Thomas & the Vibranaires
Asbury Park Public Library, January 16, 2014


Long Awaited Little Isidore & Inquisitors CD Released at Album Release Party & Dance in Hasbrouck Heights NJ

Perhaps the only thing more exciting than a new Little Isidore & the Inquisitors CD is a Little Isidore & the Inquisitors live performance.  On Saturday night January 11, 2014, we were treated to both when we headed to Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, for the group's CD release party, concert and dance.  Vocalists, Little Isidore (David Foreman), Kitten Kaboodle (Linda Shell), Johnny Staccato Jr (Wayne Smith) and Molten Milton (John Montforte) were in great form, as always, backed by their smokin' six-piece band.  The group gave us two high energy one-hour sets.  In between, Little Isidore autographed the new CD, "Moxie Part 2" and posed for photos.  Thanks also to Pam Nardella for her hard work in making this concert a success!

We've been waiting almost twenty years for Little Isidore & the Inquisitors to release their third CD and it was worth the wait!  Entitled "Moxie - Part 2," the CD displays Little Isidore' patented mix of music styles that we've come to expect from one of the field's most exciting performing bands.  Group harmony enthusiasts will love the Inquisitors' versions of the Orioles' "I'd Rather Have You Under The Moon Than Anyone Under The Sun" (Little Isidore leading) and the Red Caps' "Would I Mind" featuring the bass voice of Molten Milton.  Fans of good old fifties R&R will swing to "Lickity Split," "Foot Stompin'," "Don't You Just Know It" and the Little Richard-esk "Jelly Belly" (one of several David Forman penned originals on the album).   Kitten Kaboodle leads great soulful renditions of "Dry Your Eyes" and "The One Who Really Loves You".  Johnny Staccato's strong voice carries "It Ain't Nothin'," a song destined to be the follow up to the previously issued "Harlem Hit Parade and "Doo Dootsy Wah".  For information on "Moxie - Part 2" and upcoming appearances by the group, visit http://littleisidore.net.  We can't wait for a "Moxie - Part 1" CD to come out.  We hope it doesn't take another 20 years.


Little Isidore & Inquisitors
at Hasbrouck Heights VFW
January 11, 2014

Newest Little Isidore & Inquisitors CD
Moxie - Part 2

"Who Did It First" book on Cover Songs now reviewed on our Bookshelf Page.

“Who Did It First: Great Rhythm & Blues Cover Songs and their Original Artists” by Bob Leszczak is now reviewed on our Bookshelf Page.  The book lists almost 400 R&B songs that were later covered by other artists and tells interesting stories about each.


Joe Evans Dies.  Famous saxophone player; Owned Cee-Jay and Carnival record labels

Joe Evans, noted jazz saxophone player and owner of Carnival Records, died on January 17, 2014.  He was 97.  Evans was born in Pensacola FL on October 7, 1916.  As a jazz alto sax player, Joe played with the bands of Jay McShann, Jimmy Forrest, Don Redman, Louis Armstrong, Andy Kirk, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller and others.  He was a member of the house bands at the savoy Ballroom and Apollo Theater.  In the early 1960's, Evans co-owned the Cee-Jay label that produced some great R&B vocal group songs by Mike 7 the Utopians, Delroy Green & the Cool Gents and the Vines.  Joe Evans started the Carnival label in Newark NJ in 1962.  He was responsible for so many great soul recordings by the Manhattans, Tren-Teens, Lovettes, Topics, Lee Williams & the Cymbals, Pretenders, Phil Terrell, Barbara Brown and many others.  Evans published his biography, "Follow Your Heart," in 2008.  For a nice article on Joe Evans by Ady Croasdel, click Joe Evans [Thanks to Mike Boone for letting us know about Joe Evans.]

Joe Evans


Long-Awaited Little Isidore & Inquisitors CD due out January 11.  To be introduced at release party concert in Hasbrouck Heights.

We've been anxiously awaiting the new Little Isidore & the Inquisitors CD.  We have inside information on a couple of the cuts that will be included and we're vert excited about it.  Little Isidore and the Inquisitors will introduce the CD at a Release Party and Show at the Hasbrouck Heights V.F.W. Hall, 513 Veterans Place, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, this Saturday, January 11, 2014.  Special guest DJ is The Golden Gup.  Doors open at 7 PM.  Show starts at 8.  Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.  Call 201-791-4043 or order on PayPal at www.littleisidore.net


Reather Dixon Turner of the Bobbettes Dies at 68.

Reather Dixon Turner, original member of the Bobbettes has died at the age of 68.  The NYC female R&B vocal group had a hit with "Mr. Lee" (Atlantic label) which reached #6 on the R&B charts in 1957.  An answer record by the group, "I Shot Mr. Lee" (Triple X label)  also did well for the group in 1960.

The Bobbettes, 1960.
Reather is at bottom left.  

Maureen Gray Dies.  Early 1960's R&B singer a Philadelphia favorite.

Maureen Gray, popular Philadelphia R&B singer who scored with early 1960's hits like "Today's The Day," "I'm So Young," Dancin' The Strand," "Crazy Over You" and "I Don't Want To Cry," died on January 7, 2014.  Raised in Philadelphia, PA, Maureen Gray began singing at the age of three and performed on a children's program at Carnegie Hall at the age of five.  She was discovered at the age of 12 by songwriter Johnny Madara, when she walked into his record store.  Madara and David White wrote and produced seven records with Maureen for the Chancellor (3), Landa (2) and Mercury (2) labels.  George Frunzi's recent article on David White in Echoes of the Part magazine, revealed that "Dancin' The Strand" had the Chantels singing background.  Maureen Gray's records were given a lot of air play by Philadelphia radio personality Jerry Blavat, who often had her appear at his record hops.  Gray's records were always prized by Philadelphia record collectors.  Maureen Gray later moved to the U.K. where she sang with recording stars Billy Preston, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, John Lennon and David Bowie.  Maureen Gray returned to Philadelphia about ten years ago.  To hear "Dancin' The Strand" click the YouTube below.  [Thanks to Charles Anderson for reporting this to us.]

(Photos courtesy of Charles Anderson)

Maureen Gray backed by the Chantels


Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers Dies.

Phil Everly, who along with his brother Don, made up the Rock & Roll pioneers, the Everly Brothers, died Friday January 3, 2014, at the age of 74.  The Everly Brothers were well know in the late 1950's and early 1960's for hits like "Wake Up Little Suzie," "Bye Bye Love," "All I Have To Do Is Dream," "Cathy's Clown," "Let It Be Me" and "When Will I Be Loved".  The Everly Brothers were major influences on the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkle and Linda Ronstadt.  They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

The Everly Brothers
(Phil Everly, left)


Jay Traynor Dies.  Original lead of Jay & Americans; sang with the Mystics and Jay Siegel's Tokens.

Jay Traynor, original lead of Jay & the Americans, died on January 2, 2014 at the age of 70.  Jay also sang with the Mystics and more recently with Jay Siegel's Tokens.  John "Jay" Traynor was born on March 20, 1943 in Brooklyn, NY.  As a vocalist, he joined the Mystics as lead (after "Hushabye") and sang on their recording of "White Cliffs Of Dover".  Traynor was the first "Jay" in Jay & the Americans, leading their recording of "She Cried".  Shortly after that, he went solo.  More recently, Jay Traynor had been singing with Jay Siegel's Tokens.  We last saw Jay Traynor at the Richard Nader IZOD Center (Meadowlands, NJ) concert in May 2013, where we had a chance to talk with him briefly.  He was a nice guy and we are deeply saddened by his passing.  To watch a YouTube video of Jay Traynor singing "She Cried" with Jay Siegel's Tokens in 2011, click the YouTube below.


Jay Traynor & Pam Horner, 2013