Presentation and Event Photo Album
Articles & Press
Articles by Us
Bells & Contessas
Strain & the Imperials, 1964 -, Part 4 in the series
Strain & the Imperials, 1961 - 1963 Part 3
Strain & the Fantastics Part 2
Strain & the Chips Part 1
Park Vocal Groups Pt. 2
Park Vocal Groups, Pt.1
Jimmy & The Tops
& Twilights, Deckers
from Philly's Francisville - Belltones, Joe Cook's Thrillers, Royal Demons,
- Part 1
- Part 2
Maestro, the Crests & Brooklyn Bridge
Stiles & the Medallions on Essex
Vic Donna Story
& the Nu-Ports
City Harmony: Calvaes, Blenders & Accents
The Del Larks
Richard Barrett Part 1:
Frankie Lymon & Teenagers
The Chantels, Clickettes,
Little Anthony & Imperials
Part 5: Lewis Lymon &
Teenchords Jimmy Castor & Juniors
Isley Bros, Del Knights
Richard Barrett Part 7: The 3 Degrees, Showmen
Our Photo Gallery:
Our Musical Family
Our Photo Gallery:
to the Classic Urban Harmony Library
Photos & Events
Murphy, Neighbors Complaint|
McNeil, Gospel Nobleaires|
Akens, 4 Dots|
Staples, Staple Singers|
McCrae, Cookies, Raeletts|
Carroll, Four Buddies, Orioles, Dappers, Ink Spots|
Speedo Carroll, Cadillacs|
Harris, Delfonics, Nat Turner Rebellion, R&B Soloist|
Chessler, Songwriter,Mentor to the Orioles|
Ward, Ward Singers, Gay Charmers|
Thomas, Vibranaires, Vibes, V-Eights, Orioles|
Jones, Moments Pleasure, Norristones, Copians|
Brown. The Counts|
Ellis, Trammps, Cordells, Exceptions|
Notes' Roosevelt Brodie|
& Brooklyn Bridge's Johnny Maestro|
& Vocaleers' Herman Dunham|
& Del-Knights' Eddie Edgehill|
1950's R&B &
Carolina Beach Music
Doo Wop Groups
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.
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
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, "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.
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.
Classic Urban Harmony's
"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
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
Gerald, Charlie and Liam at Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters
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
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
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
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
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
Left to right: Gladstone Trott, Clifford Johnson, Dorian
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
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
(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
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
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 Page.
Considering 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
Bob "Big Murph" Murphy of
acappella group, Neighbors Complaint, passes. Tribute Page now posted on
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 &
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
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
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
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
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
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
$16.99 for a one year (4 issue) subscription. Contact Bob Belniak at
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
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
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 &
Gerylane Edgehill (far left)
Urban Harmony Embarks on Latest Asbury Park Project
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
Charlie talking about
Bobby Thomas & the Vibranaires
Asbury Park Public Library, January 16, 2014
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!
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
can't wait for a "Moxie - Part 1" CD to come out. We hope it doesn't
take another 20 years.
Little Isidore &
at Hasbrouck Heights VFW
January 11, 2014
Isidore & Inquisitors CD
Moxie - Part 2
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
The book lists almost 400 R&B songs that were later covered by other
artists and tells interesting stories about each.
Evans Dies. Famous saxophone player; Owned Cee-Jay
and Carnival record labels
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
[Thanks to Mike Boone
for letting us know about 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
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
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
The Everly Brothers
(Phil Everly, left)
Jay Traynor Dies.
Original lead of Jay & Americans; sang with the Mystics and Jay Siegel's
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