Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18: Barbara Harris original lead singer for the R&B group The Toys-"A Lover's Concerto"- is 68-years-old today.

THE TOYS - All of Our Toys 1960s Recordings

The Toys, from Jamaica, New York - Harris was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina - sang together from 1961 to 1968. They had one big hit, "Lovers Concerto." The Toys appeared on the major TV rock programs, including Shindig!, Hullabaloo, and American Bandstand. They also appeared in the 1967 beach movie "It's a Bikini World."

Harris started singing in her hometown churches at an early age, and moved to Queens, New York at the age of eleven. In high school, Harris joined a group with four other young singers: Barbara Parritt Toomer, June Montiero, Betty Stokes and Betty Blocker. Stokes and Blocker eventually left the group, leaving Harris, Toomer and Montiero as a trio. Bobby

Uri, a manager and friend, named the group "The Charlettes" and got them work doing background vocals for several recording artists. At a talent show in Brooklyn they met Eddy Chase, who in turn introduced them to manager Vince Marc and songwriter/recording executive Bob Crewe.

The group became "The Toys" and landed their first recording contract on Crewe's DynoVoice Records. The Toys were teamed up with songwriter/producers Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell. They took a piano exercise from Bach, put a Motown bassline to it, and "A Lover's Concerto" was born; the song soon rose to number two on the U.S. charts.

The band followed that up with another hit, "Attack", also written by Linzer and Randell, which reached the Top 20. IN 1986 THE ORIGINAL "TOYS" reformed and for two years did Concerts, Night clubs, and Oldie shows.

Although they no longer work together, they have maintained their friendship over the years. Afterwards Barbara continued to sing with her local band, "Rhythm&Babs." She regularly performs at the Meadowlands singing in Mr. Richard Nader's shows, and Westbury Music Fair in Mr. Dick Fox's shows with Mr. Joe Rivers as Johnny of "Johnny and Joe" a fifties duet.

She's done background work at several local studios, and lead work for some up and coming song writers.

For more about Barbara, visit her Website at -

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