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LEGENDS OF ROCK & ROLL FROM NEW YORK

Barbara Harris














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Rock and Roll's Little Baby! 
 

She was born Barbara Ann Harris in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and as a little girl sang in the church on her corner. Whenever there was a service you would find her there. By the age of eight she was a featured singer in many churches in her town and in neighboring towns.

Her family moved to St. Albans (Queens), New York at the age of 11and while in high school Barbara, possessing cherubic looks and grand golden vocals, was asked to be part of a group with two other young singers named "The Charlettes".

The Charlettes performed locally at various events, New York City street corners, and small venues, and through some connections they eventually met Bob Crew of DynaVoice Records. The group was renamed "The Toys" in 1965, and they were teamed up with writers Sandy Lenzer and Denny Randell. They took a classical finger exercise from Bach and put a Motown bass line to it with Barbara singing lead and the smash hit, "A Lovers Concerto" was born. Outshining major artists of the epoch like the Supremes, Elvis, the Rolling Stones — even the Beatles — the song was at the top of the charts all over the world for six weeks! Riding a tidal wave of success, The Toys did many TV appearances on shows like "Shindig," "Hullabaloo," "American Bandstand" et . al. and later appeared in a movie called "Bikini Beach". After the unprecedented success of their first recording, The Toys subsequently recorded an album on for DynaVoice entitled "The Toys Sing A Lovers Concerto and Attack". According to Billboard, the song, "Attack," also became a very big hit single, charting in the Top Twenty nationally and was the Toys’ second biggest hit.

A few years later, in 1968, the Toys left DynaVoice and signed with Art Talmadge and Musicor Records, producing the hit single "Sealed With a Kiss", but after a period of time Barbara had to leave the group to become a mother and properly raise a family, the most important thing her life. Nevertheless, she kept singing locally at clubs with other bands and her own band, Rhythm & Babs, and also in larger productions and lineups at theater, festival, and stadium venues produced by legendary promoters like Richard Nader as Barbara Harris of The Toys. On special occasions, you may also find her delightfully singing as a duet with Joe Rivers as Johnny of Johnny and Joe ("Over The Mountain").

In the present day, and as one of the highlights of her "personal best," Barbara wrote and produced, and released her own solo CD on her own independent label, entitled, "Barbara Now," with the help of her husband, Ken Wiltshire, good friend Jerome Mitchell, and some family members that is available at Tower Records and on the Internet. It is a must-listen-to for all Popular Music enthusiasts, historians and impresarios! There is only one voice in the world like Barbara’s and one only needs to turn the dial almost anywhere on the planet to find it. As beautiful as it is, it does not do justice to the energy and passion that she packs into and each every performance.

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Official Barbara Harris/Toys Site

Toys Biography at AllMusic.com

Barbara Harris at AOL Music




























































































































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