Classic Urban Harmony Newsletter. Issue #13.  Bringing the world of Doo Wop, R&B, Soul and Gospel Harmony to your Inbox.. 

Classic Urban Harmony
Newsletter #13

Welcome to Classic Urban Harmony Newsletter #13.  Do we have the news for you this issue, and it's just about all good.  We're now less than a month away from our big Asbury Park Gospel Explosion Concert on September 28.  The concert will honor the great Asbury Park NJ gospel group the Missionary Jubilaires.  A couple weeks ago, Pam & I, along with Asbury Park Historical Society President Don Stine, addressed the Asbury Park mayor and city council and respectfully requested that they declare September 28, 2013, as "Missionary Jubilaires Day" in Asbury Park.  We are thrilled to report that the proclamation has been approved and issued.  Mayor Myra Campbell will read the proclamation to at least five former members of the Missionary Jubilaires during the concert ceremony (see article below).

Registration is now open for our once-a-week for five weeks course on group harmony at the Raritan Valley Community College Bridgewater NJ campus this October.  Hope we get a full class.  This should be fun.  More news about vocal harmony below.  Hope you again enjoy our latest email newsletter.  Our readership is expanding rapidly so tell your friends about us.

Classic Urban Harmony LLC promotes the legacy of Rhythm & Blues, Doo Wop, Soul and Gospel Vocal Group Harmony through multimedia presentations, historical research, interviews, magazine articles, museum displays, radio guest appearances, lectures, college courses, concert production and emceeing, vocal group bookings, our website,, and this free newsletter.  Here you'll find news of important events relevant to our music as well as updates to our website and summaries of our Classic Urban Harmony activities and projects.  To read more about and see more photos from the articles in this newsletter, check the What's New Page of  We hope you'll enjoy this issue of the newsletter and again find it entertaining and informative.  Please continue passing the word on to others who might want to receive it.  They can sign up by sending their names and email addresses to - Charlie & Pam Horner - September 2, 2013

Less than a month to go before our September 28, Asbury Park Gospel Explosion.  Purchase tickets now. 

Just about all the popular vocal harmony we love can be traced back to quartet singing in the black churches of America.  We'll be celebrating this music in its purist form with one big gospel concert on September 28, 2013, in the music rich Asbury Park, NJ, area.  We'll be honoring the Missionary Jubilaires (see companion article).  But the event is much more than that.  It will be a chance to turn back the clock and return (even if just for this evening) to the days when gospel quartet singing played a major role in American society.  In addition, we'll be  benefiting the Asbury Park Historical Society which has worked tirelessly to preserve area landmarks, like the home of author Steven Crane.  
Join us on Saturday night September 28 at the Jersey Shore Arts Center, 66 South Main Street, Ocean Grove, NJ (the remodeled former Neptune High School), and hear some of the purest gospel vocal harmony ever, much of it acappella.  We've got Frankie Davis of the Golden Gate Quartet (and former lead of the Soul Stirrers) backed by the Mighty Stars of Portsmouth VA; the superb quintet King David's Harp from Portsmouth VA; the inspirational acappella singing of the Spiritual 5 and the fine harmonies of Brothers In Christ (both from South Jersey); the popular acappella group Quiet Storm, singing an all gospel set; Asbury Parks' own favorite, Tyron McAllister and the young trio the Sons of Thunder.  We'll have at least five former members of the Missionary Jubilaires there.  We're hopeful they will be able to sing a couple songs.  Tickets are now available on the Asbury Park Historical Society website, and at several places around Asbury Park.  For more details visit

Philly Doo Wop Festival has evolved into the Philadelphia Sound of Soul Festival, Sunday Sept 8 at Penn's Landing

While we truly hoped the Philly Doo Wop Festival would continue, we now see that it's been replaced by the Philadelphia Sound of Soul Festival.  It's part of the two day WHYY Connections Festival.  We heard that the promoters were looking for a younger audience this year, but we were hoping that festivals for doo wop and soul vocal harmonies could exist side by side.  Guess we were wrong.  Anyway, we love soul groups too, and this year's line up includes the Sensational Soul Cruisers (and they are sensational) along with Philly's Soul Survivors and others.  Late word is that line up will also include Temple University's Owlcappella and our friends the Norris Tones.  The Soul Music Festival takes place on the River Stage at the Great Plaza of Penn's Landing at Columbus Blvd and Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA on Sunday afternoon September 8 from Noon to 6 PM.  For info visit Philly Soul Festival.


Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie & Pam make a rare guest radio appearance on Jim Bakay's WRDV "Gospel Train"

Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie & Pam Horner were invited guests on Jim Bakay's "Gospel Train" radio program from 10 - 11 PM (EST) on Tuesday evening, August 13, 2013.  We played some great gospel quartet records on the Pinewood label out of Norfolk VA in the 1960's and 1970's.  We'll soon be posting a detailed discography of Pinewood on our website, complete with artists, songs, release dates and label scans.  Thanks to all who listened and especially those who called in with such positive comments.  To see more photos, click the appropriate link on the What's New Page of Jim Bakay's "The Gospel Train" can be heard for one hour on, every Tuesday at 10 pm EST.  Jim Bakay also does his normal Saturday morning 10 AM “Sound Of The City” on WRDV-FM and

Artifacts From Our Vaults: Rare Pinewood label promotional postcard

As we just played a lot of 1960's and 1970's gospel quartet records on the Pinewood label on Jim Bakay's WRDV "Gospel Train," we thought is appropriate to feature a Pinewood record label artifact from our vaults.  Above is a promotional postcard that label owner Bill Johnson sent out to radio stations asking them to give his records a spin.  The card has the later label logo on it and dates from the 1970's.  Check often for the soon to be added Pinewood Project Discography.

Register NOW for the once-a-week for 5 weeks course, "Spirituals, Rhythm & Blues," Doo Wop & Soul Music," taught by Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie & Pam Horner at the Bridgewater Campus of Raritan Valley Community College every Tuesday afternoon in October

Registration is now open for the once-a-week for 5 weeks course, "Spirituals, Rhythm & Blues, Doo Wop and Soul Music" taught by Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie Horner at the Bridgewater NJ campus of the Raritan Valley Community College, every Tuesday afternoon in October!  The course will explore the history of African American derived popular vocal harmony and quartet singing, with an emphasis on the golden age of vocal groups, the 1950's and early 1960's, when professional as well as "street corner" doo wop and soul groups dominated popular music.  Each class will consist of a multimedia presentation followed by a group discussion.  This is an interactive class where we'll be playing a lot of music and talking about what we hear.  It's designed to be a fun course.  The course is part of Raritan Valley Community College's Lifelong Learning Institute held at their Bridgewater campus, 14 Vogt Drive, Bridgewater, NJ (near the Bridgewater Library and Bridgewater Commons mall).  You must be at least 50 years of age to register and the registration fee for the five weeks is only $50.  The class will meet each Tuesday from 2 - 3:30 PM, October 1 through October 29, 2013.  For course descriptions, registration forms and more info, visit the RVCC Lifelong Learning Page.  Hope you can join us.

John Clemente's 2nd Edition of "Girl Groups" now out and was worth the wait!

In 2000, John Clemente published his first edition of “Girl Groups: Fabulous Females Who Rocked the World" and we thought that was a great addition to our collective knowledge of vocal group harmony.  In fact we’ve used that book as a research reference more times than we can count.  Now, 13 years later, John has issued an expanded 2nd edition that is not only updated but is more than twice as large.  The book gives detailed profiles of more than 70 female vocal groups from the 50’s and 60’s with even a few excursions into the 70’s and 80’s.  Over 140 singers were interviewed for this book.  It contains countless rare photos and each group’s chapter begins with a chronology of the group members and ends with a complete discography.  In between is a group’s bio, in considerable detail.  Years of work in preparation, the 2nd Edition of “Girl Groups” belongs in the library of every group harmony enthusiast.  Girl Groups can be ordered directly from the author by sending a check or money order for $40 to John Clemente, 171 Beverly Hill Rd., Clifton, NJ 07012.  For reviews of this and many other books of interest to group harmony fans, visit the Bookshelf Page of

Latest issue of Echoes of the Past magazine (#105) now out!  Has our article on the Sweet Delights.

Issue #105 of Echoes of the Past magazine is now out and it's another great issue.  It has our article on the Sweet Delights (Atco label) as well as Bob Bosco's article on the Tams/Hippies that recorded "Memory Lane," Steven Kahn's article on the Versatiles/Four Dimensions (Ramco label), George Frunzi's article on the Bronx Wanderers, Gerald Ognjan's brief history and comprehensive listing of Detroit R&B vocal groups, Steve Propes' fascinating column of facts about Los Angeles 45's, Larry Stidom's article on Dodie Stevens and Nay Nassar's column on obscure group records.  If you're not subscribed to the magazine, Echoes of the Past, you're missing a lot!  At $4.99 an issue, how can you go wrong?  It comes out four times a year and concentrates on the R&B and Doo Wop groups of the 1950's and 1960's.  For info on how to subscribe, email Bob Belniak at   And while you're writing, ask Bob to add you to his mailing list for the New England Doo Wop Society email newsletter.  It's free, fun and worthwhile.  Tell Bob that Classic Urban Harmony sent you. 

Musical "Forever Plaid" coming to the Morris Museum in 2014.

If you haven't seen the musical "Forever Plaid" in a previous run, it's a hilarious spoof on 1950's pop vocal groups.  It seems the group members are killed unexpectedly before their big break concert but are allowed to come back to earth to finish their dream concert.  The musical will run through the month of May 2014 at the Morris Museum, Morristown NJ.  See for details.

Past Issues of the CUH Newsletter Now viewable on line

Want to catch up on any past issues of this newsletter that you may have missed? Now you can. Just go to the top of this newsletter and click on "View it in your browser". Then you be able to click on "Past Issues" on the upper left of your screen.

It's Official!!!! September 28, 2013 will be "Missionary Jubilaires Day" in Asbury Park NJ. 

Through the efforts of Classic Urban Harmony and the Asbury Park Historical Society, the Asbury Park City Council has just proclaimed September 28, 2013, as "Missionary Jubilaires Day" in Asbury Park NJ.  The great gospel group first started singing in James Burks' home on Union Avenue in Asbury Park's West Side, 65 years ago.  They continued singing for the next 40 years.  The Missionary Jubilaires have sung from Boston to Miami, from Chicago to NYC's Apollo Theatre.  On September 28, we're reuniting at least five former members of the group on stage.  Asbury Park's mayor, Myra Campbell, will read the proclamation and we'll present the group members framed copies of the proclamation and honor them for their years of inspiring singing.  [To hear a YouTube of a recording by the group, click Missionary Jubilaires.]  Please join us at the Gospel Explosion and don't forget to shake hands with the Missionary Jubilaires and say thanks. 

Happy Birthday, Willie Winfield!

We like to take this opportunity wish a very happy birthday to Willie Winfield, lead singer of the legendary Harptones and a true icon in the group harmony field.  We understand that Willie turned 84 this past August 24.  Willie is seen here with Pam Horner.  All the best to you, Willie, and thanks for all the great music you've given us.  [Thanks to Gordy Freeman for reminding us.]
Non-profit Global Entertainment Media Arts (GEMA) to honor Arctic Record label and its artists plus others in 1st annual Golden Mic Honors
  The Global Entertainment Media Arts (GEMA) is a non-profit organization dedicated, motivated and inspired to acknowledge, preserve, promote and honor the voices of the past, present and future creators in broadcasting, music, journalism, sports, multimedia education, publishing and production within the creative arts.  At their 2013 Golden Mic Honors Program on Saturday September 21, GEMA will honor the Arctic Record label and its artists, among others.  This year's honorees in the Music/Production Category are Honey & the Bees, Barbara Mason, John Ellison, The Royal 5, Weldon Arthur McDougal (deceased), Tom Mouton, Hall & Oates, Kenny Hamber, Winfield Parker, Kenny Gamble, The Volcanos, Frank Lipsius, The Three Degrees, and Kin Payton (daughter of Brenda Payton of Brenda & the Tabulations.  Butterball, Jocko, Georgie Woods, Dick Clark, Ali Hackett, Lou Costello and others are among those honored in the Broadcasters Category.
In addition they'll be numerous other honorees in other categories.  Plus there'll be special guest appearances by the Ebonies and the Ritchie Family.  It all takes place at the DuPont Theater, 1007 North Market Street, Wilmington, DE, 19801 at 8 PM on Saturday, September 21, 2013.  For more info visit  For tickets go to

Ray Goodman & Brown and friends rock Plainfield NJ

Billy Brown and friends turned in another outstanding performance at the annual Plainfield NJ outdoor concert on Wednesday evening, August 21, 2013.  Opening the show were Tony "Showtime" Riley of the Persuaders Review, Wade Elliott (formerly of Blue Magic) and Nicky Addeo.  The headliners were Ray Goodman & Brown featuring Billy Brown.  What an outstanding show!  To view photos and a detailed review, click the link on the What's New page of

Classic Urban Harmony's multimedia presentation, "Tales from the Doo Wop Era - Part 2" at the Hillsborough Library another great success!  Montville is next on October 27.

Classic Urban Harmony returned to the Hillsborough (NJ) Public Library on Thursday August 8, 2013 and presented "Under The Streetlamp: Tales From the Doo Wop Era - Part 2" to an enthusiastic audience.  We met a lot of doo wop fans including some singers.  We had a great time and hope to return next year for Part 3.  For information about future Classic Urban Harmony presentations, including Part 1 at the Montville Township Public Library, 90 Horseneck Rd., Montville, NJ, on Sunday October 27, 2013 (2 - 3:30 PM) , see the Events Calendar Page of

Pop Music Mega Star, Bruno Mars, has Doo Wop Roots!

Pop music icon Bruno Mars has sold tens of millions of CD's and had a couple of #1 records lately.  But did you know his background is doo wop music?  Our friend Joe Grimaldi got to know Mars' father (Bruno Mars is a stage name) back in 1988.  "We were in Honolulu Hawaii, on our 25th anniversary, looking in the paper for a place to eat dinner," recalled Joe.   Joe and Frannie found a place with The Lovenotes performing oldies. "They were great," said Joe.  "I struck up a conversation with Peter Hernandez, the leader and founder of the group.  He said he came from Brooklyn or the Bronx, I don't remember, years ago and had other guys come to Hawaii, to form a group that he knew would work steady on the island.  We sat until four in the morning talking and drinking.  He mentioned he had a special love for the Harptones, and 'I'll Never Tell' was his personal favorite.  I told him we [the Ecstasies] recorded that song.  We became good friends and stayed in touch for years.  I got him in touch with  UGHA, and yes he did join as a member.  We exchanged music, he wanted any high tenor things for John Valentine their high tenor.  He is Bruno's uncle.  The Lovenotes did an album, which he mailed to me.  In 1988, Bruno was 3 years old.  At 5 he started doing Elvis imitations in his dad's show.  As he got older he fronted the group doing all the tenor leads.  His real name is Peter Hernandez Jr.  He has a knowledge of all our music; that's all he heard.  Pete raised him on our music.  Bruno will open up his shows with doo wop.  Bruno always mentions that his father and his dad's music are the reason he is so successful today."  To watch a Youtube of Bruno Mars' father's group singing doo wop, click Lovenotes.  To see a great YouTube video of Bruno Mars and his group singing "Please Say You Want Me" click Bruno doo wop.  [Thanks to Joe Grimaldi for this item.]

Music Man Murray dies.  Record store owner, actor.

Decades ago I (Charlie) was in Los Angeles looking for records when I came upon a huge record store run by Music Man Murray.  The store was crammed full of hundreds of thousands of records, though I mostly remember looking through 78's and albums.  I recall buying a Deep River Boys LP on the X label and a few other things but I never got back there to look for more.  Thus I was saddened to read on the internet that Music Man Murray Gershenz passed away Wednesday August 28, 2013, at the age of 91.  Besides being known for his record store that reportedly housed 3000,000 records, Murray had been an opera singer and more recently a character actor in TV shows like “Modern Family,” “Mad Men,” “Raising Hope,” “House,” and “Parks and Recreation” as well as the movies "I Love You Man” and "The hangover".  Murray had been collecting records since the late 1930's.  A 20-minute documentary by Richard Parks on Music Man Murray showing his record store can be seen at the bottom of his obit.  Click Murray. [above photo from].

From Paul Ressler's Archives - Clyde McPhatter postcard

Each newsletter we try to feature a rare photo from our friend Paul Ressler's extensive archives.  This time we have a color postcard of Clyde McPhatter.  Clyde, of course was one of the most influential tenor singers in R&B history, first with the Dominoes, then the Drifters, and then as a soloist.  We don't know the origin of this card but the photo we'd date from Clyde's solo years on the Mercury label, around 1962.  We'll post more of Paul Ressler's photos in future newsletters.  Thanks, Paul.

More Details and Photos from the Above Articles on our Website

There's just so much we can fit into one newsletter issue, but many of the articles here are repeated on our website with additional details and photos. To read more visit the "What's New Page" of And while there, don't forget to visit our other pages, like Our Events Calendar Page, Our Bookshelf, or our section on Articles We've Written.
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