Classic Urban Harmony Newsletter. Issue #1.  Bringing the world of Doo Wop, R&B, Soul and Gospel Harmony to your Inbox.. 

Classic Urban Harmony
Launches a Newsletter 

   Welcome to the first issue of the Classic Urban Harmony Newsletter.  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 and our website,  We've now added a newsletter to keep you up to date on what's happening in the group harmony world.  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 Whats's New Page of  In the beginning, we won't have a regular schedule for this newsletter; we'll just publish it when we have something to say.  But we hope you'll enjoy receiving it and will find it entertertaing and informative.  If so, pass the word on to others who might want to receive it.  They can sign up by sending their email to - Charlie & Pam Horner - November, 2012

R&R Hall of Fame Honored Chuck Berry in 17th Annual American Music Masters Series:  Photos and review on our website

     Living Rock & Roll legend Chuck Berry was honored this month by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University with a week long celebration in their 17th Annual American Music Master Series in Cleveland, OH.  The trubute included lectures, workshops, film screenings and concerts celebrating Chuck Berry's music and career.  The event culminated with a Saturday night concert on October 27, featuring tributes to Chuck from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Ernie Isley and Darryl "Run DMC" McDaniels along with Joe Bonamassa, Rick Derringer, Rosie Flores, John Fullbright, David Johansen, Ronnie Hawkins, JD McPherson, Lemmy Kilmister, Merle Haggard, Chuck Prophet, Vernon Reid, Duke Robillard, Ray Sharpe, and Earl Slick.  Chuck Berry accepted the award and performed.
     While we usually report on vocal group harmony events, Chuck Berry's music has influenced virtually all aspects of Rock & Roll and Classic Urban Harmony was there in Cleveland to report on this monumental event.  We've posted numerous photos for the R&R Hall of Fames' new Library & Archive building, the two concerts and the VIP pre-party.  We've also written about Chuck Berry recordings with vocal groups. To take a look, click the link on the What's New Page of   

Classic Urban Harmony Oct 21 Multimedia Presentation "Doo Wop Groups of New Jersey" in Montville (NJ) Public Library another success.

Charlie & Pam Horner gave their latest Classic Urban Harmony multimedia presentation, "Doo Wop Groups of New Jersey," on Sunday afternoon October 21, 2012  at the Montville Township (NJ) Public Library..  We again showed photos from the Classic Urban Harmony Archives of groups, record labels, sheet music and memorabilia, and song clips, as we told about NJ doo wop groups from the Duprees, Monotones, Rivieras and Fiestas to the Shirelles and many more.  About 60 attendees each received a printed hand-out, listing more than 200 recording doo wop groups from the Garden State.  We had a great time utilizing the Library's giant rear-projection TV screen and modern technology.  The presentation was well received and we're looking forward to returning to Montville soon.

Isaac "Dickie" Freeman Dies. Bass singer for the Fairfield Four

Isaac "Dickie" Freeman (far right in the above photo), legendary bass singer for the Grammy winning Gospel group, the Fairfield Four, died October 16, 2012.  He was 84.  Freeman was raised in Johns, AL, until his teens when he moved to Cleveland, OH and joined the Gospel group, the Golden Tones.  From there he sang bass with Baltimore's Kings Of Harmony.  In 1948, Freeman joined the Fairfield Four, one of the most respected Gospel harmony groups of their time.  The group broke up in the early 1950's, with Freeman and two other members of the group moving to Greensville, AL, to start the Skylarks, another great Gospel group.  In 1980, music historian Doug Seroff encouraged the Fairfield Four to get back together for a Birmingham quartet reunion.  The Fairfield Four continued on, being nominated for a Grammy for their 1992 album "Standing In The Safety Zone" and winning a Grammy in 1998 for "I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray".  The Fairfield Four, including Isaac Freeman were inducted into the United in Group Harmony Association's Hall of Fame in 1999.

Deborah Chessler Dies, Manager, Songwriter and Mentor to the Orioles

     It is with much sadness that we report the passing of  a true icon in our music and a close friend.  Deborah Chessler, manager, songwriter and mentor to possibly the first true Rhythm & Blues vocal group, the Orioles, died October 10, 2012, of complications from a heart problem.  She was 89.  Deborah's songs, "It's Too Soon To Know," "Tell Me So," "Forgive And Forget," and many more brought Sonny Til & the Orioles instant national fame and kick started the "golden age of R&B vocal groups".  "It's Too Soon To Know" is regarded by many to be the first R&B vocal group song.  Without Deborah Chessler, it's likely there would never have been a doo wop or soul vocal group genre.
    For a tribute to Deborah Chessler including a bio and many photos click the link on the What's New Page of

Heartbeats' Tenor, Albert Crump Dies

Albert Crump, original first tenor for the Heartbeats passed away October 3, 2012 of lung and kidney cancer. The Heartbeats were first formed in Woodrow Wilson Vocational High School in South Ozone Park, Queens, New York in 1953. Albert Crump was the original lead of the group but traded that part for first tenor when the group added James Sheppard as lead. Early in 1955, the Heartbeats (James Sheppard, Albert Crump, Robbie Tatum, Vernon Sievers and Wally Roker) released their first record, "Tormented" on trumpeter Russell Jaquet's Network label. Of course, the group is best known for such group harmony classics as "A Thousand Miles Away," "Crazy For You," "Your Way," "People Are Talking," and "I Won't Be The Fool Anymore". The Heartbeats broke up in 1960, with James Sheppard pursuing first a solo career and then as lead of Shep & the Limelites. James Sheppard died tragically in 1970. We did see the remaining Heartbeats reunite briefly and sing on their 50th Anniversary at the United in Group Harmony Association on December 27, 2003.

Acappela Group Quiet Storm in Someset NJ

On Friday evening, October 19, 2012, the fine acappella group from Philadedelphia, Quiet Storm, gave a concert at our home community in Somerset, NJ.  Even though it was a private concert for residents of a gated community, we were allowed to invite a few guests from outside Somerset Run.  Milton Love and Don Cruz from the Solitaires plus a few more of our friends were also in the audience.  Quiet Storm did a fabulous two sets and the crowd of about a hundred people loved them.  To see photos of Quiet Storm performing and the after party at Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters, click the link on the Whats's New Page of

Cleve Duncan, Penquins lead on "Earth Angel" dies

 Word has just reached us that Cleve Duncan, lead of the Penguins has died suddenly on November 6, 2012.  He was 77.  Cleveland Duncan was the voice we all remember on the doo wop classic "Earth Angel"  Of course, R&B fans know the Los Angeles vocal group for many great songs.  We'll post details of his passing on our website, as we find out more.. 

More news

Of cousre we couldn't possibly include everything on our website in this newsletter.  Please check the What's New section of to keep up on the latest news as well as our Events Callendar for group harmony concerts and events and Our Bookshelf, for book reviews of music books.
Copyright © 2012 Classic Urban Harmony LLC, All rights reserved.
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