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Classic Urban Harmony Newsletter. Issue #36  Bringing the world of Doo Wop, R&B, Soul and Gospel Harmony to your Inbox.. 

Classic Urban Harmony
Newsletter #36

Welcome to Classic Urban Harmony Newsletter #36.  Our FREE email newsletter doesn't follow any regular schedule but we do try to publish every 6 weeks or so.  We wait until we have lots of interesting news for you to read.  In this case, there's plenty to read.  Some items will make you smile, others may bring tears to your eyes.  We just report the news, we don't make it.  Well, OK, in some cases we do make it.  But there's a lot here, not in any particular order.  Keep reading until the end.

Quote of the month: "Give me that Soul to Soul, Brother to Brother, Acappella.  It sounds good to me!" - Persuasions.

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 exhibits & displays, radio guest appearances, lectures, college courses, concert production and emceeing, consultation for documentaries, vocal group bookings, our website, www.classicurbanharmony.net, 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 www.classicurbanharmony.net.  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 CUH@att.net. - Charlie & Pamela Horner - March 23, 2019.

Doo Wop Explosion IV set for June 22 in West Chester PA, 5 acappella groups.

Announcing Classic Urban Harmony's first big muti-group acappella concert of the year, DOO WOP EXPLOSION IV, will take place at our new location on Saturday night, June 22. We’ll be moving the DWE concert series to the Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center, 226 N. High Street, West Chester, PA (just outside of Philly). We’ve again assembled an extraordinary line up of some of the best acappella groups around including Joel Katz & the Dynamics, Quiet Storm, Nostalgia 5 and the newly revamped Re-MemberThen. Also, making a guest appearance will be the young close harmony singing sensations, the Quin-Tones Quartet! Please save the date. Tickets will be on sale soon. Help us preserve street corner acappella singing. Please share this and help get the word out. Many thanks, Charlie & Pam Horner

Quiet Storm returns to Roxy & Dukes, May 19.

After a three month break between shows at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen NJ, acappella harmony returns in specular form as the phenomenal vocal group, Quiet Storm, takes the stage on Sunday May 19, 2019.  Email us at CUH@att.net now to make reservations as Quiet Storm concerts always fill up fast.  Doors open at 7 PM and the first of two sets is at 8.  As usual, admission is only $20 at the door.  Parking is free and food and drink are available for purchase.  Don't miss this opportunity to catch one of the areas finest vocal groups, up front and personal.  Roxy & Dukes is at 745 Bound Brook Rd (Route 28), Dunellen NJ.  Dunellen is a quiet little town in Central Jersey, about half way between NYC and Philly.  Not familiar with Quiet Storm?  Watch the following Quiet Storm YouTube.

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Classic Urban Harmony had a role in the new documentary film, ASBURY PARK: RIOT, REDEMPTION, ROCK ‘N ROLL that previews at the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival, Sunday afternoon April 28 and will be in theaters worldwide on May 22.  I [Charlie] have a couple on-screen appearances in the documentary and I also served as a historical consultant on it.  Classic Urban Harmony Archives also provided photos used in the film.  The film stars Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny Lyons and Steven Van Zant and a host of others.  Here’s a review of the film.  “ASBURY PARK: RIOT, REDEMPTION, ROCK ‘N ROLL tells the story of the long troubled town of Asbury Park, and how the power of music can unite a divided community.  A once storied seaside resort, Asbury Park erupted in flames during a summer of civil unrest, crippling the town for the next 45 years and reducing it to a state of urban blight.  A town literally divided by a set of railroad tracks, the riot destroyed the fabled Westside jazz and blues scene, but from the flames of the burning city emerged the iconic Jersey sound.   ASBURY PARK returns Asbury sons Steven Van Zandt, Southside Johnny Lyon and Bruce Springsteen to the legendary Upstage, the psychedelic after hours club where they got their start, featuring never before seen interviews and performances.  Shuttered for four and a half decades, the Upstage remains a perfect time capsule of the Club which united both sides of the tracks in Asbury and acted as a crucible for young talent.  Now, as Asbury Park enjoys its long awaited renaissance, it is music which has brought it back from the dead. This major theatrical event will also include a bonus feature of never before seen footage, as Van Zandt, Southside Johnny, and Springsteen play a now legendary concert to a sold out Paramount Theater and trade guitar licks with the future of music in Asbury, a group of 11-year-old rockers who prove the best days for the town may just lie ahead.”  For tickets to the premiere at the Asbury Park Film Festival, go to https://www.apmff.org/tickets and scroll down to the film.

Asbury Park Museum closes its temporary location

It's been a great three months, but the Asbury Park Museum's temporary location is now closed and all the exhibit material put into storage.  Asbury Park has a history of diverse arts and cultures. Knowing an Asbury Park Museum was long overdue, a small group of volunteers took on the task of starting one. From December 22, 2018 to March 10, 2019, we assembled and operated a temporary Asbury Park Museum on the Boardwalk just steps from Convention Hall and the Paramount Theatre. The response from the public was overwhelming. We had over a thousand visitors, in spite of the fact that we were only opened on weekend afternoons in the dead of winter. In addition, we held a number of well attended events including four African American Read-Ins, two book signings and a jazz concert. We have now had to take the Museum down and store all the photos and memorabilia. Please continue to check our Asbury Park FaceBook Page and support our future activities as we search for a permanent Asbury Park Museum location.

Harptones' Willie Winfield Retirement Gala!

After singing for the past 65 years, Willie Winfield, legendary lead singer of the harptones is retiring.  Furthermore, Willie's friends and fans are cordially invited to his retirement gala on Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 6 - 11 PM, at the lavish Woodhaven Manor (Ballroom A), 9501 Jamaica Ave, Woodhaven NY 11421.  $70 per person includes a cocktail hour with open bar, five course meal, entertainment and dancing.  We've been told this is a black tie affair, so I (Charlie) better dust off my tuxedo.  Checks or money orders should be made out to "Life Is But A Dream Prod. Inc.," and mailed to C. Winfield, 178 Bond St, Apt. 3E, Brooklyn NY 11217.  Our thanks to Willie for so many years of music.    

Classic Urban Harmony's Pamela & Charlie Horner nominated for two different categories in East Coast Music Hall of Fame voting.

We have been nominated in two different categories for the East Coast Music Hall of Fame voting: "Best Music Maker Historian / Advocate" and "Best Music Maker Newsletter / Website".  We must say, we are up against some other formattable nominees, all of whom are well qualified.  Still, we hope we will win. It's always nice to be recognized. Ambassador Members, if you haven't voted yet, please do so.  If you're not an Ambassador Member, it's easy to join for a small donation of $25 or more to the ECMHOF from their website, www.ECMHOF.org.

Tickets on sale for the first East Coast Music Hall Of Fame Awards Gala in Wildwood NJ, June 5, 2019.
 

The first annual East Coast Music Hall Of Fame Awards Gala and Ceremony celebrating our Lifetime Achievement Awards and Legend Awards will be held at the beautiful Wildwood Convention Center in a gala induction ceremony that will take place on Wednesday June 5, 2019.  During the event, sixteen Lifetime Achievements and fourteen "Voice Of The People" Legend Awards will be presented.  Those selected to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards include Frankie Avalon, Jimmy Beaumont, Larry Chance, Chubby Checker, Lou Christie, Joey Dee, Connie Francis, Charlie Gracie, Ronnie "I" Italiano, Johnny Maestro, Richard Nader, Vito Picone, Eugene Pitt, Bobby Rydell, Jay Siegel and Willie Winfield.  The Legend Award inductees will be determined by vote of the Ambassador Members.  Scheduled to perform that evening are the Brooklyn Bridge, the Duprees, Jay Siegel's Tokens, Lou Christie, Charlie Gracie, Larry Chance, the Skyliners, Vito Picone & the Elegants, Joey Dee, Stan Zizka, Kid Kyle, Bobby Wilson, Teresa McClean, Johnny Gale, Emil Stucchio, Vinnie Medugno, Sal Valentinetti, the Mark Baron Orchestra and more.  [Line up subject to change].  Master of Ceremonies will be Mike Marino.  Co-hosts will be Emil Stucchio Vinnie Medugno and Alan David Stein.  We (Charlie and Pam Horner) will be in charge of the pre-concert "VIP Meet & Greet".  Tickets range in price from $40 to $150, with the $150 VIP tickets including pre-ceremony "Meet & Greet" reception.  TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!  For tickets go to the Ticketmaster link or call 1-800-745-3000.

"Fast Eddie" Whitfield dies.  Member of Neighbors Complaint, Carl Gardner's  Coasters dies

We've lost too many members of our music family lately.  "Fast Eddie" Whitfield, long time member of the acappella group, Neighbor's Complaint, and more recently a member of Carl Gardner's Coasters, died this past December.  Back in the 1980's, I (Charlie) worked closely with Neighbor's Complaint, getting them publicity, finding them gigs and even facilitating their recording contract with Collectables Records.  I was so close to Neighbor's Complaint, they made me a non-singing member of the group and even gave me a Neighbor's Complaint jacket.  Eddie a great bass singer from 46th Street & Woodland Avenue in South West Philly.  I still remember when he joined Neighbor's Complaint.  He was a great guy.  I lost track of him for a number of years and was surprised to run into him a few years ago at a Nader show at the Meadowlands.  He was singing bass for the Coasters!  I understand Eddie left the Coasters in 2016 due to failing health.  I never knew he was ill.  We're deeply saddened by his passing.  [Eddie Whitfield is second from the left in the photo above, taken from the Classic Urban Harmony Archives.]

Vocal Group Profile:  The Velvet Candles

As a new feature in this newsletter, we thought we'd feature a profile on some of the currently active doo wop groups.  In this issue, we'll spotlight a group we had the distinct pleasure of meeting and watching perfom a couple years ago when we were in Barcelona - The Velvet Candles!  
The Velvet Candles are Spain's most popular doo wop group. With an style ranging from mid-50's R&B to that of the great Italian American doo wop groups from the early 60's, the Velvet Candles have been performing all over Europe with great success for the past ten years.  They have been in Sweden, UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France and Finland.  They have backed some of the bigger names on the rock and roll scene: Mike Sanchez, Bobby Brooks, Charlie Thompson, Sonny West and Nikki Hill, as well as some of the greatest doo wop stars from back in the day. The Candles were responsible for the comeback of Tommy Hunt doing the songs he did with the Flamingos back in the 50's.  They've also been doing shows backing classic stars like Gaynel Hodge (the Turks), John Cheatdom (the Velours), Norman Fox (the Rob Roys) and this year they will be performing with Larry Chance of the Earls, Jay Siegel of the Tokens, Stan Zizka of the Del Satins and Jimmy Gallagher of the Passions. Not bad for four guys and a girl from Barcelona.
 
The Velvet Candles' shows are also a joy to all the dancers in the audience as they featuring a great set on jump tunes as well as a must see for all doo wop fans.  With three records released on El Toro Records, they are often regarded as one of the most entertaining acts on the vocal group scene. Here's a YouTube clip we took of the Velvet Candles in Barcelona in 2015 singing "Please Say You Want Me" acappella!
 

Win"How They Got Over" Wins Best Feature Documentary at South Georgia Film Festival

"How They Got Over: Gospel Quartets and the Road to Rock & Roll," Director Robert Clem, Producer Jerry Zolten (2018) has just won Best Feature Documentary at the South Georgia Film Festival.  The film was recently screened at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.  So far, the film has gotten invites for screening at 25 major film festivals, worldwide.  We got a chance to see it at the New Jersey Film Festival at Rutgers University in New Brunswick on January 27, 2019, and loved it!  The documentary tells the progression of Gospel quartet singing from the Fisk Jubilee Singers to current times.  In following the careers of groups like the Dixie Hummingbirds, Soul Stirrers, Blind Boys of Alabama, Sensational Nightingales and dozens of others, the film tells how Gospel quartets were an essential primary influence on doo wop, rhythm & blues, soul and rock & roll music.  Running 87 minutes, the documentary flows through some amazing interview footage as well as countless incredibly rare video clips.  The sound track is superb and the number of rare quartet  photos is staggering.  This doc is a winner!  Hope it will soon be accessible to the general public.      

Latest issue (#127) of Echoes of the Past magazine now out!

Latest issue of Echoes of the Past magazine just out with our article, The Joel Katz Story Part 4. This is the last of the series. Still it only scratches the surface of Joel's music career. (Classic Urban Harmony Press is contemplating writing & publishing a book about Joel Katz, whose 55+ years of singing have led him to perform and/or record with over 40 doo wop groups.) Also in this fabulous issue of Echoes are Bob Bosco's article on Teddy & the Continentals, George Frunzi's article on Kenny Hamber, Steve Propes article rating R&R record history from a student perspective, plus columns by Larry Stidcom and Nay Nassar

East Coast Music Hall Of Fame collecting memorabilia for future Museum in Wildwood.

Many thanks to Alex Augustine for donating his Norman Fox & the Robroys' jacket and photos of the group to the East Coast Music Hall Of Fame's future museum! Always great spending time with Ann and Alex, who got a tour of Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters. As Pam and I are chairing the ECMHOF Museum & Library Committee, we've begun collecting memorabilia for display, when the Museum in Wildwood opens. Earl Lewis has offered to send a Channels uniform. The museum building still needs to be renovated which will take time.

Doo Wop Project comes to Kean University Stage

The doo wop and soul vocal group, the Doo Wop Project is scheduled to perform at Kean University's Wilkins Theatre at 3 PM, April 14.  The group is made up of stars of Broadway's "Jersey Boys," "Motown The Musical" and "A Bronx Tale".  Tickets are available at Keanstage.com or by calling 908-737-7469.  Enter code DOOWOP online to save 15% per ticket.  This and many other evets are listed on the Events Page of www.ClassicUrbanHarmony.net.
 

 Stray Cats to release first album in 26 years!

The Rock-A-Billy band, the Stray Cats, known for their formidable early hits such as “Stray Cat Strut”, “Jump, Jive an’ Wail,” “I Won’t Stand in Your Way" and “Rock This Town,” are releasing their first album in 26 years.  Group harmony fans still remember their acappella version of "I Won't Stand In Your Way" with vocal harmony supplied by our own 14 Karat Soul!  In fact you can hear it now by clicking "Stray Cats".  The Stray Cats, formed in 1979, are celebrating their 40th anniversary.  The original founding members of this iconic American rock and roll trio are back with Brian Setzer (guitar, vocals), Lee Rocker (bass, vocals), and Slim Jim Phantom (drums, vocals).  They have a 17-night European tour starting in June 2019.  The Stray Cats have recorded a new album called “40” for their years in the music business.  It was recorded in Nashville.  There are 12 original songs on the album. Hope we can see them here in the USA or maybe a trip to Europe would be fun? – Pamela Horner
 

CD Review: Golden Gate Quartet, "Music Is ???" (SCPP 10H24)

So glad to see our friends, the Golden Gate Quartet, recording again!  The Gates trace their singing back 85 years and in fact, the group's first recordings were made in 1937.  Over the years, the groups' style has evolved with the times but they're still very much in touch with their roots, as this album shows.  Today, the group consists of Frank Davis (first tenor), Michael Robinson (second tenor), Thierry Francois (bass), and Paul Brembly (baritone and group leader).  This album has something for everybody, style-wise.  There are traditional gospel songs like "Working On A Building" and the magnificent Frankie Davis led, "The End Of My Journey."  For fans of the group's narration style Jubilee sings, there are new versions of "Didn't It Rain" and ""Run On (God Almighty Gonna Cut You Down)."  In the secular style, Paul Brembly leads an updated rendition of the Carl Perkins rock-a-billy tune, "Blue Suede Shoes".  But the album also spotlights the song writing talents of Paul Brembly, from the acappella "Change" to soulful gospel songs like "Jesus He Loves You" to the funk infused "Cadillac Jack".  All the cuts feature the superb harmony the group pioneered and is known throughout the world for.  This CD had 13 cuts.  We have an advanced copy but the actual release date is in April.  We'll let you know how to get a copy.

Chantels to be honored April 5, in the Bronx

April 5, 2019, will be “Chantels day” in the Bronx when a commemorative street sign will be unveiled reading, “The Chantels- Hit Record “Maybe” 1958”.  The sign will be at East 166th Street & Prospect Ave.  A tribute program will follow at St. Anthony of Padua RC Church, there, where the group first started singing.  The Chantels sang high mass as members of the Saint Anthony Choir in the beginning.  John Clemente, author of “Girl Groups: Fabulous Females Who Rocked the World” will speak.  The tribute will feature The Cookies, The Toys, and a short set by The Chantels.  For more info visit Chantels' Day.
 

Joe "Judge" Malaro of the Four Jays, dies

Just got word that Joe "Judge" Malaro of the Four J's has passed away.  The South Philly doo wop group recorded "Rock & Roll Age" for United Artists and "Dreams Are A Dime A Dozen" for Herald Records in 1958.  Joe died March 16, 2019.  Click "Rock & Roll Age" to hear it.  [Thanks to King Arthur, for letting us know.]

Amazing sound track to Oscar winning movie, "Green Book"

If you went to see the movie "Green Book," like us, you were probably amazed by the sound track of songs playing in the background of the Oscar winning film.  From the very beginning when we heard "One Mint Julip" by the Clovers, we knew we were in for a musical experience.  We of course, were blown away by hearing the Leon Peels & the Blue Jays' "So Long Lovers Island".  The song was never released as a single when it was recorded and didn't come out until many years later on a Relic label LP.  But we must say, the other songs in the movie were intriguing.  Hearing Professor Longhair singing "Go To The Mardi Gras" of Sonny Boy Williamson sing "Pretty Little Thing were great.  But there were songs in the film we didn't recognize at the time.  I wondered where they got the Bobby Page & the Riff Raffs "I Love My Baby" (Calvert label) but later found out that that and a couple other cuts came from the Ace label LP by Roy Boogie Boy Perkins".  I loved hearing the Edd Henry Northern Soul classic "Your Replacement Is Here" (Big Mack label).  Always wanted a copy of that but never found one.  Now, I do have the Little Alice records, "Why Oh Why" on Four J.     
 

Memories from the Asbury Park Museum

We leave you with memories of the Asbury Park Museum.  Two of the events held there were book signings - first by singer, songwriter and producer, Billy Terrell ("The Other Side Of Rock & War") and the second by Tommy Petillo, lead of the Duprees and President of the East Coast Music Hall Of Fame ("We Need More Love Songs:  Doo Wop - The Duprees  - and Me").  Both are wonderful, highly recommended books.  We were honored to have each of these authors speak and sign books at our Museum.

Happy 70th Birthday Vinyl 45 RPM Single

Rolling Stone Magazine paid homage to the vinyl 45 RPM in its latest issue with an article called, “How the 45 RPM Single Changed Music: Charting the rise, fall, resurrection and legacy of the beloved vinyl format which helped bring rock & roll to the masses.  The 45 rpm first saw the light of day 70 years ago on March 15, 1945.  RCA Victor became the first label to roll out these small records with the big hole.  The music on the RCA releases ranged from kid’s music to country music.  Each genre of music had its own colored vinyl.  Children’s records were yellow; Country & Western records were bluish green;  Classical records were red; Big Band records were dark blue; Foreign records were light blue; Pop records were black; African American music (Rhythm & Blues, Blues, Gospel) records were florescent orange.  Many small record companies soon began issuing 45’s and the 45 RPM singles upheaval was under way.  The price of a single was within reach of teenagers plus they were less breakable than 78’s and very portable.  At the same time, RCA Victor introduced the 45 changer that allowed records to be stacked and played in any order without breaking.  As the years went by, other music formats such as albums, cassettes and CD’s grew, the 45 declined in sales.  At present, vinyl 45’s are again showing signs of growth.  45 RPM records are now mostly in the hands of small independent labels such as Stevie Dunham and Tony O’s Street Corner Entertainment label.  Read the Rolling Stone article.  HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY vinyl 45.  Welcome back! - Pamela Horner

Is this the first R&B Vocal Group record ever pressed as a 45?

We think so!  When RCA Victor first introduced the vinyl 45 in March of 1949, they are said to have pressed the first 8 to 10 releases of each colored vinyl series at the same time.  In the black music 50-xxxx series, these were pressed on florescent orange vinyl with hard to read gold print on a gray label.  RCA Victor 50-0008 (seen here from the Classic Urban Harmony Archives) is the eighth record in the series, but the first by an R&B vocal groups.  Earlier numbers were blues single artists or jazz records.  #50-008 is "Careless Love" b/w "You're Heartless" by the Four Tunes and is a great R&B vocal group record.  I (Charlie) once found a bunch of these orange vinyl RCA Victors, all mint condition, at a flea market for fifty cents a piece, and this was one of them.  I was so impressed by the vinyl, I decided to run the whole series, or at leased until they switched to black vinyl later the next year.  Of course there were over 100 releases in orange vinyl and I soon gave up and decide to just collect the vocal group ones.  Those we now have, except for the rumored to exist Cats & A Fiddle release of "I Miss You So" in orange.  If anyone has that, please email me a scan of it - no Photoshop jobs, please - I can spot those a mile away.  

April 13 marks 12th Annual International Record Store Day

OK, so the days are long gone when we could travel around the country and hit stores like the one pictured above in every little town.  How I miss those days!  But, there are still some great record stores around and International Record Store Day reminds us we should visit them lest they go the way of the one pictured here.  In this area, we have Val Shively's R&B Records in Upper Darby PA (perhaps the best ever), Holdfast Records in Asbury Park and Revilla Grooves & Gear in Milltown NJ, but there vinyl record stores all over the country and vinyl is growing in popularity. Support your local vinyl record stores, not just on April 13, but throughout the year.  By the way, don't confuse International Record Store Day (April 13) with National Vinyl Record Day.  That's August 12.  We'll celebrate that in our August CUH Newsletter.

Philadelphia Flower Show Mutilates Records!!!!

Pam and I were horrified when my sister, Susan, texted us this photo taken at the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show.  Around one of the displays lay the broken remains of thousands of 78 RPM records, scattered on the ground to simulate mulch.  By enlarging the photo, I could see many of the records had been Victors and Columbia's but I couldn't rule out that there might have been Chances, Sabre's and Red Robins (labels) there.  Is that broken blue label a Jubilee?  Possibly #5104?  How could anyone have committed such atrocity in the name of art?  When I was very young, I joined a record collecting club called the "Oldies Con".  To gain entry, I had to place my hand on a yellow Atlantic (label) and swear never to deface a record.  I've stayed true to that pledge all of my life.  OK, so I may have cracked a couple 78's while moving them, but it was unintentional and I'm very sorry.  Knowing what a flower show did to those 78's in my home town of Philly has forever changed the way I'll view flowers.  [Thanks to Susan Johnson for reporting this to us.]     

Rest In Vinyl: British Company will press your Ashes into a Working Vinyl Album.

For those of us who are dedicated vinyl record fanatics, a British company, And Vinyly, is offering to press our ashes into a playable vinyl records upon our demise.  The company's slogan is "Live On From Beyond The Groove."  During manufacture, your ashes are sprinkled onto the raw piece of vinyl, one teaspoon per record, just before it is pressed by the plates.  You can decide what music is on the record and presumably what color vinyl you'd like.  Many people choose clear vinyl so the bits of ashes can be seen.  Of course adding ash filler to the vinyl does add some crackling surface noise, but hey, it's a vinyl record!  I guess I would choose red vinyl for my final resting place, but what vocal harmony songs would I choose?  I have so many favorites - maybe something by the Orioles or Five Keys.  Then again, I'm not a fan of albums.  I'd rather be pressed into a 45.  Maybe with a picture sleeve.  I don't think this company does 45's yet, so I might have to stick around until someone offers this service in a vinyl 45.  To read about the service visit The Vintage News article or to watch the company's video about this click And Vinyly.
Coffin complete with record player.
Just as I was writing the prior article I received the latest issue of the New England Doo Wop Society Email Newsletter with the above photo for those who want to be buried with their record collection.  Unfortunately this looks a little small for the Classic Urban Harmony Archives of 55,000 records.    BTW, if you're not already subscribed to the New England Doo Wop Society Email Newsletter, you should be.  It's definitely recommended.  You can subscribe Here.

More record player furniture!

Speaking of furniture with a vinyl record theme, you may have seen the line of vanity sinks offered by Olympia Ceramica.  Hot and cold water is dispensed through atone arm like faucet and drains through the center hole of a simulated vinyl record.  The sinks have speakers host a music amplifier linked by Bluetooth.   They come in a variety of styles and colors.  You can have single or double vanities.  For more details visit Olympia Ceramica. 

David White dies.  Songwriter, Co-founder of Danny & Juniors 

David White Tricker , iconic songwriter and co-founder of the Philadelphia vocal group Danny & the Juniors died March 17 in Las Vegas.  He was 79.  In 1957, Danny & the Juniors (David White, Danny Rapp, Joe “Terry” Terranova and Frank Maffei) scored a number 1 hit with “At The Hop,” co-written by White and writing partner, Johnny Madera (with Artie Singer).  White himself is credited with writing the group’s follow up hit, “Rock & Roll Is Here To Stay”.  The Madara and White song-writing team also wrote “The Fly” for Chubby Checker, “You Don’t Own Me” for Lesley Gore and “1-2-3,” for Len Barry. among many others. With disc jockey Ray Gilmore, Madara and White formed a trio, the Spokesmen, in 1965, writing and recording “The Dawn of Correction,” an answer song to the Barry McGuire song, “The Eve of Destruction.”

Visit our website.

If you haven't visited our website in awhile, you're in for a treat.  We've improved a number of pages, especially the "Our Musical Family" page, which is now several pages of photos of us with our music friends, past and present.  The Articles By Us page lists our many articles from Echoes of the Past, which you can click on and read.  And don't forget to check out the Events Page for a listing of what's going on.  For more about Classic Urban Harmony's activities, along with news, articles, photos and videos, please visit our website, www.classicurbanharmony.net.

NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art to exhibit "Play It Loud - The Instruments of Rock & Roll"

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will run an exhibit of musical instruments associated with Rock & Roll.  The exhibit will take place at the New York museum from April 8 to October 1.  The exhibit is co-organized with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  It will present about 130 instruments along with poster and costumes.  Instruments from many famous artists will be featured as well as instruments from private collections.  For more info visit The Met Museum.

Robert D. Ferlingere dies.  Early discographer of R&B Vocal Groups.

We are again saddened to hear of the death of Robert D. Ferlingere.  Robert was an early discographer of R&B and R&R vocal group harmony.  Editions of his book "Rhythm & Blues And Rock & Roll Vocal Groups 1945 - 1965" were published in 1976, 1989, 19992 and 2002, and provided valuable information to those of us who collected and researched this music.  Robert died January 6, 2019, in Jackson, CA.  He was 77.  No services were held.  I don't believe I ever met Robert, but I admired his work.  [Thanks to Tony Oetjen for letting us know].  

Dion's "The Wanderer" is heading to the stage!

In our Classic Urban Harmony newsletter #34 we told you that Dion DiMucci was working on getting his story to Broadway.  Well, it’s not quite there yet, but the good news is that a musical production of “The Wanderer” will debut at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, in the Spring of 2020.  The story was based on a book called “The Wanderer” written by Charles Messina.  A Broadway timeline will be announced.  Dion has said this about the musical. “If you told me as a young man that my journey from the Bronx to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame would become a musical, I would not have believed you.  It’s only 12 miles from Belmont Avenue to Broadway.  It shouldn’t have taken this long”.  Try not to miss this one.  We know We won’t. [To read more about this item click Dion.] – Pamela Horner 
 

Earl Lewis book, Story of the Channels, heading to Amazon.com!

After a slight delay to correct a few typos in our review copies, Earl Lewis and Classic Urban Harmony Press are set to publish "Earl Lewis' book, "How D'Ya Like Me Now?: The Story of Earl Lewis & the Channels."  The proof copies are now approved and we're ready to print.  We are expecting copies to be available on Amazon.com in the next 3 or 4 days.  Thanks for your patience.

Another Great Newsletter you should be receiving!

If you're enjoying reading this newsletter, there's another great free email newsletter we know you'll enjoy.  And this one comes out weekly!  It's Doo Wop Ramblings, written and edited by our good friend, Glen Fisher in Florida.  Doo Wop Ramblings hits your inbox every Sunday.  You can subscribe by visiting Subscribe Now.

Yet, Another Great Newsletter you should be receiving!

In addition to the newsletter above, you need to check out the New England Doo Wop Society's free email newsletter.  Published by our friends Bob Belniak and Gary Jones the NEDWS is quite active in keeping our music alive in New England but their newsletter covers music news from all over.  Click Subscribe to get on their mailing list. 
 

Past Issues of the CUH Newsletter Now viewable on our website!

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.  You can also see all of our past CUH email newsletters from the link on our website's Articles Page.  here's a Direct Link.

R&B Star, Andre Williams dies at 82.

Andre “Mr. Rhythm” Williams, R&B singer and record producer, died of cancer March 17, 2019, at a nursing home in Chicago.  He was 82.  Williams is best known to R&B vocal group fans for his singing with the Five Dollars and the Don Juans on the Fortune label, though he also recorded a number of records solo.  We remember him for “Bacon Fat,” “Jailbait,” “Going Down to Tia Juana,” “Greasy Chicken” and others.  In fact, “Bacon Fat” reached #9 on the Billboard R&B Charts in 1957.  Williams went on to concentrate on song writing, composing “Thank You For Loving Me” for Stevie Wonder and “Shake A Tail Feather” for the Five Du-Tones and “Twine Time” for Alvin Cash & the Crawlers.  Andre Williams also supervised the recording of two albums for the Contours and managed Edwin Starr.
Click the link to hear Andre singing "Bacon Fat".

 

Del Vikings' Gus Backus dies.

Donald "Gus" Backus, key member of the original Del Vikings died on February 21, 2019, in Germany where he lived.  The Del Vikings formed while all were in the Air Force, so members were in and out of the group in the early days.  Gus Backus joined the group just after "Come Go With Me" but he was on the "Whispering Bells" session.  Backus led the Del Vikings on their recording of "Cool Shake".  [Click "Cool Shake" to listen on YouTube.]  He had to leave the group when he was transferred to Germany.  He liked Germany so much that after his time in the service he decided to live there.  Gus backus was 81.

40th Anniversary approaching of Legendary Philadelphia Acappella Concert

 Next month, it will mark 40 years since the first big acappella stage show that I [Charlie Horner] produced and emceed. On April 7, 1979, I put together a concert at International House in West Philly that featured the acappella groups, Solid Gold, the Gospel Nobleaires, Spontaneous Combustion, the Ecstasies, the Emerys, the Del Vegas and Street Corner Unity.  Ronnie I brought down a bus load of UGHA'ers and the Emerys and the Del Vegas.  I think 500 - 600 people attended.  At the time, acappella had pretty much died out in Philly and people were hungry to see it return. The concert ran from 8 to Midnight.  I was helping put chairs away and clean up until after 1 AM but when I walked outside, I couldn't believe what I saw.  It seemed like no one wanted to leave. There were people all over, standing on the street singing!  People tell me that concert reignited acappella singing in Philadelphia, a resurgence that continues today.  Many groups started singing again as a result of that concert.  We’re collecting memories and photos from that legendary concert for an article to be posted on www.ClassicUrbanHarmony.net.  Stay tuned.    
 

Documentary on Sly & Family Stone due out this year.

Word is, a documentary on Sly & the Family Stone will be released this year.  The film will reportedly trace the band’s influence and cover Sly Stone’s tumultuous past ten years, in which he was broke, homeless and living in a white van in Los Angeles while he sued his former managers for millions in unpaid royalties.  He eventually won a court decision in 2015 that paid him five million dollars!  Group harmony fans know of Sly's early vocal group work.  If you don't already know it, listen to this unbelievable side by Sly, "A Long Time Alone".   Sly also made a number of demos in the early years that turn up every once in a while.  One of them, "Oh What A Night b/w "You've Forgotten Me" was recorded around 1961 and eventually released on the Subbarao label in 1978.  I [Charlie] have a metal acetate of him with a group singing the Coasters' song, "Searchin'".  Found it on a record hunting trip in San Francisco many years back.  But that's another story.  

CD Review: Larry Chance & the Earls, "From The Heart"

I just finished listening to all the cuts from the new CD by Larry Chance & the Earls, "From the Heart" that will be released shortly.  This is a powerful CD that really demonstrates Larry's versatility in singing.  The CD is a mix of different styles, from soulful pop ballads like "After You" and "If I Were A Magician" (written by Billy Vera) to the country infused "Most Of All" to the frantic rock & roll of "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Rockin' Pneumonia & the Boggie Woogie Flu".  There are some fine standards, too, like the Mills Brothers' "Daddy's Little Girl".  Great renditions of "Over The Rainbow" and "Unchained Melody" (my favorite) here.  And Larry goes back to his roots with "The Bronx Is My Home" and "Belmont Bad".  We'll let you know when this one comes out.  You can also follow Larry Chance's website, at www.larrychanceandtheearls.com/.

Other notable passings.

As we prepared this newsletter, we struggled to keep it upbeat, in spite of the number of singers and friends we've recently lost.  We do feel an obligation to give obits.  The news about our music is sometimes hard to hear, but it is the news.  In addition to those mentioned above, we have also lost the following people:
Linda Jansen, the Angels, February 19, 2019.
Larry Busseri, the Four Lads, January 29, 2019
Alan Smith, the Soul Cruisers, February 9, 2019
Harvey Scales, the Seven Sounds, February 11, 2019
Earl Shuman, songwriter, February 13, 2019
Fisher Harmon, the Mellow Souls, March 18, 2019
Hal Blaine, drummer with the Wrecking Crew, March 11, 2019

Visit Our YouTube Channel, "chorner1"

If you've never been on it, Classic Urban Harmony's YouTube channel is worth checking out.  It's chorner1 and it contains 299 live video songs by doo wop and R&B vocal groups,  We are adding more all the time.  Just about all the videos were taken by us at various Classic Urban Harmony concerts that we produced and most are acappella.  At the writing of this newsletter, there have been 463,000 views of videos on our YouTube channel.  To take a look click chorner1 YouTubes.  You might want to subscribe to be notified when we post new videos.  611 people now subscribe.

New Vinyl Meditation LP is Silent on Both Sides!

 After a long day of record hunting, it's good to relax and unwind sometimes.  Now, a new album called "Silent Meditation" can help you do that.  The record has two 20-minute tracks (15-minutes if you play it at 45 RPM) of pure silence.  Wait, you say you don't have a record player?  Well with this record, you don't need a record player to get the same 20-minutes of silence.  Actually, you don't even need the record, but it comes in clear vinyl, and will look nice in your collection.  The record will be released in May.  Don't have any idea what the record company plans for a follow up record.  To read more, visit their Kickstarter Page to and help fund this worthwhile project.  They've already raised almost $6000 when they only needed $600.  There's even a video you can watch.   
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