Classic Urban Harmony Newsletter. Issue #17.  Bringing the world of Doo Wop, R&B, Soul and Gospel Harmony to your Inbox..

Classic Urban Harmony
Newsletter #17
2013 Year In Review

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Welcome to our Classic Urban Harmony Newsletter issue (#17), our first issue of 2014.  This is the issue where we recap the major group harmony events of the past year, both good and bad, happy and sad.  We hope you'll take the time during this busy holiday season to look back at all that happened in 2013 and reflect on where we are and how we got here.  We'll make it easy for you.  As is our annual tradition, we're posting a nine minute slide show (with music) of the group harmony related events that made up our year.  You can reach it from the link below.  Our website is also posting the list of group harmony luminaries who have left us in 2013.  While it saddened us to compose the list, as we're sure it will sadden you to read it, we need to remember those who gave us this music and for too short a time, brightened our world.  Please take the time to continue visiting our website,, and support as many group harmony events as you can in 2014 (especially ours).  It's what keeps our music going.  Most of all, we wish all of our readers a happy and healthy 2014. 

Quote of the month:  "I have the opportunity, once more to right some wrongs, to pray for peace, to plant some trees, and to sing more joyful songs." - William Arthur Ward

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 - January 2, 2014.

2013 Year In Review Video

Please join us for a look back at the year 2013, through the eyes of Classic Urban Harmony's Pam & Charlie Horner.  If you've followed our exploits throughout the past year, either by attending our events or through our website or this newsletter, you'll get nostalgic watching this video.  We've also included what we consider the major happenings of the group harmony year, both joyful and sad.  You can watch the video on YouTube directly by clicking 2013 Year In Review or by going to the What's New Page of  Either way, be sure to click on the large screen icon [] at the bottom right, turn up the volume and sit back and watch.  It takes about 9 minutes.

Philadelphia's landmark building to be demolished for a 47-story skyscraper.  Once home to Cameo Parkway and later Philadelphia International Records

As reported by Hidden City Philadelphia, the building at 309 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, once home to Cameo/Parkway Records and later Philadelphia International Records, will soon be demolished to make room for a 47-story skyscraper.  To read more about the building's music history click "309 South Broad Street: Endangered House Of Hits".  Though the building was damaged by fire in 2010, we had still hoped it would be restored and turned into a Philadelphia music museum.  While we never want to stand in the way of progress, we are reminded of countless other cities that tore down historic music sites, only to try to attract music tourists to the cities ten years later.


From Paul Ressler's Archives - Scott Stevens & the Cavaliers Photo

Each newsletter we try to feature a rare photo from our friend Paul Ressler's extensive archives.  This issue we've chosen an photo of Scott Stevens & the Cavaliers, the group from the Bronx that recorded "Dance Dance Dance" and "Why Why Why" (APT label, 1958).  Actually, "Dance Dance Dance was recorded for Ivy Records and then sold to APT.  Scott Steven's real name was Steve Glaser.  To hear the group singing "Dance Dance Dance" on YouTube, click Cavaliers.  More recently a CD has come out with unreleased cuts by the Cavaliers and an audio tape of the group on Alan Freed's TV show.  You can check it out on CD Baby.  Thanks, Paul for another great photo!

Harry Moffitt killed in auto crash.

We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Dr. Harry Moffitt on November 24, 2013.  Group harmony fans know Harry as the producer of records like "Love You Madly" by the Sherwoods (Crimson label) and more recently for his radio program on WVLT in South Jersey.  I (Charlie) first met Harry many years ago in connection with my Philadelphia radio program.  Harry had recently begun doing a radio program on WVLT Cruisin' 92.1 FM, a station known for keeping our music alive in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area.  He was driving to his radio show on November 24 when he was tragically killed in an automobile accident in Hamilton Township, NJ.  He was 71.  We'll miss you, Harry. 

Fabulous Dudes out with an enjoyable new doo wop digital album

Just heard from our friend Paul Payton, that his group, the Fabulous Dudes have a new digital album out.  The album, "The Kids Would Go Wild" is available for sampling and download at Fabulous Dudes.  It's all original tunes.  If you like doo wop give this one a listen.

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.

Listing of Group Harmony Luminaries who left us in 2013 now posted to our website.

Yes, we know the list above is too small to read here, so we've posted it in a larger format on our website.  Go to and head to our What's New Page.  You'll be saddened to read of the many group harmony singers, songwriters, dj's and producers we lost during 2013.  This year's list is again far too long, though if there would only be one name on it, it would still be too long for us.  These people gave of themselves so that we would have harmony in our lives.  Please take time to remember them.   

Jay Traynor Dies.  Original lead of Jay & Americans; sang with the Mystics and Jay Siegel's Tokens.

As we prepared to send out this newsletter, we just heard of the passing of Jay Traynor, original lead of Jay & the Americans.  Jay also sang with the Mystics and more recently with Jay Siegel's Tokens. John "Jay" Traynor was born on March 30, 1943 in Brooklyn, NY.  As a vocalist, he joined the Mystics as lead (after "Hushabye") and sang on their recording of "White Cliffs Of Dover".  Traynor was the first "Jay" in Jay & the Americans, leading on their recording of "She Cried".  Shortly after that he went solo.  More recently, Jay Traynor had been singing with Jay Siegel's Tokens.  We last saw Jay Traynor at the Richard Nader IZOD Center concert in May 2013, where we had a chance to talk with him briefly.  Jay died on January 2, 2014 at the age of 70.  We was a nice guy and we are deeply saddened by his passing. - Charlie & Pam
To watch a YouTube of Jay Traynor singing "She Cried" with Jay Siegel's Tokens in 2011, click "She Cried".

Artifacts from our Vault: Lobby Card from the film Rockin' The Blues featuring the Hurricanes
For this newsletter, we dug into the Classic Urban Harmony vaults to post a photo of a lobby card from the motion picture, Rockin' The Blues.  Lobby cards were displayed in movie theaters to interest movie goers in coming attractions.  They usually came in sets of eight 11"X14" cards and depicted scenes from the film.  Rockin' The Blues was a little known 1956 film that has now gained much attention, since it contains filmed performances by the Harptones, Wanderers, Miller Sisters and the Hurricanes, among others.  Naturally, the original lobby cards from this film are quite rare now.  We've pictured our lobby card of the Hurricanes here.  We also have the lobby card of the Wanderers and several others.  We've never seen a lobby card of the Harptones.  Does it exist?

Rex Garvin of the Hearts dies.  Wrote "Over The Mountain".

Rex A. Garvin, member of the Hearts ("Lonely Nights") and writer of Johnnie & Joe's "Over The Mountain, Across The Sea," died on December 2, 2013 at the age of 72.  Garvin was born in NYC and raised in the Bronx.  In 1954, he helped form the Hearts, a female R&B vocal group with whom he also sang bass.  The Hearts first record, "Lonely Nights" (Baton label) became a Top 10 R&B record in 1955.  Garvin continued with the Hearts as their pianist, arranger and musical director.  Garvin also worked with J&S Records, writing the hit song "Over The Mountain, Across The Sea" for Johnnie & Joe.  In later years, Rex Garvin recorded with his band, the Mighty Cravers, scoring with the soul hit "Sock It To 'Em J.B." (Like label).  Garvin is seen at the far right in the Hearts photo above.

Wrapping up the holiday season!

With the holiday season officially over, it's time to take down all of the Christmas decorations.  We thought the record above would be appropriate.  This is Little Willie John's first recording, when he was but 15 years old.  Pretending to be a younger child, Willie sings "Mommy What Happened To Our Christmas Tree," backed by a studio group, Three Lads & A Lass.  The record came out in November 1953 on the tiny Detroit label, Prize, and did well locally.  Newspapers reported that the record sold close to 5000 copies, but that could have been hype.  The record is fairly rare, with a copy turning up occasionally in Detroit.  At least that's where we got our copy.  Click Little Willie John to listen to a YouTube of the record.  To read a review of Little Willie John's biography, "Fever," see the Bookshelf Page of

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.

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