Classic Urban Harmony Newsletter. Issue #42  Bringing the world of Doo Wop, R&B, Soul and Gospel Harmony to your Inbox.. 

Classic Urban Harmony
Newsletter #42

Welcome to Classic Urban Harmony Newsletter #41.  Our FREE email newsletter doesn't follow any regular schedule but we do try to publish every 4 to 6 weeks or so.  As always, there's a lot here, not in any particular order.  So please keep reading until the end.

Quote of the month: "Doo-wop is the true music to me, man. Doo-wop was what nurtured me and grew me into who I am, and I guess even when I was in school, the teacher probably thought I had ADD or something every day, because I'd be beating on the desks, singing like the Flamingos or the Spaniels or Clyde McPhatter or somebody." - Aaron Neville

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,, 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 & Pamela Horner - October 31, 2019.

History made at Classic Urban Harmony's Huge Acappella Reunion! 

On Friday Oct 4, Classic Urban Harmony reunited 5 classic UGHA acappella groups at it's  Acappella Reunion: Memories Of UGHA concert.  We brought together, for possibly the last time, five groups who were a vital part of Ronnie I’s United in Group Harmony Association back in the day.  It all took place on the stage of the Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre, with the Cliftonaires, the Sheps, Choice, Patty & the Street-Tones/Mixed Company and the Grand Central Echoes.  As a special bonus, John Kuse, lead of the Excellents and original member of Grand Central Echoes rejoined GCE one last time to sing "Coney Island Baby" acappella. It was an evening we'll never forget!  [photo above, the Cliftonaires, taken by Scott Macfarland.]

Cab Calloway House in West Baltimore to be demolished. 

Cab Calloway, the "King of Swing." world renown musician and singer, had a career that would include the million seller "Minnie The Moocher".  He was the bandleader at the New York City Cotton Club and his "hi de Hi" and "skee-tee-run-bee" are ingrained in jazz history.  Cab's house is in the shadow of the world famous Jazz District of Pennsylvania Avenue.  Pennsylvania Avenue was one of the major stops on the black "Chitlin' Curcuit".  It is also considered by many to be the birthplace of Rhythm & Blues, thanks to local groups like Sonny Til & the Orioles.  Cab's house is the last standing remnant from the golden age of African American entertainment that came to Baltimore before World War II.  The Royal Theatre and many other establishments like the Avenue Cafe, have long been torn down.  Neighborhood activists have long planned to demolish the building and create a park on the block called Cab Calloway Square.  They plan to save the facade and marble steps of the house.  Even though the building is in bad shape, it's too bad it can't be restored turned into a museum.  Too many cities have ignored their music history until it's too late. - Pamela Horner

Classic Urban Harmony's Pam & Charlie Horner Honored by Asbury Park Historical Society

On Thursday, October 10, we (Pam and Charlie Horner) were honored as "Asbury Heroes" by the Asbury Park Historical Society.  We were selected to jointly receive the organizations' Distinguished Historian Award for our continuing work to preserve the legacy of music from the city's West Side. The presentation took place at Jimmy's Italian Restaurant in Asbury Park.  To view a video of our acceptance speech, click Asbury Park Awards.

James Davis and Paul Irvin of the soul vocal group, the Vanguards, die a week apart. 

Just heard the sad news that two members of one of our favorite soul vocal groups, the Vanguards passed away in late October of this year.  Lead singer Paul Davis died this week.  Guitarist Paul Irvin died a week earlier.  The Vanguards began singing in Indianapolis, IN, in 1969.  The original members were James Davis (Lead Vocals), Paul Ervin, Ray Wheeler, William Gude, Dickey Pierson and Wilbur Winston.  Davis and Irvin were responsible for writing the group's first record, "Somebody Please".  The record is said to have first come out on the small L&M Production label.  After showing strong sales locally, it was picked up by the larger Whizz label.  "Somebody Please" is an awesome soul ballad that went on to become a national chart record.  L&M would evolve into the Lamp label which would issue three more singles by the Vanguards.  The group disbanded around 1972.  To listen to the group's biggest hit, click "Somebody Please".  

Acappella Returns to Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen NJ on December 8 with Quiet Storm

On Sunday night Dec 8, we are back at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen NJ with some more great R&B and Doo Wop acappella. We'll be celebrating my [Charlie Horner's] 70th birthday (OK, my birthday is actually Nov 26 but what's a few days late?) and our acappella group will be the phenomenal Quiet Storm! Can it be we haven't been back to Roxy & Dukes since August?  Roxy & Dukes is at 745 Bound Brook Rd in Dunellen NJ.  Doors open at 7 PM, first of two sets at 8.  Food and drink available for purchase and parking is free.  We're already getting a lot of reservations so we know you're all anxious for some great acappella. Reserve a seat by emailing us at See you Dec 8. Can't wait!

Soul singer and songwriter, Carlton Black dies.

Soul Singer and songwriter, Carlton Black, died on Wednesday October 2, 2019, at the age of 75.  Carlton began singing with the Duvals who recorded "Cotton" b/w "What Am I" for the Boss label. in 1963.  He then sang with of the Drew-Vels, a group that was led by Patti Drew.  They recorded "Tell Him" which Carlton had written.  The song was also recorded by Philadelphi'a Destinations as "Tell Her".  Later Patti Drew would re-record the song and have a national hit.  Carlton then joined the group, the Naturals who recorded for the Smash label in 1964  and 1965. To hear the original version, click "Tell Him".

Why colored vinyl records are turning dark brown, subject of our next article in Echoes of the Past magazine!

Have you noticed some of your colored vinyl records are slowly turning dark brown or even black over time.  Many collectors have and it's a terrifying thought.  I, Charlie, have a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry and will shine some light on the subject in the next (December 2019) issue of Echoes of the Past magazine.  For info on how to subscribe, contact editor Bob Belniak at   

Smart record collectors budget their income.


Author Nick Tosches dies at 69.

Nick Tosches, American journalist, novelist, biographer and poet, dies October 20, 2019, three days short of his 70th birthday.  During his career, Tosches wrote 15 books including "Hellfire" the biography of Jerry Lee Lewis, and "Unsung Heroes of Rock & Roll," a classic book covering 26 artists who really deserve to be recognized.

Visit our website.

If you haven't visited our website in awhile, you're in for a treat.  The Articles By Us page lists our many articles from Echoes of the Past, which you can click on and read.  We've just added the last two articles - "Joel Katz, Part 4" and the "1979 Concert that Brought Acappella Back to Philadelphia".  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,

Like Us On FaceBook

Are you on FaceBook?  We have a Classic Urban Harmony LLC FaceBook Page.  We invite you to "Like" and follow it. 

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.

Classic Urban Harmony website and this newsletter nominated for East Coast Music hHall of Fame's "Best Music Maker Publication / Website"   

The East Coast Music Hall Of Fame has opened nominations for the 2020 awards gala and our website, along with this newsletter have been nominated for "Best Music Maker Publication / Website".   To vote for us, you need to be at least a Supporting member of the organization with a donation of $25.  Ambassador members ($50 donation) also get to nominate.  To join the East Coast Music Hall Of Fame and keep up on all their events visit

John Anderson, legendary UK record dealer dies. 

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend, John Anderson, legendary UK record dealer (Soul Bowl) and one of the most important figures in the UK's interest in the American soul music genre called "Northern Soul". John was one of the first of the UK record dealers to travel to the United States in the late 1960's to look for soul records. He started buying up the contents of old soul record stores with unsold 45's and taking them back to the UK. I got to know John back in the late 1970's when I was looking for records in England. I again went back to visit John Anderson in Kings Lynn along with my friend, the late John Moore, in the 1980's and came back with a large suitcase filled with 45's. Of course I continued to see John at various record conventions over the years and corresponded with him by email and FaceBook. John was always one of the nicest guys in the business

Our "Chorner1" YouTube Channel still going strong!
Having recently passed the half million views point, our channel, chorner1, is still going strong.  Our 320 acappella videos are still getting a lot of new views.  The top five videos by Choice, the Masqueraders (3) and Little Isidore & the Inquisdors account for more than 120,000 views.  To take a look click chorner1 YouTubes.  You might want to subscribe and follow to be notified when we post new videos.  Over 725 people now subscribe already! 

Willie Winfield receives Classic Urban Harmony Lifetime Achievement Award at Acappella Reunion Concert; Sings with Original Mixed Company

For those who attended our Oct 4 Acappella Reunion Concert, and for those who missed it, click Willie's Award to watch the video of us presenting Harptones' Willie Winfield with a Classic Urban Harmony Lifetime Achievement Award. Original Mixed Company sings for and with Willie. In my 40 years of presenting acappella concerts, this was one of the most emotional moments. We love you Willie. Thanks to Wayne Gillis for taking and editing the video.

Rare Record from our Archives:  The Original "ABC Boogie" by Mary Del & Do Re Me Trio 

Continuing our feature on rare records from the Classic Urban Harmony Archives, this issue we present a record out of Philadelphia, "A.B.C. Boogie" by Mary Del with the Do Re Me +.  Yes, this is the original version of the song made famous by Bill Haley & the Comets.  The song was written by Al Russell of the Do Re Me Trio.  Also credited as writer is Max Spigal who'd written songs for Bill Haley's earlier group, the Saddlemen along with the Four Aces.  It's said the record originally came out as a 78 on the Drexel label in 1949.  We've never seen a copy on a 78, so those must be considered extremely rare.  But when Bill Haley re-recorded the record in 1954, Drexel reissued it as a 45.  Mary Del went on to record other songs in a pop vein.

New Sheps and Tommie Shider acappella CD's.

We were all thrilled to see the great acappella group, the Sheps, come out of retirement one last time to perform for us at the October 4 Acappella reunion.  But while it saddens us that they will no longer be singing live, they have left us a couple of new CD's to remind us of their great talents.  The first is a CD of "The Sheps Rehearsal Tapes" (VGA Records).  “Before our break up," Tommie Shider tells us, "The Sheps spent hours rehearsing many songs that they never recorded.  The songs included in this one of a kind CD are actual rehearsals recorded and taken from cassettes.”  The Sheps on the CD are Tommie Shider, Tommy Lockhart, Johnny Barlow, Richard Camacho, & Charlie Coleman.  This CD is a rare insight into what goes on at a Sheps rehearsal.  I loved the entire CD of acappella songs but the following stood out as very pleasing to the ear.  “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (Tommy Shider), “Darling I Want to Get Married” (Tommie Lockhart), “In My Diary” (Richard Camacho) “My Hearts the Biggest Fool”, Tommie Lockhart).  It was nice to hear some soul like “Sideshow” (Tommy Shider).  This one builds and comes together nicely.  And, “I’m the One that Love Forgot” (Tommie Lockhart) - first class acappella!  “The bonus track is the rehearsal with the late Ray Wooten, former lead singer of the Mello Moods along with member James “Bip” Bethea.  "This was from a rehearsal before the Mello Moods' U.G.H.A Hall of Fame Induction” says Tommy Shider.
This song is exceptional.  I would buy the CD for this cut alone.  The song is, of course, “Call on Me” by the Mello Moods.
The second CD is "The Days Of Sweet Harmony".  Tommie Shider has his creative juices flowing.  He’s written ten new acappella songs, arranged them, and is singing all the parts.  He also did the cover design.  Titles such as “A Little Dub A Do You”, “The Days of Sweet Harmony”, and “Beyond Forever”.  Creative titles and songs make this a nice package.  Contact Tommie Shider if you would like to buy a copy of either or both CD's. The CD's are $13 which includes shipping and handling.  Send check or money order to Tommie Shider, 711 Anna Place, North Plainfield, NJ 07063.  Or contact Tommie at  - Pamela Horner

Our Music in Commercials Part 4: 

In recent newsletters we've told of our vocal harmony records finding use in TV commercials.  It’s not that we watch that much TV but it seems that the music of the 50’s & 60’s is now enthusiastically chosen for commercials. When I first heard the commercial for the Range Rover Evoke, I thought I might be hearing an obscure Etta James or Gladys Knight song.  Actually, the commercial entitled "A Dog's Dream" plays a song called "I Found My Heaven" by Dom James featuring Emma Smith.  Though it sounds older, it's actually a contemporary song.
A Ford Ranger commercial is now using “Rip It Up” by Little Richard.
If you notice any more of our songs in commercials, please send them to us at - Pamela Horner

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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.
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