Timeline

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1938

Jeff Barry is born on April 3 in Brooklyn, New York.


1940

1940-1949: Barry's songwriting talent manifests itself in childhood; his earliest song is a country and western ditty, "Got A Gun, Got A Saddle, Got A Pony, Too." Country music is a strong early influence for him. He meets future wife Ellie Greenwich at a family gathering (they are cousins by marriage).


1952

1952-1955: Barry attends New York's Erasmus Hall High School with future stars Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand. He writes and arranges songs for amateur high school singing groups and forms one of his own, The Tarrytones, with three classmates. His musical influences during this period include Eddy Arnold, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, and Pat Boone.


1955

1955-1957: Barry serves a 12-month hitch in the US Army, stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He sings with military bands. Upon discharge, he enrolls in engineering classes at City College New York. He comes to love doo-wop music, later becoming a fan of Dion and The Belmonts. His desire to become a singer intensifies in the next three years, and he auditions unsuccessfully for A & R men at various New York record labels.


1958

A meeting is arranged between Barry and music publisher Arnold Shaw, to determine his potential as a singer. Barry performs his own songs for Shaw, who is impressed by his skill and encourages him to pursue songwriting as a career. However, his heart is set on performing, so Shaw helps him land a singles deal at RCA Victor.


1959

With RCA staffers Charles Grean and Lee Schapiro producing, Barry cuts two self-written novelty sides, "It's Called Rock And Roll" and "Hip Couple." On the prophetic A-side, Barry demonstrates various types of song styles he will later have great success writing in. Barry arranges and conducts the session, which features King Curtis on saxophone. The single fails to attract attention, and Arnold Shaw convinces Barry to go on staff at his publishing firm, EB Marks Music. Shaw teams him with two of his best writers, Beverly Ross and Ben Raleigh. Earliest known recording of a Jeff Barry song, "Paper Crown," is released by The Crests. Barry and Greenwich become reacquainted at a Thanksgiving dinner, and begin a musical friendship.


1960

Barry concurrently pursues singing and songwriting careers. Signed to Decca Records, he issues two self-composed singles, "It Won't Hurt" and "Lenore." Later in the year, he returns to RCA Victor to cut an album from which two more singles emerge: Self-composed "Lonely Lips" and Broadway showtune "All You Need Is A Quarter." All singles fail commercially, and his album is not released. Staff producers Hugo and Luigi supervise the RCA recordings and help Barry place his songs "Teenage Sonata" and "Tell Laura I Love Her" with Sam Cooke and Ray Peterson, respectively. Both songs become major hits, with the latter tune going to #1 in the United Kingdom in a cover version by British singer Ricky Valance.


1960

TELL LAURA I LOVE HER reaches #7 on the pop charts with a recording by Ray Peterson


1961

1961-1962: Barry and Greenwich's friendship evolves into romance. Impressed by her singing voice, Barry begins using Greenwich to sing demos of his songs. Two of these demos, "Red Corvette" and "Big Honky Baby" are released as singles by Ellie Gee and The Jets, and Kellie Douglas, respectively. Also impressed by her songwriting ability, he encourages her to go professional. Barry contributes a cameo vocal to The Delicates' recording of his novelty tune "Dickie Went And Did It." He leaves EB Marks to go on staff at Trinity Music, where he is teamed with Artie Resnick. They score hits for Gene McDaniels ("Chip Chip") and Linda Scott ("I Left My Heart In The Balcony"). Their composition, "Blow Out The Sun," recorded by Della Reese, has a reggae-style beat; similar rhythms animate other early Barry tunes like "Write Me A Letter" and "Candle In The Wind." Writing alone, Barry scores his second top British hit, Helen Shapiro's "Tell Me What He Said." Using a pseudonym, he pens "The Water Was Red," the first US chart record for Johnny Cymbal. Phil Spector chooses another of Barry's songs, "Anyone But You," for Ruth Brown and produces it for her. Barry continues to issue recordings: A solo single on United Artists, a Jubilee release under the pseudonym Billy Mitchell, and pseudo vocal group records (he sings all voices) by The Redwoods and The Spartans on Epic and Web Records. Songwriters Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman hire him to sing demos, some of which are recorded by Elvis Presley. Barry also begins to produce records. His first production credit appears on Tony Richards "Caravan Of Lonely Men"/"Wind-Up Toy." Issued on Carlton Records, both sides are composed by him and feature his backing vocals. Other early Jeff Barry productions include "Palm Of Your Hand" by Chuck Wright and Stevie Temple, Jr's "Big Bully Blues." He sings lead vocals on a cover version of "Caravan" released later in the year under bogus group name The Lovers. Barry and Greenwich marry on October 28, 1962 and subsequently decide to collaborate on songs, even though they work for different publishing houses. Among their first efforts are "Sweet Laurie, Fair Laurie," "Hanky Panky" and "What A Guy."


1963

Leiber and Stoller, who employ Ellie Greenwich at their Trio Music publishing house, lure Barry from TM (formerly Trinity) Music to work for them as well. Greenwich introduces Barry to Phil Spector, for whom she has written two hits, "(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry" and "Why Do Lovers Break Each Other's Heart?" Their collaboration with Spector yields a string of charting releases for Spector's artists, The Crystals ("Da Doo Ron Ron," "Then He Kissed Me"), The Ronettes ("Be My Baby," "Baby, I Love You") and Darlene Love ("Wait 'Til My Bobby Gets Home," "A Fine, Fine Boy"). Ray Peterson scores with their ballad "Give Us Your Blessings." They also give The Chiffons a pair of hit singles, "I Have A Boyfriend" and "When The Boy's Happy." Leiber and Stoller sell a Barry-Greenwich demo to Jubilee Records, which results in another successful single, "What A Guy." The couple forms a studio group, The Raindrops, and follows up "What A Guy" with the hits "The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget" and "That Boy John." Leiber and Stoller begin assigning production duties to the team, and they produce The Darlettes, Baby Jane and The Rockabyes and The Exciters, among others, as well as artists on two labels controlled by Trio Music, Tiger and Daisy Records. They wax original versions of their future hits "Doo-Wah-Diddy" and "Hanky Panky" during this period. Barry travels to Hollywood and participates as a session musician in the making of Phil Spector's seasonal album, A Christmas Gift For You. Critically acclaimed, it will be reissued annually. Barry and Greenwich also contribute a powerful ballad to the album, "(Christmas) Baby, Please Come Home," which is sung by Darlene Love. Barry's singing career is all but abandoned due to increased workload.


1963

BE MY BABY reaches #2 on the pop charts with a recording by the Ronettes


1963

DA DOO RON RON reaches #3 on the pop charts with a recording by the Crystals


1963

THEN HE KISSED ME reaches #6 on the pop charts with a recording by the Crystals


1964

Barry and Greenwich break with Spector to co-found Red-Bird Records with Leiber and Stoller and veteran label executive George Goldner. Now tagged as a team who can write hits for females, they are assigned to work with budding girl groups. Major successes result for The Dixie Cups ("Chapel Of Love" and others), The Jellybeans ("I Wanna Love Him So Bad" and "Baby, Be Mine"), The Butterflys ("Good Night, Baby"), The Ad-Libs ("He Aint No Angel") and The Shangri-Las ("Leader Of The Pack" and others). "Leader Of The Pack" is satirized by a studio group, The Detergents, featuring future Barry associate Ron Dante. Barry begins supervising less experienced producers, such as Steve Venet, Ron Moseley, Bob Bateman and George "Shadow" Morton. He and Greenwich become in-demand backing vocalists, leading to the chance to write hits for Lesley Gore ("Maybe I Know," "The Look Of Love") and Connie Francis ("Dont Ever Leave Me"). They contribute backing vocals to the soundtrack of Francis' third film, Looking For Love. Manfred Mann covers "Doo-Wah-Diddy," taking it to #1 internationally. The Crystals chart a UK hit with "I Wonder." British singer Tony Sheveton scores with an old Barry-Resnick number, "A Million Drums." The Raindrops continue to chart with "Let's Go Together," "One More Tear," and a remake of the doo-wop oldie "Book Of Love." At the 1964 BMI songwriter awards, Barry and Greenwich win 6 trophies, beating out all other writers except Lennon and McCartney of The Beatles and The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. Barry meets future wife Nancy Cal Cagno; she is the night manager at Mirasound Studios, where he often cuts sessions.


1964

CHAPEL OF LOVE reaches #1 on the pop charts with a recording by the Dixie Cups


1964

Manfred Mann's recording of DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY reaches #1 on the pop charts


1964

I WANNA LOVE HIM SO BAD reaches #9 on the pop charts with a recording by the Jelly Beans


1964

LEADER OF THE PACK reaches #1 on the pop charts with a recording by the Shangri-Las


1964

MAYBE I KNOW reaches the top fifteen on the pop charts with a recording by Lesley Gore


1964

PEOPLE SAY reaches #12 on the pop charts with a recording by the Dixie Cups


1965

Barry and Greenwich branch out with male acts, scoring hits with Sam Hawkins ("Hold On Baby," "I Know It's All Right"). Barry's experimentation with Caribbean rhythms leads to "Iko Iko," a groundbreaking and enduring hit for The Dixie Cups. He writes and produces more hits for The Dixie Cups ("Gee, The Moon Is Shining Bright"), The Shangri-Las ("Out In The Streets," a remake of "Give Us Your Blessings"), and The Butterflys (a remake of "I Wonder"). A non-Red-Bird production with Bert Berns results in a hit for The Drifters ("I'll Take You Where The Music's Playing"). The Raindrops are disbanded, and Barry cuts his first solo record in over two years, "I'll Still Love You," for Red-Bird. He co-produces an Ellie Greenwich solo single with Shadow Morton: "You Don't Know" will become a cult favorite in subsequent years. Barry discovers future collaborator Andy Kim in a demo studio, and produces his first record for Red-Bird. Greenwich discovers future superstar Neil Diamond in a demo studio. She and Barry are taken with his songwriting ability, and they form a publishing company (Tallyrand) with him. They sign him to Red-Bird, but Leiber and Stoller leave Diamond to languish indefinitely. Barry's marriage with Greenwich becomes strained, and they separate.


1966

Reparata and The Delrons record Barry's Shangri-Las-styled song "I'm Nobody's Baby Now," which will become a cult favorite. Tommy James and The Shondells take a retooled version of "Hanky Panky" to #1. Phil Spector reunites with a now divorcing Barry and Greenwich to write "River-Deep, Mountain-High," "I Can Hear Music" and "I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine." Barry produces the latter two tunes for The Ronettes ("I Wish I Never . . . " stays unreleased). Ike & Tina Turner's recording of "River-Deep, Mountain-High" becomes a British smash. It, as well as "I Can Hear Music" will be revived to great acclaim in years to come. Red-Bird Records flounders, and Barry and Greenwich leave it to become freelance producers. Barry takes Neil Diamond to Atlantic Records, but Bert Berns maneuvers him onto his new label, Bang Records. Diamond enjoys a string of hits under Barry-Greenwich supervision, including "Cherry, Cherry," "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon," "Red, Red Wine," "Kentucky Woman" and "Thank The Lord For The Night Time." Barry takes four Neil Diamond songs to Don Kirshner, music supervisor in charge of hit TV series The Monkees. He subsequently produces actor Micky Dolenz singing "I'm A Believer," which becomes one of the biggest-selling records of all-time. He takes over as The Monkees' main producer and cuts numerous sessions with Dolenz, Peter Tork and Davy Jones, using his own songs as well as those of top writers like Goffin and King. He also produces solo artist Gayle Haness for Bang, and with Ellie Greenwich, cuts new sides with Tony Pass (formerly Tony Richards) for Atco Records. Writing and producing with Bert Berns, Barry scores a hit for The McCoys ("I Got To Go Back And Watch That Little Girl Dance"), and pens a tribute song to Aretha Franklin ("Aretha") which is released by The Drifters. He hires ex-Detergent Ron Dante as a backing vocalist on recording sessions.


1966

HANKY PANKY reaches #1 on the pop charts with a recording by Tommy James and the Shondells


1966

RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH reaches the top 100 on the pop charts with a recording by Ike and Tina Turner


1967

Jeff Barry weds Nancy Cal Cagno on January 23; they will have two children. He participates as a session musician in on Van Morrison's American debut album and sings background on Morrison's hit single "Brown-Eyed Girl." In partnership with engineer Brooks Arthur, he opens Century Sound Studios in New York City. He produces Davy Jones singing "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You," written by Neil Diamond. It becomes another international smash for The Monkees, but the actors demand more creative control, and Barry is abruptly replaced as their producer. In April, Barry leaves Leiber and Stoller's Trio Music and signs a lucrative contract with Unart Music. He also launches his own label, Steed Records, with Hollywood-based Dot Records as its distributor. He will produce every release. He signs Keepers Of The Light, The Rich Kids, Hank Shifter, Louis St. Louis and Jacqueline Carol to recording contracts, but all releases by these artists fail commercially. He produces a session with Jay and The Americans, which leads to occasional songwriting collaboration with groupmember Marty Sanders. With Bert Berns, he writes and co-produces the R & B hit "Am I Groovin' You?" for Freddie Scott. In December, a dispute between Berns and Neil Diamond leads Diamond to leave Bang Records for the MCA-affiliated Uni label. Barry and Greenwich side with Berns and refuse to produce any more records for him. The failure of "Friday Kind Of Monday," a single by The Meantime (a revamped version of The Raindrops) precipitates the end of the Barry-Greenwich professional partnership. Barry produces and serves as musical director for a Broadway-bound musical, The Freaking Out Of Stephanie Blake. He casts Ron Dante in the production. The show closes in previews before reaching Broadway. The Beach Boys' reworked version of "Then He Kissed Me" hits big in England. Ike & Tina Turner chart with "I'll Never Need More Than This," the belated follow-up to "River-Deep, Mountain-High."


1968

Tollie Records issues "I'm Takin' It Home" by The Down Five, the final Barry-Greenwich production collaboration. Don Kirshner contracts Barry to write and produce music for a new Saturday morning cartoon show, Archie. Barry chooses Ron Dante as lead singer for Kirshner's proposed cartoon group. Chart singles result: "Bang-Shang-A-Lang" and "Feelin' So Good (SKOOBY-DOO)." Barry's music makes Archie one of the most popular cartoons in television history. He signs Andy Kim to Steed Records, and strikes up a songwriting partnership with him (they collaborate on the second Archies hit). Kim kicks off a string of Steed hits with the singles "How'd We Ever Get This Way," "Shoot 'Em Up, Baby" and "Rainbow Ride." Ellie Greenwich sings background on most of Kim's recordings. Duo Jon and Robin score a hit with "You Got Style," written by Barry and Kim. The Strangeloves score with the Barry-Sanders tune "Honey Do." Barry writes a single for actor Tony Randall, "We Only Kill Each Other."


1969

Barry writes, produces and sings the title song to a United Artists movie, Where It's At. It is released as a single. He also writes and sings the theme song to Hello Down There, a comedy film starring Tony Randall, Janet Leigh and Richard Dreyfuss. Three additional Barry numbers are performed in the film by Harold and The Hang-Ups (one, "I Can Love You," will be Robin McNamara's debut single). Deep Purple revives "River-Deep, Mountain-High." The Beach Boys score with a revival of "I Can Hear Music." Sharing vocals with Toni Wine, Ron Dante scores a massive international hit with the Barry-Kim song, "Sugar, Sugar." It tops the charts in Mexico, Spain, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, England and the United States, and is chosen RIAA Record of The Year. The follow-up single "Jingle Jangle" wins another Gold Record for the Archies studio group. It replaces Don Kirshner's original follow-up choice, "Get On The Line," a fusion of funky R & B and gospel. Instead, this song is showcased on a Saturday afternoon Archie TV special. New Steed act The Illusion charts with Barry-penned "Did You See Her Eyes," and "How Does It Feel?" and self-composed "Together." The band and its recordings will win an avid cult following. Andy Kim's hitmaking streak continues on Steed with "Tricia, Tell Your Daddy," "So Good Together" and "Baby, I Love You." The latter tune, a revival of the 1963 Ronettes hit, benefits from Barry's unique Third World rhythm arrangement. It wins yet another Gold Record for him. Barry cuts his first sessions with Bobby Bloom, which yield "Sign Of The V," one of his favorite productions. The single is released on Earth Records, a label owned by Joey Levine and Barry's former songwriting partner, Artie Resnick. He also begins cutting tracks with Robin McNamara, a lead actor in the Broadway musical Hair. Backing vocalists on the McNamara sessions are other Hair castmembers, including former Crystals lead singer La La Brooks.


1970

Barry records an Andy Kim album cut, "Mr. Music Man." It is released on Ranwood Records under bogus group name, The Mission. He bankrolls an off-Broadway musical, The Dirtiest Show In Town, and co-writes the score with Andy Kim. The Archies maintain their presence on radio and pop charts with "Who's Your Baby?" and the Afro-Cuban-flavored "Sunshine." The latter song features Bobby Bloom on percussion and backing vocals. Wilson Pickett's cover of "Sugar, Sugar" meets enthusiastic response in both R & B and pop markets. Robin McNamara breaks out on Steed with "Lay A Little Lovin' On Me," co-written with Barry. His follow-up hit, "Got To Believe In Love" is written by Barry protégé Neil Goldberg, who pens the lion's share of songs for the 1970-71 season of Archie. Don Kirshner assigns Barry music production duties for The Globetrotters, a new Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. Barry chooses singer/songwriters JR Bailey, Rudy Clark and Kenny Williams to handle lead vocals. A single from the sessions, the Neil Sedaka-penned "Rainy Day Bells," will become an enduring hit on the southern US "beach music" circuit. The Monkees avail themselves of Barry's services again for a hard-rocking single, "Oh, My My," and an album, Changes. Andy Kim successfully revives "Be My Baby." He also charts with "A Friend In The City" and a continuation of Barry's experiments with funk, "It's Your Life." Ron Dante debuts as a solo artist with his Barry-produced album and single, "Let Me Bring You Up." The song is one of Barry and Kim's finest compositions, and like "Sunshine," it boasts a heavy Caribbean flavor. Barry contracts with the Ringling Brothers-Barnum and Bailey organization to produce a harlequin-costumed group, The Klowns. Barry Bostwick, soon to star on Broadway in Grease, is the lead singer. The Klowns chart a single, "Lady Love," written by Barry protégés Mike and Steve Soles. The Illusion charts its final single, "Let's Make Each Other Happy." Bobby Bloom is established as a pop singer with the Top Ten hit "Montego Bay," co-written with Barry and based on both men's experiences vacationing (separately) in Jamaica. The song also scores in England for Bloom and for UK artist Freddie Notes. Barry's collaborations with Bloom are his most Caribbean-influenced to date, and his Bobby Bloom album is an artistic triumph. The team also demonstrates gospel affinity with the album cut "Heavy Makes You Happy." It later becomes a breakthrough pop hit for The Staple Singers. Bang Records reactivates its Neil Diamond catalog, charting over the next twelve months with the Barry-Greenwich productions "Shilo," "Solitary Man," "Do It," and a remix of Diamond's original recording of "I'm A Believer." Barry produces album tracks for a new Bang artist, Paul Davis. A revival of "River-Deep, Mountain-High," produced by Ashford and Simpson and sung by The Supremes with The Four Tops is a major R & B crossover smash. Barry protégés Neil Goldberg, Steve Soles and Ned Albright produce singer/songwriter Cheryl Dilcher, Hair castmember Susan Morse, The Archies and other acts under the auspices of Jeff Barry Enterprises. In its year-end issue, Billboard Magazine names Jeff Barry the music industry's second most successful producer. Paramount Pictures takes over distribution of Steed Records. He accepts an offer to work for Paramount in Hollywood.


1970

Andy Kim's cover recording of BE MY BABY reaches the top twenty on the pop charts


1971

Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler arranges for Barry to produce British pop star Dusty Springfield. They cut an album, but it is not released. However, a Barry-composed single from the sessions, "Haunted," becomes a regional hit in Boston and a cult favorite in England. The Andy Kim juggernaut finally slows with his last Steed chart singles, "I Wish I Were" and "I Been Moved." Barry's distribution deal ends, and he shuts down Steed Records; the final release is Robin McNamara's "Mary, Janey And Me." In the US, "Together We Two" is the final Archies chart single, but a year-old Archies album track, "A Summer Prayer For Peace," tops the South African charts. Barry and Ron Dante share vocals on it. Bobby Bloom follows up "Montego Bay" with "Make Me Happy," "We're All Goin' Home," and "We Need Each Other," Barry's funkiest productions yet. Barry produces Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones for Bell Records, singing a Bloom-Goldberg composition, "Do It In The Name Of Love." It fails commercially, but will become a much sought-after collectible. Recording for Bell himself, Barry cuts his most appealing single yet, "Sweet Savior." Cissy Houston revives "Be My Baby" for the R & B market. Jonathan King revives "Sugar, Sugar" in the UK. Barry withdraws from all East Coast commitments, sells his Long Island home, and relocates to southern California.


1971

A cover recording of RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH reaches #14 on the pop charts with a recording by the Supremes and the Four Tops


1972

1972-1975: Ian Matthews revives "Da Doo Ron Ron." British girl group The Seashells revives "Maybe I Know." Jody Miller scores Barry's first country hit with a revival of "Be My Baby." Barry leaves Paramount to freelance again. He produces a charting album for Sha-Na-Na. At the invitation of Herb Alpert, he joins the A & R staff of A & M Records. His artists include Robin and Jo McNamara, Nino Tempo and April Stevens, Rosey Grier, King Harvest, Cheryl Dilcher, Ray Kennedy, ex-Righteous Brother Bill Medley, singer/songwriter Paul Williams, and a cappella vocal group The Persuasions. Barry writes and produces the Nino Tempo hit "Sister James." He produces a pair of Tempo/Stevens hits, "Put It Where You Want It" and "Who Turns Me On?" He writes (with Bobby Bloom) and produces The Persuasions' biggest hit single "I Really Got It Bad For You." The Persuasions album I Just Want To Sing With My Friends ranks among his best work. An aborted album collaboration with Peter Allen yields the Olivia Newton-John chart-topper "I Honestly Love You," his most lucrative copyright, and a Helen Reddy track, "I've Been Wanting You So Long." He cuts Walkin' In The Sun for A & M, a second solo album destined to remain unreleased; it is a highly personal collection of self-penned rock, country and blues ballads with unconventional vocals. April Stevens scores a hit with "Wake Up And Love Me," an unusually suggestive Jeff Barry composition and production (it began life as a Nino Tempo instrumental called "Safari"). Ellie Greenwich cuts a second album of her own, Let It Be Written, Let It Be Sung, comprised mostly of old Barry-Greenwich songs. Bette Midler revives "Chapel Of Love," "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Leader Of The Pack" in her concert act, and records successful cover versions. Dave Edmunds revives "Baby, I Love You" in England. Reissued Crystals and Shangri-Las versions of "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Leader Of The Pack" chart in England. Bobby Bloom's final US chart record is a revival of "Heavy Makes You Happy," already a hit in England. Bloom's death the following year of an accidental shooting grieves Barry profoundly. Ronettes lead singer Ronnie Spector recuts the unreleased Barry-Greenwich-Spector tune, "I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine" for Buddah Records. Johnny T. Angel revives "Tell Laura I Love Her." Queen's Freddie Mercury, recording as Larry Lurex, revives "I Can Hear Music." Barry leaves A & M to set up offices for his own music production company. He produces French vocalist Joe Dassin for Epic, disco duo Freeman-Nehls and session singer Polly Cutter for RCA Victor and writes theme songs for the Norman Lear TV comedies The Jeffersons and One Day At A Time, and for Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. Gary Stewart gives Barry his second country chart hit, "Out Of Hand." He briefly reunites with Phil Spector to write material for novice singer Jerri Bo Keno and to participate in Spector-produced album sessions for his one-time idol, Dion. Spector also produces John Lennon singing "Be My Baby" and Cher singing an extended version of "Baby, I Love You." These recordings quickly become collector's item rarities.


1973

Bette Midler's cover recording of CHAPEL OF LOVE reaches the Billboard pop charts


1974

I HONESTLY LOVE YOU reaches #1 on the pop charts with a recording by Oliva Newton John


1976

1976-1979: Barry pens a single for Dion, "Baby, Let's Stick Together." He discovers future actress and country star Lisa Hartman-Black, and produces her debut album for Kirshner Records. The Lisa Hartman album contains two songs, "He Ain't You," and "Sayin' Hello, Sayin' I Love You, Sayin' Goodbye" which become major country hits when recorded by Lynn Anderson and the Jim Ed Brown/Helen Cornelius duo. Barry pens a successful follow-up for Brown and Cornelius, "If It Ain't Love By Now." Neil Diamond buys out Barry and Greenwich's shares in Tallyrand Music. With full legal rights to the hits they produced for him, Diamond releases his Classics compilation, which becomes an enduring best-seller. Shaun Cassidy hits #1 with a remake of "Da Doo Ron Ron," and a reissued "I Honestly Love You" charts again for Olivia Newton-John. It becomes her signature song, and she will successfully re-record it in the '90s. The Staple Singers chart with an R & B version. Barry produces an album for a now solo Tommy James. The album, Midnight Rider, features "Bobby, Don't Leave Me Alone Tonight," his song tribute to Bobby Bloom. He successfully revives the Nino Tempo/April Stevens oldie "All Strung Out" with actor John Travolta on vocals. Travolta's second album is a Jeff Barry production, and it yields the follow-up hit "(Feels So Good) Slow Dancin'," penned by Paul Jabara. Barry produces the debut album of a Van Halen-styed band, Chopper. '60s cult star Gene Pitney cuts "Walkin' In The Sun" for a comeback attempt on Epic Records. Jody Miller revives "Lay A Little Lovin' On Me" for the country market. UK group Sugar Cane revives "Montego Bay."


1979

Shaun Cassidy's cover of the 1963 hit song DA DOO RON RON reaches #1 on the pop charts


1980

1980-1989: Barry scores, writes and produces music for the soundtrack of the M-G-M/United Artists film The Idolmaker, a fictionalized biography of rock impresario Bob Marcucci. Featured artists include Darlene Love, Nino Tempo, Peter Gallagher, Sweet Inspirations, actors Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick and Ray Sharkey and singer/songwriter Jesse Frederick. A Jesse Frederick single, "Here Is My Love," is taken from the movie and charts after actor Paul Land lip-syncs it on American Bandstand. A Monkees EP disk featuring the Barry productions "I'm A Believer" and "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" becomes a British best-seller, as does Phil Spector's production of The Ramones singing "Baby, I Love You." Collaborating with '60s contemporaries Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Barry writes "The Last Time I Made Love," a huge R & B and pop platter for Joyce Kennedy/Jeffrey Osborne. He writes a hugely successful country single, "Lie To You For Your Love," for The Bellamy Brothers. Johnny Mathis and Deneice Williams record "Without Us," the Barry-penned theme song for a popular TV sitcom, Family Ties, starring Michael J. Fox. Gary Glitter revives "Then He Kissed Me" in England. A video documentary and companion book titled Girl Groups revives interest in the '60s girl group sound and in classic Barry-Greenwich songs. Those and other Barry compositions and productions are increasingly featured in hit movies such as Dirty Dancing, and in TV and radio jingles for various products. Leader Of The Pack, a musical revue featuring those É?ngs, does SRO business at New York nightclub The Bottom Line. On April 8, 1985, a retooled version opens on Broadway at the Ambassador Theater for a five-month run. Critics pan the show, but it is nominated for a Tony award and will become a regional theater favorite. The musical stars Ellie Greenwich and Darlene Love, who cuts a definitive version of "River-Deep, Mountain-High" for the cast album. Twisted Sister revives "Leader Of The Pack." Charly Records UK releases The Red-Bird Story, a multidisc set featuring all Barry-Greenwich hits from Red-Bird Records. The Archies' "Sugar, Sugar" is revived as a British dance club favorite. British girl band Amazulu revives "Montego Bay." Eddie Money scores his biggest hit single with "Take Me Home Tonight," a song which incorporates "Be My Baby;" Ronnie Spector contributes a cameo vocal. UK group Joan Collins Fan Club revives "Leader Of The Pack." Darlene Love's performance of "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" becomes a yuletide tradition on the popular David Letterman talk show. Jeff Barry writes a theme song for the Miss World beauty pageant.


1986

Twisted Sister's cover of the 1964 #1 hit LEADER OF THE PACK reaches #53 on the pop charts


1990

1990-1999: Glen Campbell garners widespread country airplay with "Walkin' In The Sun," available only on his album of the same title. Jeff Barry songs continue to be featured in popular films including such blockbusters as Forrest Gump, Four Weddings And A Funeral, The Bridges Of Madison County and What's Love Got To Do With It? Phil Spector box set compilation Back To Mono, mostly comprised of Barry-Greenwich songs, is released. It will win a Gold Record. Barry serves a term as President of the National Academy of Songwriters, and wins its Lifetime Achievement Award. He and Ellie Greenwich are inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame on May 29, 1991. He launches a multimedia entertainment company, Big Kids, in collaboration with businessman Richard Goldsmith. Barry and Goldsmith produce several children's music albums, as well as the debut album of boy band N/Motion. They also serve as executive producers of a Warner Brothers holiday film, Jack Frost, starring Michael Keaton. A Japanese company, A-Side Records, releases the first-ever Barry-Greenwich songbook collection. PolyGram Music Publishing purchases the rights to nearly all songs in the Barry-Greenwich song catalog in 1997. A much-sought-after promotional CD, I Can Hear Music, is released. It features original and new performances of Barry and Greenwich standards. Barry begins performing his hits in nightclubs and other small venues. On May 14, 1999, he headlines a sold-out benefit performance in Santa Barbara, California. This is his highest-profile public performance to date; he is backed by members of the Don Henley band. Leiber and Stoller, songwriters Paul Williams, Norman Gimbel and a host of music industry notables attend..


1998

Remastered version of Olivia Newton John's #1 hit from 1974, I HONESTLY LOVE YOU, reaches #67 on the pop charts


2000

Song licensing organization BMI cites eight Jeff Barry songs, "Doo-Wah-Diddy," "Then He Kissed Me," "Be My Baby," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "Hanky Panky," "Leader Of The Pack," "Sugar, Sugar" and "I Honestly Love You" among the most performed songs of the 20th century. An all-star concert tribute to Barry, Chapel Of Love, is staged at the Granada Theater in Santa Barbara. Participating artists include Brian Wilson, Ron Dante, Andy Kim, Ronnie Spector, Jeffrey Osborne, Deneice Williams, Mary Wilson (of Diana Ross and The Supremes), The Dixie Cups, Ray Peterson, and The Crystals. Barry himself conducts the orchestra and serves as music director. The concert is filmed, and is later telecast on selected PBS-TV stations; a video/DVD is marketed, along with a soundtrack CD. A petition drive is launched to induct Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rap star Nelly incorporates "Movin' On Up," theme song from The Jeffersons, into his radio/video hit "Batter Up." Two years later, fledgling rapper B-Rich samples it heavily for use in his hip-hop charter,"Whoa Now." "Hitmakers," a cable TV special, showcases Barry and other Brill Building songwriters. A new Jeff Barry-penned musical, Knight Life, opens in Santa Barbara.


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