Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Jeff Barry Birthday

Anybody who's ever grooved to songs like "Baby, I Love You," "(And) Then He Kissed Me," "Hanky Panky," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "Chapel of Love," "Leader of the Pack" and "I Honestly Love You" is already familiar with the work of legendary Brill Building songwriter-producer Jeff Barry. Born in Brooklyn, New York on April 3, 1938, Jeff was one of the pioneers of the Girl Group sound in the early- to mid-1960's, penning dozens of songs with then-wife Ellie Greenwich and Wall of Sound producer Phil Spector. Jeff would go on to produce hits such as "I'm a Believer" by The Monkees and "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies. "Sugar, Sugar," which was written by Jeff with Andy Kim, sailed up the U.S. charts to the #1 spot and became the RIAA Record of the Year for 1969.

In honor of Jeff's forthcoming birthday, I've set up a special QuickTopic message board for friends and fans to post their birthday greetings. If you'd like to add your birthday wishes for Jeff, please click here.

Board registration is not required to post.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bubblegum Achievement Awards DVD Release

Attention Bubblegum Music fans!

For info on ordering a DVD of Scram Magazine's 2005 Bubblegum Achievement Awards, which includes performances by Ron Dante and Toni Wine among others, visit this page:

Lost in the Grooves: Bubblegum Achievement Awards DVD Release

Long live Bubblegum!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

They say there's 'Always Magic in the Air'

For a thorough, entertaining, and thoroughly entertaining look into the careers and lives of seven powerhouse songwriting teams from New York City's Brill Building, located at 1619 Broadway, and its near neighbor at 1650 Broadway, pick up a copy of Ken Emerson's Always Magic in the Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era. Always Magic in the Air (its title taken from a line in the song "On Broadway," which was written by four of the scribes - Leiber, Stoller, Mann and Weil - profiled in the book) is not just an autobiography of fourteen people but a wealth of information on the history of rock and roll, particularly the heavily Latin-influenced sounds that emanated from the Brill courtesy of its young staff songwriters. In addition to the teams of Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, the dynamic duos portrayed in Always Magic... are Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman, Burt Bacharach/Hal David, Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield, Gerry Goffin/Carole King, and Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich.

To read my review on the book, click on the link below:

Stuff 'n' Laura's Pop Culture Cantina: Mad Hot Book Review #1

And to visit my dedicated page for the book which includes some words by both myself and author Ken Emerson as well as links to various online reviews, the product page on, a couple of archived radio interviews with the author, and a message board for people to post their comments about the book, go here:

Always Magic in the Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era

Happy reading!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

More Joey Dee and The Starliters Pix!

The lovely and talented Joey Dee and The Starliters (OK, so they're not all that "lovely" but they are good to look at - and listen to!) put on their usual great show at the Safety Harbor (Florida) Marina on Sunday, March 5, 2006, wrapping up the two-day Harbor Sounds food and music fest. To see photos of Joey Dee and fellow group members David Brigati (an original Starliter and brother of Eddie Brigati from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Young Rascals), at left in the above pic, and Bob Valli (sibling to Frankie of 4 Seasons fame), right, visit Classic Pop Music Concert Pix and click on the appropriate link on the homepage.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

On My Mind: Ron Dante Part 7 Concert Review

Here is Part 7 of the Forgotten Hits series on Ron Dante as posted by Rick Phillips:

On My Mind: Ron Dante Part 7 Forgotten Hits Concert Review

Seeing as how this installment includes a review of the concert Ron Dante did along with Andy Kim at the Riviera Hotel back in September of 2003, may as well have some photos to go along with it - click
here to see 'em on my fan pages.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

On My Mind: Ron Dante interview Part 6

Below is the link to part 6 of the Forgotten Hits Ron Dante interview from Rick Phillips' blog, "On My Mind":

On My Mind: Ron Dante Forgotten Hits interview Part 6

I know I'm a day or two late posting this link - sorry 'bout that. Sometimes I have one idea what I want to do and my computer has another.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Joey Dee and The Starliters

The name of the dance is the Peppermint Twist! To see recent photos of the legendary Joey Dee and The Starliters performing this and several other hits, go to my Classic Pop Music Concert Pix pages and click on the link for Wind Beneath My Wings 2006.

(Above, left to right: Dave Brigati, Joey Dee, and Bobby Valli)

On My Mind: Ron Dante Interview Part 5

Here's the link to Part 5 of the Ron Dante Forgotten Hits interview as published on Rick Phillips' blog, "On My Mind."

On My Mind: Ron Dante Forgotten Hits interview Part 5

Don't forget to visit
Ron Dante Online to learn what's new with Ron and to look at his concert itinerary to see whether Ron will be appearing near you!

Other cool places to visit: The official Jeff Barry blog, and Stuff 'n' Laura's Pop Culture Cantina!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Jack Wild Dead at 53

Jack Wild, who shot to fame as the Artful Dodger in the 1967 movie musical Oliver! and who went on to star in the children's TV series H.R. Pufnstuf, has died at the age of 53. Wild had been fighting mouth cancer since 2000.

For details, visit this page.

On My Mind: Ron Dante Interview Part 4

Here's the link to Part 4 of the Forgotten Hits interview with Ron Dante, as reproduced on "On My Mind":

On My Mind: Ron Dante Forgotten Hits Interview Part 4