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Len Barry

Grammy-nominated vocalist, songwriter and producer Len Barry was born Leonard Borisoff in West Philadelphia, PA in 1942. As a young man, Len dreamed of a career in professional basketball, but after enlisting in the service and a successful stint singing with the U.S. Coast Guard band in Cape May, NJ, he wisely switched his focus to music. After his enlistment was up, Barry returned to the City of Brotherly Love and formed The Dovells, who hit the charts with the likes of “Hully Gully Baby,” “You Can’t Sit Down,” and the million-seller, “Bristol Stomp.” The latter two songs were co-written by Kal Mann, who penned the lyrics for Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear” and Chubby Checker’s “Let’s Twist Again.” The Dovells toured the U.S. with James Brown and the U.K. with the Motown Revue and made appearances on popular television programs The Dick Clark Show, Hullabaloo and Shindig. Len eventually left the group and soon hit pay dirt as a solo act, charting a total of seven songs in 1965 and 1966, with the smash title track of his debut album, “1-2-3,” climbing all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and garnering a Grammy nomination. Barry became a huge star in England, performing at London’s Palladium and Royal Albert Hall, and continued touring in America as well, with standout stops at Harlem’s world-famous Apollo Theatre; the Howard Theatre in D.C.; The Regal Chicago; The Fox Theatre in Detroit and The Uptown in his native Philadelphia. After joining forces with the WMOT label, Barry turned his attention to writing and producing for other artists. Two highly-noted examples of his hit-making ability are Fat Larry’s Band’s “Zoom” and Booker Newberry III’s “Love Town,” which Len co-wrote with the great Bobby Eli. Another standout from this period was Philly Cream’s “Motown Review,” a track written with Butch Ingram that was a big success all across Europe. In 2008, Barry made waves as an author with his book Black-Like-Me; the story of two white brothers growing up in a predominately African-American neighborhood. As a white man born in Philadelphia who spent many years ensconced in its R&B scene, the story is one close to Len’s heart and own experience. Black Like Me is also the title of this, Barry’s latest album. Created with a loving helping hand from Butch and the rest of the legendary Ingram Brothers, and featuring a special guest appearance by old friend Art Austin and Philly Cream; this unique recording finds Len in fine form as he performs all of his hits; from The Dovells - to his solo days - to the songs others made famous - to the first fleshed out recording of the title track, which was only a demo up until now. With a career spanning over 50 years, one might think Len Barry would be content to rest on his laurels, but rest assured, he can still bring it as easy as 1-2-3.

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