Jeff Barry: The Man and His Music

Jeff Barry: The Man and His Music
Official Fan Site

Friday, March 31, 2006

A Jeff Barry Birthday - April 3

Jeff Barry has a birthday coming up on Monday, April 3rd, and as a surprise for him, I've set up a special message board where fans and friends can post their birthday wishes. If you've ever danced to "Be My Baby" and "Baby, I Love You," sighed at "Chapel of Love," wept at "Tell Laura I Love Her" and "Leader of the Pack," or rocked to "Sugar, Sugar," then you're familiar with the impact this legendary Brill Building composer-producer has had on our lives and sensibilities; his influence on rock and roll cannot be overstated.

I'd like to get as many signatures as possible for this virtual birthday card, so if you've not done so already, please visit here and add your greetings for Jeff. Board registration is not required to post. I'll be surprising Jeff with the link either on Sunday night or Monday morning, so here's your chance to communicate with the man himself and let him know how much his music has meant to you over the years!


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Sold on Song: River Deep, Mountain High

"River Deep, Mountain High" was written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, and was recorded by Ike and Tina Turner in 1966 with Spector producing. The song, which is one of Jeff's favorites of his compositions, was outstanding; Tina Turner's vocals were thrillingly powerful and awesome; and the Phil Spector wall-of-sound production was larger than life. Yet for whatever reason, the record failed to become a hit in the U.S., barely entering the charts before disappearing entirely from airplay. The failure of "River Deep, Mountain High" had such a profound effect on Phil Spector that he virtually retired from the music business for several years.

Yet the song itself endured, as great songs do, and in 1971 it was revived by The Supreme & The Four Tops, who made it into the hit it should have been five years earlier.

Some time ago, during a Net search, I found a UK-based web page called Sold on Song, which is presented on the BBC Radio site. Sold on Song has a page dedicated to "River Deep, Mountain High," focusing primarily on the Ike and Tina Turner version which was a hit in England despite bombing in the States. There is a link to listen to not only Ike and Tina's recording but also several other versions by artists such as Neil Diamond and Deep Purple; the Supremes/Four Tops version is available for a listen as well. Jeff Barry fans in particular will enjoy the content of this page which features a couple of audio clips of Jeff talking about "River Deep, Mountain High." Other sections of the page can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate navigational tabs.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Muddling through "One Day at a Time"

One of the snappiest sitcom theme songs in the history of the boob tube was penned by Jeff Barry. "One Day at a Time," with its never-say-die lyrics, is an ode to optimism in times of crisis, flat tires, paper cuts, torrential downpours - or, in this case, divorce and single parenthood. The series of the same name aired during the 70's and starred Bonnie Franklin, Pat Harrington Jr., Valerie Berinelli, and Mackenzie Phillips.

Check out this interesting blog post on which provides commentary and lyrics. The post includes links for listening to the "One Day at a Time" theme and for viewing the opening credits.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Archies on The World of Kane

(Above photo, left to right: Ron Dante, Larry Kane, and Jeff Barry, c. 1971)
One of Jeff Barry's biggest accomplishments during his post-Girl Group period of the late 60's-early 70's was his writing and production for the animated group The Archies, fronted by session singer Ron Dante. To read a cool essay on The Archies (complete with links to related sites) and watch a 1970 music video of Ron singing "Sugar, Sugar," visit this page:

The World Of Kane

Thanx to Will Kane for this cool blog post!


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Jeff Barry Lyrics Pages

New on the Jeff Barry fan site - the Jeff Barry Lyrics Pages. Ten of Jeff's best are spotlighted, with lyrics and commentary. Just go to the homepage and scroll down a little bit for the link!