Len Barry (June 12, 1942 - November 5, 2020) was a pop/doo-wop/blue-eyed soul singer, songwriter, and producer who first became famous during the late 1950s as the lead vocalist of The Dovells. As a solo artist, his best known songs include the upbeat yet soulful "1-2-3" (1965) and "Like A Baby" (1966).
Born Leonard Warren Borisoff in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he co-founded The Dovells in 1957 while still in his teens and served as lead singer. In addition to recording such oldies classics as "Bristol Stomp" (1961) and "You Can't Sit Down" (1963), The Dovells also made a number of appearances on TV and in such movies as "Don't Knock The Twist" (1962) starring Chubby Checker. By late 1963, Barry had left the group and signed with Decca as a solo artist.
Len Barry debuted in 1965 on the Pop/Rock charts with "Lip Sync (To The Tongue Twisters)." His fame took off later that year with the Grammy-nominated "1-2-3" (1965), which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, made the R&B Top 20, went gold with over four million copies sold, and became his greatest hit. He had two Top 40 hits the following year with "Like A Baby" (1966) and his pop/rock rendition of "Somewhere" (1966) from the musical, "West Side Story." "1-2-3" and "Like A Baby," both co-written by Barry with John Madara and David White, also became top hits in the U.K. His other mostly self-penned hits also include "It's That Time Of The Year" (1966) and "I Struck It Rich" (1966), the latter of which Barry co-wrote with Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. Barry's final charting song came in 1968 with the sentimental soft rock ballad, "456 (Now I'm Alone)."
Over his long career, Len Barry continued to perform and record actively and also founded and produced The Electric Indian famous for the 1969 smash instrumental, "Keem-O-Sabe." He was featured in the 2011 PBS special, "My Music: Rock, Pop & Doo Wop."
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- The New York Times remembers Len Barry.
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- 1-2-3 1965
(This song later also became an instrumental hit for Ramsey Lewis (1967, as "One, Two, Three").)
- Like A Baby 1966
- Somewhere 1966
(This song was previously a hit for P.J. Proby (1965) and later also became a hit for Barbra Streisand (1986).)
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