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By: The Toys, a 1960s girl group whose members were Barbara Harris, Barbara Parritt and June Montiero.
They met while attending Woodrow Wilson High School in Jamaica, New York. They formed the singing group in 1961 and, with the help of Bobby Uri, a friend of theirs, started doing background vocals (as "The Charlettes") for several recording artists.
They were later discovered at a talent show by Eddie Chase, who in turn introduced the group to manager Vince Marc (who renamed them the Toys), who then introduced the group to songwriting duo Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell.
They were signed to Four Seasons producer/songwriter Bob Crewe's DynoVoice Records label, on which they released the 1965 album The Toys Sing "A Lover's Concerto" and "Attack!", which featured "A Lover's Concerto".
"A Lover's Concerto" was actually a lesser song in a group of four songs they were recording for release on that album. The first three were rehearsed and labored over in the studio by the girls for weeks, while "A Lover's Concerto" was both the last song and the only song recorded in one take!
The lead vocal on "A Lover's Concerto" was sung by Barbara Harris. The song is a Motown-esque arrangement, particularly in the style of the Supremes' "Stop! In The Name Of Love". This is most noticeable in the intro bass line.
In the 1995 film Mr. Holland's Opus, the titular music teacher explains idioms (the styles or techniques that are characteristic to a particular artist, period or medium) to his students by comparing Johann Sebastian Bach's "Minuet in G" to the Toys' "A Lover's Concerto".
Chart position: #2 (US), #4 (US R&B), #5 (UK).
In September 1965, the song sold over a million copies, which made it one of the biggest selling singles of 1965.
It was kept from #1 for two weeks in a row in the US by "Yesterday" (the Beatles) and "Get Off My Cloud" (the Rolling Stones).
The Top Ten Songs: October 30, 1965 (US Billboard Hot 100).
- "Yesterday" (Beatles)
- "A Lover's Concerto" (Toys)
- "Get Off Of My Cloud" (Rolling Stones)
- "Keep On Dancing" (Gentrys)
- "Everybody Loves A Clown" (Gary Lewis and the Playboys)
- ""Treat Her Right (Roy Head)
- "You're The One" (Vogues)
- "Positively 4th Street" (Bob Dylan)
- "Hang On Sloopy" (McCoys)
- "1-2-3" (Len Barry)
Written by: Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell.
Linzer and Randell wrote/co-wrote many 1960s top 20 hits, particularly for Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, including "Dawn (Go Away)", "Working My Way Back To You", "Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me)", and (with Four Seasons producer/songwriter Bob Crewe) "Let's Hang On (To What We've Got)".
Originally by: German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach (born March 21, 1685, died July 28, 1750).
The melody was adapted from Bach's "Minuet in G", which first appeared in what is referred to today as the "Anna Magdalena notebook", a manuscript that Bach gave to his second wife Anna Magdalena Bach, filled with music written for keyboard and voice.
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