Archive for August 4th, 2006

4th August
written by Matt The Cat

We lost another.

Richard Barrett is one of the poor Rock n’ Roll innovators who’s name may have been lost to history, but his influence is still felt today. He died yesterday at age 70 of prostate cancer. Barrett was born in Philadelphia in 1936. He moved to NYC in 1952 with dreams of getting into music. He was a founding member of underrated doo wop group, The Valentines, who scored local NY hits with “Lilly Maebelle”, “Tonight Kathleen” and “Woo Woo Train”.

Barrett was ESSENTIAL to the success of George Goldner’s NY labels, Rama, Gee, End and Gone, as well as Morris Levy’s Roulette Records. He discovered Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers and brought them to the attention of Goldner, who signed them to his Gee Label. “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” was an instant success. He discovered Little Anthony & The Imperial and became the producer and manager of the first mega successful girl group in rock n’ roll; The Chantels.

In the 1970s, Barrett worked with The Three Degrees and even produced their hit cover of The Chantels’ “Maybe” (which he wrote back in 1958) in 1970. He also produced records by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. As you can see, Richard Barrett touched many of our lives and many of our genres.
Please remember this rock n’ roll pioneer.

Thank you,

Matt The Cat