Barbara Harris (singer)

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For other people named Barbara Harris, see Barbara Harris (disambiguation).

Barbara Harris (born Barbara Ann Harris, August 18, 1945, Elizabeth City, North Carolina) is an African American R&B singer, best known as a founding member and lead singer of the 1960s girl group The Toys.[1]


Harris started singing in her hometown churches at an early age, and moved to Queens, New York at the age of eleven. In high school, Harris joined a group with four other young singers: Barbara Parritt Toomer, June Montiero, Betty Stokes and Betty Blocker. Stokes and Blocker eventually left the group, while the Harris, Toomer and Montiero formed a trio. Bobby Uri, a manager and friend, named the group "The Charlettes" and got them work doing background vocals for several recording artists.

At a talent show in Brooklyn they met Eddy Chase, who in turn introduced them to manager Vince Marc and songwriter/recording executive Bob Crewe. The group became "The Toys" and landed their first recording contract on Crewe's DynoVoice Records.

The Toys were teamed up with songwriter/producers Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell. They took a piano exercise from Bach, put a Motown bassline to it, and "A Lover's Concerto" was born; the song soon rose to number two on the U.S. charts. The band followed that up with another hit, "Attack", also written by Linzer and Randell, which reached the Top 20.

Barbara Harris continues to perform at 'Oldie Shows' as "The Toys featuring Barbara Harris". She has also sung with Joe Rivers, known for Johnnie & Joe's hit, "Over The Mountain". In 1998 she produced and released her first solo CD entitled Barbara Now, for which she wrote all but two of the songs.


  1. ^ Voger, Mark (May 27, 2011). "Barbara Harris of the Toys: interview". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 

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