Jeff Barry, one of the most prolific members of the Brill Building songwriters’ group (including Carole King, Neil Sedaka, and Neil Diamond), turned 83 today. Professor Wikipedia has the details. With his then-wife Ellie Greenwich, he co-wrote a lot of songs you know. Some of them we play: “Iko, Iko,” “Da Do Ron Ron”, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” and “Be My Baby.” Barry and Greenwich also discovered and promoted Diamond and produced his early hits. Barry produced the music segments for The Monkees’ TV series, and brought with him two songs Diamond wrote — “I’m a Believer” and “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.” Barry wrote for other TV shows, including the theme for “The Jeffersons”! It’s no surprise he’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. Here’s Dr. John (with Ringo and the All-Starr Band) doing “Iko, Iko” very unlike the way we play it. Try to identify as many All-Starrs as you can!
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