Sunday, September 28, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Valentines
Song:The Woo Woo Train
Album:The Doo Wop Box II
At face value, The Valentines were a minor doo wop group and never had a national chart hit. But The Woo Woo Train is a great song with a killer sax break and group leader Richard Barrett became a very significant figure in R & B as a producer and talent scout. He was born July 13, 1933 in Philadelphia. The group was originally called The Dreamers with Raymond Briggs (tenor), Carl Hogan (second tenor), Mickey Francis (lead) and Ronnie Bright (bass). Just another group singing on streetcorners in Harlem. They met Barrett at a party. He had previously sung with a group called The Angels. They liked his singing and his songs. The Valentines name came from Francis' fondness for the song My Funny Valentine. Harptones pianist Raoul Cita noticed them and after replacing Hogan with Eddie Edgehill, Old Town Records released Summer Love in Dec. 1954. It went nowhere. Then they auditioned for George Goldner and though he wasn't sold on The Valentines, he told Barrett to keep in touch about other groups. Barrett brought him 12 year old Frankie Lymon. Barrett kept bugging Goldner about The Valentines and he relented but none of their songs charted. The Woo Woo Train is probably their best song and has a great sax break by Jimmy Wright. After The Valentines split up, Richard Barrett worked as a producer for Goldner and discovered The Chantels and even sang lead when he reformed them in 1959. Barrett returned to Philadelphia in 1963 and is probably best known as the man behind the girl group The Three Degrees and he worked a lot with Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff in the 70s. He remained active into the 90s and died on Aug. 3, 2006 at age 73. Ronnie Bright joined The Cadillacs and was Mr. Bass Man on Johnny Cymbal's 1963 hit. Here's a video for The Woo Woo Train by The Valentines.