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  1. #1
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    Why did the [toys[fail?

    This cute girl group was supposed to be the next big thing on the music scene, and after their first two hit[lovers concerto- attack]it looked as though they would be,but they dropped from site,anyone know what happened?

  2. #2
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    I like the singles individually, but, when playing more than a few, I find the lead singer's voice begins to get annoying.

  3. #3
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    One theory could be that they came along a year or two later than other girl groups and perhaps the novelty had passed. Many others started in the early 60s whereas I think of them as mid 60s when some of the others were already at their peak if not starting to fade away.

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    I think 'A Lover's Concerto' is one of those recordings which would have been a big hit had it been recorded by any number of artists.

    The Toys got lucky...it was all about the song, not the singers.

    While Barbara Harris's lead does have a certain untrained, unpolished charm, her pitch is distinctly suspect. And the group had no unique visual presence in performance.

    I believe the two Barbaras and June were principally background singers..and to me, the recording is finally sold to the listener, when the song moves from shaky delivery of a pretty melody, to three part harmony.

  5. #5
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    I believe it was due to The Toys not getting another song as great as, or well suited to the group as, "A Lovers Concerto". And and others have stated, the "girl group" trend was on it's way out in 1965 and the group would have to try to shift to more mature styles of pop music [no easy task given the group's very name; The Toys].

  6. #6
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    I don't care that they never got to be as big as some others or have the lengthy career
    of, say, Gladys Knight. I liked The Toys a lot, in fact so much that I made sure to get their
    Charlettes releases and single b-sides. Their Lover's Concerto has been covered a number
    of times, even by Sarah Vaughan and The Delfonics but I still like theirs the most. Barbara
    Harris didn't stop singing altogether but when she became a mature woman she turned
    to the music she'd always loved. The blues. She would never be Shemekia Copeland but she did alright. As far The Toys are concerned for their three part harmonies This Night
    works for me and for Barb's leads with all it's gymnastics, Baby Toys is just too much fun
    for me to dismiss...

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  8. #8
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    I have read that their management was sort of to blame. When they should have been in the studio recording follow up singles they were touring extensively and the moment sort of passed. Motown allegedly offered to buy their contract out for $100,000 but their manager declined as well.

    They are a favorite of mine and I think they should have gone much further.

  9. #9
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    were they 'toys' of the Bob Crewe crew?

    The group became the Toys and landed their first recording contract on Bob Crewe.'s DynoVoice Records. Marc introduced them to songwriters Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell.






  10. #10
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    I suspect that part of the reason that "A Lovers' Concerto" was such a big hit was the gimmick of it being based on a familiar classical piece, but after "Attack" the novelty of doing this just wore off.

  11. #11
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    But is was because?...A Lover's Concerto is based on Minuet in G Major, a favorite of Bach
    but it turned out that another cat composed it. Anyway, I'd guess more than 80 percent
    of the folks who were groovin' to and buying it when it charted in the 60's knew nothing
    about the tunes origins. Even among closer times and genres of popular music, I remember
    being a bit surprised that so many of my peers who enjoyed the Friends Of Distinction's
    Grazing In The Grass had never known of Hugh Masekela's original. i guess it was the oceans between them. Sandy Linzer went on to write and produce for August Darnel's
    Dr Buzzard's Savannah Band,btw....

  12. #12
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    I had read an interview by Barbara Harris years ago that The Toys performed at
    the Copa and the show was basically a disaster. Harris gave the reason being was 'not enough rehearsal time'? Can anyone verify when they did perform at the Copa and
    any reviews from that time?

  13. #13
    My feeling is The Toys didn't have a longer career for the same reason many of the other girl groups didn't: poor management. Most record companies were only thinking of the moment, the next thing, the next bandwagon to jump on. The book, "Girl Groups: Story of a Sound" by Alan Betrock is and excellent book on the subject. There is a statement about Motown's girl groups that was revelatory; Mr. Betrock comments that the girl group sound really was more of a trend that had lost steam toward the mid 60s and only Motown was able to keep its groups in the charts long after that had happened.

    Berry thought in terms of developing careers, not just hits. Though they get a lot of flack for the standards and theme albums Motown had their acts record, it was smart. Berry was thinking steps ahead. Have the singers become "artists" that didn't have to depend necessarily on radio hits. Careful attention was paid to what singles were released and how to follow a hit with another one. I don't think any other record company was able to think in those terms and/or didn't have the resources to fully develop an act's career as Motown did.

    The Toys were as good as, if not a notch above most of the other girl groups, but without careful planning and forethought, even the best artist won't have much of a career.

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