In September of 1965 a record was released on the DynaVoice label that was to become an international, all-time classic. "A LOVERS CONCERTO" by "THE TOYS" entered the charts and in just six short weeks surpassed luminaries the likes of "THE BEATLES, THE SUPREMES, ELVIS PRESLEY, THE ROLLING STONES, THE FOUR TOPS, STEVIE WONDER" etc.. The song reached NUMBER ONE , becoming a million seller. The voice singing lead, was that of .
As a piece of trivia, she also sang one of the background parts in the harmony. The success of "THE TOYS" carried Barbara to countries all over the world. England, Holland, Germany, Japan, Australia just to name a few. After recording several other singles and an album entitled The Toys Sing "A Lover's Concerto" and "Attack", which has just been re-released on CD, on the “Sundazed” label), Barbara left the group, had a family and raised a total of seven children. While raising her family she never stopped singing. Married to a musician, Ken Wiltshire, they continually played in small local groups whose styles ranged from Jazz, to Blues and R&B.
IN 1986 THE ORIGINAL "TOYS" reformed and for two years did Concerts, Night clubs, and Oldie shows. Although they no longer work together, they have maintained their friendship over the years. Afterwards Barbara continued to sing with her local band, "Rhythm&Babs". She regularly Performs the Meadowlands singing in Mr. Richard Nader's shows, and Westbury Music Fair in Mr. Dick Fox's shows with Mr. Joe Rivers as Johnny of "Johnny and Joe" a fifties duet. She did background work at several local studios, and lead work for some up and coming song writers.
he trio consisted of:
- Barbara Harris (born Barbara Ann Harris, August 18, 1945, Elizabeth City, North Carolina), who sang lead most of the time.
- Barbara Parritt (born October 1, 1944, Wilmington, North Carolina).
- June Montiero (born July 1, 1946, Queens, New York).
Stokes and Blocker eventually left the group, and Harris, Parritt 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.Barbara 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 (later Toomer), June Montiero, Betty Stokes and Betty Blocker.
Marc introduced them to songwriters Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell. Linzer and Randell wrote most of the songs they recorded. They took a piano piece from a Bach exercise book ("Minuet in G major" by Christian Petzold), 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.
They also produced the group's 1965-66 recordings on the DynoVoice record label. Global sales of this disc exceeded two million copies, with a gold record awarded by the R.I.A.A. in 1965. Their first U.S. tour was with Gene Pitney. In 1967 the group changed labels and producers, moving to Pitney's label, Musicor Records, but charted only one more minor single (a cover of Brian Hyland's "Sealed with a Kiss") before breaking up.
Harris continued to perform on public television and 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.
- 1965: "A Lover's Concerto" (U.S. #2 (Cashbox charts: #1), UK #5)
- 1966: "Attack!" (U.S. #18, UK #36)
- 1966: "Baby Toys" (U.S. #76)
- 1966: "Silver Spoon" (U.S. #111)
- 1966: "May My Heart Be Cast into Stone" (U.S. #85)
- 1968: "Sealed with a Kiss" (U.S. #112, U.S. R&B #43)
- 1966: The Toys Sing "A Lover's Concerto" and "Attack!" (U.S. Billboard 200 #92; Billboard Black Albums #9) – a CD version was released in 1994 with two bonus tracks.