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Kathleen Loves Music

The Harptones.

March 30th, 2006


I guess I’m in a 50s frame of mind. Life is But A Dream by The Harptones is one of those that I was too young to hear when it came out in 1956 (thank goodness I’m finally too young for something). But in 1969, as I was trying to listen to absolutely everything in my college radio library, I stumbled upon in an Old Town Records compilation, and it’s melody and harmonies (led by an incomparable Willie Winfield) have reverberated in my skull ever since. Unfairly, I never paid attention to too much else by them, but if I never heard another song ever I’d still be satisfied.

A bit of record biz trivia: Old Town Records was founded by an MF-ing New York distributor named Hy Weiss who, legend had it, was quite a ball-breaker; he even claimed to be the inventor of payola’s $50 handshake. Though my friend Richard Foos, Rhino Records founder and producer of this amazing Doo-Wop collection tells me Hy would often call just to chat and that he was an engaging old coot. Hy’s genes continue in the music business today (good from my point of view, bad from most others) through his stunningly successful son Barry Weiss, president of Jive Records, home of Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys, and Pink.

By the way, some might confuse with “Life could be a dream” from Sh-Boom by The Crew Cuts. Please don’t.

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