The Barries (New Haven, Connecticut)
Jimmy O'connor (Lead)
Guy Villano (Tenor)
Al "Brush" Battista (Baritone)
Joe Marturiello "Big Joe" (Bass)
1963 - Why Don't You Write Me / Mary Ann (Vernon 102)
1964 - Tonight, Tonight / Mary Ann (Ember 1101)
1965 - When You're Out Of School / The Loneliest Man In Town (Di-Nan 101)
The Original Barries featured Guy Villano, Al "Brush" Battista, Nickie Delano (formally of Nickie and the Nobles), Joe Marturiello and Jimmy O'connor . "Tonight, Tonight" Remake of a song that had originally charted at #77 for the Mello-Kings in 1957 (as "Tonite, Tonite") were recorded in New York with just three members of the group : Jimmy O'connor on lead Guy Villano, tenor & Al Battista baritone doing base runs. They over dubed the background using Jimmy for the extra voice. At the same session they did 'Mary Ann" and "Why Don't You Write Me". New Haven’s sixteen year-old Richard Carpenter (Of the Carpenter) made his recording debut when he joined the Barries for their songs "Mary Ann" and "Why Don't You Write Me". Richard played piano on these recordings. "Mary Ann" and "Why Don't You Write Me" will be released by Vernon Records, a label from Connecticut.
Al Silver owner of Ember Records got reports of some action and bought the master and released "Tonight, Tonight" b/w "Mary Ann". "Tonight, Tonight" Did not chart nationally in Billboard, but charted locally in the Top 20 in New Haven, Connecticut in March 1964. One of the more enduring and popular white doo-wops, the Barries version of "Tonight, Tonight" shows the Mello-Kings vastly overrated song for what it truly is. In 1964, Nickie Delano and Joe Marturiello left the group and Andy Smith joined the Barries.
Andy Smith, Guy Villano, Jimmmy O'Connor & Al Battista
The last release of the Barries will be released in 1965 with "When You're Out Of School" b/w "The Loneliest Man In Town", both tunes written by their new member Andy Smith. Andy Later recorded with the Frontiers (guitarist on their MGM label 45, "You" in '67) and then helped form another group called Beau Phenom, That group issued one single on the Co-Op label in 1969, "Call Off Life". Lead singer Jimmy O'Connor, would join up with teenagers who formed a group with members who resided in surrounding areas of New Haven, They called their group the Chosen Few. As if that were original! They also recorded for the Co-Op label, which was based out of Merle's Record Rack, a prolific and popular record shop formerly located on Chapel Street in downtown New Haven.
Why Don't You Write Me Mary Ann
Tonight, Tonight The Loneliest Man In Town
When You're Out Of School