The Toys – A Lover’s Concerto

8th August 2022 · 1960s, 1965, Music, Soul

The Toys were a teenage trio who formed at high school in New York in 1961. They sold two million copies of their only hit single.

Barbara Harris and Barbara Parritt, both originally from North Carolina, and June Montiero formed the group when they were 14, 15 and 16 at high school in Jamaica, Queens.

They sang on street corners, entered talent shows, and turned up at the Brill Building on Broadway to ask for work as backing vocalists.

Music manager Vince Marc spotted them at a talent show and introduced them to songwriters Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell who wrote most of their songs.

They recorded four of them at their first session, having rehearsed three of them for weeks and spent several takes to get them sounding exactly as they wanted.

At the end of the session they threw in an unrehearsed bonus track written by Linzer and Randell and recorded in one take.

With a melody borrowed from an 18th century classical composition, Minuet In G Major (attributed for centuries to Bach but now ascribed to Christian Petzold), A Lover’s Concerto went on to sell two million copies and reached No.2 in 1965 (and No.5 in the UK).

It has been covered countless times by artists including The Supremes, The Delfonics and Sarah Vaughan but The Toys’ only other minor hit was a cover of Brian Hyland’s Sealed with a Kiss.

They also had a cameo role in a 1967 film called It’s A Bikini World, apparently something called a “beach movie.”