From the Land of Band Box Records

The Versatile Barry De Vorzon

De Vorzon in 1959 with Columbia

In my “Cascades” Post we learned that Barry De Vorzon was the founder of Valiant Records – a label which featured not only those Cascades but also Shelby Flint (“Angel on My Shoulder” 1960) and a bit later Barry and the Tamerlanes, The Addrissi Brothers as well as scores of others who didn’t attract much attention.

Image result for shelby flint

Ms Flint at age 21 – Angel on Her Shoulder

Colorado’s Western Slop Lords of London (or “The Lords”) released one single for De Vorzon in 1965.

Colorado’s Lords Made a Brief Stop at Valiant

Barry was born on July 31st, 1934 in New York.  One of his early successes as a composer was co-penning Johnny Burnette’s “Dreamin'” in the Spring of 1960 – a number 11 hit – and Johnny’s first solo hit record.  Barry also co-wrote a hit for Johnny’s brother, Dorsey – “Hey, Little One” which went to number 48 in 1960.  The song would chart two additional times – once for J. Frank Wilson – 1964 number 85. and again for Glen Campbell – 1968 number 54.

In 1958 Barry penned a moderate hit for Marty Robbins, “Just Married” which reached number 26 in 1958.

Barry turned to creating a record label of his own in 1960, Valiant Records.  This came after several singles on the RCA Victor and then Columbia – none of which would reach the charts.  His most successful recording act would be The Association who came to his label in it’s later days – specifically in 1965.

Along Came the Association

The Association would score four charting records for Barry and Valiant before moving on to Warner Bros., in 1967.  After the Cascades had scored big time with “Rhythm of the Rain” – De Vorzon penned a song intended for them “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight”.  The Cascades passed and so Barry had his own group “Barry and The Tamerlanes” cut the record and it went to number 21.  The Tamerlanes included Barry along with Terry Smith and Bodie Chandler.

In Denver the Tamerlane single “Butterfly” was a decent hit but it failed nationally.  His group scored a very minor hit with “Roberta” which was the “A” side of the “Butterfly” release, in February of 1964 reaching only number 127 on the “Bubbling Under” chart.  His group recorded one long play in 1963 without chart success.

After Barry closed Valiant’s doors he would score music for several motion pictures and wrote a tune initially called “Cotton’s Dream” a song which would come to be known to us as “Nadia’s Theme”.  “Cotton’s Dream” was written for the motion picture “Bless the Beasts and Children” but when re-titled became the theme song for the television program “The Young and The Restless”.

Barry would perform the song instrumentally with help from Perry Botkin, Jr., resulting in a number 8 hit record in 1976 and the release of two long plays – the first with the same title as the single charted at number 42.  A second version LP cut of the same title was released simultaneously with the same title – but with only Barry performing without Botkin, this one going to number 133 both in late 1976.

The song would earn Barry a Grammy as “Best Instrumental Arrangement” in 1977.    Barry also co-wrote “Bless the Beasts and the Children” from the motion picture of the same name – in 1971 which would earn Barry and Academy Award nomination.  The single went to number 67 when it was recorded by The Carpenters and placed on the “B” side of “Superstar” which went to number 2.

Barry wrote the “Theme From S.W.A.T.” which was recorded by the Rhythm Heritage going all the way to number 1 in early 1976.

His other writing credits for motion pictures include “Cooley High”, “Dillinger”, “Private Benjamin”, “The Comeback Kid”, “Mr. Man”, and the “Exorcist III”.  His work earned him six Emmy Awards through years.

Barry De Vorzan Selected Discography

45 – RCA Victor 47-7124 – Barbara Jean/Baby Doll – December, 1957

45 – RCA Victor 47-7226 – False Love/Raindrops On My Window – April, 1958

45 – RCA Victor 47-7406 – Honey Bunny/Too Soon – November, 1958

45 – RCA Victor 47-7510 – Cora Lee/Blue, Green and Gold – April, 1959

45 – Columbia 4-41464 – Betty, Betty (Go Steady with Me) – September, 1959

45 – Columbia 4-41612 – Hey Little Darlin’/Rosemary – February, 1960

45 – Columbia 4-41663 – Love You, Baby/The Can-Can Ladies (Down in New Orleans) – April, 1960

45 – Columbia Special Edition 3-42031/Commercial Release 4-42031 – Penny Moved Away/Lindy Lou – May, 1961

45 – Earthtone ET 7005 – Theme From the TV Show “Simon and Simon”/Rick and A.J.’s Theme – 1984

LP – A&M SP-4322 – Bless the Beasts & Children – October, 1971

LP – Arista AL 4104 – Nadia’s Theme (The Young and the Restless) – 1976

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