Author Topic: The Barons  (Read 3702 times)

smjwalsh

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The Barons
« on: April 30, 2012, 08:47:40 AM »
I have been working on Jan and Dean's wikipedia page in the last week. Here's what is there currently on The Barons:

"In order to enter at a talent competition at University High School, Berry and Torrance helped form a doo-wop group]] known as "The Barons" (named after their high school's Hi-Y club, where they were members), which comprised fellow University High students William "Chuck" Steele (lead singer), Arnold P. "Arnie" Ginsburg (born November 19, 1939) (1st tenor), Wallace S. "Wally" Yagi (born 20 July 1940) (2nd tenor), John 'Sagi" Seligman (2nd tenor), with Berry singing bass, and Torrence providing falsetto.

During its short duration, Sandy Nelson, a neighbor of Torrence, played drums, and future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, occasionally sang and played piano. The Barons rehearsed for hours in the garage of Berry's parents' home at 1111 Linda Flora Drive, Bel Air, where Berry's father provided an upright piano and two two-track Ampex reel-to-reel tape recorders. During primitive recording sessions in the garage, Berry served as producer and arranger, and experimented with multi-part vocal arrangements (five years before he started working professionally with Brian Wilson).

In 1958 The Barons performed to popular acclaim at the talent competition at University High School, covering contemporary hits like "Get a Job", "Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay", and "Short Shorts". However, after the contest various members of The Barons drifted away, leaving only Berry and Torrance, who tried to write their own songs."

Any corrections needed?

I have tried to identify the members of The Barons. Is this the correct line-up?


jdman

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Re: The Barons
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 02:18:40 AM »
In 1958, didn't it leave just Berry and Ginsberg from the Barons?

smjwalsh

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Re: The Barons
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 06:19:29 AM »
Whole article makes chronology clear. J & D were sole remnants of The Barons, were working together until Arnie brought "Jennie Lee" to them. The three worked on it, J was about to record but D had to report to Fort Ord next day, so J & A record in garage (D may well be in the mix). It is re-recorded by J&A on Arwin.

jdman

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Re: The Barons
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 12:33:57 PM »
That's my point. I don't think Dean was around at all for Jennie Lee. That was just Jan & Arnie. I don't believe it was Jan & Dean until Arnie left. Check on that. I'm pretty sure Dean wasn't around at all for Jennie Lee.

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Re: The Barons
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 04:55:13 PM »

Those are names that Dean has said were part of the singing group. I'm not sure it had a set lineup, but maybe some were more regular than others. Jan's garage was a hangout for a number of people -- not just his singing group.

Dean was not a member of the school's Hi-Y Barons club. Neither were Sandy Nelson or Bruce Johnston.

In my opinion, Wikipedia is a lost cause. Any hack can change it at any time. I stopped looking at it long ago for this reason. I wish you luck in trying to stay on top of it.

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Re: The Barons
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 04:57:49 PM »

I've interviewed John Seligman. His participation was less than some of the others.

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Re: The Barons
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 11:42:13 PM »
Whole article makes chronology clear. J & D were sole remnants of The Barons, were working together until Arnie brought "Jennie Lee" to them. The three worked on it, J was about to record but D had to report to Fort Ord next day, so J & A record in garage (D may well be in the mix). It is re-recorded by J&A on Arwin.

Arnie Ginsburg was a member of the Uni High School Hi-Y Barons club, AND a member of Jan's singing group of the same name. So Jan and Dean were not the sole remnants of the Barons. Arnie was there all along, until he left in early 1959.

Dean may have sung on informal performances or recordings of "Jennie Lee," but he is not present on any of the surviving recordings. There is a version featuring vocals, piano, and percussion before the song was augmented professionally in the studio. And there are just two voices Jan & Arnie. Jan included this version on one of his KJAN tapes, calling the artist The Barons (even though it was just Jan & Arnie singing). There are also multiple takes of this version on producer Joe Lubin's personal reel tapes from the sessions. I have these.

I've interviewed both Arnie Ginsburg and Joe Lubin and both are/were adamant that Dean had nothing to do with "Jennie Lee." And Dean is not on any of the six commercially released Jan & Arnie sides. The backing vocals were recorded by professional session singers.