Classic Urban Harmony, LLC

"We Take You Back In The Day"





    What's New?

  Mills Brothers Society

    Our Events

  Bookshelf, DVD's


Presentation and Event Photo Album

    Charlie's Bio

    Pam's Bio


    Responses to
    our Presentations

    Articles & Press
    About Us

   Our Brochure

    Articles by Us

[New!]Wally Osborne & Starfires

Satan & the Angels - Blue Eyed Soul

Tony Talent & the Coalitions

Golden Bells & Contessas

Sweet Delights

Sammy Strain & the Imperials, 1964 -, Part 4 in the series

Sammy Strain & the Imperials, 1961 - 1963 Part 3

Sammy Strain & the Fantastics Part 2

Sammy Strain & the Chips Part 1

Asbury Park Vocal Groups Pt. 2

Asbury Park Vocal Groups, Pt.1

Philly's Original Capris

Little Jimmy & The Tops

Teddy & Twilights, Deckers

Groups from Philly's Francisville - Belltones, Joe Cook's Thrillers, Royal Demons, Madison Brothers

Sensations - Part 1

Sensations - Part 2

Johnny Maestro, the Crests & Brooklyn Bridge

Johnny Stiles & the Medallions on Essex

The Plurals

The Vic Donna Story

Orioles' Deborah Chessler

Tyrone & the Nu-Ports

Windy City Harmony: Calvaes, Blenders & Accents

        The Del Larks

Richard Barrett Part 1: The Valentines

Richard Barrett
Part 2:
Frankie Lymon & Teenagers

Richard Barrett
Part 3: The Chantels, Clickettes,
Fashions Veneers

Richard Barrett
Part 4:

Little Anthony & Imperials

Richard Barrett
Part 5: Lewis Lymon
Teenchords Jimmy Castor & Juniors

Richard Barrett
Part 6: The Channels,
Isley Bros, Del Knights

Richard Barrett Part 7: The 3 Degrees, Showmen

    Visit Our

Our Photo Gallery:
Our Musical Family

Our Photo Gallery:
CUH Archives

Renovations to the Classic Urban Harmony Library

    Concert Reviews,
    Photos & Events

bullet [New!]Choice at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Philly Ringtones at Franklin Township Library
[New!]Curators Talk, Spirituals to Soul Exhibit
bullet [New!]Sonny Til's son & grandson visit Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters
bullet [New!]Re-MedmberThen at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Quiet Storm at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Spirituals to Soul Museum Exhibit, Freehold
bulletVelvet Candles in Barcelona, Spain
bulletFilming Doo Wop Documentary
bullet2015 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
bullet Monmouth University West Side Music Exhibit
bulletAsbury Park West Side Music Exhibit Monmouth University - Set Up
bulletAsbury Park West Side Music Exhibit, Heaven Gallery
bullet2014 Philly Doo Wop Festival
bulletTNT with Vic Donna Group & Charlie Horner
bulletAsbury Angels 2014, Bobby Thomas
bulletRichard Nader Doo Wop Concert XXV
bullet2014 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
bullet Billy Vera Big Band at the Cutting Room NYC
bullet VGHA Extravaganza III
bullet Asbury Park Gospel Explosion

African American
Museum Philadelphia
Gospel Awards Ceremony

bullet Ray Goodman & Brown in Plainfield
at NJ Doo Wop Singers Club 2013

bulletEncounters at Somerset Run
bulletRichard Nader's Doo Wop Celebration XXVI
2013 Asbury Angels Plaque Dedications
bullet VGHA Acappella Extravaganza II
bullet2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
bullet Time Capsule Show 50th Anniversary
2013 Portsmouth, VA Gospel Concert
at Manchester, NJ

at New Providence Library

bulletJohn Moore's Middle Room Records Closes
bulletLittle Isidore in Fair Lawn, NJ
bulletNJ Doo Wop Singers Club Jan 2013
bulletCelebrating Asbury Park's West Side Harmony
bulletDoo Wop Singers Club 4th Anniversary
bulletChuck Berry Honored by the R&R Hall of Fame
bulletQuiet Storm at Somerset Run
bulletAsbury Angels 2012 Induction Ceremony
bullet2012 Philly Doo Wop Festival
bullet2012 Lead East
bulletTNT R&B and Doo Wop Party, Aug 2012
bulletPam Nardella's Frankie Lymon Tombstone BBQ
bullet Classic Urban Harmony Celebrates Vocal Harmony & the Masqueraders 50th Anniversary
bulletFrankie Lymon Tombstone Finds a New Home
bulletStormin Norman Seldin & Return of Ray & Darchaes in Monmouth Beach NJ
bullet2012 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
bulletTNT North Jersey R&B and Doo Wop Party - 2nd Anniversary
bulletAcappella Extravaganza at Molloy College 2011
bulletDoo Wop Singers Club (NJ) Third Anniversary
bulletSoul of Asbury Park Concert
bulletMasqueraders Silver Star Competition
bullet6th Annual Philly Doo Wop Festival
bulletSouth Philly String Band Club After Party to 6th Philly Doo Wop Festival
bulletTymes' Norman & Peggy Burnett BBQ 2011
bullet2011 Lead East
bullet Morris Museum Acappella & Doo Wop Concert # Two
bullet Morris Museum Acappella Concert # One
bulletClassic Urban Harmony Presentation NJ Doo Wop Groups Part 2
bulletClassic Urban Harmony Presentation NJ Doo Wop Groups Part 1
bulletMorris Museum LaBamba & Quiet Storm Concert
bulletMorris Museum Jersey Rocks Exhibit Opening
bulletMorris Museum Jersey Rocks Launch Party
bulletEvening With Vocal Group Legends Concert
bulletRe-memberThen Finds Its Echo
bulletSteve Applebaum Tribute Concert
bulletWFDU Fundraiser, Teaneck, NJ March 2011
bullet Four J's Jimmy Testa Tribute & Benefit Concert
bulletVic Donna Group Rehearsal at CUH Headquarters
bulletPam & Charlie's 5th Anniversary Celebration - Multi Parts
bullet2010 Philly Doo Wop Festival
bullet"Doll Face" Musical Comedy
bulletNJ Doo Wop & Street Corner Harmony Association
bulletNick @ Nite Open Mic Night
bulletLeins Wedding
bullet"Fun-Raiser" at South Philly String Band Club
bulletRichard Nader’s Summer Doowop Reunion XXI
bulletPhilly Doo Wop Diner Mural
bulletMaking Crossroads 2
bulletCornerstone CD Release Party
bulletVirginia Legends of Gospel Concert
bulletS. Philly Stringband Club Jan 13, 2010
bulletRemembering Ronnie I. Concert Nov 2009
bulletPGHA's Heavenly Harmony XII Concert
bulletS. Philly Stringband
bulletFilming a Documentary
on Acappella
bulletAcappella Group Soul'D
Out on
Oct 2009
bulletBattleship New Jersey Dance & Concert
bulletWVLT Cruisin' 92.1 Concert
bulletTymes' Norman & Peggy Burnett 2009 BBQ
bullet2009 Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival
bulletAcappella Group Choice at Franklin Township Public Library
bullet American Bandstand Studio Fundraiser
bulletAcappella at the South Philly String Band Club Revisited
bulletFour Man Trio at At Dover NJ's Attilio's Tavern
bulletNicky Addeo at Asbury Park's Wonder Bar
bulletASAP's First Acappella Concert
bulletAcappella at the South Philly String Band Club
bulletVisiting Radio's Past & Present at WDVR-FM
bullet Chicago SoulTrip USA
bulletR&R Hall
of Fame
Interview with
Orioles' Deborah

bulletSilhouettes' John Wilson Visits CUH World Headquarters
bulletNJ Doowop Group Harmony Club, 2009.
bullet New Years Eve 2008 with Nicky Addeo & Nite Owls
bullet 2008 European Road Trip: Deep River Quartet & Golden Gate Quartet
bullet 2008 Black Swan Burlington Concert
bullet 2008 Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival
bullet Mills Bros,
Ink Spots
Beach Haven

bulletPhilly Doo Wop
Festival 2008

bullet Philly Doo Wop
Festival 2006


    In Tribute

bullet Dick Rietveld, Deep River Quartet
bullet Robert Murphy, Neighbors Complaint
bullet Walter McNeil, Gospel Nobleaires
bullet Jewel Akens, 4 Dots
bulletVirgil Johnson, Velvets
bulletCleotha Staples, Staple Singers
bulletDarlene McCrae, Cookies, Raeletts
bulletGregory Carroll, Four Buddies, Orioles, Dappers, Ink Spots
bulletJerome Ramos, Velours
bulletMickey "Guitar" Baker
bulletEarl Speedo Carroll, Cadillacs
bulletMajor Harris, Delfonics, Nat Turner Rebellion, R&B Soloist
bulletBilly Scott, Prophets
bulletCleve Duncan, Penguins
bulletDeborah Chessler, Songwriter,Mentor to the Orioles
bulletWilla Ward, Ward Singers, Gay Charmers
bulletBobby Thomas, Vibranaires, Vibes, V-Eights, Orioles
bulletJohn Jones, Moments Pleasure, Norristones, Copians
bulletChester Brown. The Counts
bulletJimmy Ellis, Trammps, Cordells, Exceptions
bulletJimmy Castor
bulletJack Scandura
bullet Cadillacs' Bobby Phillips
bulletBobby Robinson
bulletRobins' Grady Chapman
bullet Blue Notes' Roosevelt Brodie
bullet Moonglows' Harvey Fuqua
bulletCrests' & Brooklyn Bridge's Johnny Maestro
bulletDelroys' Reggie Walker
bulletSolitaires' & Vocaleers' Herman Dunham
bulletValentines' & Del-Knights' Eddie Edgehill
bulletChris Bartley
bulletSilhouettes' John Wilson
bulletLes Paul
bullet Castelles' Billy Taylor

    1950's R&B &
    Doo Wop


The Academics 


The Avalons


The Avons


The Blue Notes (original)


Claude Robinson & Creations


The 5 Embers


The Juveniles/ Twilights/ Embers


The Silhouettes

    1960's Soul

bulletThe Ad-Libs
bullet Jackson Five (Pre-Motown & Other Rarities)

    Carolina Beach Music

bullet The Poor Souls

    Modern Era
    Doo Wop Groups

bullet40 Years of Group Harmony: Ray Block's Photos of Vintage, Ad-Libs, Reunion, Bon-Aires, East River Drive
bulletYounger Dayz

    Gospel Groups

Angelic Gospel

bulletClaude Jeter & the Swan Silvertones

    Early Black
    Vocal Groups
    1870 -1930


The American
Jubilee Singers



The Dinwiddie Quartet

   History of


The 60th Anniversary of the Vinyl 45 RPM Single

    Rare Record

bulletHico Label

   Holiday Harmony

bullet Vocalaries' White Christmas
bulletPenguins' A Christmas Prayer
bulletDominoes' Christmas In Heaven
bulletCameos' Merry Christmas
bulletDrifters' White Christmas
Lonely Christmas


bullet Philadelphia Area Doo Wop & Acappella Groups
bulletBermuda Vocal Groups


Unknown Vocal Groups

     Great LINKS




Reverend Brenda Boone Productions
& the Higher Praise Community Choir Presents
A "Soul Stirring" Gospel Legendary Reunion
Portsmouth, VA, March 24, 2013


On March 23, 2013, we (Charlie & Pam) traveled to Portsmouth, VA, for the Reverend Brenda Boone’s gospel program.  When we landed in Portsmouth it was a beautiful day – seventy degrees and sunny – while much of the country was blanketed by a late March snowstorm.  We were concerned for the concert the next day (March 24), since the forecast for Portsmouth was for much colder temperatures, heavy rain and high winds.

Foremost on our minds were the memories of previous years’ gospel concerts and the rich history of quartet singing in the Tidewater area.  [Tidewater is the collective term for the low lying coastal Virginia areas of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach and Newport News.]  Who can ignore the 150 year musical history that includes the Norfolk Jubilee Quartet, the Silver Leaf Quartet,  the Golden Gate Quartet, the Five Keys, the Avalons, the Sheiks, the Chateaus and many more.

This year’s concert was to be held in Portsmouth, birthplace of Ruth Brown.  We took the opportunity to walk around the Olde Towne section of Portsmouth, a one square mile historic district with a large collection of architecturally important 18th and 19th Century homes.

Historic Olde Towne section of Portsmouth, VA

Charlie in Portsmouth.  Magnolias were in bloom.

Obviously, this is where Ruth Brown was born

We didn't realize Bill Deal of the Rhondels was born in Portsmouth until we saw this street sign.
For more info on Bill Deal, see www.billdealonline.com

The producer of the gospel program was Reverend Brenda Boone who also manages the Higher Praise Community Choir of Hampton Roads.  We’ve attended two previous gospel programs produced by Rev. Boone and found them very inspirational.  This year promised to be especially exciting, with the honored guests being the Soul Stirrers.  Joining the Soul Stirrers for this concert would be former Soul Stirrers’ lead (and now member of the Golden Gate Quartet), Frankie Davis.

On Sunday morning, we spotted a member of the Soul Stirrers in our hotel and learned from him that the rest of the Soul Stirrers would soon be coming down to the lobby shortly.  Jeffrey (JD), the group's guitarist, was soon joined by long time Soul Stirrers’ Leroy Crume and Arthur Crume.  They were almost immediately joined by Frankie Davis.  We have been friends with Frankie Davis for some time, having known him through our association with the Golden Gate Quartet.  Prior to singing with the Gates, Frankie had been the lead of the Soul Stirrers and his voice is remarkably similar to the late Sam Cooke who also led the Soul Stirrers.


Soul Stirrers' JD, Arthur Crume with Charlie Horner

Left to right: Leroy Crume, Frankie Davis, J.D., Arthur Crume

Left to right: Charlie Horner, Leroy Crume,
Frankie Davis, Pam Horner, J.D., Arthur Crume


While we were talking to the Soul Stirrers, our friends Jim Bakay (WRDV Radio), Carl Tancredi and Holly Heinz joined us, having driven in from Philadelphia, PA.

Left to right, top: Frankie Davis, Leroy Crume, Jim Bakay
Front: J.D., Arthur Crume

Left to right: Frankie Davis,Leroy Crume, Carl Tancredi, Jim Bakay,
J.D., Holly Heinz, Arthur Crume


We all started out for Willett Hall, a 2000 seat entertainment facility in Portsmouth with known outstanding acoustics.

Willett Hall, Portsmouth, VA

The Willett Hall stage
(Photo from www.willett-hall-portsmouth.com)


Prior to the program, Leroy Crume entertained the audience by talking about how he joined the Soul Stirrers at the age of 20, being born into a sharecropper family in Swift, MO.  Leroy was with the Soul Stirrers during the Sam Cooke era of the 1950's.  He fascinated us with stories of singing with the Soul Stirrers in Europe and his friendships with Sam Cooke, Solomon Burke and many others.  We have a huge collection of Soul Stirrers recordings in our archives already but we were quick to purchase two of their newer CD's.

Soul Stirrers' Leroy Crume

Soul Stirrers Live CD from 2002

The program began shortly after 4 PM with Reverend Brenda Boone offering a prayer.  We were then introduced to gospel comedian and WPCE radio personality, Steven Alexander, who would emcee the event.  Steven Alexander is a hilarious comedian and one of the best emcees we've seen in a long time.  He emceed the last several gospel programs that Rev. Boone produced and we were glad to see him back for this one.

Steven Alexander (right)

Opening the concert were five-year-old Jessica Elise and her sister Jada.  They delighted the audience with the vocal duet of "This Little Light Of Mine". 

Five-year-old Jessica and sister Jada

Sister Cynthia Silver sang a powerful rendition of "God Did It".

Sister Cynthia Silver

The Mighty Stars, the band that in the past backed Frankie Davis, gave us one song but it was memorable.  Their instrumental of "Walk Around Heaven All Day" featured an unbelievably great saxophone player who brought his sax down into the audience.

The Mighty Stars Gospel Band

Mighty Stars sax player

Evangelist Tracy Edwards-Wright gave us acappella renditions of a few songs including "I Made Up My Mind" and "Sending Up My Timbers".  Tracy has written twenty inspirational books.  She also talked of recently losing her father who sang with the Singing Larks, a gospel quartet that we know recorded for the Fink-Pinewood label.

Evangelist Tracy Edwards-Wright

The Gospel Disciples were one of the many highlights of the program for us.  We'd never seen this group before and they shocked us by opening their set with an acappella version of "Learning To Lean On Jesus".  As a trio, the group had outstanding harmony.  They then brought on a band who backed them on the next couple numbers.  Again in great harmony, the Gospel Disciples sang "Oh Lord I've Come To Receive My Blessing".  For their final number, the group gave gospel lyrics to the Heavy D & the Boyz' tune "Now That We Found Love" and turned it into "Now That We've Found God".  Great job!  For decades R&B groups have been taking gospel songs and changing the lyrics to secular ones.  It's only fair that a gospel group changes a secular song into a gospel song.  The Gospel Disciples have three CD's out, which we immediately purchased.  We're looking forward to seeing this group again.


The Gospel Disciples

The Gospel Disciples

The Gospel Disciples

One of three CD's by the Gospel Disciples


WPCE Radio's Jermaine JJ Johnson making an appearance

Another group that impressed us that we hadn't seen before was the Hurdle Brothers of Portsmouth, VA.  They sang "His Eye Is On The Sparrow," "I've Got A Right To The Tree Of Life" and "Because He Lives"

The Hurdle Brothers

The Hurdle Brothers

The Hurdle Brothers

Sister Carolyn Smith gave us nice renditions of "I Want Jesus To Walk With Me," "Falling In Love With Jesus" and "Walk Around Heaven All Day".

Sister Carolyn Smith

Up next was Rev. Brenda Boone & the Higher Praise Community Choir of Hampton Roads, directed by Steven Alexander.  They began with "One More Time," a song that gave a number of the singers a chance to sing lead.  We are always excited to hear this choir, especially when the lead voice is one of our favorite singers, Sister Mattie Wood.  Sister Mattie Wood led the choir on "What A Wonderful God" and it was obvious she was enjoying herself and didn't want to leave the stage.  We've been fans of hers since her records on the Pinewood label in the 1970's.  Thank you Rev. Boone for your work with the Higher Praise Community Choir.


The Higher Praise Community Choir.  Steven Alexander (front).
Reverend Brenda Boone (right).

Rev. Brenda Boone

Sister Mattie Wood

Sister Mattie Wood's 1975 recording of
"Maybe You".  Mattie recalls the group
backing her on this record is the
Southern Hummingbirds.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Recent CD by Rev. Brenda Boone & Higher Praise Community Choir

Another of our favorite groups from previous years' programs is the Word Singers from Norfolk, VA.  They opened with "Today" and followed it with "Don't Mind Waiting At The Gate," a song led by Frankie Davis (different from the Frankie Davis who we'd later hear sing with the Soul Stirrers), who also wrote the song.

The Word Singers

The Word Singers

The Word Singers latest CD

It's always exciting to see Elder Ronnie Harper & the Harmonizing Echoes sing.  In previous programs, Elder Harper brings his high energy singing down into the audience, but the venue's stage didn't permit that this time.  Still, Elder Ronnie Harper didn't disappoint, singing such Harmonizing Echoes favorites as "A Good Man," "Real Love" and "I want To Be Real".

The Harmonizing Echoes

Elder Ronnie Harper

Elder Ronnie Harper & the Harmonizing Echoes

Of course, one of the gospel vocal harmony groups we always want to see is Van Jones & King David's Harp.  Another spectacular set from the group again this year!  They started with a short verse from "Saving My Soul" and then launched into acappella versions of "Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross" and "The Denial," a song that we gave them (in fact they acknowledged us from the stage).  Singing with music, they then gave us an incredible renditions of "Jesus I Love You" and "Too Far To Turn Around".  Great job, guys!

King David's Harp

King David's Harp

King David's Harp

Van Jones & King David's Harp CD


One of the super stars of gospel music is Rev. Luther Barnes.  We've seen him sing with the Sunset Jubilaires of Rocky Mount, NC, on previous programs and he's always been outstanding.  This year was no exception.  Rev. Barnes led a great set, starting with "Waiting On You Lord" followed by "Heaven On My Mind," "He'll Do Just What He Said," Yet Lord" and "Keep On Leaning On The Lord".

Rev. Barnes dedicated his hit song "It's Your Time" to Rev. Brenda Boone.  He closed with "Keep On Blessing Me".

Rev. Luther Barnes & Sunset Jubilaires

Rev. Luther Barnes & Sunset Jubilaires

Rev. Luther Barnes

As great as the program was so far, there was still the featured group of the evening coming up - the Legendary Soul Stirrers!

Leroy Crume started the set off by leading the group in "Here I Am Again," as song he wrote.  Leroy had been with the Soul Stirrers as far back as the Sam Cooke days in the mid 1950's.  His brother, Arthur Crume, another long time Soul Stirrer sang and played guitar along with JD.  Frankie Davis, now a member of the Golden Gate Quartet (located in Paris), was reunited with his former group, the Soul Stirrers, for the first time in many years!  Leroy explained that back in the day, Frankie Davis had been recommended to the Soul Stirrers by the Mighty Clouds Of Joy.

The Soul Stirrers, Left to right:
JD, Frankie Davis (special guest), Arthur Crume, Leroy Crume

Frankie Davis led the group in the Sam Cooke song, "God Is Standing By".  Leroy and Frankie shared the leads on an incredible "Be With Me Jesus".  Frankie Davis then sang "Touch The Hem Of His Garment" in his "Sam Cooke voice".

The Soul Stirrers

Frankie Davis

The Soul Stirrers

Leroy Crume sang "Resting Easy".  At this point the audience began shouting for Frankie Davis to sing "A Change Is Gonna Come," a tradition at these yearly gospel concerts.  At this point, Frankie Davis was fighting a severe cold and the set was beginning to take it's toll on his voice.  He gallantly started the song, allowing Leroy to finish it.  It was a magnificent and historic set and everyone left the hall quite pleased.

Frankie Davis & Leroy Crume
singing "A Change Is Gonna Come"


After the program, we had a chance to socialize with some of our friends.  Though the concert had been almost five hours long, we hardly left our seats for fear of missing anything.  What a great time.  We can't wait until next year!

Charlie Horner, Jim Bakay, Carl Tancredi, Otis Jones (King David's Harp)

Pam Horner, Otis Jones (King David's Harp), Rev. Brenda Boone (program producer).

Otis Jones, Charlie Horner, Van Jones (King David's Harp)

For reviews and photos of past Portsmouth VA Gospel concerts click 2010 VA Gospel Concert or 2012 VA Gospel Concert.


Copyright © Classic Urban Harmony LLC, 2013.  All Rights Reserved.