Sunday, February 18, 2018

Len Barry – "1-2-3" (1965)

Like takin’ candy
From a baby

It seems appropriate that “1-2-3” had three co-authors.

Len Barry, who sang the song, was one of the songwriters credited with “1-2-3.”  Barry was once the lead singer of the Dovells, the Philadelphia quartet whose biggest hit was “Bristol Stomp” in 1961.  (By the way, Barry’s real name was Leonard Borisoff.)

The other two songwriters who contributed to “1-2-3” were John Medora (a/k/a John Madara) and David White.

John Medora and David White in 2013
Medora and White had collaborated on other hits.  With the help of Artie Singer, they wrote “At the Hop,” a #1 single for Danny and the Juniors in 1958.  (The song was famously performed at Woodstock by Sha Na Na.)

But Medora and White’s best joint effort was “You Don’t Own Me,” the proto-feminist anthem that was recorded by Lesley Gore in 1963.  (It’s interesting that “You Don’t Own Me” – in which a female singer declares her emotional and sexual independence from her overbearing boyfriend – was written by two males and sung by a lesbian.)

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It appears that “taking candy from a baby” first appeared in print around 1900.

The guys at Mythbusters once tested just how much effort was required to take candy from a six-month-old baby.  Click here if you ain’t got nothin’ but time and you’d like to waste some of it by watching that episode.

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Here’s “1-2-3”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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