The Toys formed in Jamaica, New York in 1961 as a trio with Barbara Harris, Barbara Parritt and June Montiero. They were put together with songwriters Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell and they wrote most of the bands hit including the US No.1 single (UK No.5) A Lover’s Concerto and the follow up single Attack that reached No.18 in the US charts (Uk No.36). Their song Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby was recorded by The Toys in 1966, ? and the Mysterians in 1967 and again in 1998 by Smash Mouth reaching No. 14 in the US charts.
A Lover’s Concerto’s wonderful melody was not written by Linzer and Randell but adapted by them from Minuet in G major (BWV Anh. 114). The piece has been attributed to Bach but it is now thought to be written by the lesser known Christian Petzold (see below). Linzer and Randell cleverly changed the rhythm from 3/4 to 4/4. The tune is constantly changing key and this Girl Group’s soulful version was an instant hit record selling over 2 million copies in the US.
The band only made one album on the DynoVoice label, The Toys Sing A Lover’s Concerto and Attack, with both their hits in the title. They released three more singles in 1966 but they only made the bottom end of the charts. In 1967 they appeared in, It’s A Bikini World one the last Sixties beach movies. A cover of Sealed With A Kiss on Musicor Records released in 1968 also failed commercially and the band broke up after Barbara Harris left to raise a family.
The Toys were a band that seemed to have so much potential but like The Paris Sisters they never managed to follow up their initial success. In 1998 Barbara Harris released a solo CD called, Barbara Now financed by two of her sons (Harris has seven children). The original Toys reformed in 2006 for two years but their star has now faded into history.