We are currently in development of a “performance art” book of prose, poems, and unpublished lyrics by 1960’s international Pop icon Len Barry (1-2-3; lead singer for The Dovells). Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a mostly African-American neighborhood and with a voice to rival James Brown, people around the world were always surprised to find out Len Barry was white. Before Britain was invading the US, he was leading an opposing invasion of Britain with Doo-Wop.
Len Barry was featured in this 2014 PBS special: Rock, Pop and Doo Wop. Blue Room Books has a publish date sometime in late 2020 or early 2021.
Short stories, poems, and song lyrics are being illustrated to enhance the deeper meaning of each selection. As examples, see these two screenshots below. Just as Len Barry was not your typical Pop icon, neither is his current book.
Growing up in West Philly, Len didn’t understand the negative obsession people had with skin color. He loved people. Color didn’t matter. Yet it seemed the world would not let him simply celebrate all shades. This new book runs the gamut from his first deep love of a Black girl and her family’s condemnation of that love when they were teens (“My First Love”) to what it meant to be a father (“I’ll Get Up For Love”) to politics (“Democra-crazy”) to lovers playing false (“Rainbow”), and more slants on more topics such as love, lust, confusion, and even history.