#750: And Suddenly by the Cherry People
Harry Lookofsky was a trained violinist who ran a small recording studio in New York City. His son, Michael, had an aptitude for music and became his production assistant at the studio. Michael Lookofsky changed his name to Michael Brown. He gathered together some other musicians, including Bert Sommer and Estaban “Steve” Martin Caro. They created a Baroque Pop band featuring the harpsichord, and called themselves The Left Banke. Caro became the lead vocalist. The Left Banke’s first single was a Top Ten hit titled “Walk Away Renee.” Their follow up single, “Pretty Ballerina,” climbed to #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 in Vancouver. Michael Brown wanted to stay at home and write songs, like Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. But the other members headed out on tours of college campuses and Brown released “Ivy Ivy.” The B-side was titled “And Suddenly.” Bert Sommer sang lead on both sides. Sommer went on to perform in the Broadway musical Hair. He was one of the performers on the opening night of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in the Catskill Mountains. Bert Sommers wrote “We’re All Playing in the Same Band” while at Woodstock and later it was a minor hit single for him. Michael Brown left the band in 1967 and formed The Stories in 1970, but left just before their million seller, “Brother Louie,” was released in 1973.