#653: Attack by The Toys
The Toys were a girl group that consisted of Barbara Ann Harris, Barbara Parritt and June Montiero. Both Harris and Parritt came from east coast cities in North Carolina and were born in 1945 and 1944, respectively. June Montiero was born in Queens, New York, in 1946. From an early age Barbara Ann Harris began to sing at her church at the age of six, and by the age of eight she was singing in churches across Elizabeth City, North Carolina. In a 2011 interview with New Jersey.com, Harris commented, “I would go and sing my little heart out…. They would give me a chance to do it. They pulled me up front and said, ‘Go ahead and sing!’ ” She moved with her family to Queens, New York, in 1956. Once she was in high school in the late 50’s, Harris joined a doo-wop quintette of female singers. “We would come home from school and sing and make harmonies. Then we would go out and sing on the street corner or do talent shows or sing at people’s homes — wherever someone invited us to sing. We would sing stuff we heard on radio — R&B and even pop songs. Only in church did we sing church songs; on the street corner, it was rock ‘n’ roll.” The members of the quintette were Betty Stokes, Betty Blocker, Barbara Parritt Toomer, June Montiero and Harris.