Hello, The Quotations are a doo-wop group from Brooklyn, New York. Most of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s American vocal groups formed in schools…sang on street corners…met at friends houses, but The Quotations got together in a Brooklyn pool room. Barney’s Pool Room was the setting for members, Larry Kassman-lead, Richie Schwartz, Lew Amo and Harvey Hirshkowitz to get together. The guys attended Madison High School and formed their group in 1958. They played local places like bowling alleys, to the boardwalk of Brighton Beach. The group ranged in age from 14-16 years old and got their name from the song “Quotations of Love”.
The group met Helen Miller, she was a songwriter who had connections with MGM Records. Helen agreed to manage the group and found that their up-tempo doo-wop style would be good on standards. She choose the Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen classic “IMMAGINATION” as the group’s first single, done with an up-tempo doo-wop style. The single was released on the MGM Records subsidiary, Verve Records in November of 1961.
The Quotations single IMAGINATION was played in heavy rotation on East Coast radio stations and on January 27, 1962 the single made its chart debut on the Billboard Bubbling Under The Hot 100 at #105 and remained on the chart for 5 weeks. The flip side of the single was ALA-MEN-SY, a nursery-rhyme rocker that should have been an “A” side on a future release, it did not chart. The Quotations followed up with another standard that received the up-tempo doo-wop sound, THIS LOVE OF MINE a good rockin’ tune that went unnoticed. Their final single for Verve Records was a remake of The Tempos, SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER, it failed to chart.
The group then moved to Kapp Records in 1963 and recorded a rock ballad, IS IT TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT BARBARA backed with TOO YOUNG, again failing to reach the national charts. The Quotations released a song in 1964 that had actually been recorded in 1962, IN THE NIGHT but it failed to chart. They continued to perform locally and in the South, but the big national hit record never came. The group split and each member went his way to pursue new careers, but The Quotations music is to this day a special part of doo-wop music. The groups lone chart record IMAGINATION along with the flip side ALA-MEN-SY are both listed by Gribin/Schiff in their book, “The Complete Book Of Doo-Wop” as two of the greatest doo-wop hits of all time…and are favorites with doo-wop music fans world-wide.
Till the next time—Joe