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Brian Hyland


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Brian was born November 12, 1943, in Brooklyn/Queens, New York City, where his first musical experience ranged from church choir at nine, to clarinet and guitar, to his first local harmony group, the Delfis. In 1959, they cut a demo record and made the rounds of New York City record labels. Finally, with much persistence, after many closed doors, Brian was signed as a solo artist to a management contract, where he cut demos for band leader Sammy Kaye’s publishing company. Kapp Records heard a demo and signed Brian at age 16. That became his first record “Rosemary” and was followed that summer of 1960 by the now infamous “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” which got a nod from Brian’s cousin by marriage, Larry, of The Three Stooges, on their local New York TV Show, Three Stooges Fun House, although they wouldn’t meet till eight years later in Hollywood. In 1961, the song was used as a successful brainwashing technique in the classic Billy Wilder movie comedy, “One,Two,Three” starring James Cagney. It was Brian’s first Gold Record, selling millions world wide and racing to #1 in the U.S. briefly edging ahead of Elvis’ all time biggest hit, “It’s Now Or Never,” as well as reaching the top of the charts in Japan, where he toured and performed in a TV special.

Not to be deterred, by this simple twist of fate, Brian quickly moved on to ABC Records, in 1961, sharing their short pop roster with The Impressions and Ray Charles, where he cut a string of chart records with the NY writing/production team of Gary Geld and Peter Udell.


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