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Harpers Bizarre

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Biography

Harpers Bizarre was an American pop-rock band of the 1960s, best known for their Broadway/choirboy sound and their remake of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).”


Career

Harpers Bizarre was formed out of The Tikis, a Californian band who enjoyed some local success with Beatle-like songs in the mid 1960s. In 1967, record producer Lenny Waronker got a hold of the Simon & Garfunkel song “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy),” determined to make it into a single. The Tikis recorded it, with the arrangement featuring extended harmonies reminiscent of the work of Brian Wilson or even the Swingle Singers. The song was released under a new band name, “Harpers Bizarre” (a play on the magazine “Harper’s Bazaar”), so as not to alienate The Tikis’ fanbase. The Harpers Bizarre version of the song reached #13 on the American Billboard Hot 100 chart in April 1967, far exceeding any success that The Tikis thus far had.
The success of the single prompted Harpers Bizarre to record their debut album. At this point the band consisted of Ted Templeman (vocals, drums, guitar); Dick Scoppettone (born 5 July 1945; vocals, guitar, bass); Eddie James (guitar); Dick Yount (bass, vocals) and John Petersen (born 8 January 1942; drums, percussion, vocals). Petersen had previously already enjoyed a brief spell of success as member of the Beau Brummels; James left shortly after the first recording sessions and was replaced by Dick Young.

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