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The Quotations

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The Quotations were a doo-wop band, primarily from James Madison High School in East Brooklyn, New York.

The group started in 1958 at Barney’s Pool Room on Kings Highway in East Brooklyn, New York. The original members of the group were Richie Schwartz (first tenor), Lew Arno (second tenor) and Harvey Hersh (baritone) who hung out together harmonizing. Larry Kassman later asked if he could sing with the group; Kassman soon became lead for the group.

The group later picked up the name “Quotations” from one of the songs they liked to perform - “Quotations of Love” written by a friend of the group, Mike Rose. The group often sung at the Rainbow Store on Kings Highway near the train station; on the Manhattan Beach and Brighton Beach boardwalks; and at Sid Gordon’s bowling alley - all Brooklyn favorites for teenagers. In 1959, the group made their first demos - “Time Was”, “Sunday Kind of Love” and “September in the Rain”.

Helen Miller worked for the producer Don Kirshner as a songwriter. She heard the Quotations’ music and became their manager. Miller shopped the group around and they eventually met up with executives at Verve Records. Historically, Verve was not considered a doo-wop label, focusing more on jazz and blues music. The group chose to do a new, uptempo style version of Jimmy Van Heusen’s classic “Imagination”. The record was released in 1961 and reached Top-40 status by the end of the year.

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