Barri's long, diverse career began in the USA in 1959 when his composition, Suzie Jones, was recorded by the Nortones. Several solo singles followed before the songwriter forged a partnership with former Teddy Bear, Carol Connors. When singles under the latter's name proved unsuccessful, the duo formed the Storytellers with Carol's sister Cheryl. Their debut single, When Two People (Are In Love) (1963), was acquired for the Dimension label by producer Lou Adler. This successful entrepreneur then paired Barri with protege (Phil) P.F. Sloan and together the new team began creating material for many of Adler's acts. Jan And Dean, Johnny Rivers and Terry Black were among those benefiting from Sloan/Barri songs, while the duo also recorded in their own right under various pseudonyms, notably the surfing act the Fantastic Baggys. Their talents as songwriters, producers and arrangers flourished more fully at Adler's Dunhill label, the hub of the west coast folk-rock and protest movement. Sloan's solo releases notwithstanding, the partners made particular contributions to the careers of Barry McGuire and the Grass Roots, while penning hits elsewhere for Herman's Hermits, the Searchers and Turtles. Their relationship was severed in 1967, following which Barri became director of A&R at the newly amalgamated ABC/Dunhill. He signed several major acts, including Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night, and was responsible for revitalising the career of Bobby Blue Bland. Barri then moved to Warner Brothers where he produced, among others, John Sebastian's WELCOME BACKAND the theme to television's HAPPY DAYS, before joining the staff of Motown during the '80s. In 1991, he co-produced the debut album by teenage girl-group the Triplets, which featured a version of Where Were You When I Needed You, a Sloan/Barri collaboration first recorded by the Grass Roots.
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