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the ad libs

The Ad Libs

The Ad Libs comprised of:

Mary Ann Thomas

Hugh Harris

Danny Austin

Norman Donegan


David Watt (d. 2008)

The Ad Libs originated from Bayonne In New Jersey, and were formed around 1964.

Prior the Ad Libs incarnation, the spine of the group recorded under the name of the Creators, who comprised of Hugh Harris, James Wright (later a member of The Spellbinders), John Alan, Danny Austin and Chris Coles.

The Creators had a few single releases in 1962, including 'I'll Never Do It Again', 'Yeah, He's Got It' and 'I'll Stay Home (New Years Eve)' for the Philips and T-Kay imprints.

Lieber and Stoller

lieber and stoller

The group became the Ad Libs in 1964 in Newark, New Jersey, and were signed to Blue Cat Records, after their demo tape to Red Bird Records owners Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller,who signed the group to their Blue Cat imprint.

I'll Never Do It AgainThe Boy From New York City

creators - i'll never do it again - 1962 - 45 / ad libs - the boy from new york city - 1965 - 45

The group then released their most well known side, 'The Boy From New York City', in 1965, written by John T. Taylor, a saxophone player and George Davis.

John had worked with various big band groups as far back as the '30's.

Previously, John T. Taylor had quit playing music and had become a teacher.

John had heard about the Creators, originally, and followed the group into their new incarnation, writing for the ensemble, resulting in the hit single.

'The Boy From New York City' b/w 'Kicked Around' was released in December 1964 and by March 1965 the song had climbed to number eight on the pop charts and number six on the R & B charts.

A follow us single 'He Ain't No Angel' b/w 'Ask Anybody' (written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich), was released in 1965.

Think Of MeNew York In The Dark

think of me - 1966 - 45 / new york in the dark - 1968 - 45

Two further singles were recorded for Blue Cat ('On The Corner' and 'Just A Down Home Girl') after which the group left the label and signed with a few labels (Karen, Eskee, Philips, A.G.P. and Share)

After the Ad Libs signed with Share Records of New York, they recorded their last Top 40 hit, 'Giving It Up' b/w 'Appreciation' (number 34 R & B) in 1969.

The group, subsequently, went through various changes of line-up.

The Seveties saw the release of sides for Capitol, Owl, Right On and Passion.

These sides included 'Love Me', 'Human', 'Dance With Me Children' and 'I Don't Need No Fortune Teller'.

In 1989, John Taylor set up Johnnie Boy Records, releasing new Ad Libs material.

This line-up included Dave Watt, Mary Ann Thomas, Chris Bartley, Abby Grant and Ray Block.

Two sides were released, 'I Stayed Home (New Years Eve)' b/w 'Santa's On His Way' and 'Close To Me' b/w 'Close To Me instrumental'.

In 1996, the group released their last side to date, namely 'Human'.

'The Boy From New York City' has also charted in the U.K. for the group Darts in 1978 and in the U.S. for The Manhattan Transfer in 1981.

Mary Ann Thomas passed away from pancreatic cancer a few years ago.

Huey Harris and David Watt both have also passed away (David in 2008).

Danny Austin joined the church and no longer sings secular music.

The Ad Libs and Friends

Real Player


Ad Libs & Friends (Collectables 1996)

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