Barry Lee and the Actions


Cleveland, 1963-6

In 1964 Lee Cuilli followed Bocky's path out of Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood and into the management fold of Redda Robbins. His first release, "Make It", appeared on the Redda label as the more pronouncable, less ethnic sounding Barry Lee. The record had a sound similar to Bocky & the Visions' popular recordings of the time and became a hit on local radio. It actually sounds like the Visions and their backing band Richie & The Fortunes behind Barry. All involved really shine on the flip side, "Things Gotta Change", a rockin' combination of Doo-Wop, R&B and garage band styles, which we here at BuckeyeBeat refer to as "The Cleveland Sound". The master was leased to United Artists, who released it nationally on their Veep subsidiary. The record failed to chart outside of the Cleveland area and no immediate follow up was issued.

Barry continued to perform locally, assembling his own backing band, The Actions, made up mostly of area high school students. Members included Dave Zaller (guitar), Vince Baskovic (bass), and Ken Ruscittio (drums). Another stab at recording came in 1966 with the one-shot Wine & Roses label. "For Such A Little Wrong" was a fine pop effort, in the style of Jay & The Americans minus the production budget. The flip side, "Try Me", leaned more in the British Invasion direction. Once again local airplay led to a national release, this time on different United Artists sub label, Ascot Records. Unfortunately this one didn't dent the charts either and that was the last we've heard from Barry Lee.

A 1968 single by the Barry Lee Show is an unrelated UK artist.