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Accents

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Biography

Comprised of Mike Lasman (lead), Shelly Weiss (first tenor), Allan Senzan (second tenor) and Ian Kaye (baritone), doo wop group the Accents formed at local high schools in Brooklyn, New York, USA, in 1960. Both Weiss and Lasman had already recorded by this time; Lasman as lead for Mike & the Utopians and Weiss with Bobby Roy & the Chord-A-Roys. Practising regularly on street corners, the new quartet was originally named the Dreamers. Their first supporter was Jerry Halperin, who found them a contract with Carlton Records subsidiary label Guaranteed. They picked a pop standard they had played regularly in their boardwalk days for their first release, ‘Canadian Sunset,’ but it did not chart. Subsequently dropped by their record company, the group changed its name to the Accents (a name also employed by at least six separate doo wop groups) and became more R&B in style. After successfully auditioning for Sultan Records, they released their first single, 'Where Can I Go,' under their new name. This was a highly unusual doo wop number, based on an old Jewish ballad with some of the lyrics in Hebrew. However, it was the B-side, ‘Rags to Riches,’ that became a local favourite, though its popularity did not extend beyond state borders. However, after Kaye and Senzan sang backing vocals on Dion’s ‘Baby Baby’ hit, the second Accents single was their last. ‘High on a Hill’ saw the band backing Scott English (credited to Scott English & the Accents). After breaking up, Weiss, who also worked with Jay & the Americans, became a music journalist.

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