Format 7" single
|Released October 1965|
Genre Blue-eyed soul, pop
|Label Decca 31827
Brunswick 05942 (UK)|
Writer(s) John Medora, David White, Len Barry
"1 - 2 - 3" is a 1965 song recorded by American blue-eyed soul singer Len Barry, who co-wrote the song with John Medora and David White. The recording's chorus and accompaniment were arranged by Jimmy Wisner. The single was released in 1965 on the American Decca label. The writers were sued by Motown Records at the time, claiming that the song is a reworking of Holland-Dozier-Holland's "Ask Any Girl" released by The Supremes as the B-side to their single "Baby Love" the year before. They denied the claim, but after two years of litigation, agreed to give the Motown writers 15% of the song's writing and publishing royalties. Holland-Dozier-Holland are listed as co-authors by BMI. The personnel on the original recording included Vinnie Bell, Bobby Eli and Sal Ditroia on guitar, Joe Macho on Bass, Artie Butler on Percussion, Leon Huff on piano, Artie Kaplan on sax, Bill Tole and Roswell Rudd on Trombone, Lee Morgan on trumpet, Fred Hubbard on clarinet, and Bobby Gregg on drums.
"1-2-3" reached number two in the US Billboard chart and number three on the UK Singles Chart. "1-2-3" also went to number 11 on the Billboard R&B chart. It sold over one and three quarter million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
It was also a Top 10 hit in both Australia, where it went to number seven, and in Ireland, where it went to number eight.