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1 item from 2016

Mike Barnett, Co-Founder of The Lettermen, Dies at 89

27 May 2016 3:13 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Mike Barnett, a founder of hit vocal group The Lettermen, died Friday at his home in Camarillo, Calif., after suffering from heart problems. He was 89.

Born Roy Barnett in Oakland, Calif., he began singing and dancing in Las Vegas shortly after World War II. He was cast in the chorus as well as specialty spots in many shows in hotel casinos and backed female headliners like Ann Sothern. He used the name Mike Barnett professionally.

His wife Elaine came up with the name The Lettermen for a vocal trio in 1957; the group worked for 13 weeks in comedy writer Sid Kuller’s Jewish spoof of the Broadway smash hit “My Fair Lady” and called it “My Fairfax Lady” at Billy Gray’s Bandbox. They later worked in a second Kuller parody of the movie “Baby Doll,” in the same theater.

By August of 1957, after the last revue closed, Barnett set out »

- Lamarco McClendon

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