In 1965 a striking single called "New York's a Lonely Town" by a group called the Tradewinds
flitted briefly across pop radio. Telling the story of a California surfer stuck in New York for the winter, the song was beautifully produced, echoing some of the studio techniques then favored by Brian Wilson
, and although the song's premise seems even more ridiculous now than it did then, "New York's a Lonely Town" has such a memorable, lilting melody and projects such willful yearning and innocence that it is somewhat of a lost pop treasure.
were actually Peter Andreoli
(he is also known professionally as Peter Anders
) and Vincent Poncia Jr.
, a pair of Rhode Island songwriters who had a minor doo wop-inflected hit with "Mr. Lonely" in 1960 while calling themselves the Videls
, and who had written "(The Best Part Of) Breakin' Up" for producer Phil Spector
and the Ronettes
. The Tradewinds
put out a few additional singles (including "Mind Excursion" and the pretty "I Believe in Her") and an album before morphing into the Innocence
and issuing a single under that name ("There's Got to Be a Word") late in 1966.
An album credited to the Innocence
followed, and then the duo began recording a project under their own names. Andreoli
parted ways shortly after The Anders & Poncia Album
was issued by Warner Bros. as the 1960s drew to a close. Poncia
resurfaced a few years later as a producer for Ringo Starr
, and other acts, while Andreoli
kept a lower profile. "New York's a Lonely Town" remains their high watermark, one of the great lost singles of the surf era.