The “Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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(Philip F. Sloan, Steve Barri)

Dunhill 4009

No. 1    September 25, 1965




As songwriters for Lou Adler’s Trousdale Music, P. F. Sloan and Steve Barri had cranked out piles  of

surfin’ songs (and what Sloan would later refer to as “formula stuff”) for Jan & Dean, the Rip Chords,

and their own pseudo-groups–the Fantastic Baggies, the Life-guards, the Rally Packs, the Street

Cleaners, The Rincon Surfside Band, and Willie & The Wheels.   All that changed in 1965, when Adler,

hoping to influence Sloan’s writing, handed him an early Bob Dylan album.


“After I heard that LP, I started writing by myself again,” Sloan recalled  in an exclusive interview. “The

first songs that I wrote outside the partnership [with Barril, I wrote in one night–‘Eve Of Destruction,’

‘Take Me For What I’m Worth,’ ‘The Sins Of The Family,’ and ‘This Morning.’


“I went up [to Trousdale Music] and played them ‘Eve Of Destruction’ and the rest and they didn’t like

the songs.   They thought they were awful–you know, ‘that’s not hit material, forget it.’   Then one

afternoon, Barry McGuire came to see them for material.   He was a big star at the time.  They played

him all the hip things of the day that they had, Sloan-Barri formula stuff.  I was sittin’ alone in the

corner, watchin’ the business go down.   [McGuire] came over, saw this depressed young kid playing

guitar by himself, and said, ‘What’s the matter?   You got any songs to play me?’   I  played ‘Eve Of

Destruction,’ and boom!    ‘That’s the one,’ he said.    He hugged me and said, ‘You’re what I’ve been

looking for.”‘


Barry McGuire was born in Oklahoma on October 15, 1935.    He first came to promenence as a minor

actor in the TV series “Route 66” and with Barry Kane, as Barry & Barry, recorded an album and single

for the tiny Horizon label, but it was McGuire’s role in the formation of Randy Sparks’ New Christy

Minstrels that brought the gravel-throated folkie his first notice.   Barry wrote and sang lead on “Green,

Green” (#14, 1963), the group’s biggest hit.   The same year, the Kingston Trio successfully recorded

Barry’s “Greenback Dollar” (#21, 1963).  By   1965, Barry was ready to strike out on his own, and “Eve Of

Destruction” would be his first solo single.


Adler had Sloan and Barri tape McGuire’s rough vocal over the instrumental backing track, for Barry to

use as a guide in creating the final version.   But one radio station got hold of the unfinished record and

began playing it; when “Eve Of Destruction” was released, it was the rough mix that Sloan and Barri

had slapped together late at night.


According to Sloan, a number of radio stations banned the disk.   “The record company had never seen

anything like it.   They were actually happy.  When every major market refused to play it, that’s when

the label decided to really push it.   I hear some DJ in Ohio or somewhere in the Midwest played ‘Eve Of

Destruction’ every hour on the hour.   It was number one there in, like, no time.   That’s what broke it



“Eve” became such a major hit that Ray Gilmore, rock singer/songwriter Johnny Madara and Danny &

the Juniors’ Dave White quickly recorded and charted as THE SPOKESMEN with a response record,

“Dawn Of Constrcution.”


Barry’s Eve of Destruction LP (1965) sold well, though only two of his subsequent singles–“Child Of

Our Times” (#72, 1965) and “Cloudy Summer Afternoon (Raindrops)” (#62, 1966)–ever made the

listings.   McGuire made a few movie appearances,  joined the Broadway production of Hair, introduced

the Mamas And Papas to Dunhill Records (they returned the favor by dropping his name in their hit

“Creeque Alley”) and toured for awhile with a spiritual group called The Agape Force.    For awhile in

the early ’70s, Barry was 1/2 of a duo with Eric “Dr” Hord, a Mamas and Papas’ sideman.     Their

delightful album Barry McGuire And The Doctor boomded…and Barry walked away from secular

music.   He has for years been a born-again Christian living in Waco, Texas, and recording gospel music

sporadically for specialty labels like Myrrh and Word.


Phil “Faith” Sloan–with and without Steve Barri–(b. Phillip Gary Sloan, 1944, New York City) went on

to create/co-create an enormous number of hit songs for Herman’s Hermits, Jan & Dean, the Turtles,

Johnny Rivers, and the Grass Roots.   Before a reclusive phase in the mid-’70s-plus, P. F. recorded his

own versions of “Eve Of Destruction,” “This Is What I Was Made For,” and some of his other tunes.

These appeared as now-collectible singles, and on four hard-to-find albums (Songs of our Time, 12

More Times, Measure of Pleasure, and Raised on Records).


In 1990, Sloan rewrote “Eve Of  Destruction”–and Barry McGuire reappeared to record the tune. The

media took no notice…but in November of that year, P.F. performed at the annual National Academy Of

Songwriter’s convention.    The nation’s best known songwriters gave P.F. Sloan a standing ovation.