As a senior in High School, Bob joined the All City Choir in Brooklyn NY alongside the likes of Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond and Lanie Kazan, and was a dancer on the Alan Freed TV Show where he co-wrote their TV theme song "The Big Beat."
Feldman became part of a three-member team consisting of himself along with Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer, ‒ often going by FGG Productions who scored big hits for other artists including 1963's "My Boyfriend's Back" by the American female group, The Angels. Feldman and Goldstein had also recorded a couple of non-charting singles as the duo "Bob & Jerry" in 1961-62, and between 1959-61 had been members of various non-charting studio-based recording groups such as Bobbi and the Beaus, Ezra and the Iveys, and The Kittens.
In 1964, due to the prevalence of British Invasion-style beat groups and in order to keep up with market trends, FGG decided to "create" a ready-made foreign beat group consisting of themselves; deciding that they couldn't convincingly fake British accents, they opted to pretend to be Australians of "The Strangeloves.
According to the press releases and publicity material issued about the group, The Strangeloves were three brothers named Giles, Miles, and Niles Strange who were raised on an Australian sheep farm. The brothers' fictional backstory involved getting rich with the invention of a new form of sheep crossbreeding (the long-haired "Gottehrer" sheep allegedly registered with the Feldman-Goldstein Company of Australia) which allowed them the time and financial freedom to form a band. The story did not exactly capture the public's imagination, but The Strangeloves' singles still performed respectably well, especially in the United States.
The Strangeloves' first 1964 single, "Love, Love (That's All I Want from You)", was actually released under the group name, "Strange Loves," and reached No. 122 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The group's second single "I want Candy" is a famous example of a song that uses the Bo Diddley beat. It reached No. 11 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, became a top 10 hit in Canada and hit No. 11 in the US in 1965. It has been the most used song in commercials, TV shows and major films for the past decade.
The FGG trio also collaborated on a charting 1965 single credited to The Beach-Nuts, and took on the guise of "The Sheep" for two charting singles in 1966. As well, Feldman and Goldstein (without Gottehrer) recorded charting hits as Rome & Paris in 1966, and as "The Rock & Roll Dubble Bubble Trading Card Co. of Philadelphia 19141" in 1969. Feldman and Gottehrer also issued a non-charting 1970 single ("Right On" b/w "Shakey Jakes") as "The Strange Bros. Show".
Bob has sold over 50 million songs worldwide with #1 songs charting in nearly every country. His songs have remained on the charts for 7 decades and appeared in scores of Movies, TV shows, Trailers and Promos and major TV commercials. Many recognized artists have sampled or recorded his work including Johnny Mathis, Chubby Checker, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tony Orlando, Dion, Frankie Avalon, Ryder, Fabien, George Thorogood, David Bowie, Neil Diamond, The J. Geils Band, The Neville Brothers, Melissa Manchester, The Fleshtones, The Black Eyed Peas, Gnarls Barkley, Bauhaus, Aaron Carter and Bow Wow Wow.
Enjoy the inspirational story behind "A Brand New Gershwin Song" in Bob's own words...
Ben Bagby began his music studies at age 10 with classical violin, followed by classical piano studies and competitions at age 13. His musical interests lead him to train in all forms of dance which brought him national attention as an instructor at age 19. After touring the U.S. teaching dance, he settled in Los Angeles where he was a featured dancer in the "Blues Brothers" Movie. He relocated to New York City the following year and landed in the Broadway cast of "My One & Only" with Tommy Tune and Twiggy.
It was during his time on Broadway that he began studying the fundamentals of songwriting, music composition, music and vocal arranging, music production, and recording techniques. During that time he also trained his voice with the late Therman Bailey.
Performing in "My One & Only" (a Gershwin musical) gave Ben daily exposure to the Gershwin style of writing and arranging. Since leaving New York he has continued to write music and lyrics and collaborate with other musicians and singers for decades. "A Brand New Gershwin Song" is his newest collaboration and his favorite so far. He is currently one of the most sought after voice and audition coaches in south Florida with his students booking jobs on Broadway, and in national tours, with student Liz Elias signing a recording contract with Atlantic Records at age 15.