He is a singer-songwriter and record producer born Joel Adelberg in Brooklyn, New York. who recruited into the army and then on his return home he enrolled in the City College.
Realizing his wish was to become a singer he cut his college career short and signed with RCA in 1958. He recorded several singles for the label including the song “It’s Called Rock and Roll”. He wrote “Teenage Sonata” for Sam Cooke and then his first hit “Tell Laura I Love Her” recorded by Ray Peterson and then Ricky Valance.
He took his first name from the actor Jeff Chandler and Barry from friends of his family. He married Ellie Greenwich in 1962 and the two teamed up with Phil Spector to write songs such as “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “And Then He Kissed Me”. They had some chart success as the duo The Raindrops, and then were hired by the Red Bird label where they wrote 15 of its first 20 hits, songs such as “Leader of the Pack” and “Iko Iko”. They discovered Neil Diamond and wrote and sang backing on his first few hits.
Jeff and Ellie were divorced in 1965 but continued to work together until the late 1960s. In 1968 he was approached by Don Kirschner and asked to become a member of the TV cartoon group The Archies as the producer and main songwriter. He penned many hits for them including “Sugar, Sugar” which reached No.1 in the charts in 1968 and became RIAA Record of the Year, earning a gold record.
In 1971 he moved to A&M in California and co-wrote further hit songs with songwriters including Peter Allen, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. These included “I Honestly Love You” recorded by Olivia Newton John and “The Last Time I Made Love” sung by Jeffrey Osborne.
He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. His recent works have included working on the musical Knight Life. and in 2016 he and Clarence Jey composed songs for the musical theater show Jambalaya The Musical.
Bang Shang-A-Lang (Jeff Barry)
Truck Driver (Jeff Barry)
Stars on 45 recordings
Medley: Intro “Venus” – Sugar Sugar – No Reply – I’ll Be Back – Drive My Car – Do You Want to Know a Secret – We Can Work it Out – I Should Have Known Better – Nowhere Man – You’re Going to Lose That Girl – Stars on 45 (Jeff Barry/Martin Duiser/Jaap Eggermont/Andy Kim/Robbie van Leeuwen/John Lennon/Paul McCartney)