Dee Irwin
Dee Irwin
@dee-irwin
 

As lead singer of the Pastels, Big Dee Irwin had his first hit in 1957 with “Been So Long.” As a writer, his songs were recorded by Isaac Hayes, Ray Charles, Bobby Womack, and the Hollies.  The success of “Been So Long” propelled the Pastels into the limelight of the Georgie Woods Show at the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia with Chuck Berry, the Chantels, and Little Joe & the Thrillers. Dee Irwin and the Pastels also played Alan Freed’s legendary rock and roll shows around the U.S. with Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Diamonds.

The Pastels first sang doo-wop together in the Air Force in Greenland in 1954. They had successful shows when they transferred to Washington D.C. and made their first impact at the annual Air Force competition, Tops in Blue at the Mitchell Air Force Base in New York.  New York City native Difosco Ervin sang lead fronting baritone Jimmy Willingham, first tenor Richard Travis, and second tenor Tony Thomas. “Been So Long” got into the Top Five in R&B and number 24 pop.

His solo career took off in 1963 with "Swinging on a Star,” the Bing Crosby standard, which Dee Irwin sang with Little Eva. Dee Irwin was cut by Jamie in-house producer Bob Finiz on his songs, “Better to Have Loved” and “Linda” in 1963 on his way, in the ‘70s, to another incarnation  as DiFosco and disco recordings. He died of heart failure in 1995.

As a solo artist, he had 45s on Bliss, Fairmount, Dimension, Rotate, Imperial, 20th Century Fox, Redd Coach and a single with Mamie Galore. Dee recorded "Linda" for Phil-La of Soul in 1967 with Philly producer Bob Finiz.

 

Phil-LA of Soul 303

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Genre
R&B

The Northern Side Of Philly Soul

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Genre
R&B