P. F. Sloan, American singer & songwriter, Died at 70

  Music, Writers

P. F. Sloan was born Philip Gary Schlein on September 18, 1945, and died on November 15, 2015).

He was an American pop-rock singer and songwriter.

Sloan was very successful during the mid-1960s, writing, performing, and producing Billboard top 20 hits for artists such as Barry McGuire, the Searchers, Jan and Dean, Herman’s Hermits, Johnny Rivers, the Grass Roots, the Turtles, and the Mamas & the Papas.

Sloan was born in New York City to an American father and a Romanian-born mother.

His family moved to West Hollywood, California in 1957, where his father, a pharmacist, changed the family surname from “Schlein” to “Sloan” after repeatedly being denied a liquor license for his store.

At 13, Sloan’s father bought him a guitar; at the music store in Hollywood, Sloan met Elvis Presley, who gave him an impromptu music lesson.

In 1959, at 14, “Flip” Sloan recorded a single, “All I Want Is Loving” / “Little Girl in the Cabin” for the L.A. R&B record label Aladdin Records, which folded soon after its release.

At 16, Sloan became part of the burgeoning Los Angeles music scene, landing a job on the songwriting staff at music publisher Screen Gems, which was then the largest publisher on the West Coast.

There, Sloan formed a partnership with Steve Barri, and the duo made several attempts at recording a hit single under names such as “Philip and Stephan”, the “Rally-Packs”, the “Wildcats”, the “Street Cleaners”, “Themes Inc.”, and the “Lifeguards”.

In 1963, they too came to the attention of Screen Gems executive Lou Adler, who decided to use them as backing singers and musicians (Sloan on lead guitar and Barri on percussion) for Jan and Dean, whom he managed.

Sloan and Barri wrote the theme song for the T.A.M.I. Show (Teen Age Music International Show) and were credited on all Jan and Dean albums from Dead Man’s Curve / The New Girl in School in early 1964 through Command Performance in 1965.

Jan Berry used Sloan as the lead falsetto voice instead of Dean Torrence on the band’s top 10 hit “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena”.

Around that time, Sloan and Barri also wrote their first U.S. Billboard Top 100 hit, “Kick That Little Foot Sally Ann”, arranged by Jack Nitzsche and performed by a Watts, California-born artist named Round Robin.

Soon they also appeared on surf records by Bruce & Terry and the Rip Chords, and they recorded their own surf singles and album as the Fantastic Baggys.

Sloan passed away at age 70 in November 2015.