Born Joel Adelberg in Brooklyn, New York on 1938, the boy who would become
Jeff Barry must have had an early affinity for music. When he was seven years old, his mother wrote down a song he'd
made up. It went something like this: "Got a gun, got a saddle, got a pony too / I've even got a sweetheart, that
sweetheart is you." Yup, this child was really into cowboys as well as music. He had the cowboy hat, outfit, pistols,
you name it ... everything but an actual pinto pony, more than likely, and he would've had that too if it had been at all
possible; however, life in the city wasn't conducive to horse-keeping.
Jeff's childhood was unspectacular, as childhoods go; he was neither a blueblood
nor a delinquent. His family was working-class Jewish, not at all unusual for the times or the neighborhood. There
was a Depression going on, and World War II was just around the corner. Jeff's father, an insurance salesman, was blind;
his sister was mentally retarded. Life wasn't always easy, or fair. When Jeff was seven, his parents divorced
and his mother moved him and his sister to Plainfield, New Jersey, where they resided for several years before returning to
New York. Those formative years gave Jeff an undelectable taste of poverty and shaped him into the man he would later
become - street-smart, talented, and successful on every scale, along with a sensitivity and a somewhat melancholic
nature that would never leave him.