Born and raised in Philadelphia, Barry had little thought of a show business career while still in school. Instead, he aspired to become a professional basketball player upon his graduation. It was not until he entered military service and had occasion to sing with the U.S. Coast Guard band at Cape May, NJ, and was so encouraged by the response of his military audiences, that he decided to make music a career.
Upon his discharge from military service, Barry returned home to Philadelphia and formed the Dovells, he was their lead singer. His is the lead voice on all their best selling records “Bristol Stomp”, “Hully Gully Baby” and “You Can’t Sit Down”, among others. “Bristol Stomp” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a RIAA gold disc. As a Dovell, he also toured with James Brown. Barry also made film appearances with the Dovells in films such as Don’t Knock the Twist, toured the U.K with the Motown Revue. Barry also had guest appearances on US television on The Dick Clark Show, Shindig, and Hullabaloo. Soon after leaving the group, Barry recorded his first solo single “Lip Sync”.