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Cold Cold Winter
442 Glenwood Avenue
Birthday Party

A Brief History

The Pixies Three began their professional career in high school when John Madara and Dave

White signed them to a recordingcontract with Mercury Records. Before that, they went by the

name “The Pixies” and played at talent shows, service clubs, carnivals, and the Ted Mack

Amateur Hour. John discovered the trio at a Philadelphia club on “talent night.” 

Within a month, working with John and Dave, their first hit “Birthday Party” shot into Billboard’s

Top 40 with a bullet. Leon Huff, who had been discovered by John in a nightclub playing piano

with a group called the Lavenders and had later partnered with Kenny Gamble to create “The

Sound of Philadelphia,” was their rehearsal pianist. 

Following the success of “Birthday Party,” they recorded two other Madara/White songs,

“Cold, Cold Winter” backed with “442 Glenwood Avenue.” Sales were bigger than Birthday

Party and was an immediate hit. The group’s first, and only, album, PARTY WITH THE PIXIES

THREE, also produced by John and Dave, featured renowned session musicians Trade Martin,

Artie Kaplan, Vinnie Bell and Leon Huff.

John's Memories

When I met The Pixies Three at a club in Philadelphia, they were only kids, but they were really

talented and very focused on their careers.  Dave and I got them a recording contract with

Mercury Records.  When we would record them, one of the girl's mothers would always come

along as a chaperone.  They were totally dedicated to their music, and were very hard workers.

We did some record hops and photo ops with them and recorded one album with them.


We had more chart records with The Pixies Three than with any other artist we were working

with at the time.

What Happened Next?

The Pixies Three continued to record and appeared around the country with Dionne Warwick,

The Four Seasons, The Dave Clark Five and The Rolling Stones.

“Summertime USA” was the girls’ last hit, managing to break Billboard’s Top 100. 1965 brought

the release of the two final “Pixies Three” singles, “Orphan Boy” and “Your Way.”

A reunion show took place in 1991.


In May of 2005, John Madara reunited with The Pixies Three after forty years.  They collaborated

on Ray Charles' hit song "What'd I Say" with John singing the lead and The Pixies Three singing

backup.  The song was featured on a Pixies' CD entitled "Dance The Night Away -- Party With

The Pixies Three.  

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