Peter Anders and Vincent Poncia scored a number of minor hits during the 60s under a variety of different monikers, but found their greatest success as The Tradewinds. Like a multitude of young pop musicians at the time, they were basically trend-chasers, moving from one style to another depending upon which direction the prevailing chart winds were blowing. To their credit, they were fairly successful for years, but the problem with this method is that the groups the pair formed were sometimes as disposable and dated as the pop music they created.
At their best, The Tradewinds sounded like a cross between The Young Rascals and The Lovin’ Spoonful with a little bit of Beach Boys and Beatles thrown in. They had a talent for arrangement and strong vocals but stylistically they were all over the map and their melodies weren’t quite memorable enough. After a final eponymous album in 1969, the duo called it quits after a decade of working together. Anders found obscurity, but Poncia found himself co-writing and producing a number of albums with Ringo Starr and KISS. But they left behind a classic single during the glory days of the 45rpm record.
When it comes to parodies/tributes/ripoffs of The Beach Boys, “New York’s a Lonely Town” easily ranks as one of the best. Released in 1965—just as the surf music craze was about to exit the mainstream and enter niche-dom—the song is near-perfect in its replication of the vocal and production style of The Beach Boys at that time. It even has a nice lyrical twist by setting itself on the east coast. There’s no story behind it. Just a great pop song. So let’s drop the needle . . .