Sherry Starlyn

Berea, 1964-5


Sherry Starlyn cut two 45s for Sunburst records, both of which got local airplay and sales. The 1st 45 is in a style known today as ‘teener’. The second 45 has more of a girl group sound (although she was the only singer). For some details about Sherry, Joe Kurilec, drummer for the Proof Sets, recalls -

“Around 1963-64 Jimmy Vince & The Proofsets became a back up band for a upcoming, 13 year old singer, Sherry Starlyn. Sherry became a hit with all of the band members and fit right in. She was managed by Don Kent, possibly her stepfather.


At the time, The Proofsets, manager Jody Zorc, and photographer Carl Handle all crossed paths. Carl did The Proofsets publicity photos. Later in the Proofsets career, Carl would team us up with Ricky Vac. Ricky formed Ricky Vac & The Rockaways a few years before ( "Colleen/ How do you think I feel" Hilltop records) Sherry was doing a photo shoot at Carl’s house. Carl had a "studio" in his basement and was the same place the Proofsets had many rehearsals. Carl's house was located on Bagley Rd. in Olmsted Falls, Ohio.


I remember Carl setting up her shot. He had a white paper backdrop that could be pulled out, to give a "clean" look to the area. With the use of spot lights, he could create a highlighted area behind the subject. Good old Joey walked (with street shoes on) across the paper backdrop! Carl could have killed me! All of Sherry's photo's used The Proofsets mics.


As Sherry's song "All Winter Long' / Love Bug Itch", Sunburst Records, made its way up the charts, Don Kent would bring her to The Proofsets gigs as a showcase.She would lip-sync her record and sometime do a live tune with the Proofsets.


Sherry, Ricky Vac, and Jimmy Vince & The Proofsets all had a nice part in the rock history of Cleveland, Ohio. Sherry still lives in Berea, Ohio as far as I know. Ricky is a talent producer in Washington State.”

Sherry’s first 45 is believed to have been recorded in Nashville using some pretty well known session players. Don Kent had set up and paid for the sessions.

For Sherry’s second 45, Carl Maduri contacted Al Cassaro. Al, with his songwriting partner Bob Shirl, had cut their song “Blue Lights” which was had got some airplay. Maduri asked to use the song for Sherry’s second 45. The Rhythm Rebels, a band from Howland (near Warren) provided backing on the 45. During the same sessions the Rebels recorded their own 45 for Sunburst. When the record was released, Maduri had changed the publishing to his own Lucianna Music. The Proof Sets had no involvement with these recordings.

More on the Proofsets to be found under that band name