Barry McGuire (born October 15, 1935) is an American singer-songwriter best known for the hit song “Eve of Destruction”, and later as a pioneering singer and songwriter of contemporary Christian music. In 1963, McGuire along with Randy Sparks (the founder of The New Christy Minstrels) co-wrote, and sang lead vocal on, the Christys’ first and biggest hit single: “Green, Green.” He left the Christys in January 1965.
As a folk rock solo singer in the 1960s, he was best known for his hits “Eve of Destruction” and “Sins of the Family”, both written by P.F. Sloan. The depressing message of “Eve of Destruction” was later answered by another hit song, “Dawn of Correction”, by The Spokesmen. Barry’s other chart successes were “Child of Our Times” and “Cloudy Summer Afternoon (Raindrops)” (penned by Travis Edmonson of the 1960s folk-duo, Bud & Travis). “Eve of Destruction” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
McGuire’s LP, “The Eve of Destruction”, reached its peak of number 37 on the Billboard 200 chart during the week ending September 25, 1965. That same week the single of that name went to number one on both charts. McGuire was never again to break into the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. The song knocked “Help!” by The Beatles out of the top spot on the chart. According to McGuire, “Eve of Destruction” was recorded in one take on a Thursday morning (from words scrawled on a crumpled piece of paper) and then he got a call from the record company at 7:00 the next Monday morning, telling him to turn on the radio—his song was playing. The recording includes an “ahhh” where McGuire could not read the words. The Temptations referenced McGuire’s song “Eve of Destruction” in their song “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)”. For other references and covers of “Eve of Destruction” see the article: “Eve of Destruction”. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
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It’s 11:10 p.m. and I’ve been sitting here trying to decide what song to post this week. I couldn’t pick! So I turned to Lord Drollery and asked him. Without taking so much as a breath he said, “Eve of Destruction,” which is one of his favorite songs of all time (which has always seemed a bit odd to me!). I was hesitant to use it till I realized just how old the song was and yet how applicable it is today STILL. It was recorded in September 1965, 50 years ago next month. Good grief! Where did all that time go, and WHY are we still sitting in the same place worldwide? Both good questions to ask ourselves as we’re watching this footage of the war in Vietnam.