Singer Lenny Welch was born Leon Welch on May 15, 1938 in Asbury Park, NJ. He started singing as a youngster, assembling groups and participating in talent shows. In his late teens, Welch and his group auditioned for Decca Records in New York. The executives loved "Lenny," which they called Leon, because name flowed better. Decca recorded Welch solo on a couple of promising 45s but the sales were dismal. Two years passed before his next break. Coley Wallace, a prize fighter, introduced Welch to Archie Bleyer, the owner of Cadence Records. The association clicked and "You Don't Know Me" was his first release, it made some noise, but it was the second Cadence single, "Since I Fell for You," a a number five pop hit in 1963, that brought the mass sells and accolades; he also scored with "Ebb Tide," and was on his way to becoming another Johnny Mathis when two devastating circumstances occurred.