I WATCHED THIS DOCUMETARY. VERY INTERESTING...AND INFORMATIVE. I AGREE IF WAS NOT GOOD FOR BACK IN THE DAY WHEN THIS WAS THE ONLY IMAGE OF BLACKS THAT MOST PEOPLE SAW. BUT TODAY THERE ARE LOTS OF IMAGES ON TV OF BLACKS, MOST IN A POSITVE LIGHT. WE EVEN HAVE THE ULTIMATE BLACK IMAGE.... THE PRESIDENT! I THINK ITS TIME SOMEBODY REACHED WAYYY BACK IN THE VAULT AND PULLED OUT AL THOSE EPISODES OF AMOS N ANDY. BLOW THE DUST OFF OF THEM.....AND PUT THEM BACK ON TV. THE TIME IS RIGHT. ITS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST SHOWS.....EVA!
The history of the Butlers/Raw Soul is dense, but for all of us music nerds, that's normal. It is not totally clear what year the Butlers actually formed but they released their first single in 1963 on Liberty Records. That single was "She Tried To Kiss Me" and another single followed on Guyden entitled "Lovable Girl." After the Guyden single the Butlers took a break not recording another record until the single "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" was released on the Phila label in 1966. The group also backed Charles Earland and Jean Wells on one Phila single ("I Know She Loves Me").
As you might be noticing, the Butlers were doing a fair amount of recording but not achieving much success. The group's recordings sold regionally but never had the promotion to make an impact on the national scene. After the single with Phila, the Butlers moved to the Fairmount label (part of the Cameo-Parkway family) and released a handful of singles, some being reissued singles of the past. The Butlers were with Fairmount for 1966-67 and then moved to Sassy Records. Sassy released the group's greatest single (in my opinion) "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" b/w "If That's What You Wanted." A copy of that 45 sold for just under $500 last summer on eBay. Even though that isn't that much in the world of record collecting--it's still a hefty sum. The Butlers released another single on Sassy ("She's Gone" b/w "Love Is Good") that appears to be even
harder to come by then the "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" single.
The true history become a bit blurred here as the AMG biography states that the Butlers last record was released on C.R.S. in 1974 (". However, between 1971 and that single, Frankie Beverly formed a group called Raw Soul and released a number of singles. Some of the songs recorded by Beverly during this period are "While I'm Alone," "Open Up Your Heart," (both on the Gregor label) and "Color Blind." "Color Blind" was released by the Eldorado label and rerecorded by Maze. Beverly's big break came when Marvin Gaye asked Raw Soul to back him on a tour. Gaye helped Beverly/Raw Soul get a contract at Capitol. Beverly decided to take the group in a different direction, a name change occurred, and Maze was created.
The above isn't the most complete history of Beverly but hopefully someone will know a way to get in touch with the man or his management because a comprehensive pre-Maze history needs to be done on Frankie Beverly (his real name is Howard, by the way). Below you'll find every Frankie Beverly (pre-Maze) song available to me right now ("Color Blind" will be up soon).
If you have a song that is not included below, shoot it over to funkinsoulman (at) yahoo.com and it will go up in the next Frankie Beverly post (later this week--highlighting Maze). Also, if you have any more information please share your knowledge. The Butlers material has been comp-ed sporadically (usually imports) but the entire Maze catalog has been reissued and is available.
Enjoy. "She Kissed Me" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967)
"I Want To Feel I'm Wanted" (not sure which label or year) "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" (Phila, 1966) "Because Of My Heart" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967)
"Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" (Sassy, 1967)
"If That's What You Wanted" (Sassy, 1967)
Frankie Beverly is one of those cats that has lasting power. He started in the music business doing a tour with doo wop group the Silhouettes and then formed his own group called the Blenders. The Blenders never recorded a single, Beverly wouldn't appear on wax until forming the Butlers a few years later. Along with Beverly, the Butlers included Jack "Sonny" Nicholson, Joe Collins, John Fitch, and Talmadge Conway.
Beverly would later enjoy great success fronting Maze and Conway would become a
well-known penning Double Exposure's
"Ten Percent" and the Intruders' "Memories Are Here To Stay."
While Maze is a phenomenal group, Beverly's work before that group will always stand out as his best (imo).
The Butlers produced tunes that most Northern Soul fans would kill for and Raw Soul gave the funksters something to pursue. If, by chance, you know of a way to get in touch with Frankie Beverly or his management, please drop me an e-mail. It would be absolutely great to do an interview with him about his pre-Maze work. He's still playing out, most recently doing a New Year's Eve show in Atlanta.
A construction crane can be seen in Cushman's photo, suggestive of the massive changes to that would transform the Chicago River over the next 40 years, changes that show no sign of subsiding. Only three buildings from Cushman's photo are now identifiable: the Lasalle-Wacker Building, Marina City and the Sun-Times Building, whose demolition started not long after I took my photo. By 2007 the Trump International Hotel and Tower will have risen -- and risen and risen, to a staggering 1,276 feet -- in its stead.
435 N. Michigan Ave.
Wrigley Building, Hotel Intercontinental and Tribune Tower: an interesting perspective in that it excludes any of the neighborhood's massive changes.
Wacker Drive and Clark Street
Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue
Dearborn and Randolph Streets
I'm amused that both Cushman and I captured someone crossing the street carrying a light-colored bag in their right hand. Just about everything else at this intersection has changed, but at least one thing remains the same.
55 W. Randolph St.
When Cushman visited in 1963, ground had been broken on Daley Civic Center, which would be Chicago's tallest building from its completion in 1965 to the 1969, when it was eclipsed by the John Hancock Center. The 46-story Morrison Hotel, located at the geographic center of the Loop, is seen at the left of Cushman's photo. When it came down in 1965 to make room for Bank One Plaza (née First National Bank Building), it set a record for tallest building to be demolished.
Michigan Avenue and Huron Street
The Old Pumping Station on the east side of Michigan Avenue is still there, currently occupied by the Looking Glass Theatre, but it is obscured by trees. One notable addition since Cushman's 1966 visit: the John Hancock Center. It was completed in 1969.
800 N. Michigan Ave.
632 N. Dearborn St.
The former home of the Chicago Historical Society is now the Excalibur nightclub.
Southwest Corner of Dearborn and Erie Streets
Rush and Chestnut Streets
In 1966 the corner of Rush and Chestnut was a "go-go" lounge. By 2004 the building had come down and been replaced by an upscale furniture boutique, but it, too, is set to come down to make way for a new luxury condominium tower.
Corner of State, Cedar and Rush streets
The "Solomon-Cooper Drugs" sign remains, but Adolph's is now Domaine, and the old skyscrapers are obscured by new ones.
100 N. State St.
State and Washington Streets
Michigan Avenue from Randolph Street
The Michigan Avenue streetwall is relatively intact. The biggest changes may be in the buildings that tower behind it, such as CNA Plaza.
100 S. Michigan Ave.
1100 S. Michigan Ave.
The Skyline, from Adler Planetarium
This was one of the hardest shots to match up, so complete has the skyline transformed in 63 years. The only reference points I had were the breakwater and the steps of Adler Planetarium.
Navy Pier, from Adler Planetarium
505 N. Clark St.
675 N. Rush St.
Originally the mansion of "Harvester King" Cyrus McCormick, the site is now the 40-story Omni Chicago Hotel. McCormick was a teetotaler and agricultural industrialist who was instrumental in rebuilding Chicago after the Great Fire, but a strike at the McCormick Reaper Works led to the Haymarket Square Riot in 1886. He edited the Chicago Times for several years, and the Tribune's legendary editor Robert R. McCormick, "The Colonel," was his great-nephew. The McCormick Harvesting Machine Company would eventually become Navistar.
878 N. Clark St.
977 N. Rush St.
Canal and Taylor Streets
316 W. Erie St.
Cushman noted that the building has slipped from its "moorings," and the sign reads, "THIS BUILDING DANGEROUS CONDITION." The location is now a Coyote Ugly bar.