For more than five decades, Chuck Mangione's love affair
with music has been characterized by his boundless energy,
unabashed enthusiasm, and pure joy that radiates from
Mangione first attracted attention with his brother, Gap,
in a mainstream jazz band, The Jazz Brothers, in which he
played trumpet much like that of the man who he refers to
as his musical father-Dizzy Gillespie. In fact Dizzy gave
Chuck an 'updo' horn just like his own.
Chuck's years with the Jazz Brothers overlapped with his
attending the Eastman School of Music and eventually
resulted in his solo album debut. Chuck left home to
play with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, assuming
the trumpet chair that had belonged to such great players
as Clifford Brown, Kenny Dorham, Bill Hardman, Lee Morgan
and Freddie Hubbard.
Another important step in Mangione's career development was
his return to the Eastman School of Music as director of
the school's Jazz Ensemble. His "Friends & Love" concert
with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra was recorded
live and featured "Hill Where the Lord Hides." This led
to a recording contract with a major label, Mercury
records, and his first Grammy nomination.
Those early years with Mercury culminated in the title tune
of one of Mangione's most popular albums. Land of Make Believe,
another Grammy nominee, Mangione then signed with A&M Records
and delivered two extremely successful releases in one year,
Chase The Clouds Away, which was used as background music
during the telecast of the 1976 Olympic Games; and Bellavia
("beautiful way"), named to honor his mother, which won
Mangione his first Grammy award.
During the late 1970's, Chuck received more awards and
accolades for his recordings. He reached new heights
with his mega-hit single and album, Feels So Good.
The 1980 Mangione entry in Current Biography called
"Feels So Good" the most recognized melody since the
Beatles' "Michelle." The Children of Sanchez
double-album soundtrack won the Hollywood Foreign
Press Association's Golden Globe Award, then earned
Mangione a second Grammy award.
In 1980 maximum impact was achieved in front of an
"intimate" television of several hundred million when
Chuck's "Give It All You Got" was heard around the
world as the theme of the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid
which he performed live at the closing ceremonies.
Mangione was also busy with personal projects during
the 1980's. He hosted an 8-hour concert featuring
jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie and Chick Corea, which
benefited the Italian earthquake Relief Fund.
The '80's were exceptionally full years for Chuck. Having
signed with Columbia Records he released several albums,
including Love Notes, Journey To A Rainbow, Disguise,
and Save Tonight For Me. Another highlight was working out
with the New York Yankees at their spring training camp at
the invitation of his friend and fan, George Steinbrenner.
Chuck was often seen playing the National Anthem at Yankee
Stadium and All Star games in San Francisco and Chicago.
There was also "Salute to Chuck Mangione" a one-hour TV
special hosted by Dick Clark; numerous performing and
conducting dates with symphony orchestras across the
country, plus television interviews on The Tonight Show,
Larry King, Soul Train, Solid Gold, and many others.
In 1989, Chuck released two live albums, "The Boys From Rochester,"
featuring Steve Gadd, Gap Mangione, Joe Romano and frank Pullara,
plus a double album, Chuck Mangione Live at the Village Gate.
Following these releases, and more than 25 years of one-nighters
around the world, Chuck Mangione stopped playing.
Many people point to the death of Dizzy Gillespie as the event
that propelled Mangione back into music. In 1994 chuck scheduled
a whirlwind of activity that included recording sessions for two
new albums, a series of nightclub performances by himself and
other jazz favorites which featured his "Cat in the Hat" matinees
for kids (they continue to draw SRO audiences and raves from
critics, parents and kids alike). Four major orchestra dates
in upstate New York helped create an endowment fund in honor
of his father, Papa Mangione, and musical father Dizzy Gillespie,
for the Rochester School of the Arts.
Chuck is currently caricatured on the Fox TV hit show,
King Of The Hill.He is the celebrity spokesman for "Mega-lo-mart"
and scored the music for the 1998 Valentine's Day episode.
When Chuck performed in Poland for the 1999 Film and Jazz Festival,
his composition "Children of Sanchez" brought the audience to its
feet. Unbeknownst to the composer, the piece had become somewhat
of an anthem during the struggle for democracy and many in the
audience were in tears, holding their hands over their hearts.
In the year 2000 Chuck made his first ever appearance in Korea to
SRO audiences where Feels So Good has been the top requested
instrumental hit for the past twenty years. He returned to Seoul
in 2001 and was performing there when 9/11 happened.
Chuck has recorded two albums for Chesky Records.
The Feelings Back & Everything For Love.
His 60th Birthday Bash Concert at the Eastman Theater in
Rochester New York raised over $50,000 for
St. John's Nursing Home.
Recently Smooth Jazz stations throughout the U.S. recognized
Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good" as their all time #1 song.
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.