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  • 1.
    The Dramatics - Ocean of Thoughts & Dreams
  • 2.
    Dramatics-Thank You For Your Love
  • 3.
    The Dramatics - Its A Shame
  • 4.
    Dramatics - Fell For You
  • 5.
    The Main Ingredients - California My Way (Full Version)
  • 6.
    Dells - Give Your Baby A Standing Ovation
  • 7.
    The Dells - Oh, What A Night
  • 8.
    The Dells - Stay In My Corner

Welcome! Music is the soul of life


The Dramatics

While never reaching "supergroup" status in the public's eyes, the Dramatics have been one of the most prolific, consistently entertaining groups of the last three decades. Another of the great non-Motown Detroit groups formed in the late 60s, the Dramatics went through significant personnel changes over their early years as the group struggled to find a hit. They ultimately found it on Stax/Volt Records with "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," a latin-tinged cut lyrically based on a comic phrase popularized by Flip Wilson. It was an instant hit on both the pop and soul charts, and began a string of great cuts for the group penned by Tony Hester. The follow-ups "In The Rain" and "Toast to the Fool" were even better, and have remained in active play on many stations for nearly 30 years.

While the group has had various compositions, once L.J. Reynolds replaced William Howard in 1973, the core of the group was set. With Reynolds' gruff baritone and Ron Banks' soaring falsetto, a unique group harmony was created that is still recognizable today.

In the mid-seventies the group switched to ABC records where, with producer Don Davis, they released a number of relatively successful albums, though their coverage was, at that point, limited to the Soul radio. Hits like "Be My Girl," "Shake It Well" and "Fell For You" (later remade by Snoop Doggy Dogg) carried the group into the early 80s, when their popularity began to wane. They split up in 1982 as Reynolds and Banks both embarked on solo careers (Reynolds achieving some limited success with the hit "Key to the World"), but reunited in 1986 with Somewhere In Time and its great crossover hit, "One Love Ago."

While other popular 70s groups have had trouble sustaining recording careers, the Dramatics have continued to cut a new LP every few years, right up through 2002's Look Inside, a surprisingly strong record that has only received limited distribution in the U.S. (if you find it, check out the fantastic "Looks Like Rain"). They received national attention for their professionalism in 2001 when they performed a save for "Fly Jock" Tom Joyner, singing two sets during his show's appearance in Detroit on less than 12 hours notice after a cancellation by DeBarge.

In 2003, the group, consisting of Reynolds, Banks, Winzell Kelly, Willie Ford and Lenny Mayes, released "Greatest Hits Live," a terrific peek at a 2001 Dramatics performance that shows the group still in fine form and a testament to the longevity of this great soul act. Sadly, group member Lenny Mayes died on November 7, 2004, after a long illness.

In 2006, local Detroit developer Herb Strather honored the Dramatics (along with Freda Payne, the Four Tops and others), with a street named after the group in one of the newest neighborhoods being built in the city.

The group has continued to stay busy and is currently working on two albums: one is their next studio album, tentatively called Bad Girls, which should be released in the near future. The other is part of a compilation called Hitsville Hall of Fame which is anticipated to be released later this year.

* 1972: Whatcha See Is Watcha Get (Volt) - US Pop #20, US R&B #5
* 1973: A Dramatic Experience (Volt) - US Pop #86, US R&B #11
* 1974: Dramatically Yours * (Volt) - US R&B #36
* 1974: The Dells vs. The Dramatics (Cadet) - US Pop #156, US R&B #15
* 1975: The Dramatic Jackpot (ABC) - US Pop #31, US R&B #9
* 1975: Drama V (ABC) - US Pop #93, US R&B #10
* 1976: Joy Ride (ABC) - US Pop #103, US R&B #11
* 1977: Shake It Well (ABC) - US Pop #60, US R&B 10
* 1978: Do What You Wanna Do (ABC) - US Pop #44, US R&B #6
* 1979: Anytime, Anyplace (ABC) - US R&B #15
* 1980: 10 1/2 (MCA) - US Pop #61, US R&B #14
* 1980: The Dramatic Way (MCA) - US R&B #38
* 1982: New Dimension (Capitol) - US R&B #40
* 1986: Somewhere in Time (Fantasy)
* 1988: Live (Volt)
* 1989: Positive State of Mind (Volt) - US R&B #80
* 1990: Stone Cold (Volt)
* 1999: If You Come Back to Me (Volt)

* credited as Ron Banks & the Dramatics

[edit] Compilations

* 1976: The Best of the Dramatics (Stax)
* 2000: Ultimate Collection (Hip-O)
* 2005: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Dramatics (Hip-O)
* 2007: The Very Best of the Dramatics (Stax)

Year Title Chart positions
1967 "All Because of You" – #42
1971 "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" #9 #3
1972 "Get Up and Get Down" #78 #16
1972 "In the Rain" #5 #1
1972 "Toast to the Fool" #67 #18
1973 "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain" #43 #5
1973 "Fell for You" #45 #12
1974 "Choosing Up on You" – #30
1974 "Don't Make Me No Promises" – #63
1974 "Door to Your Heart" #62 #25
1974 "And I Panicked" – #49
1975 "Me and Mrs. Jones" #47 #4
1975 "(I'm Going by) The Stars in Your Eyes" #81 #22
1975 "Love Is Missing From Our Lives" – #46
1975 "Tune Up" – #74
1976 "You're Fooling You" #87 #10
1976 "Finger Fever" – #23
1977 "Be My Girl" #53 #3
1977 "Shake It Well" #76 #4
1977 "I Can't Get Over You" – #9
1978 "Stop Your Weeping" – #22
1978 "Ocean of Thoughts and Dreams" – #17
1979 "I Just Wanna Dance with You" – #35
1979 "That's My Favorite Song" – #40
1980 "Welcome Back Home" – #9
1981 "You're the Best Thing in My Life" – #26
1986 "One Love Ago" – #61
1989 "Bridge Over Troubled Water" – #93
2005 "Somethin' Good" ft. BR Gunna – --

The Dells

Early career

The Dells grew up in Harvey, Illinois and began singing together while attending Thornton Township High School. Forming in 1952 under the name the El-Rays, the members of the group were Marvin Junior, Mickey McGill, Lucius McGill, Verne Allison, Chuck Barksdale and Johnny Funches. Two years later, the pared down quintet - Lucius left in 1954 - signed under the Chess label and released the doo-wop single, "Darling I Know" that flopped.

In 1956, the group renamed themselves the Dells and signing with Vee-Jay Records, they recorded their first hit, "Oh What a Night", which peaked at the top five of the R&B singles chart. Follow-ups to the hit failed to make a similar impact. In 1958, a tragic car accident threatened to derail the group with McGill suffering a serious injury nearly losing his leg in the accident. The group agreed to split up to bide time as McGill recovered.

Barksdale would join a new version of the legendary doo-wop group The Moonglows with a young Marvin Gaye as a lead singer. McGill eventually successfully recovered from his injury with Barksdale returning to Illinois to rejoin the Dells in 1960 but not before Johnny Funches, frustrated with the group's slow progress, left permanently. He was replaced quickly by Johnny Carter, formerly of The Flamingos.

It would be the final lineup change for the group as they went on to sing background for the likes of Dinah Washington, Ray Charles, and Barbara Lewis ("Hello Stranger", 1963). The group was also being vocally fine-tuned by the likes of Quincy Jones and began to include jazz and Broadway-styled show tunes as part of their live and recording acts.

[edit] Successful years

In 1966, the Dells returned to Chess under the label's Cadet subsidiary working with Bobby Miller and future Earth, Wind & Fire arranger Charles Stepney. In 1967, the Dells issued the album, There Is, which included their first R&B chart-topper in years with the title track, which showcased the sharp baritone of Marvin Junior and the fine harmonies with the four other Dells.The song was also their first top 20 Pop smash.

Subsequent R&B hits included "Wear It On Our Face", "Always Together", "I Can Sing A Rainbow/Love Is Blue" and their first number-one R&B hit and first top ten pop hit, 1968's "Stay in My Corner", which reached number ten on the pop chart. This showcased both Carter and Marvin in lead vocals. It wasn't until 1969, however, that the group suddenly became R&B superstars with their revival of their first hit, "Oh What a Night", re-produced under a classic soul format. The song was their second number-one hit on the R&B charts and their second top ten pop single, also becoming their signature song. Subsequent hits included "Open Up My Heart", "Oh What A Day" and "On The Dock Of The Bay".

In 1971, the Dells' "The Love We Had Stays on My Mind" became another top ten hit on the R&B charts, also reaching the pop Top 30. Charles Stepney had taken over production duties by then from Bobby Miller. By 1973's "Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation", their first certified gold record produced by Don Davis, the Dells were a top-selling recording and headlining act.

[edit] Later years

Leaving Cadet around the end of 1974 with the parent company in financial difficulties, the group would continue recording under the Mercury, ABC, 20th Century Fox and Virgin labels finding some hits including 1980's "I Touched a Dream", which returned the group to the top forty on the R&B charts. The Dells were confined mostly to the oldies market afterwards until they were asked to be creative consultants to Robert Townsend's acclaimed 1991 musical, The Five Heartbeats, which was loosely based on the lives of the Dells. The group recorded a George Duke composition titled "A Heart is a House for Love". The success of the song, issued on the movie's soundtrack, as it reached number thirteen on the R&B singles chart gave the Dells a jolt and helped to make them just the second group to chart singles in four consecutive decades after The Isley Brothers. The success resulted in the group being signed to the Philadelphia International label where they recorded the album I Salute You. In recent years, the Dells have kept a constant touring schedule still occasionally releasing albums including their latest, 2003's HOTT. In 2004, the group was inducted to both the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Original member Johnny Funches died of cancer in 1998. As of 2008, the Dells have continued to perform together.

[edit] Members

Current members

* Marvin Junior (1952-58; 1960- ): baritone, lead vocals (b. 31 Jan 1936, Arkansas)
* Verne Allison (1952-58; 1960- ): second tenor, background vocals (b. 22 Jun 1936, Chicago)
* Mickey McGill (1952-58; 1960- ): baritone, background vocals (b. 17 Feb 1937, Chicago)
* Chuck Barksdale (1952-58; 1960- ): bass, background vocals (b. 11 Jun 1935, Chicago)
* Johnny Carter (1960- ): first tenor/falsetto, lead vocals (b. 2 Jun 1934, Chicago)

Former members

* Johnny Funches (1952-60): first tenor, lead vocals (b. May 1937, Chicago, d. 23 Jan 1998)
* Lucius McGill (1952-54): second tenor, background vocals (b. 1935, Chicago)

[edit] Discography

[edit] Albums

Vee-Jay releases

* 1957: Oh What a Night
* 1965: It's Not Unusual

Cadet (Chess) releases

* 1968: There Is (#29 Pop; #4 R&B)
* 1969: Love Is Blue (#54 Pop; #3 R&B)
* 1969: The Dells' Musical Menu/Always Together (#146 Pop; #9 R&B)
* 1970: The Dells' Greatest Hits (#102 Pop; #9 R&B)
* 1971: Like It Is, Like It Was (#126 Pop; #7 R&B)
* 1971: Freedom Means (#81 Pop; #4 R&B)
* 1972: Sweet As Funk Can Be (#33 R&B)
* 1972: The Dells Sing Dionne (#162 Pop; #32 R&B)
* 1973: Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation (#99 Pop; #10 R&B)
* 1973: The Dells (#15 R&B)
* 1974: The Mighty Mighty Dells (#114 Pop; #13 R&B)
* 1975: The Dells vs. The Dramatics (#156 Pop; #15 R&B)
* 1975: The Dells' Greatest Hits Volume 2 (#47 R&B)

Mercury releases

* 1975: We Got To Get Our Thing Together (#31 R&B)
* 1976: No Way Back
* 1977: They Said It Couldn't Be Done But We Did It (#40 R&B)
* 1977: Love Connection (#45 R&B)

ABC releases

* 1978: New Beginnings (#169 Pop; #55 R&B)
* 1979: Face to Face (#71 R&B)

20th Century Fox releases

* 1980: I Touched a Dream (#137 Pop; #23 R&B)
* 1981: Whatever Turns You On

Other releases

* 1984: One Step Closer
* 1988: The Second Time (#92 R&B)
* 1992: I Salute You
* 2000: Reminiscing
* 2002: Open Up My Heart: The 9/11 Album
* 2003: Hott

[edit] Charted singles

* 1956: "Oh, What a Nite" (US R&B #4)
* 1962: "The (Bossa Nova) Bird" (US Pop #97)
* 1965: "Stay in My Corner" (US R&B #23)
* 1967: "Oo, I Love You" (US Pop #61, US R&B #22)
* 1968: "There Is" (US Pop #20, US R&B #11)
* 1968: "Wear It On Our Face" (US Pop #44, US R&B #27)
* 1968: "Stay in My Corner" (US Pop #10, US R&B #1)
* 1968: "Always Together" (US Pop #18, US R&B #3)
* 1968: "Does Anybody Know I'm Here" (US Pop #38, US R&B #15)
* 1969: "Hallways of My Mind" (US Pop #92)
* 1969: "I Can't Do Enough" (US Pop #98, US R&B #20)
* 1969: "I Can Sing a Rainbow/Love Is Blue" (US Pop #22, US R&B #5, UK #15)
* 1969: "Oh, What a Night" (US Pop #10 Pop, US R&B #1)
* 1969: "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" (US Pop #42, US R&B #13)
* 1970: "Oh What a Day" (US Pop #43, US R&B #10)
* 1970: "Open Up My Heart" (US Pop #51, US R&B #5)
* 1970: "Nadine" (US Pop #51, US R&B #5)
* 1970: "Long Lonely Nights" (US Pop #74, US R&B #27)
* 1971: "The Glory of Love" (US Pop #92, US R&B #30)
* 1971: "The Love We Had (Stays on My Mind)" (US Pop #30, US R&B #8)
* 1972: "It's All Up to You" (US Pop #94, US R&B #23)
* 1972: "Oh, My Dear" - (US R&B #36)
* 1972: "Just As Long As We're in Love" (US R&B #35)
* 1973: "Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation" (US Pop #34, US R&B #3)
* 1973: "My Pretending Days Are Over" (US Pop #51, US R&B #10)
* 1974: "I Miss You" (US Pop #60, US R&B #8)
* 1974: "Learning to Love You Was Easy (It's So Hard Trying to Get Over You)" (US R&B #18)
* 1974: "I Wish It Was Me You Loved" (US Pop #94, US R&B #11)
* 1974: "Bring Back the Love of Yesterday" (US Pop #87)
* 1975: "Love is Missing from Our Loves" (US R&B #46)
* 1975: "We Got to Get Our Thing Together" (US R&B #17)
* 1976: "Slow Motion" (US R&B #49 R&B)
* 1976: "The Power of Love" (US R&B #58)
* 1977: "Betcha Never Been Loved (Like This Before)" (US R&B #29)
* 1977: "Our Love" (US R&B #20)
* 1978: "Private Property" (US R&B #57)
* 1978: "Super Woman" (US R&B #24)
* 1979: "(You Bring Out) The Best in Me" (US R&B #34)
* 1980: "I Touched a Dream" (US R&B #17)
* 1980: "Passionate Breezes" (US R&B #76)
* 1989: "Thought of You Just a Little Too Much" (US R&B #66)
* 1991: "A Heart is a House for Love" (US R&B #13)
* 1992: "Come and Get It" (US R&B #62)
* 1992: "Oh My Love" (US R&B #81)

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Posted on October 21, 2008 at 2:30pm 0 Comments

Levi Stubbles (June 6, 1936 – October 17, 2008), better known by the stage name Levi Stubbs, was an American baritone singer, best known as the lead vocalist of the Motown R&B group The Four Tops.…



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The Pointer Sisters are an American Grammy Award-winning Pop/R&B recording act from Oakland, California that achieved mainstream success during the 1970s and 1980s. Spanning over three decades together, their repertoire has included diverse genres as pop music, disco, jazz, bebop, country, soul, funk, dance, new wave and rock.

The group had its early origins when sisters June and Bonnie Pointer began performing… Continue


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Ben E. King (born Benjamin Earl Nelson, September 28, 1938) is an American soul singer. He is perhaps best known as the singer and co-composer of "Stand by Me," a U.S. top 10 hit in both 1961 and 1987 and a #1 hit in the UK in 1987, and as one of the principal lead singers of the R&B vocal group, The Drifters.

Birth name Benjamin Earl Nelson

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At 2:34am on August 18, 2009, ♫ CAT ♫ said…
Hi GF I know its been awhile but I think m moving to Nawlins and hope maybe we can get together I know you have been thru a rough time lately and gurl so have I If you want to get together I would look forward to it!!!!!

At 9:00am on April 26, 2009, ~Trinity~ said…
At 8:38pm on April 11, 2009, ♫ CAT ♫ said…
Hey Gurl long time no talk I may be in Nawlins May 2 & 3rd Managing 2 Gigs for Michael Ray & The Cosmic Krewe at Zeitgeist New Orleans Multi Disciplinary Arts Center 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans, LA, 70113 I think its only gonna be 10.00 admission, but he is so huge there turnout shouldbe great they haven't played Nawlins in awhile its last weekend of Jazzfest, it would be sure nice to see you there and meet yam I have so many pc issues gonee and I have to promote it Im freezing as Im typing GRRR hey if you know of any Nola ning sites will u point be in the direction and spread the word I know you told me your byfriend knows howe huge his following is there, appreciate any info you may have on a nola site, hope to hear from you soon

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At 9:51am on February 11, 2009, ~Trinity~ said…
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At 1:11pm on January 19, 2009, ~Trinity~ said…
Hey girl...

At 11:56am on November 26, 2008, Shelley "SoleMann" King said…

funny thanksgiving Pictures, Images and Photos

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Spotlight | Maze

  1. play Maze — 03 Feel That You're Feelin'
  2. play Maze — 04 Somebody Else's Arms
  3. play Maze — 04 Southern Girl
  4. play Maze — Can't Get Over You
  5. play Maze — Golden Time Of Day
  6. play Norman Brown — Night Drive
  7. play Norman Brown — Feeling
  8. play Norman Brown — Still
  9. play Miles Davis — miles 1
  10. play miles 2
  11. play miles 3
  12. play miles 4
  13. play miles 5
  14. play Marvin Gaye — I Met A Little Girl
  15. play Santana — 01 Singing Winds, Crying Beasts
  16. play Santana — 02 Black Magic Woman-Gypsy Queen
  17. play Mongo — 02. Afro Blue

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) 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.
:: Funkinsoulman ::

Power...Through Simplicity ♪♫♪



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