The Brown Dots were initially formed in late 1944, when second tenor Ivory "Deek" Watson (b. 18 July 1909, Mounds, Illinois - d. 4 November 1969, Washington, DC) left the Ink Spots. He immediately put together a competing Ink Spots group consisting of lead tenor Joe King, bass Jimmy Gordon, and an unknown baritone.

By late January 1945, a lawsuit brought by the Ink Spots caused Deek Watson to claim that he would form a new group based on a "completely new idea". This new idea was simply to change their name to the Brown Dots and to sound as much like the Ink Spots as possible (although the Brown Dots employed more extensive harmonies). At this time, the unknown baritone left, to be replaced by baritone/guitarist William "Pat" Best.

By March 1945, they were recording for Newark (New Jersey)-based Manor records. At their first session, they recorded four songs, including "Sentimental Reasons" (written by Pat Best and led by Joe King). This song would become more popular through the years as "For Sentimental Reasons" or "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons".

By late summer or early fall, Joe King left, to be replaced by Jimmie Nabbie, who had originally wanted to be an operatic tenor.

Deek Watson always seemed to be in the middle of personality clashes. He had left the Ink Spots because of multiple clashes with Bill Kenny and Joe King had left the Brown Dots when he and Watson started fighting. By late 1946, Watson and the rest of the Brown Dots weren't getting along.

Rather than break up the group, Nabbie, Best, and Gordon recruited tenor Danny Owens. Originally calling themselves the Sentimentalists, they began recording for Manor behind Deek's back (just to see if they could make it on their own). When Deek finally found out, he left them and formed another Brown Dots group, about which next to nothing is known. (Some later Brown Dots records have a vocal group and some don't.)

The Sentimentalists started recording in earnest, including some backups to Savannah Churchill. However, bandleader Tommy Dorsey contacted them and asked them (politely) to cease using the "Sentimentalists" name (since he'd recently had a vocal group by that name, although they'd since changed their name to the Clark Sisters). However, since Dorsey was nice about it, they complied, changing their name to the 4 Tunes. Under this name, they would become the leading black Pop vocal group of the 1950s.


DEEK WATSON AND HIS BROWN DOTS - JUST IN CASE YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND



DEEK WATSON AND HIS BROWN DOTS - IS IT RIGHT

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Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on December 31, 2008 at 3:53am
Thank you for that site info, that's where i got the legal battle from
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on December 31, 2008 at 3:52am
You know me, always looking for something, all i did was type in stick in a shoe and BAM there it was....LMBO
Comment by Edie Antoinette on December 30, 2008 at 11:55pm
Nite Nite..and thank you for a WONDERFUL time!!!!
Comment by Edie Antoinette on December 30, 2008 at 11:54pm
Here's a tight site that I frequent...he goes into great depth with everything:

http://www.vocalgroupharmony.com/BEST/browndot/browndot.htm
Comment by Edie Antoinette on December 30, 2008 at 11:49pm
where in the heck do you be findin this stuff???? rolling on the floorrolling on the floorrolling on the floor
Comment by Edie Antoinette on December 30, 2008 at 11:42pm
*edie is running in a circle going mad with laughter*
Comment by Edie Antoinette on December 30, 2008 at 11:42pm
OM.........................NO YOU DIINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A STICK IN A SLIPPER...*plop*

BWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
HHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on December 30, 2008 at 11:24pm
ole eagle eye mcsolemann7 didn't notice the rug, but judging by that look on Deek's face something good was going down....LOL
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on December 30, 2008 at 11:20pm


JUST A THOUGHT....HMMMM/LMBO
Comment by Edie Antoinette on December 30, 2008 at 11:19pm
And what was they doin that they had to roll the rug back?? LOL

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Introspection

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) 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.
:: Funkinsoulman ::

Power...Through Simplicity ♪♫♪

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