The Monitors were a minor Motown act from the 1960s. The group, which consisted of lead singer Richard Street, Sandra Fagin, John "Maurice" Fagin, and Warren Harris, had only one minor hit, a cover of the Valadiers' "Greetings (This is Uncle Sam)", which reached number 21 on the Billboard R&B chart, and number 100 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. "Greetings (This is Uncle Sam)" explores the feelings felt by many young African American men, as they were drafted into the army to serve in the Vietnam War.

Their first release as The Majestics was to have been 'Hello Love' on Motown's VIP label in 1964, but release was cancelled. A year later, 'Say You' was released initially as The Majestics, but a name change to The Monitors was made after it was found there was another group already recording as The Majestics for another company. 'Greetings (This is Uncle Sam)' was their 3rd release and reached #100 on Billboards Pop Chart. Two more singles appeared on VIP 'Since I Lost You Girl'(November 1966) and 'Bring Back The Love' (January 1968). They were switched to Motown's SOUL label with 'Step by Step (Hand in Hand)' in the summer of 1968, but this was to be their final single with Motown.

Because of the Monitors' lack of success, its members held other positions within the Motown corporation to sustain income. Richard Street, for example, worked in Motown's Quality Control department, and later traveled with The Temptations as a stand-in for Paul Williams, who became increasingly ill during the late 1960s and early 1970s due to alcoholism and other health problems. When Williams was forced to leave the Temptations because of his failing health, Street took his place, and the Monitors were dissolved.



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Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on June 7, 2009 at 12:28am
I can imagine the look Berry gave them when he said that....LOL
Comment by KnightD12 on June 6, 2009 at 10:52pm
The things I learn here continue to amaze me. I thought The Monitors were the first and only group to record "Greetings, This Is Uncle Sam". Nor did I know that The Valdaliers were the first white group to sign with Motown. Some guy on Youtube wrote that they were an intergrated group when they auditioned for Berry. He told them to come back when they all were the same color. lol Oh well, it was a different time back in 1960.
Comment by Edie Antoinette on June 1, 2009 at 9:47pm
Thank...goodness!!!! I be multi-taskin like a mug!!!!! Forgetting where I'm at??!!! And who I'm is!!! LOLOLOL
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on June 1, 2009 at 8:19pm
Numba 7 still loves ya scatter-brain and all....LMBO
Comment by JazzWorld on June 1, 2009 at 7:38pm
Oooops! I totally forgot I was signed in on my JazzWorld page!!!!! LOL!!!!! *doing some maintenance*

I am such a scatter-brain at times! LOL
Comment by JazzWorld on June 1, 2009 at 7:34pm
I love them kinna discoveries! Richard said he ain't just a pretty face, ya know..he done PAID his dues!!!! LOL
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on June 1, 2009 at 7:12pm
I didn't know he was a member until i started researching the monitors after i put their music on my page....LOL
Comment by Edie Antoinette on June 1, 2009 at 6:34pm
Whoa! I have Say You up on the Main too not realizing Richard Street was one of The Monitors! This is totally on point!!!!!! I like that album cover too--very unique.

You just gone head ONNNN Suggah!

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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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