"Images of Haiti"

This piece is dedicated with all of My Heart
to the Proud People of the Nation of Haiti

"Oh Haiti"

A thousand storms of thy calamity..Have all risen up
to soon challenge..All that you can soon ever..Have
hope and need to see..Born of and once descended
from a proud..But defiant and a powerful heritage of
African people..Who despite all their shortcomings..
and very formidable and compelling odds..With which
they once suffered as a people..Were themselves so
soon confronted..By one of the this worlds mightiest
armies..Soon gathered and so fully arrayed and aligned
itself against thee..

Perceived by so many in this certain time..To be no
more than a loud foolish..Ragtag group of angry and
desperate people..For sure no match..For one of the
great world armies..and colonial powers of this time..

Surely these impetuous rabble rousers fools and day
dreamers..Would soon be crushed in their ill thought
out rebellion..And soon be put down..By some of the
worlds very smartest Generals Soldiers and tactical
minds..Soon to be armed and charged..Then to be
fully dispatched by the French Aristocracy..With new
marching orders..To simply crush this fragile fledgeling
facsimile of a rebellion..While bringing this unruly group..
Of supposedly ignorant and backward people..Back
under their control..Putting them so firmly by superior
military might..Back in their proper place and line..

All the while the French not knowing that their conceited
actions..Would soon give new birth and hope to those..
Perceived to be so foolish at the time..To dare to dream
that they to could someday come to be..Able to have and
hold onto an idea..For such a crazy belief..To fight for..
and then help to form a tiny Nation..Of people of Color..
So utterly desperate hopeful..and determined to be free..

A people descended of and from..A mighty and proud yet
powerful African people..Whose Spirit has bent so many
times..But to this day will never be fully broken..By their
own overwhelming desire to someday be..The first to do
battle and confront all the forces of Slavery..Then defeat
the same very slave holders..and their arrogant Colonial
masters..Then soon rise up to become a proud..But ever
highly spirited..True nation of People..So very determined
at all costs..To someday breathe once again..The same
air of the elite..The rich the powerful the better educated..
The privileged and the free..

Oh Haiti thou has seen the very best and worst of this
Life..For thy people have eaten the Fruit of Life..From
both sides of this Gardens liberation tree..But never in
the brief history of thy tiny nation..Has your people ever
been faced..With such a daunting new and even greater
challenge..As the one you now find yourself..and your
young still undeveloped nation..Must now face staring
squarely..at the battered confluence..Of life and deaths
circumstance..Now standing so directly in front of thee..

For a thousand winds and hurricanes have risen..And
each powerful one..Has blown so very hard and so fiercely..
Against all that is right within thee..But no ill wind of such..
immense power and circumstance..Has ever blown so
hard as this earthquake..That has so recently shattered ..
Then battered the very heart..of thy Spirit..That every eye
in this world..Has now been so soberly awakened and..
Now forced to see..come so alive..Now in the grief poverty
and immense pain now rooted so firmly in thee..

My own heart is sad shattered and broken..and my pain
is felt so far and deep..In the very bottom of my heart..My
own now humbled Spirit..So very alive in my soul..Finds
it so very hard not to weep..Even as the sad collage and
ever distressing frames..of so many images..Firmly paint
no illustrious pictures..Of your present plight and situation..
Have all soon recorded themselves..inside of me forever..
In ever vivid colors..So fashioned from the chilling reality..
of your still evolving story..Now being told and shown all
over and around the globe..

Each image of your struggle..Soon given such new life..On
this very living canvas of possibility..Now placed forever on
display..In these halls walls and windows..Of my own aching
soul..Helping me to once again be reborn..As a Human being..
By truly redefining the very values..I feel inside of me and do..
Go now forth committed..To each new waking day..To better
appreciate the wonder of this very fragile..Thing called Life..
We each now in our own way..Occasionally take for granted..
Are now jolted and reminded..Is not a thing of entitlement..But
a fragile beauty filled temporary Gift..We each have been so
allowed..By The Creator of all Life..To live to know to share
and so temporarily..Embrace and hold..

For I too have seen so much suffering and pain..In these very
brief pages of my life and times..But their is truly something
so unique and so different..Created by fear and sheer scale
scope..and a true sense of tremendous hopelessness and
utter helplessness..Which permeates the inner sanctums of
the mind..That has now fully dressed itself..In the tattered but
flimsy garment..That has now so truly become claimed..By all
that is thine..

Oh Haiti..The deck in so many ways has been stacked up
so well against..The very people that are both alive..and now
dead in thee..Yet so many now wish..The simple but harsh
reality of your many..Raw and pain filled defining images..Will
now somehow just go away..So your utter desperation and
prolonged suffering..As a once proud people..They no longer
will be forced to somehow confront..and be made to have to
now daily know and see..

Sadly the world we now live in today..Where the best in some..
Must rise to stand right beside the worst..Where the ignorance
and hatred..We see come so alive in the hearts of some..Must
stand unashamed in the murky shadows..Nearby the generosity
of those..Who have decided to give..So much more of themselves..
Till their hearts feel like it..Wants to overflow the dam..and simply

I am so truly thankful for those who have chosen..To give and
share their love..of their common decency and Humanity..By
stepping up and away..From some of humanity's worst..Wisely
choosing to provide help..Now so badly needed in your hour of
despair..To help you to quench if only for a single moment..The
truly immense and staggering need..Of your oh so very fragile..
Nations..Tremendous amount of true pain hunger grief and thirst..

Oh Haiti..I to shall stand by your side..and help now to hold up
your weakened..Frail trembling and desperate hand..For surely
who alive among us all..Truly knows what tomorrows lessons..
May very well bring soon to me and to mine..Nor the price of
the same fate..We now see so dealt to thee and to all thine..

For someday the same fate..Shall soon see the same down
payment required..One day of this life by me..? For hidden in
the looming not to distant future..So much is yet unseen and
still unknown..To be shown of the future moments..of Our own
still to come fragile..Yet hope filled Life and times..

When I am to be forced by me to view thy circumstance..As
your own nation of people..Struggle once again to mightily try
to soon rise up again..On one badly bruised and almost broken
knee..I too am now fully awakened..From the sleep of my own
bed of ignorance..That has been allowed to in many ways..To
serve as a silent lullaby..Of complacency once sung to me..

For also lying beside your people..So visible in this crushed
debris of thy dignity and grace..Hidden also within these foul
shattered remnants..Of thy citizens now smashed lives hope
and fractured dreams..For when the exposed will of your own
people..Is fully being so stretched to and even past..The very
edge and point of total desperation..Even the very perception
of Hope..Has fled or just so to me..it now so obviously seems..

Perhaps so alive in your visible patience..Is the quiet tenacity
and veracity..That will soon foster the need..To help each and
everyone of us..To become familiar with redefining..Our own
common sense of decency and Humanity..As we and others
from around the world..Soon begin to help commit to assist..
You and all of your people..To take the necessary pride..To yet
once again..Begin to rebuild and restore..in your now shattered
nation...a new sense of direction of hope..By replacing all the
chaos..and pent-up frustration..With some much needed love..
charity..Greater compassion mercy and sanity..

My heart does weep for your lost lives..Knowing the pain and
suffering your people..Now must feel in the very pits of their
souls..Refusing to wilt in the face of such a great calamity..
Present in your everyday situation..Of being ignored and pitied
by so many..Who know so little about your inner hopes..and
the ever fragile dreams ..for your tiny nation..Nor having any
familiarity..With its simplest needs and goals..

Oh Haiti..You now must struggle to once again rise..Step up
from these same very ashes..To find a child's Hope..To dare
to dream again..To pursue and define a new emerging reality..
Just waiting beyond the horizon..To be soon again told..For I
too shall dream along..With you and your people..With the
vision to embrace a new direction..To once again help you to
redefine..and soon rebuild your once proud nation..From these
crushed buildings..of your spilled blood and ashes..An even
better more glory filled Phoenix..Shall soon Fly free..Beside
your Children and your people..As a wiser bird once again..!!

Excerpted from "The African Journals" Vol I
"The Things I Would Say To You If I Could"
Authored By Daton O. Fullard Copyrighted
2010 © All Rights Reserved

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Comment by Edie Antoinette on January 29, 2010 at 2:52pm
Very nice!
Comment by KnightD12 on January 29, 2010 at 2:07pm
Well done my Brotha.

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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) 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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