Photo Of Ivie Anderson
"I Thought You Ought To Know"/
"The Voot Is Here To Stay"
by Ivie Anderson And Her All Stars
on Black & White 772
released in 1946
Above: Photo of Ivie Anderson. She started as a singer/dancer at The Cotton Club in 1925, then worked with Paul Howard's Quality Serenaders and The Anson Weeks Orchestra. Ivie had a short stint with Earl Hines in 1930 before becoming a regular with Duke Ellington in 1931. She sings in the 1937 movie "A Day At The Races" (Marx Brothers) and at least one soundie with Ellington.


Black & White Label-I Thought You Ought To Know-1946 Black & White Label-The Voot Is Here To Stay-1946


Photo from 1951 of Larry Darnell with fans


"The Rainy Day Blues"
by Sonny Wilson [Jackie Wilson]
on dee gee 4000 A
released in 1952

Photo of Jackie Wilson, known as
"Sonny Wilson" on his first records (when
he was 17 years old).



(1934 - 1984)


Jackie Wilson is a product of Detroit, being born there on June 9, 1934, and attending Highland Park H.S. It is reputed that at age sixteen (1950) he won a "Golden Glove" championship in the "Motor City", after lying about his age to enter. This is myth! The truth is, he did lie to gain entry into the Golden Gloves contest. When his mother learned he was practicing the art of pugilism, she made him quit! This may have had a role in his pursuing a singing career. In the very early years he sang, along with Levi Stubbs of the yet-to-be Four Tops, in local clubs.


Billy Ward came upon the then 18 yr. old Jackie Wilson In 1953, at Detroit's Fox Theater. Ward, was looking to replace his recently departed lead singer; Clyde McPhatter of Billy Ward and The Dominoes. At this time Ward realized Jackie's range, vocal gymnastics, and showmanship -- not to mention the ability to simply belt out a song -- were such that no one could match Jackie Wilson.

At 23 (1957) Jackie left Ward's tutelage, went solo and signed with the Brunswick label. His career witnessed momentum when he began performing songs co-written by fellow Detroiter Berry Gordy, later the founder of Motown. These included "Reet Petite", "To Be Loved" and "Lonely Teardrops."

Brunswick was never able to settle on a particular musical style for Wilson. He often crossed between R&B and pop. Jackie favored the latter where he could use his truly astonishing range to good effect. Under the orchestral arrangements of Brunswick's Dick Jacobs, Jackie's recordings were frequently backed by an abundance of brass and string instrumentation.

Fans (including me) believe Jackie Wilson was incapable of making a bad record. Some contend his output represents, at best, a mixed bag (my late father was numbered among this group). Everyone must admit however, Jackie's best is undoubtedly some of the most thrilling music to emerge from the late '50s and early '60s. Students of the art say his presence on stage is not at all unlike that exhibited by the "Godfather of Soul" in his heyday, James Brown. Musical scholars have noted Jackie's singing style compared with the likes of Sam Cooke.

There are other Cooke parallels too, unfortunately. In 1961, while staying in a N.Y.C. hotel, Jackie Wilson was shot and seriously wounded by one of the many women with whom he was involved. As a result of this incident he lost a kidney and had to carry the bullet in his body for the remainder of his days.

The British invasion sent Wilson's career into the doldrums. It took a new producer, Carl Davis, to revitalize him. Davis produced the timeless soul classics "Whispers" (1966) and "Higher and Higher" (1967).

Jackie Wilson was still appearing on the charts -- albeit low on the lists -- when at 41 he suffered a stroke and collapsed onstage in Cherry Hill, NJ, on September 29, 1975. On this night he was performing in a Dick Clark's Traveling Oldies Revue. Ironically, at the time he was singing his signature song, "Lonely Teardrops." He lingered on for another eight-and-a-half years, supposedly totally comatose. Like many things in Jackie's life, this fact too is disputed. Some claim he was not in a coma, but rather alert, totally paralyzed and unable to react to any stimuli.

Jackie Wilson died on January 21, 1984, in Mount Holly, NJ, at Burlington County Memorial Hospital. The official cause of death was listed as pneumonia. He further suffered the indignity of being buried in an unmarked grave in Detroit. This sad state of affairs was later corrected in 1987. Jackie was survived by his wife Harlean, sons Anthony, John and Thor and daughters Jacqueline, Denise, and LaShawn. Daughter Denise was subsequently killed in a drive-by shooting in 1987.

In 1987 Jackie Wilson was post-humously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame -

"I'll Be Around"/"Ooh, Little Daddy"
Edna McGriff
on Josie 764
released in 1954

Photo Of Edna McGriff
Above: Photo of Edna McGriff. She is most well known for her hit "Heavenly Father" in 1952 and a few duet recordings with Sonny Til (the lead singer of The Orioles).
Josie Label-I'll Be Around-1954

"California Blues"/"Your Footsteps Round My Door"
by Jimmy Grissom
on M-G-M 10337
released in 1949

Photo Of Jimmy Grissom
Above: Photo of Jimmy Grissom.
M-G-M Label-California Blues-1949
Above: Label image of M-G-M 10337-A released in January 1949. Jimmy Grissom first recorded for the Miltone label in 1947. He then moved to Recorded In Hollywood, where he had a hit with the original version of "Once There Lived A Fool" in 1951. Soon after, Grissom joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra resulting in several releases on Columbia and Capitol.


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Comment by Edie Antoinette on February 22, 2013 at 2:41pm

Well...another one bites the dust. This time it's MixPod who hosted the music. *sigh* Back to the drawing board :(

Comment by Edie Antoinette on January 26, 2011 at 9:17am
Hey Sole!!!!! Thank you so much! There is so much here that I be forgetting what we have until somebody jars my memory. Jackie Wilson is getting DOWN too!!!! I appreciate you Sole!
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on January 26, 2011 at 9:04am
I just lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvve all of this....SMILE
Comment by KnightD12 on January 31, 2009 at 9:27am
Jackie had such a mature voice at 17. Thanks for posting that.
Comment by Edie Antoinette on September 22, 2008 at 12:37am
I found a great conversion tool, so it's on! I have all four of their recordings now. Sonny Wilson..that is a great find. I never knew Jackie Wilson (the man I said I was gonna wear a red dress for and marry when I grew up-lol) was called Sonny Wilson! Wow!

Comment by Edie Antoinette on September 21, 2008 at 11:05pm
And oh yeah...Ivie is straight on POINT! I love those kind of pics so much! I am captured by them.
Comment by Edie Antoinette on September 21, 2008 at 11:04pm
Thanks dear one. I am trying to convert Jimmy Grissom's recording from RealAudio to Mp3 or Wma..sheesh! But you are my best buddy when it comes to this kinna stuff. I have a nice blog coming on your Grandfather's Ink Spots soon.

Stay tuned...and thanks again!
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on September 21, 2008 at 10:39pm
Now this blog is awesome and then some...I enjoy this and look at Ivie up there, with her sassy, sexy looking self....LOL

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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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