This post is in part an acknowledgement of an earlier post by an LLJ member.
All of us must begin to take a different and personal approach when disaster strikes our family (any of the African Diaspora). We have to show our concern, not just with words but with our wallets and our physical energy if we indeed have it! If we have the ability to do good for our brothers and sisters and fail to do that, then we are the biggest hypocrites and sinners of all. James said "Faith without works is dead" for all my Christian friends. But this goes beyond faith and religion. We are at a point when all humanity is being tested. If we fail as humans to respond to the needs of one another and the planet...then humanity will fail to exist as we dream it should be. It will mean the dream of paradise has ended. Hell will be the planet on which we live.
There are so many conspiracy theories that attribute this disaster to all sorts of evil indiviuals, organizations and powers that may control natural events. I can not begin to resolve in my mind or heart what is really at play. I am not looking to blame anyone nor am I looking to dismiss the possibilities. What I would like (that I may never have) is honesty. Honesty about the reasons for a country being built without real infrastructure that would keep it's people safe in the face of disaster. At least the loss of life would have been far less. We well know that even with the best of infrastructure, being equipted and socially ready to respond to devastating natural disaster is more than a notion (Katrina).
How long have other nations sat on their collective asses and looked at the Haitian people's plite and done absolutely nothing or at least as little as possible to make a difference? How long? Too long! Now we are faced with the shame of our lack of compassion as human beings. The shame of having to assist those who would have possibly been alive today if we had acted sooner. Enough of the shoulda, coulda, woulda...The real question is how do we help rebuild the lives of all Haitians affected by this traumatic event.
I do thank the Obama administration for it's prompt reponse to the Haitian disaster. This administration has promised to give sustained assistance in every form to the people of Haiti without let up. However, we will have to hold this government and all governments feet to the fire. We can not allow Haiti to be another Katrina when it comes to relief or recovery.
Keep yourself informed and inform others. Use this tragedy as a movitation for you to not just talk but act on issues that will impact all humanity. You are a human agent, representing the world of humnaity at it's best. Your responsibility is to preserve your "Legacy" in the world of humanity and to leave that legacy in place for future generations to build upon. Do not take that lightly!
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.