TV Icon/Mogul/Producer Dick Clark, known as “the world’s oldest teenager,” has died at the age of 82 from a massive heart attack. Clark had been battling health challenges since a 1994 diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. He later suffered a stroke in 2004 that limited his speech and walking abilities. Despite the stroke, he continued to appear on his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve TV show. His last appearance on television was marking his 40th anniversary on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Clark was best known for hosting American Bandstand which began right here in West Philly at 46th and Market Streets. Clark took over the show in 1956 for a 32-year run as its host and welcomed The Jackson 5, New Edition, The Gap Band, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Atlantic Starr, Marvin Gaye, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry, Donna Summer (who once co-hosted with Clark) Chic, Luther Vandross, Janet Jackson, Prince, The Temptations, Run DMC and Sister Sledge, just to name a few. In the 80’s, Clark appeared on three major networks simultaneously with different shows like TV’s Bloopers, The $25,000 Pyramid, and of course, Bandstand, to name a few. Clark produced movies, TV dramas, sitcoms and specials ranging from The American Music Awards and Daytime Emmys to The Lou Rawls Parade Of Stars (a.k.a. the UNCF telethon). While Bandstand never primarily focused its showcase on just African American performers like Don Cornelius’ Soul Train, Clark’s Bandstand did integrate the music, dancers and performers for arguably the first time in the industry’s history.
Matt-Fiddes-007Michael Jackson’s Ex-Bodyguard Says He’s Blanket’s Daddy    Michael Jackson’s former British bodyguard has launched a legal bid to prove he’s the biological father of the late singer’s youngest son. Martial arts master Matt Fiddes, who provided protection for the King of Pop when he was in the UK, is filing court papers in America to demand the right to see 10-year-old Blanket,
steve_harveyOne of the best movies you will see this year is Think Like A Man. Where can I start? The cast is incredible: Taraji P. Henson, Michael Ealy, Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union, Megan Good, Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco, Terrence J, Jennifer Lewis, Regina Hall, and of course, Steve Harvey. I loved this movie! You will laugh until your sides hurt. You’re also gonna love the cameos. Many surprises here, so pay attention! The movie, based on the Steve Harvey bestselling book, is directed by Producer/Director Tim Story (the Fantastic Four movie series, Barbershop, First Sunday and a host of music videos). Think Like A Man is produced by Will Packer. Packer’s next project is No Good Deed with Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba. Go see this movie… and make sure your ticket stub says Think Like A Man.
Mariah Carey, a.k.a. Mrs. Nick Cannon, is the cover girl for Shape magazine. Carey talks about her 70 lbs. weight loss.
the-game-new1Check out the changes coming to the BET network. Reed Between The Lines with Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm-Jamal Warner is being renewed along with sitcoms The Game and Let’s Stay Together. The Soul Train Awards will now be a three-day event hosted by Cedric The Entertainer. It will include a comedy show and a concert headlined by R Kelly. Chris Rock’s brother, Comedian Tony Rock, will be hosting a new show called Apollo Live. Gabrielle Union is starring in the series Being Mary Jane. Kevin Hart is getting a BET show called Househusbands .It’s a spinoff of a skit he did for The BET Awards. The 2013 BET Awards will be a week-long event. Get ready for the second generation Wayans featuring the younger version of the Wayans family. Judge Mathis has new show coming called The Mathis Project. Finally, former CNN News Anchor T.J. Holmes is getting a late night show. It’s a mixture of news and comedy called Don’t Sleep With T.J. Holmes. Holmes says imagine Real Time (Bill Maher), The Daily Show (Jon Stewart) or The Colbert Report (Stephen Colbert) with an African American slant.
My Mama Throws Down my moma throws downis a new TV cooking show debuting on TV One in May. Ralph Harris will be hosting the show, which debuts Friday, May 4th. The show is produced by the team who brought us Iron Chefs Of America.
Oscar Winner Morgan Freeman, 74, says he wants to set the record straight. He is not marrying his 27-year old step-granddaughter. The rumors have started up again, and Freeman says he is tired of it. He says he never had a relationship with E’Dena Hines. She is the granddaughter of Freeman’s first wife Jeanette Bradshaw. Freeman and Hines are not blood related.
Tired of being humiliated by his wife, Singer Marc Anthony has filed for divorced from Jennifer Lopez. He is citing irreconcilable differences, and he wants joint custody of the twins Max and Emme. The couple split last summer, and Lopez has taken up with 24-year old Casper Smart, her backup dancer.
Kim Zolciak and sheree_whitfield_phaedra_parks_real_housewives_atlanta_reunion_bravoSheree Whitfield have been dropped from Bravo’s Real Housewives Of Atlanta. Bravo says it was part of a cost cutting plan for the show, but who will come in and fill those ladies’ shoes?
ABC is making changes in their daytime lineup. The show The Chew has been renewed while The Revolution is being cancelled. General Hospital stays, and Katie Couric debuts with her daytime show in September. Once the show The Revolution leaves the air, look for an afternoon version of Good Morning America to fill that slot.
Jill Scott is coming to VH1 Storytellers. Her episode airs May 16th.
The Starz series Boss returns August 17th with Kelsey Grammar, Sanaa Lathan and Rapper/Actor T.I.
studdardRuben Studdard is a free man. The former American Idol winner is divorced from his wife Surata Zuri McCants after a short-lived marriage. McCants says she was forced to sign a prenup when she married Studdard, so he walked away with his money and his house. Studdard cited irreconcilable differences. He says he is glad this period of his life is over. His former wife got to keep her wedding dress, her wedding photo album, a 2006 BMW and a $10,000 property settlement.
eddie&taj_george(2012-big-ver-upper)The marriage between former Football Star Eddie George and Singer Taj, from the group SWV, has hit a rough patch. Last month, George was involved in a scandal with 26-year old British Pro Golfer Rachel Connor. Connor was busted for drunk driving, and George was in the car with her. Sources say George and his wife Taj, who have two children, recently put their mansion up for sale. Are they headed for a split?
Dr. Ian Smith is back with a new book, and it’s an insight about men. The book, The Truth About Men, is a revealing look at how men really feel. Dr. Smith is best known for Celebrity Fit Club, and The 50-Million Pound Challenge.
Jayson Williams, the 44-year old disgraced former NBA superstar, is out of jail. Williams served eight months of a year-long sentence stemming from a D.U.I. arrest in 2010. Williams’ career suffered a major blow in 2002 because of the shooting death of his limo driver. He served 18 months on aggravated assault charges as a result.
Will and Jada syndrome: Do we enjoy seeing black celebrity couples fail?Jada Pinkett Smith says rumors of marital strife between her and husband Will Smith are ridiculous. Over the past year, the Smiths’ marriage has been under a microscope with many nasty rumors. Jada and Will have been married for 15 years. They have two children Jaden, 13, and Willow, 11, and Will’s son Trey, 18, from his first marriage. The Smiths and their family have been under attack, and Jada is fighting back. Jada says she, Will and the kids are fine. Will Smith returns to the big screen in Men Black III on May 25th.
Singer Robin Gibb, 61, is very ill. Gibb, from the best-selling group The Bee Gees, has been sick for the past year. Reports say he is in a coma.
Bobby Brown has pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license. Brown was arrested last month while driving and talking on his cell phone. When police approached him, they noticed he reeked of alcohol. A judge recently heard his case and ordered Brown to stop drinking or risk going to jail.
Four years ago, she was battling her demons, but now she is on the verge of signing a $15 million contract to be a judge on Simon Cowell’s singing reality show The X-Factor. At one time, Britney Spears was the biggest pop star in the world, but she had a hard time dealing with celebrity. Two failed marriages, two children, a shaved head and a near-nervous breakdown almost led to her ruin. Spears has been surrounded by a close knit support team of family and friends. They have helped her get back on her feet.
Jackie_Robinson_BiographyCasting is underway for a new Jackie Robinson movie. Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, and now a new movie is being made about the baseball legend. Robinson himself starred with Ruby Dee in the 1950 film The Jackie Robinson Story. The new movie will star newcomer Chadwick Boseman as Robinson. Actors Harrison Ford and T.R. Knight will also star. The movie, called 42, is coming out next year.
Oprah Winfrey is headed to the movies. She is in talks to possibly join the cast of Waiting To Exhale II. With the passing of Whitney Houston, producers want to fill that void and go on with the movie. Author Terry McMillan says she is thrilled Oprah may join the cast. Oprah has already signed on to the Lee Daniels movie The Butler. The Butler is about Eugene Allen, who served in the White House for several decades under many presidents. Forest Whitaker will star as Allen, and Oprah will play his wife. Winfrey is no stranger to acting. She was nominated for an Oscar in 1985 for her role in The Color Purple. In more Mighty O news, O Magazine is struggling. The magazine is down millions in advertising sales, and the newsstand sales are declining as well. Meanwhile, Oprah’s OWN cable network has announced some new shows coming soon. Comedienne/Actress Kim Coles will be hosting the game show Are You Normal America. Iyanla Van Zandt has been given the green light for her show Iyanla: Fix My Life. A third season has been ordered for Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s, and Ohio’s first sextuplets are getting their own reality show with their parents in Six Little McGhees.
halle-berry-olivier-martinezHalle Berry says she can’t believe she’s getting married again. Yes! She is hoping the third time will be the charm. Berry has been dating Actor Olivier Martinez for a couple of years, and now they are getting married. Berry has not had good luck in her love life with failed marriages to Baseball Star David Justice and Singer Eric Benet. Berry is also battling her baby daddy Model Gabriel Aubry. Berry says she is very happy with Martinez, and no one is more surprised than she is about getting married again.
Will two well-known Entertainers be caught up in a Shady controversy involving cars?
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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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