February 2008 Blog Posts (9)

Let America be America again

by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be… Continue

Added by saraphen on February 24, 2008 at 8:00am — 4 Comments

Black History Series

A Look At Chicago's Cabrini Green

Before I get down to the nitty gritty, I want to start off with a reference to my favorite movie, Cooley High the 1975 feature film produced and released by…


Added by Edie Antoinette on February 20, 2008 at 8:30pm — 3 Comments

The Awesome Foursome....LOL

United we stand, divided we fall, we are tighter than panty hose two sizes small...Leroy, Skillet, Melvin, Fred, we are the Awesome Foursome until we are dead.....LOL

Just look at em...Lucky Leroy, Slick Skillet, Pretty Boy Melvin, and Ready Freddy....ROFLMBO

Shady Grady and Big Boy Bubba could not be here for the photo shoot, which was probably good because there is no six in foursome....LOL

Here is the original… Continue

Added by Shelley "SoleMann" King on February 16, 2008 at 4:19pm — 10 Comments

My Grandfather, The Cotton Club, and Billy Eckstein

As the sunsets on another sweltering hot day

in Manhatten, New York. My grandfather, 24

year old Ira Davis gets off the bus after a long

ride from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

His destination The World Famous Cotton

Club in Harlem, The Black Mecca of

Entertainment back in those days, where

many African American Jazz Stars performed

alone with The Jazz Swing Bands of that Era.

It was 1944 and… Continue

Added by Shelley "SoleMann" King on February 14, 2008 at 8:42pm — 3 Comments

Propaganda By Evan Christian

My son is phenomenal. He wrote this piece and is playing all instruments, besides singing.


By Matt Bellehumeur

All I could think, during last Saturdays show at The Social (434 S. 2nd St.), was where did they find this kid? Evan Christian, the leader of a great…

Added by Edie Antoinette on February 13, 2008 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

The Force Md's Tribute

The Force M.D.s (M.D. being an initialism for "Musical Diversity") is a doo wop group that was formed in 1981 in Staten Island, New York. Though they weren't quite always as recognizable as other New York R&B acts when they first started out, the Force M.D.s were among the first R&B vocal groups to intermix doo wop-affected consonances with hip-hop beats.

Once known as the L.D.s, they began performing on…

Added by Shelley "SoleMann" King on February 11, 2008 at 5:14pm — 4 Comments

Black History Series

Soul Food

A History of Soul Food

Every ethnic group has what it calls "soul food" - soothing, comfort food that brings back warm memories of family dinners. Today, in America, the term "soul food" simply means…

Added by Edie Antoinette on February 6, 2008 at 7:30pm — 6 Comments

Otis Williams

Though he is the last surviving original member of The Temptations, Big "O", at least to me, has always been somewhat in the background. That's why I'm delighted to feature him now, in the lead..and indeed, that's where he belongs.


Williams was born Otis Miles in Texarkana,…


Added by Edie Antoinette on February 5, 2008 at 11:00pm — 16 Comments

Black History Series

Harlem 1900-1940: An African-American Community

An introduction to the exhibition…

Added by Edie Antoinette on February 5, 2008 at 7:00pm — No Comments

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  1. play Norman Brown — Night Drive
  2. play Norman Brown — Feeling
  3. play Norman Brown — Still
  4. play Miles Davis — miles 1
  5. play miles 2
  6. play miles 3
  7. play miles 4
  8. play miles 5
  9. play Marvin Gaye — I Met A Little Girl
  10. play Santana — 01 Singing Winds, Crying Beasts
  11. play Santana — 02 Black Magic Woman-Gypsy Queen
  12. 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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