For the past few days i have been listening to The Isley Brothers, not the 1970's on up Isley Brothers, but the late 50's early 60's Isley Brothers and of course after doing all that listening, i had to look around on Youtube and see what i could find...
The feature video on this blog is them singing Stagger Lee on The Clay Cole Show in 1959, but i have also included a Doo-Wop song that they did with The Chiffons titled "Don't Be Jealous" which i truly love...
Now lets talk about The Stagger Lee video...Lawd i was cracking up when Ron Isley pulled that gun out...LOL
1:22 Ron pulls gun out of Jacket
SINGER...Stagger Lee went home
And he got his .44.
He said, "I'm goin' to the ballroom
"Just to pay that debt I owe."
1:49 Ron shoots O'Kelly Isley while the London Mods Dance...LOL
SINGING...Stagger Lee went to the ballroom
And he strolled across the ballroom floor.
He said "You did me wrong, Billy."
And he pulled his .44.
"Stagger Lee," said Billy,
"Oh, please don't take my life!
"I've got three hungry children,
"And a very sickly wife."
Stagger Lee shot Billy,
Oh, he shot that poor boy so bad,
That the bullet went through Billy
and broke the bartender's glass.
Yep, yall seeing a earlier version of Ron Isley a.k.a Mr. Biggs in training....ROFLMBO. I just found out that Stagger Lee was based on a actual murder, wow talk about learning something new everyday and it was a very controversial song, but you just gotta love The Isleys back in the day....SMILE
THE ISLEY BROTHERS...STAGGER LEE
Now here is Doo-Wop at it's finest, i only wish that this was a actual video, i would have loved to seen them singing this...SMILE
THE ISLEY BROTHERS AND THE CHIFFONS...DON'T BE JEALOUS
I will close this blog with these words...FREE RON ISLEY
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.