I'm still hurting over losing one of my all-time favorite DJ's, Richard Pegue (WVON and WGCI).
Next to Herb Kent, he 'was' radio for me in the 60's and 70's
...and he was a straight Dusties King, like Kent.
In fact, he is the originator
along with "Herbie Baby" of the term "Dusties".
The "Dubber Ruckie" as he called himself
could not be beat when it came
to playing what we Chicago
youngins wanted to hear and dance to,
and his signature tune was
"Stay Awhile With Me" by Sharon Ridley.
Richard had a laid back style and his voice was unique.
He was a thinker too...
always coming up with questions
that made you go.."Hmmm"
I will miss him very much.
I brought over some of the features
from his website, not only to remember him by,
but to feel like I have
a little piece of him
here at OOTP."Do You Remember?" at Richard's Website
Jason Stone graciously gave me
one of The Dubber Ruckie's airchecks from 1975,
which I appreciate with all of my heart.
*Thanks Jason* and Thank you Richard Pegue, for the Dusties.
You were our treasure.--~edie2k2
Here's a wonderful interview with Bob Abrahamian’s
“Sitting In The Park” radio show on WHPK-FM;
You can hear him tell his story here.
If only for the TV jingles he created
for the Moo & Oink meat shop,
you know Pegue’s going to a good place. I didn't know he produced
Little Ben & The Cheers,
who did 'I'm Not Ready To Settle Down"!! Whoa!!!
This interview is outstanding.
Chicago has been a hotbed of vintage soul lately. In addition to the Numero Group’s upcoming Eccentric Soul Revue at the Park West, the Ambassador East hotel currently is showcasing a week-long soul festival presented by a U.K. promoter. In the midst of all this activity, a giant of the Chicago scene has passed away. Richard Pegue—noted DJ, producer, songwriter and musician—died of a heart attack Monday.
Richard Pegue was born on July 29, 1944 in Chicago to a beautician and a policeman. More than any other local disc jockey (save for Herb Kent), Pegue did a lot to spread the concept of “dusties,” basically another way of saying “African-American oldies.” His Saturday dusties show jumped from station to station for the last 28 years, from high-wattage frequencies like WGCI-FM to college stations like Kennedy-King’s WKKC (which is where he could be heard in recent years), but still managed a deep following. At one point in the ‘80s, his show was so popular that a competing black station (the long-gone WBMX) slotted a similar show on Sunday afternoons.
As an old drop-in on Pegue’s show used to say, “when you hear the same songs on Sunday afternoons that you hear on Saturday nights, you know everybody’s listening to Richard Pegue and the Best Music Of Your Life!” The competing show on WBMX tanked. The DJs had little connection to the songs played, and often sounded like they didn’t want one, wisecracking, “This is my older brother’s record, I’m way too young to remember this!”
Pegue, as he pointed out, was there when it happened. He spun stories about the time he stole some guitar sheet music from a ’60s Gene Chandler session, or the time his old singing group were recording at Chess Records while “these ugly white guys” (better known as the Rolling Stones) waited their turn.
More importantly, he was proud of the local music scene. A typical Pegue show featured a heavy dose of the Chicago sound, usually from local acts who never broke nationally. Every now and then he’d play something he produced himself, like Renaldo Domino’s “Not Too Cool To Cry” (1969) or Little Ben & the Cheers’ “I’m Not Ready To Settle Down” (1965). In a city that boasted several producers with individualistic sounds, Pegue was not afraid to leave his touches all over a record—the Domino song is the only sweet soul song I can think of offhand with a fiddle solo. And true to his altar-boy roots, several of Pegue’s productions had eerie choral backgrounds.
Richard Steele and Richard Pegue.
Longtime Chicago DJ Richard Pegue Dies Produced by
City Room on Wednesday, March 04, 2009
A music legend on Chicago's South Side has died. Richard Pegue sang in doo-wop groups, wrote commercial jingles and spun soul and R&B tracks as a radio DJ. In recent years, Pegue co-hosted a Friday night dance party alongside WBEZ's Richard Steele.
STEELE: His knowledge of old records was better than just about anybody I know. I mean, you name the artist, he knew that person, when they recorded, who they recorded with, who played drums on that recording, that kind of stuff. He was very, very intense about oldies—dusties—and knew the ins-and-outs, A-to-Z.
Steele and Pegue were friends for more than 50 years, starting in high school. Pegue died Tuesday in Jackson Park Hospital after a heart attack. He was 64.
Here are some "Way Back" memories - how many do you remember and how many can you add to them?
DANCES WE USE TO DO IN CHICAGO
Bossa Nova Bird
Funky 4 Corners
The Cold Duck
The Feel It
Bank Head Bounce
Shingaling Da Butt
Tom & Jerry
Push & Pull
The Tighten Up
Richard Pegue, 1944-2009: Disc jockey who spun Dusties on Chicago radio.
By Trevor Jensen | Tribune reporter
March 5, 2009
Richard Pegue, best known as an on-air spinner of "dusties" on Chicago radio, was also a savvy promoter and station manager who contributed to WGCI's rise to a ratings power.
Mr. Pegue (pronounced like McGee), 64, died of heart failure Tuesday, March 3, according to WVON, one of his former stations. He was a resident of South Holland.
Mr. Pegue most recently worked the midnight-to-6-a.m. Sunday shift at WKKC-FM 89.3, playing his familiar mix of rhythm-and-blues hits from the 1950s through the 1970s, backed by knowledgeable patter about the artists and arrangements, program director Al Greer said.
He called his show "The Best Music of Your Life," as he had since his days as one of the disc jockeys known as the "Good Guys" at WVON, where he became music director in 1968.
Over the years, he worked at a number of stations. But most notably, he had a lengthy stretch at WGCI, where he worked as program director and operations manager in addition to filling in on-air through the 1980s and 1990s.
"He's the guy I really credit with the success of WGCI today," said former WGCI president and general manager Marv Dyson, now director of operations at WKKC. "He's the guy who created the magic."
Mr. Pegue helped organize citywide treasure hunts for miniature WGCI buses, which when found through on-air clues led to cash rewards. The promotion was so popular, people were digging up yards and turning over cars, Dyson said.
"We had to start hiding them in plain sight," he said.
Another promotion offered gas at 50 cents a gallon, now a common stunt but not so at the time, Dyson said.
Mr. Pegue also helped assemble a roster of on-air talent that included Tom Joyner and Doug Banks and brought back radio legend Herb Kent during a lull in Kent's career, Dyson said.
Somewhat cantankerous, Mr. Pegue was never afraid to tell people what was on his mind, colleagues said.
"We called him a crotchety old man," Dyson said. "He was 64 years old. Richard acted like he was 90."
But at the annual Dusty Record Convention he organized each year, Mr. Pegue was the life of the party, spinning old favorites at a sellout BYOB buffet and dance.
Growing up on the South Side, Mr. Pegue started playing music at high school dances after getting a reel-to-reel player from his grandmother. His father, also named Richard, was a Chicago Park District police officer who was shot to death in 1946 by a suspected rapist.
At Hirsch High School, Mr. Hegue started a doo-wop group and wrote music. He later wrote "I'm Not Ready to Settle Down," which was recorded by the Cheers.
His best-known composition is likely the long-running jingle for Moo & Oink markets: "Wave for catfish—Moo & Oink! Scream for ribs—Moo & Oink!"
The jingle was replaced in 2006 by a rap number to appeal to younger people.
"They talk a different language," Mr. Pegue said philosophically in a Tribune story. "I'm more into the classics."
Mr. Pegue is survived by his wife, Sevina; four children; 14 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
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.