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Friday, March 30, 2012

The Dramatics


Originally formed in 1962, the Dramatics (at various times) consisted of:

Ronald Dean Banks (b. 10th May 1951, Redford, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 4th March 2010, Sinai Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.) 1962 to 2010

Larry Reed (lead singer) 1962 to 1968

Roderick Davis 1962 to 1968

Elbert Wilkins (d. 13th December 1992, from a massive heart attack - formerly of the Theatrics) 1962 to 1973

William 'Weegee' Howard (b. William Franklin Howard II, 13th July 1950, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., d. 22nd February 2000, Bronxville, New York, U.S.A.) 1968 to 1973 then 1986 to 1989

Willie Ford (b. 10th July 1950, LaGrange, Georgia, U.S.A. - formerly of the Capitols) 1968 - today

Robert Ellington 1964

Craig Jones 1981 to 1982

Larry 'Squirrel' Demps (b. 23rd February 1949, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.) 1962 to 1981

Leonard Cornell Mayes (b. 5th April 1951, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 7th November 2004, Southfield, Michigan, U.S.A.) 1973 to 2004

James Mack Brown (d. 28th November 2008)

L. J. Reynolds (b. Larry James Reynolds, 27th January 1952, Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.A.) 1973 to 1981 then 1986 to today

Winzell Kelly (b. 16th January 1953, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. - ex: the Capitols, Five Special, TFO Band, and the Floaters) 1994 to today

Steve Barnett-Boyd 1989 to 1994

Bo Henderson 1981

and

Michael Brock 2006 to today

The Dramatics were formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1962. The Dramatics initially released two singles on the Wingate imprint (including 'Somewhere' b/w 'Bingo', a 45 that was misprinted as being recorded by the Dynamics, a fault later corrected on further pressings) and 'Inky Dinky Wang Dang Do' b/w 'Baby I Need You' both released in 1966. Robert Ellington left the band at an early stage in the Sixties. The group were mistakenly named the Dynamics, back in 1962, however, as the Dramatics they achieved major success with their songs, 'In the Rain' and 'What You See Is What You Get'. In 1967, the Dramatics achieved a small hit with the Ivy Joe Hunter produced song 'All Because Of You' b/w 'If You Haven't Got Love' by the Dramatics, released on the small Detroit label, Sport Records (Sport 101). During that year, The Dramatics were staying at the Algiers Motel, following a performance at Detroit's Fox Theatre, during an alleged murder by members of the Detroit Police Department. This became one of the incidents which sparked the Detroit Riots of 1967.



It wasn't until 1971 when the Detroit producers Don Davis and Tony Hestor signed the Dramatics to the Memphis-based Stax Records in 1971, where the group saw greater success with their song 'Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get'. The song reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 9 back at the time. The group were awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. later that year. At this stage, The Dramatics comprised of Ron Banks, William 'Wee Gee' Howard (ex. The Sir Primes, who died of a heart attack on the 22nd of February 2000 at the age of 49), Elbert Wilkins (who died of a heart attack on the 13th of December 1992 at the age of 45), Willie Ford, Larry Demps and keyboardist James Mack Brown (who died on the 28th of November 2008 at the age of 58).



Following the release of the group's first album, William Howard and Elbert Wilkins left the group. They were replaced by L.J. Reynolds (previously of Chocolate Syrup) and Leonard 'Lenny' Mayes. In 1973, the group released the song 'Hey You! Get Off My Mountain' (taken from the 'A Dramatic Experience' album), which became an R&B number 5 and pop Top 50 that year. During the Seventies, the Dramatics released several further popular sides, including the haunting ballad 'In The Rain'. In 1974, the Dramatics left Stax Records, and the following year began an association with Los Angeles-based ABC imprint, while still recording in Detroit with Davis and Hestor.



U.S. hits at ABC included the ballad 'Me And Mrs. Jones' (R&B number 4 and pop Top 50, 1975, a song made popular by Philadelphia International star Billy Paul), 'Be My Girl' (R&B number 3, 1976) and 'Shake It Well' (R&B number 4, 1977). The Dramatics appeared on Soul Train and also released the songs 'Toast to the Fool', 'Me and Mrs. Jones', 'I'm Going By The Stars In Your Eyes' and 'Be My Girl'. In the meantime, William Howard and Elbert Wilkins formed their own version of the Dramatics. They released the song 'No Rebate on Love', and called the group 'Ron Banks and The Dramatics'. Relocating to the MCA imprint in 1979, the group achieved their last Top 10 hit with 'Welcome Back Home' (R&B number 9, 1980). The same year, the group released the album 'The Dramatic Way', which contained the popular rare groove dancer 'Get It'.

Shortly afterwards L.J. Reynolds left to establish a solo career, and in 1981 Craig Jones was recruited in his place, but they disbanded in 1982 after Ron Banks left to start a solo career, releasing 'Truly Bad' for CBS in 1983 (featuring 'This Love Is For Real'). William Howard later rejoined the original group for the albums 'Somewhere in Time: A Dramatic Reunion' in 1986, and 'Positive State Of Mind' in 1989. He then left the group again. The Dramatics were reunited in the late 80's and released 'Look Inside' for the NCI label in 2002. The Dramatics have worked with many diverse R&B acts, including Snoop Dog, and continue to tour.



The current line-up consisted of Ron Banks, L.J. Reynolds, Willie Ford, Winzell Kelly and Michael Brock, (who replaced Lenny Mayes, who died of lung cancer on the 8th of November 2004 at the age 53). Ron Banks sadly passed away in 2010 at the age of 58. He was at home with his family when he abruptly passed out, according to fellow Dramatics singer L.J. Reynolds, who had spoken to Ron just minutes earlier. Ron passed away at the Sinai Hospital in Detroit. His last hometown gig with the Dramatics was a November 2009 concert at Motorcity Casino’s Sound Board venue. Ron Banks is survived by his wife, Sandy Banks, four daughters and two sons.


Discography

as the Dramatics:


Solo: L.J. Reynolds:

with Ron Banks:
  • 2 Of A Kind (Lifesong Records 1994)
  • Love Is About To Start (Volt Records 2000)
  • Through The Storm (Da Pit Bull Kat Records 2007)
  • The Message (Crystal Rose Records 2007)

Solo: Ron Banks:

*****************************************************
Info is credited to SoulWalking.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Legendary Max Roach



Born: January 10, 1925 | Died: August 16, 2007 Instrument: Drums

Maxwell Lemuel Roach is a percussionist, drummer, and jazz composer. He has worked with many of the greatest jazz musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Sonny Rollins. He is widely considered to be one of the most important drummers in the history of jazz.

Roach was born in Newland, North Carolina, to Alphonse and Cressie Roach; his family moved to Brooklyn, New York when he was 4 years old. He grew up in a musical context, his mother being a gospel singer, and he started to play bugle in parade orchestras at a young age. At the age of 10, he was already playing drums in some gospel bands. He performed his first big-time gig in New York City at the age of sixteen, substituting for Sonny Greer in a performance with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.



In 1942, Roach started to go out in the jazz clubs of the 52nd Street and at 78th Street & Broadway for Georgie Jay's Taproom (playing with schoolmate Cecil Payne). He was one of the first drummers (along with Kenny Clarke) to play in the bebop style, and performed in bands led by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, and Miles Davis.

Roach played on many of Parker's most important records, including the Savoy 1945 session, a turning point in recorded jazz.

Two children, son Daryl and daughter Maxine, were born from his first marriage with Mildred Roach. In 1954 he met singer Barbara Jai (Johnson) and had another son, Raoul Jordu.



He continued to play as a freelance while studying composition at the Manhattan School of Music. He graduated in 1952.

During the period 1962-1970, Roach was married to the singer Abbey Lincoln, who had performed on several of Roach's albums. Twin daughters, Ayodele and Dara Rasheeda, were later born to Roach and his third wife, Janus Adams Roach.

Long involved in jazz

education, in 1972 he joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

In the early 2000s, Roach became less active owing to the onset of hydrocephalus-related complications.

Renowned all throughout his performing life, Roach has won an extraordinary array of honors. He was one of the first to be given a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, cited as a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in France, twice awarded the French Grand Prix du Disque, elected to the International Percussive Society's Hall of Fame and the Downbeat Magazine Hall of Fame, awarded Harvard Jazz Master, celebrated by Aaron Davis Hall, given eight honorary doctorate degrees, including degrees awarded by the University of Bologna, Italy and Columbia University.



In 1952 Roach co-founded Debut Records with bassist Charles Mingus. This label released a record of a concert, billed and widely considered as “the greatest concert ever,” called Jazz at Massey Hall, featuring Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Mingus and Roach. Also released on this label was the groundbreaking bass-and- drum free improvisation, Percussion Discussion.

In 1954, he formed a quintet featuring trumpeter Clifford Brown, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Richie Powell (brother of Bud Powell), and bassist George Morrow, though Land left the following year and Sonny Rollins replaced him. The group was a prime example of the hard bop style also played by Art Blakey and Horace Silver. Tragically, this group was to be short-lived; Brown and Powell were killed in a car accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in June 1956. After Brown and Powell's deaths, Roach continued leading a similarly configured group, with Kenny Dorham (and later the short-lived Booker Little) on trumpet, George Coleman on tenor and pianist Ray Bryant. Roach expanded the standard form of hard-bop using 3/4 waltz rhythms and modality in 1957 with his album Jazz in 3/4 time. During this period, Roach recorded a series of other albums for the EmArcy label featuring the brothers Stanley and Tommy Turrentine.



In 1960 he composed the “We Insist! - Freedom Now” suite with lyrics by Oscar Brown Jr., after being invited to contribute to commemorations of the hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Using his musical abilities to comment on the African-American experience would be a significant part of his career. Unfortunately, Roach suffered from being blacklisted by the American recording industry for a period in the 1960s. In 1966 with his album Drums Unlimited (which includes several tracks that are entirely drums solos) he proved that drums can be a solo instrument able to play theme, variations, rhythmically cohesive phrases. He described his approach to music as “the creation of organized sound.”

Among the many important records Roach has made is the classic Money Jungle 1962, with Mingus and Duke Ellington. This is generally regarded as one of the very finest trio albums ever made.

During the 70s, Roach formed a unique musical organization--”M'Boom”--a percussion orchestra. Each member of this unit composed for it and performed on many percussion instruments. Personnel included Fred King, Joe Chambers, Warren Smith, Freddie Waits, Roy Brooks, Omar Clay, Ray Mantilla, Francisco Mora, and Eli Fountain.

Not content to expand on the musical territory he had already become known for, Roach spent the decades of the 80s and 90s continually finding new ways to express his musical expression and presentation.



In the early 80s, he began presenting entire concerts solo, proving that this multi-percussion instrument, in the hands of such a great master, could fulfill the demands of solo performance and be entirely satisfying to an audience. He created memorable compositions in these solo concerts; a solo record was released by Bay State, a Japanese label, just about impossible to obtain. One of these solo concerts is available on video, which also includes a filming of a recording date for Chattahoochee Red, featuring his working quartet, Odean Pope, Cecil Bridgewater and Calvin Hill.

He embarked on a series of duet recordings. Departing from the style of presentation he was best known for, most of the music on these recordings is free improvisation, created with the avant-garde musicians Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Abdullah Ibrahim and Connie Crothers. He created duets with other performers: a recorded duet with the oration by Martin Luther King, “I Have a Dream”; a duet with video artist Kit Fitzgerald, who improvised video imagery while Roach spontaneously created the music; a classic duet with his life-long friend and associate Dizzy Gillespie; a duet concert recording with Mal Waldron.



He wrote music for theater, such as plays written by Sam Shepard, presented at La Mama E.T.C. in New York City.

He found new contexts for presentation, creating unique musical ensembles. One of these groups was “The Double Quartet.” It featured his regular performing quartet, with personnel as above, except Tyrone Brown replacing Hill; this quartet joined with “The Uptown String Quartet,” led by his daughter Maxine Roach, featuring Diane Monroe, Lesa Terry and Eileen Folson.

Another ensemble was the “So What Brass Quintet,” a group comprised of five brass instrumentalists and Roach, no chordal instrumnent, no bass player. Much of the performance consisted of drums and horn duets. The ensemble consisted of two trumpets, trombone, French horn and tuba. Musicians included Cecil Bridgewater, Frank Gordon, Eddie Henderson, Steve Turre, Delfeayo Marsalis, Robert Stewart, Tony Underwood, Marshall Sealy, and Mark Taylor.



Roach presented his music with orchestras and gospel choruses. He performed a concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He wrote for and performed with the Walter White gospel choir and the John Motley Singers. Roach performed with dancers: the Alvin Aily Dance Company, the Dianne McIntyre Dance Company, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

In the early 80s, Roach surprised his fans by performing in a hip hop concert, featuring the artist-rapper Fab Five Freddy and the New York Break Dancers. He expressed the insight that there was a strong kinship between the outpouring of expression of these young black artists and the art he had pursued all his life.

During all these years, while he ventured into new territory during a lifetime of innovation, he kept his contact with his musical point of origin. His last recording, “Friendship”, was with trumpet master Clark Terry, the two long-standing friends in duet and quartet.

Link to Article: All About Jazz

***************************************************************************

Discography
As leader

  • 1953 : Max Roach Quartet (Fantasy)
  • 1953 : Max Roach and his Sextet (Debut)
  • 1953 : Max Roach Quartet featuring Hank Mobley (Debut)
  • 1956 : Max Roach + 4 (EmArcy)
  • 1957 : Jazz in ¾ Time
  • 1957-60 : Conte Candoli & Max Roach - Drummin' The Blues & Jazz Structures
  • 1958 : Max Roach/Art Blakey (with Art Blakey)
  • 1958 : Max Roach Plus Four at Newport (Mercury)
  • 1958 : Max Roach Plus Four on the Chicago Scene (Mercury)
  • 1958 : Max!
  • 1958 : Max Roach with the Boston Percussion Ensemble (EmArcy)
  • 1958 : Deeds not Words (aka Conversation) (Riverside)
  • 1958 : Max Roach/Bud Shank - Sessions (with Bud Shank)
  • 1958 : The Defiant Ones (with Booker Little)
  • 1958 : Deeds, Not Words (with all new cast Ray Draper, Booker Little, George Coleman)
  • 1959 : Rich Versus Roach (with Buddy Rich)
  • 1959 : A Little Sweet (aka. The Many Sides of Max ) (Mercury)
  • 1959 : Award-Winning Drummer (Time T)
  • 1960 : We Insist! (Candid)
  • 1960 : Max Roach + 4 - As Quiet As Kept
  • 1961 : Percussion Bitter Sweet (Impulse! Records)(with Mal Waldron)
  • 1962 : Speak, Brother, Speak!
  • 1962 : It's Time (Impulse! Records)(with Mal Waldron)
  • 1964 : The Max Roach Trio Featuring the Legendary Hasaan (with Hasaan ibn Ali)
  • 1966 : Drums Unlimited (Atlantic) (Leader, with James Spaulding, Freddie Hubbard, Ronnie Mathews, Jymie Merritt, Roland Alexander)
  • 1968 : Sound as Roach (Atlantic)
  • 1968 : Members, Don't Git Weary (Atlantic
  • 1971 : Lift Every Voice and Sing (with J.C. White Singers)
  • 1976 : Force: Sweet Mao-Suid Afrika '76 (duo with Archie Shepp)
  • 1976 : Percussion Discussion (with Art Blakey)
  • 1976 : Nommo (Victor)
  • 1977 : The Loudstar (Horo)
  • 1977 : Solos (Baystate)
  • 1977 : Streams of Consciousness - duo with Dollar Brand
  • 1978 : Confirmation (Fluid Records)
  • 1978 : Birth and Rebirth - duo with Anthony Braxton (Black Saint)
  • 1979 : The Long March - duo with Archie Shepp (Hathut)
  • 1979 : Historic Concerts - duo with Cecil Taylor (Black Saint)
  • 1979 : One in Two - Two in One - duo with Anthony Braxton (Hathut)
  • 1979 : Pictures in a Frame (Soul Note)
  • 1980 : Chattahoochee Red (Columbia)
  • 1982 : Swish - duo with Connie Crothers (New Artists)
  • 1982 : In the Light (Soul Note)
  • 1984 : Scott Free (Soul Note)
  • 1984 : It's Christmas Again (Soul Note)
  • 1984 : Survivors (Soul Note)
  • 1985 : Easy Winners (Soul Note)
  • 1986 : Bright Moments (Soul Note)
  • 1989 : Max + Dizzy: Paris 1989 - duo with Dizzy Gillespie (A&M)
  • 1991 : To the Max! (Enja)
  • 1995 : Max Roach With The New Orchestra Of Boston And The So What Brass Quintet (Blue Note)
  • 1999 : Beijing Trio (Asian Improv)
  • 2002 : Friendship - with Clark Terry) (Columbia)

With Clifford Brown

  • 1954 : Brown And Roach Incorporated
  • 1954 : Clifford Brown and Max Roach
  • 1954 : Jam Session
  • 1954 : Daahoud (Original Master Recording)
  • 1954 : Clifford Brown & The Max Roach Quartet - Historic California Concert
  • 1954 : Daahoud (Mainstream-Audiofidelity Japan)
  • 1954 : Study in Brown
  • 1954 : More Study in Brown
  • 1955 : Clifford Brown with Strings
  • 1956 : Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street
  • 1957 : Clifford Brown with Strings
  • 1979 : Live at the Bee Hive (Columbia Records)

With M'Boom

  • 1973 : Re: Percussion (Strata-East Records)
  • 1979 : M'Boom (Columbia)
  • 1984 : Collage (Soul Note)
  • 1992 : Live at S.O.B.'s New York (Blue Moon Records)

Live Albums and Bootlegs
  • 1964 : Live in Europe: Freedom Now Suite (with Abbey Lincoln)
  • 1977 : Max Roach Quartet Live in Tokyo (Denon)
  • 1977 : Max Roach Quartet Live In Amsterdam - It's Time (Baystate)
  • 1978 : Max Roach Quartet Live in Milan
  • 1978 : Max Roach and Anthony Braxton Live in Alassio
  • 1978 : Max Roach and Archie Shepp Live in Milan [info]
  • 1979 : Max Roach Quartet Live in Frankfurt
  • 1979 : M'Boom Re:Percussion Live in Alassio
  • 1981 : D.Gillespie/J.Moody/M.Roach feat. WDR Big Band - Live in Moers "Charlie Parker Memorial Concert"
  • 1981 : Max Roach Quartet Live in Rome [info]
  • 1982 : M'Boom Re:Percussion Live in Milan [info]
  • 1983 : Live at Vielharmonie (Soul Note)
  • 1990 : Max Roach Quartet Live in Berlin [info]

As sideman

  • 1944 : Rainbow Mist (with Coleman Hawkins)
  • 1944 : Coleman Hawkins and His All Stars (with Coleman Hawkins)
  • 1945 : Town Hall, New York, June 22, 1945 (with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker)
  • 1945 - 1948: The Complete Savoy Studio Recordings (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1946 : Mad Be Bop (with J.J. Johnson)
  • 1946 : Opus BeBop (with Stan Getz)
  • 1946 : Savoy Jam Party (Don Byas Quartet)
  • 1946 : The Hawk Flies (with Coleman Hawkins)
  • 1947 : The Bud Powell Trip (with Bud Powell)
  • 1947 : Lullaby in Rhythm (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1947 : Charlie Parker on Dial (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1947 : Miles Davis - First Miles (with Charlie Parker and Miles Davis)
  • 1947 : Dexter Rides Again (with Dexter Gordon)
  • 1948 : The Band that Never Was (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1948 : Bird on 52nd Street (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1948 : Bird at the Roost (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1949 : Birth of the Cool (with Miles Davis)
  • 1949 - 1953: Charlie Parker – Complete Sessions on Verve (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1949 : Charlie Parker in France (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1949 : Genesis (with Sonny Stitt)
  • 1949 : The Stars of Modern Jazz at Carnegie Hall
  • 1950 : The McGhee-Navarro Sextet (with Howard McGhee)
  • 1951 : The Amazing Bud Powell (with Bud Powell)
  • 1951 : The George Wallington Trip and Septet (with George Wallington)
  • 1951 : Conception (with Miles Davis)
  • 1952 : New Faces, New Sounds (with Gil Melle)
  • 1952 : The Complete Genius (with Thelonious Monk)
  • 1952 : The Quintet - Jazz At Massey Hall (Debut Records)
  • 1952 : Live at Rockland Palace (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1953 : The Metronome All Starss. MGM (with Billy Eckstine)
  • 1953 : Chet Baker and Miles Davis with the Lighthouse All-Stars
  • 1953 : Mambo Jazz (with Joe Holiday)
  • 1953 : Yardbird: DC-53 (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1953 : Cohn's Tones (with Al Cohn)
  • 1953 : Diz and Getz (with Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz)
  • 1954 : Dinah Jams Featuring Dinah Washington
  • 1955 : Relaxed Piano Moods (with Hazel Scott)
  • 1955 : Introducing Jimmy Cleveland And His All Stars (EmArcy)
  • 1955 : New Piano Expressions (with John Dennis)
  • 1955 : Herbie Nichols Trio (with Herbie Nichols)
  • 1955 : Work Time (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1955 : The Charles Mingus Quartet plus Max Roach (with Charles Mingus)
  • 1956 : Sonny Rollins Plus 4 (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1956 : Sonny Boy (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1956 : Introducing Johnny Griffin (with Johnny Griffin)
  • 1956 : The Magnificent Thad Jones (with Thad Jones)
  • 1956 : Brilliant Corners (with Thelonious Monk)
  • 1956 : Tour de Force (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1956 : The Music of George Gershwin: I Sing of Thee (with Joe Wilder)
  • 1956 : Rollins Plays for Bird (Sonny Rollins Quintet)
  • 1956 : Saxophone Colossus (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1957 : First Place (with J.J. Johnson)
  • 1957 : Sonny Clark Trio
  • 1957 : Jazz Contrasts (with Kenny Dorham)
  • 1957 : Abby Lincoln - That's Him
  • 1958: Booker Little 4 and Max Roach (United Artist)
  • 1958 : Freedom Suite (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1958 : Shadow Waltz (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1959 : Moon-Faced and Starry-Eyed (Mercury)
  • 1959 : Aix En Providence (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1960 : Quiet as it's Kept (Mercury)
  • 1960 : Tommy Turrentine (with Tommy Turrentine)
  • 1960 : Stan 'The Man' Turrentine
  • 1960 : Again! (Affinity)
  • 1960 : Parisian Sketches (Mercury)
  • 1960 : We Insist! Freedom Now Suite (Candid)
  • 1960 : Long as You're Living (Enja)
  • 1960 : Uhuru Afrika (with Randy Weston)
  • 1960 : Sonny Clark Trio (with Sonny Clark)
  • 1961 : Straight Ahead (with Abbey Lincoln)
  • 1961 : Out Front (with Booker Little)
  • 1961 : Paris Blues (with Duke Ellington)
  • 1962 : Money Jungle (with Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus)
  • 1962 : Drum Suite (with Slide Hampton)
  • 1966 : Stuttgart 1963 Concert (with Sonny Rollins
  • 1972 : Newport in New York ‘72 (Roach on 2 tracks only)
  • 1975 : The Bop Session (with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, John Lewis, Hank Jones and Percy Heath)
******************************************************************************

Soul Children



  • Shelbra Bennett (later Shelbra Deane) (born Memphis, Tennessee)
  • John Colbert aka J. Blackfoot (born November 20, 1946, Greenville, Mississippi, US; died November 30, 2011)
  • Anita Louis (born November 24, 1949, Memphis, Tennessee)
  • Norman Richard West, Jr. (born October 30, 1939, Monroe, Louisiana)


The Soul Children was an American vocal group who recorded soul music for Stax Records in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They had three top ten hits on the Billboard R&B chart – "The Sweeter He Is" (1969), "Hearsay" (1972), and "I'll Be The Other Woman" (1973) – all of which crossed over to the Hot 100.



The group was formed in 1968 by Isaac Hayes and David Porter of Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, after one of the label's top acts, Sam & Dave, left Stax to join the Atlantic label. As leading songwriters and producers for the label, Hayes and Porter put together a vocal group with two male and two female singers, all of whom sang lead on some of the group's recordings. The original members were Norman West, John Colbert (aka J. Blackfoot), Anita Louis, and Shelbra Bennett. Colbert – who had been known from childhood as Blackfoot for his habit of walking barefoot on the tarred sidewalks of Memphis during the hot summers – had recorded solo singles before joining The Bar-Kays as lead singer, after four original band members were killed with Otis Redding in a plane crash. Anita Louis was a backing singer on some of the records produced by Hayes and Porter. Shelbra Bennett had recently joined the label as a singer. Norman West, Jr., the last to join the group, grew up in Louisiana, and sang in church with his brothers Joe, James, and Robert. He replaced William Bell as a member of The Del-Rios in 1962, later recorded several unsuccessful solo singles in Memphis, and sang with a rock band, Colors Incorporated, which had been formed by members of Jerry Lee Lewis' band.



The group's first record, "Give 'Em Love", produced by Hayes and Porter and released in late 1968, was a Bilboard R&B chart hit, as were two follow-ups. Their fourth single, "The Sweeter He Is", became one of their biggest hits, reaching no. 7 on the R&B chart in late 1969 and no. 52 on the Hot 100. The group also released their first album, Soul Children, in 1969. Musicians used on the recordings included Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr., of Booker T. & the M.G.'s, as well as Hayes. However, after the group had a minor hit with a slowed-down version of "Hold On, I'm Coming" in early 1970, Hayes left the project to develop his solo career. The group recorded a second album, Best of Two Worlds, at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, but their next few singles failed to make the charts. In 1972, they recorded another album, Genesis, arranged by Dale Warren and produced by Jim Stewart and Al Jackson, which produced another hit single, "Hearsay". Written by West and Colbert, it reached no. 5 on the R&B chart and no. 44 on the US pop chart. They appeared at the Wattstax concert in August 1972, and followed up with several smaller hit singles. In 1973, they recorded the ballad "I'll Be the Other Woman", written and produced by Homer Banks and Carl Hampton, and with lead vocals by Shelbra Bennett, which became their biggest hit, reaching no. 3 on the R&B chart and no. 36 on the pop chart. They also recorded a final album for Stax with Banks and Hampton, Friction.



The Soul Children left Stax in 1975, and Bennett left for a solo career. The trio of West, Colbert and Louis signed to Epic Records in 1976, releasing an album, Finders Keepers and several moderately successful singles. Their second album for Epic, Where Is Your Woman Tonight (1977), reunited the group with producer David Porter. Porter then signed the group to a reactivated Stax label established by Fantasy Records, and co-produced another album for the group, Open Door Policy (1978). However, it was less successful than their earlier recordings, and the group decided to split up in 1979.



After the group split up, Anita Louis left the music business and later worked for Federal Express, Time-Warner, and as a professional business trainer. Norman West continued working in night clubs and as a gospel singer and musician. J. Blackfoot became a successful solo singer; his biggest hit was "Taxi" in early 1984, which reached no. 4 on the R&B chart. Shelbra Bennett recorded several singles as Shelbra Deane in the late 1970s and early 1980s; her biggest solo success was "Don't Touch Me" (no. 50 R&B, 1977).

In 2007, West and Blackfoot decided to reform the Soul Children, adding two new singers, Ann Hines and Cassandra Graham. They recorded an album, Still Standing for JEA Right Now Records. West released a single in 2008 called "Long Ride Home."


Discography
  • 1968 - Soul Children
  • 1971 - Best of Two Worlds
  • 1972 - Genesis
  • 1974 - Friction
  • 1976 - Finders Keepers
  • 1977 - Where Is Your Woman Tonight?
  • 1978 - Open Door Policy
  • 2008 - Still Standing

Compilations
  • 1979 - Chronicle (Greatest Hits)
  • 1997 - Hold On, I'm Coming

Monday, March 19, 2012

Peace Fans

I hope everyone is doing ok. I just wanted to thank everyone for supporting Blax-Jive. This blog has came a long way since we first started. I know that several post need to be updated and I have plans in doing that. As everyone is aware that several third party hosting sites has been shutdown and thus Blax-Jive have been collateral damage, but thanks to the continuous efforts by my good friends Zand, Vel-Kam and Simon -several posts are on separate accounts. That means the blog is not dead by any means.

I know people have request and I would love to fulfill them, but right now time does not permit me to update the blog. In the past we have had contributors that had a request for certain groups and sent the information over email (with active links), so I could make a post. If the community is willing contributions are always accepted.

Once again I want to thank everyone for their continuous support. I have no intentions on putting ads or any negative capitalistic advertising on this blog. This blog is purely informational and I intend on maintaining that theme. I will keep everyone informed and I am sure my buddies will keep you blessed with that funk and soul.

Salute,
Self-Science

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