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Category Archives: male vocal group

“The Lovin’ Spoonful – Do You Believe In Magic”

“The Lovin’ Spoonful – Do You Believe In Magic”

In 1965, Sebastian’s group, The Lovin’ Spoonful, released the song as the first single from their debut album Do You Believe in Magic. The song was well received by the public and became a top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #9. According to the lyrics, the magic referenced in the title is the power of music to supply happiness and freedom to both those who make it and those who listen to it. Session drummer Gary Chester played on the track.[3]

The song became a top forty Hot 100 hit again in 1977 when Shaun Cassidy released his cover as a single. Other notable artists who have remade the song include John Mellencamp on his 1976 album Chestnut Street Incident, Bud Shank, and Randy VanWarmer.

A cover from the song was used in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! episode “Mighty McMario and the Pot of Gold”.

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“Early in the Morning”  the Gap Band

“Early in the Morning”  the Gap Band

Early in the Morning” is a song originally performed by The Gap Band and written by member Charlie Wilson and producers Lonnie Simmons and Rudy Taylor. It was released as a single in 1982 and went on to become their biggest hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 24, and also topped Billboard’s R&B chart for three weeks.[1]The single also peaked at number 13 on the dance charts.[2]The song became a hit again when Robert Palmer covered it in 1988. This version peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is to date the highest charting version of the song on that chart.

The song was used as the music for a film-making montage in Michel Gondry’s 2008 film Be Kind Rewind.

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“Shake Me, Wake Me” The Four Tops

“Shake Me, Wake Me” The Four Tops

Shake Me, Wake Me (When It’s Over)” is a 1966 song written and produced by Holland–Dozier–Holland and released as a single by the Four Tops on the Motown label. The song peaked at number eighteen on the US Pop Singles chart. It peaked at number five on the R&B singles chart.

Barbra Streisand recorded her version in her 1975’s album Lazy Afternoon, it was the second single of the album and peaked #14 on Dance Music/Club Play Singles and #10 on Disco Singles charts.

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“I ONLY MEANT TO WET MY FEET – The Whispers”

​The Whispers are an American group from Los Angeles, California, who have scored hit records since the late 1960s. The Whispers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003,[1] and were winners of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 2008.[2] By popular vote, the group was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at SoulMusic.com in December 2012.[3]

Career
The Whispers formed in 1964 in Watts, California. The original members included twin brothers Wallace “Scotty” and Walter Scott, along with Gordy Harmon, Marcus Hutson, and Nicholas Caldwell. After being invited to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1966 by Sly Stone, the group relocated to that area where they began developing a reputation as a show-stopping live act. Walter Scott was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War during that period for eighteen months, returning to the group in 1969 after discharge. After Harmon injured his larynx in a driving accident in 1973, he was replaced by former Friends of Distinction member Leaveil Degree. Scotty Scott’s fluid, melodic voice is featured on virtually all of their hits.

The group scored many hits on the R&B and Billboard Hot 100 charts throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and they hit #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1980 with “And the Beat Goes On / “Can You Do the Boogie” / “Out the Box”. In 1987, they enjoyed a brief tenure in the Top 10 when “Rock Steady” became their first Top 10 success on the Hot 100, reaching #7, while also capturing the #1 spot on the R&B chart.

After a series of singles on Los Angeles label, Dore, the group signed to a small LA label, Soul Clock, run by producer Ron Carson, who was responsible for their breakthrough hit, “Seems Like I Got To Do Wrong” in 1970. Moving to the larger New York-based Janus label, they continued to be produced by Carson, before he sold all of his recordings to Janus with the group then recording mainly in Philadelphia in the mid ’70s. 

Since that period, most of their studio work has been done in Los Angeles. Their most successful period was in the 1980s with SOLAR Records (Sound Of Los Angeles Records), which was operated by their manager at the time, Dick Griffey. 

The Whispers later established their own production company, Satin Tie Productions, through which they released their independent 2006 album For Your Ears Only.

The group opened Game 2 of the 1989 World Series at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with their rendition of the National Anthem.
Marcus Hutson left the group in 1992 due to prostate cancer. According to the Whispers’ website, when Hutson died of it in 2000, they vowed to never replace him and started performing as a quartet.

Jerry McNeil resigned his position as keyboardist in the latter part of 1993 in order to spend more time with his family. In 2014, The Whispers was inducted into The Official R&B Music Hall of Fame.

The Philadelphia soul songwriter team Allan Felder, Norman Harris, Bunny Sigler, and Ronnie Baker provided several of The Whispers’ songs including “A Mother for My Children” and “Bingo”.
Nicholas Caldwell died of congestive heart failure at his San Francisco home on January 5, 2016.[4]

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“THE DRAMATICS – HEY YOU, GET OFF MY MOUNTAIN”

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The Dramatics (formerly The Dynamics) are an American soul music vocal group, formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1964. They are best known for their 1970s hit songs “In the Rain” and “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”, both of which were Top 10 Pop hits,[1] as well as their later 1993 collaboration Doggy Dogg World with Snoop Dogg, a top 20 hit on the Billboard Rhythmic Top 40.

Career

The Dramatics originally formed in 1964, recording as the Dynamics in 1965. Their first release in 1965 entitled “Bingo” was recorded for the late Ed Wingate’s Wingate record label, a division of Golden World Records in Detroit, Michigan. Due to a misprint, Wingate changed the name of the group from The Dynamics to The Dramatics in 1966 for the group’s second release, Inky Dinky Wang Dang Doo. By 1967, Motown had absorbed the entire Golden World Records operation. The Dramatics then moved to another local Detroit label, Sport Records, where they garnered their first minor hit single, “All Because of You.”

The Dramatics originally signed for Stax Records of Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, but moved on after one unsuccessful release. However, producer Don Davis re-signed them to Stax subsidiary, Volt in 1971 after the group had teamed up with Detroit writer-producer, Tony Hester. They broke through with the first release recorded with Hester, “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”, which Hester offered them after seeing the group perform in a Detroit nightclub. The song went into the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #9 and climbing to #3 in the R&B chart. [1] “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” was awarded gold disc status by the R.I.A.A. in December 1971.[1]

Their members at this time were Ron Banks (who died of a heart attack on March 4, 2010, at the age of 58),[2] William “Wee Gee” Howard (who died of a heart attack on February 22, 2000, at the age of 49), Elbert Wilkins (who died of a heart attack on December 13, 1992, at the age of 45), Willie Ford, Larry Demps and keyboardist James Mack Brown (who died on November 28, 2008, at the age of 58).

Shortly after the success of their first album, Howard and Wilkins left the group and formed their own version of The Dramatics, recording the single “No Rebate On Love” on Mainstream Records. They were replaced by Larry James “L.J.” Reynolds and Leonard “Lenny” Mayes (who died of lung cancer on November 8, 2004, at the age of 53). At the urging of Don Davis and Stax Records, the original group changed its billing to ‘Ron Banks and the Dramatics’. These two groups toured the concert circuit for four years before Banks’ group won a court battle, giving them full access to the name.” [3] Howard and Wilkins were forced to change the name of their group to “A Dramatic Experience”.

Through the 1970s, the group continued to have successful songs, including the Top 10 Pop, #1 R&B hit, “In the Rain” in 1972, “Hey You! Get Off My Mountain” (#5 R&B), “Me and Mrs Jones” (#4 R&B), originally recorded by Billy Paul three years earlier, “Be My Girl” (#3 R&B), and “Shake It Well” (#4 R&B). “In the Rain” also reached #5 on the Hot 100 pop chart and was their second million-seller. [1]

The group recorded for Don Davis’ Groovesville and later Great Lakes music production companies during the 1970s, although the recordings appeared on several labels. The group moved from Volt in 1974 after three albums, releasing one album on Chess Records’ subsidiary, Cadet sharing tracks with The Dells, who were also being produced by Davis at the time. The group then signed for ABC in 1975 and transferred five years later to MCA, after ABC closed following its buy-out by MCA. Many of the Dramatics’ songs initially were written and produced by Tony Hester, including all the tracks on the first two Volt albums. Davis, then Banks and Reynolds took over production later in the 1970s and the early 1980s.

In 1982, the group moved to Capitol Records and made their first album without Don Davis, Banks acting as producer. Only Banks, Ford and Mayes remained in the group. L.J. Reynolds left to go solo in 1981 and Larry Demps decided to go into teaching and spend more time with his family, after having joined the group’s original line-up in 1964 with Banks. When Ron Banks also decided to try a solo career, the group disbanded for a few years, but re-formed in the mid-1980s, with Howard returning to join Reynolds, Mayes, Ford and Banks to record for Fantasy Records.

The group continues to tour and presently consists of Reynolds with Winzell Kelly, Leon Franklin, Donald and Albert Ford. Willie Ford also has a Dramatics group. The Dramatics were officially inducted into the R&B Music Hall of Fame at Cleveland State University’s Waetejen Auditorium on Saturday August 17, 2013.The Dramatics were also interviewed at (but have yet to be inducted into) the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on February of 2012 . [4][5][6]

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“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” LOOKING GLASS”

“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” LOOKING GLASS”

 

Looking Glass is a 1972 pop song written and composed by Elliot Lurie and recorded by Lurie’s band.

The single reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100 charts, remaining in the top position for one week. Billboard ranked it as the 12th biggest song of 1972.[2] Horns and strings were arranged by Larry Fallon.

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“CARS…. SHAKE – IT – UP”

“CARS…. SHAKE – IT – UP”

The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston, Massachusetts in 1976, with singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter Ric Ocasek, singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, lead guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson.
The Cars were at the forefront in merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the new synthesizer-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flourish in the early 1980s. Robert Palmer, music critic for The New York Times and Rolling Stone, described the Cars’ musical style by saying: “they have taken some important but disparate contemporary trends—punk minimalism, the labyrinthine synthesizer and guitar textures of art rock, the ’50s rockabilly revival and the melodious terseness of power pop—and mixed them into a personal and appealing blend.”

The Cars were named “Best New Artist” in the 1978 Rolling Stone Readers’ Poll and won “Video of the Year” for “You Might Think” at the first MTV Video Music Awards. Their debut album, The Cars, sold six million copies and appeared on the Billboard 200 album chart for 139 weeks. As of 2001, the Cars have sold over 23 million albums in the United States.

The band broke up in 1988, and Ocasek had always discouraged talk of a reunion since then. Orr died in 2000 from pancreatic cancer. In 2005, Easton and Hawkes joined with Todd Rundgren to form a spin-off band, the New Cars, which performed classic Cars and Rundgren songs alongside new material. The original members reunited in 2010 to record a new album, Move Like This, which was released in May 2011, followed by a short tour.

 

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