Archive for 'Artist'

Geraldine Hunt

While Geraldine Hunt’s name rarely pops up in conversations, the talented singer, writer, and producer born Geraldine Milligan in St. Louis, MO February 10, 1945, hasn’t given up the fight for fame, money, and universal recognition. Hunt’s family moved to Chicago when she was two years old, and the precocious youngster decided she wanted to sing a short time later. It was in her blood, her grandmother sung in the South, and her Dad made extra money doing a one-man band hustle. The bug really bit at Hyde Park High school where Minnie Ripperton was one of her classmates. She began recording in the ’60s, songs like “I Let Myself Go” got some play on R&B stations but never became hits. Still, the lovely, full-throated singer toured and gigged the R&B spots and did studio work on others’ sessions. Then all of sudden, she disappeared from the scene. Unbeknownest to music fans until recently, Hunt and her family moved to Montreal, Canada in 1975. She started her own label, 6 A.M. Records, and scored two small Canadian hits. In 1980 she recorded “Can’t Fake the Feeling” on Prism Records, her most successful single.

Its success prompted her first album, Can’t Fake the Feeling. Prince Quick Mix remade the song on Twisted Records. But she was a zillion miles from the minds of mainstream urban radio, and no longer appeared on billings with groups like the Chi-lites and the O’Jays, except in Canada; many thought she’d retired. Deep into producing, she cut her son Freddie James’ 1979 release on Warner Brothers “Get Up and Boogie.” But her biggest producing coup came with Cheri, who scored internationally with “Murphy’s Law” in 1982. Rosalind Hunt, Geraldine’s daughter, was one half of female duo Cheri. The dance club favorite sold two million copies worldwide. Not only did Geraldine produce Cheri, but she wrote the albums’ best songs including “Murphy’s Law,” “Love Stew,” “Working Girl,” and “Hold Back the Night.”

The ride’s been rough for Hunt, her 20 single releases over the years have had only marginal success. She’s recorded on Calla, Roulette, and other labels before moving to Canada. Hunt took Prism Records, the company she recorded “Can’t Fake the Feeling” on, to court for unpaid monies. Though she won the case, she never got paid. She fell into alcoholism, which enhanced her innate volatile personality and got her labeled as difficult; with the help of AA, however, she ceased the destructive addiction. Still, the tag remained, and despite the success of “Murphy’s Law,” production deals from major companies were not forthcoming. In 1998, she released her first single in a while, “Deep Deep in the Night,” which made a little noise in France and Belgium. Hunt has never fully returned to her urban roots and remains unknown to casual music fans; you can find odds-and-ends singles by her on some of the many Northern soul compilations on the market.

Website

Records:

  1. Geraldine Hunt  – Can’t fake the feeling, Prism

René & Angela

René & Angela were an early-’80s soul duo from Los Angeles. Before forming in 1977, René Moore — the brother of Rufus’ Bobby Watson — played with the Brothers Johnson; Angela Winbush had sung backup vocals for Dolly Parton, Lenny Williams, and Jean Carn. René & Angela had their first R&B hit for Capitol Records in 1980 and proceeded to have seven other hits over the next three years. Along with Watson, they collaborated as songwriters and producers for the likes of Rufus & Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson, and Plush. In 1985, the duo switched to Mercury, where they had the number one R&B hit “Save Your Love (For #1)” — their first single from the album Street Called Desire. Over the next year, the group had three other Top Ten hits — including the number one R&B single “Your Smile” and the number two “You Don’t Have to Cry” — before pursuing solo careers. Moore released a solo album in 1988 and co-wrote Michael Jackson’s “Jam,” while Winbush enjoyed more success during the tail-end of the decade and the first half of the ’90s. Winbush also wrote and produced material for Ronald Isley, the Isley Brothers, Stephanie Mills, and Lalah Hathaway; she and Isley were briefly married.

Website

Records:

  1. Rene & AngelaI love you more, Azuli

Gwen Guthrie

Gwen Guthrie is best known for her number one R&B single “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ on But the Rent,” a popular self-written bouncer. A prolific songwriter and a good pianist, she also penned “Supernatural Thing” for Ben E. King and “This Time I’ll Be Sweeter” for Martha Reeves, which was later popularized by Angela Bofill and Issac Hayes. In all, Guthrie logged approximately 50 compositions, and many thought Guthrie and songwriting partner Patrick Grant had the potential to become another Ashford & Simpson. Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1950, Guthrie started singing in high school with a female quartet called the Ebonettes. (Another one of its members, Brenda White King, pursued music like Guthrie and became an in-demand session singer.) Guthrie sang lead for a group (East Coast) formed by Larry Blackmon (later of Cameo) in New York, but got her big break when she was asked to do a background session for Aretha Franklin, the number one R&B hit “I’m in Love,” from 1974. Six months later, Guthrie signed as a staff writer with Bert de Coteaux Productions and co-wrote “Love Don’t Go Through No Changes,” the first hit for Sister Sledge, and many others with Grant. The collaboration didn’t last long, however.

Portrait
Guthrie continued to write with a variety of partners, and supplied backing vocals to many recording sessions. Working with Peter Tosh in the late ’70s, Guthrie befriended reggae stars Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, who invited her to Nassau to record vocals for an album they were producing. Hearing her unique voice in the studio, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell inked her to a contract, and the Dunbar/Shakespeare project, assisted by David Conley of Surface, became her first solo release, a self-titled LP. She did score a dancefloor hit with the album’s “It Should Have Been You.” Her second LP, Portrait, released in 1983, followed a similar formula. Album number three, Good to Go Lover, dropped in 1986, and spawned her chart-topper “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ on but the Rent,” plus the torching ballad “You Touched My Life.” On Lifeline (1988), Guthrie was more involved in the writing and production. Hot Times was Guthrie’s final LP release, hitting the streets in 1990. Like the previous LP, she wrote nearly everything, except for a moving remake of Stephanie Mills’ “Never Knew Love Like This Before.” GuthrieGuthrie died on February 3, 1999, of uterine cancer in Orange, New Jersey.

Website

Records:

  1. Gwen GuthriePeanut butter, Island

Chic

There can be little argument that Chic was disco’s greatest band; and, working in a heavily producer-dominated field, they were most definitely a band. By the time Chic appeared in the late ’70s, disco was already slipping into the excess that eventually caused its downfall. Chic bucked the trend by stripping disco’s sound down to its basic elements; their funky, stylish grooves had an organic sense of interplay that was missing from many of their overproduced competitors. Chic’s sound was anchored by the scratchy, James Brown-style rhythm guitar of Nile Rodgers and the indelible, widely imitated (sometimes outright stolen) basslines of Bernard Edwards. As producers, they used keyboard and string embellishments economically, which kept the emphasis on rhythm. Chic’s distinctive approach not only resulted in some of the finest dance singles of their time, but also helped create a template for funk, dance-pop, and even hip-hop in the post-disco era. Not coincidentally, Rodgers and Edwards wound up as two of the most successful producers of the ’80s, and the sound they developed and perfected remained relevant for decades.

Rodgers and Edwards first met in 1970, when both were jazz-trained musicians fresh out of high school. Edwards had attended New York’s High School for the Performing Arts and was working in a Bronx post office at the time, while Rodgers’ early career also included stints in the folk group New World Rising and the Apollo Theater house orchestra. Around 1972, Rodgers and Edwards formed a jazz-rock fusion group called the Big Apple Band. This outfit moonlighted as a backup band, touring behind smooth soul vocal group New York City in the wake of their 1973 hit “I’m Doin’ Fine Now.” After New York City broke up, the Big Apple Band hit the road with Carol Douglas for a few months, and Rodgers and Edwards decided to make a go of it on their own toward the end of 1976. At first they switched their aspirations from fusion to new wave, briefly performing as Allah & the Knife Wielding Punks, but quickly settled into dance music. They enlisted onetime LaBelle drummer Tony Thompson and vocalists Norma Jean Wright and Alfa Anderson, and changed their name to Chic in summer 1977 so as to avoid confusion with Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band (who’d just hit big with “A Fifth of Beethoven”).

C’est Chic
Augmented in the studio by keyboardists Raymond Jones and Rob Sabino, Chic recorded the demo single “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” and shopped it around to several major record companies, all of which declined it. The small Buddah label finally released it as a 12″ in late 1977, and as its club popularity exploded, Atlantic stepped in, signed the group, and re-released the single on a wider basis. “Dance, Dance, Dance” hit the Top Ten, peaking at number six, and made Chic one of the hottest new groups in disco. Chic scrambled to put together their self-titled first album, which spawned a minor follow-up hit, “Everybody Dance,” in early 1978. At this point, Wright left to try her hand at a solo career (with assistance from Rodgers and Edwards), and was replaced by Luci Martin. It was a good time to come onboard; “Le Freak,” the first single from sophomore album C’est Chic, was an out-of-the-box smash, spending five weeks on top of the charts toward the end of 1978 and selling over four-million copies (which made it the biggest-selling single in Atlantic’s history). Follow-up “I Want Your Love” reached number seven, cementing the group’s new star status, and C’est Chic became one of the rare disco albums to go platinum.

Risqué
1979’s Risqué was another solidly constructed LP that also went platinum, partly on the strength of Chic’s second number one pop hit, “Good Times.” “Good Times” may not have equaled the blockbuster sales figures of “Le Freak,” but it was the band’s most imitated track: Queen’s number one hit “Another One Bites the Dust” was a clear rewrite, and the Sugarhill Gang lifted the instrumental backing track wholesale for the first commercial rap single, “Rapper’s Delight,” marking the first of many times that Chic grooves would be recycled into hip-hop records. Also in 1979, Rodgers and Edwards took on their first major outside production assignment, producing and writing the Sister Sledge smashes “We Are Family” and the oft-sampled “He’s the Greatest Dancer.” This success, in turn, landed them the chance to work with Diana Ross on 1980’s Diana album, and they wrote and produced “Upside Down,” her first number one hit in years, as well as “I’m Coming Out.”

Real People
The disco fad was fading rapidly by that point, however, and 1980’s Real People failed to go gold despite another solid performance by the band. Changing tastes put an end to Chic’s heyday, as Rodgers and Edwards’ outside production work soon grew far more lucrative, even despite aborted projects with Aretha Franklin and Johnny Mathis. Several more Chic LPs followed in the early ’80s, with diminishing creative and commercial returns, and Rodgers and Edwards disbanded the group after completing the lackluster Believer in 1983. Later that year, both recorded solo LPs that sank without a trace. Hungry for acceptance and respect in the rock mainstream (especially after accusations that they had ripped off Queen instead of the other way around), both Rodgers and Edwards sought out high-profile production and session work over the rest of the decade. Rodgers produced blockbuster albums like David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, Madonna’s Like a Virgin, and Mick Jagger’s She’s the Boss. Edwards wasn’t as prolific as a producer, but did join the one-off supergroup the Power Station along with Tony Thompson as well as Robert Palmer and members of avowed Chic fans Duran Duran; he later produced Palmer’s commercial breakthrough, Riptide. Edwards also worked with Rod Stewart (Out of Order), Jody Watley, and Tina Turner, while Rodgers’ other credits include the Thompson Twins, the Vaughan Brothers, INXS, and the B-52’s’ comeback Cosmic Thing.

Rodgers and Edwards re-formed Chic in 1992 with new vocalists Sylver Logan Sharp and Jenn Thomas, and an assortment of session drummers in Thompson’s place; they toured and released a new album, Chic-ism. In 1996, the reconstituted Chic embarked on a tour of Japan; sadly, on April 18, Edwards passed away in his Tokyo hotel room due to a severe bout of pneumonia. Rodgers continued to tour occasionally with a version of Chic. In 1999, his Sumthing Else label issued a recording of Edwards’ final performance with the band, Live at the Budokan. More importantly, Rodgers compiled The Chic Organization Box Set, Vol. 1: Savoir Faire, a four-disc anthology released in 2010. Rodgers’ career was boosted once more, through a string of collaborations with Duran Duran and Daft Punk, among others. He published a memoir, beat cancer, and kept the Chic name alive through high-profile performances, the 2015 single “I’ll Be There,” and plans for a 2016 album.

Website

Records:

  1. ChicMy forbidden lover (Tango re-edit), W/lbl

the Salsoul Orchestra

The music world’s prime disco big band during the late ’70s, the Salsoul Orchestra recorded several of the tightest, chunkiest disco themes of the 1970s, both on its own productions and as the backing group for several prime vocalists. Organized by Vincent Montana, Jr. in 1974, the band was an experiment in fusing funk, Philly soul, and Latin music together in a highly danceable discofied style with plenty of room for solos by individual members. With arrangers, conductors, and whole sections of instruments (including up to 18 violinists) contributing to the sound, the Salsoul Orchestra routinely included up to 50 members. Though the Salsoul sound became passé in the wake of disco music’s explosion and rapid commercialization during the late ’70s, Salsoul was a heavy influence on house music in the 1980s and even the return of disco-inspired electronica during the following decade.

The beginnings of the Salsoul Orchestra (and Salsoul Records) lie with nominal head Vincent Montana, Jr. A longtime jazz vibraphonist, bandleader, and session man with Philly soul groups like Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, the O’Jays, and the Spinners, Montana dreamed of constructing a large studio orchestra which could fuse polished soul and brassy funk with Latin percussion and live strings. In 1974, he was introduced to local entrepreneurs Joe, Ken, and Stan Cayre (who ran a local Latin music label) by Afro-Cuban pianist Joe Bataan. With their blessing (and financing), Montana spent months recruiting dozens of musicians from the streets and studios of New York — including more than a half-dozen percussionists alone. The collective recorded three tracks, which impressed Bataan and the Cayres so much that they decided to form a new label — named Salsoul for its connotations of salsa and soul — to release a full-length LP.

One of the original Salsoul Orchestra recordings, “The Salsoul Hustle,” was released in mid-1975 and it placed well on the charts. Salsoul’s second single, “Tangerine” (an unlikely cover of a Jimmy Dorsey tune), hit the Top 20 in early 1976 and pushed the eponymous Salsoul Orchestra LP to number 14 on the album charts. Follow-up singles like “You’re Just the Right Size” and “Nice and Nasty” did moderately well on the charts but soon a glut of similar-sounding material began to flood the market, cheap imitations of the amazing instrumentation of Salsoul Orchestra members — guitarist and producer Norman Harris, bassist Ronald Baker, drummer Earl Young, arranger Don Renaldo, percussionist Larry Washington, and vocalists Jocelyn Brown, Phyllis Rhodes, Ronni Tyson, Philip Hurt, and Carl Helm. Many Salsoul contributors played on the biggest and best disco tracks of the era, including Trammps, Grace Jones, the Whispers, Loleatta Holloway, and First Choice.

Christmas Jollies
Salsoul’s third LP, the slightly amusing Christmas Jollies, displayed a predilection towards the growing disco novelty trend. The slip was hardly improved upon with 1977’s Cuchi-Cuchi (which teamed the Orchestra with Charo) or 1978’s Up the Yellow Brick Road (a takeoff on The Wiz). After disintegrating the Salsoul Orchestra in the early ’80s, Vince Montana led the studio group Montana and recorded with several pop stars of the ’80s as well as dance inheritors of the ’90s like Mondo Grosso and Nuyorican Soul. Though Salsoul records had long been out of print, several were brought back in the mid-’90s, as well as a prescient two-disc retrospective titled Anthology.

Website

Records:

  1. the Salsoul OrchestraHow high (Larry levan remix), Salsoul Records

Fred Wesley

Black Caesar Brown’s infamously dictatorial approach wore greatly on Wesley, and the two men clashed often. After appearing on landmark singles including “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud),” “Licking Stick,” and “Mother Popcorn,” the trombonist even quit the J.B.’s in late 1969, briefly gigging with Sam & the Goodtimers before returning to Brown’s camp in early 1971 and assuming the role of musical director and arranger. Wesley’s contributions to classic funk outings including Black Caesar, Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off, and The Payback cannot be overstated: alongside bandmates including Maceo Parker and Bootsy Collins, he spearheaded Brown’s groundbreaking transformation from soul to funk, establishing the template for the R&B of a new decade. “I completed [Brown’s] creations, I followed his blueprints,” Wesley later said. “He would give me horn things to write, but sometimes maybe it would be incoherent musically and I would have to straighten it out, so to speak. When it came out of my brain, it would be a lot of James Brown’s ideas and my organization.” Wesley even wrote a handful of Brown hits including “Doin’ It to Death” and “Papa Don’t Take No Mess,” and headlined several J.B.’s records including the classic Damn Right I Am Somebody and Breakin’ Bread. But creative and financial differences again forced him to part ways with Brown in 1975, this time for good.

Mothership Connection Wesley signed on with George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic in time for their seminal Mothership Connection LP. And unlike Brown, Clinton encouraged his collaborators to pursue their own projects, even co-writing most of the songs featured on the trombonist’s 1977 official solo debut, A Blow for Me, a Toot for You, credited to Fred Wesley & the Horny Horns. After a second solo disc, 1979’s Say Blow by Blow Backwards, Wesley exited the P-Funk sphere to return to his first love: jazz. He joined the Count Basie Orchestra, and also moonlighted as a producer, helming the self-titled debut LP by R&B group Kameleon. After settling in Hollywood in 1981, Wesley assumed the role of hired gun, playing on studio sessions headlined by Earth, Wind & Fire, Barry White, and the Gap Band, and also arranged records by Curtis Mayfield and Terry Callier. He re-ignited his solo career with 1990’s jazz date New Friends, and continued recording straight-ahead jazz LPs throughout the decade to follow. As his unmistakable syncopated style became a crucial component of hip-hop via endless sampling of his vintage James Brown sides, Wesley also toured with fellow Brown alums Maceo Parker and Pee Wee Ellis as the JB Horns before forming his own Fred Wesley Group in 1996. In 2002 he published his memoirs, Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman. Wesley followed it with a new album, With a Little Help from My Friends, in 2010 from BHM Records. He concurrently served as an adjunct professor of jazz studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Wesley continued to tour through the 2010s, and in 2015 he released a joint album with Leonardo Corradi and Tony Match called Generations.

Website

Records:

  1. Fred Wesley – House Party,  Loft Classics
  2. Fred Wesley and the J.B.´SDamn Right I´m Somebody, People
  3. Fred Wesley and the Horny HornsUp For The Down Stroke, Atlantic

Trussel

Trussel was in line to blow up like the Commodores and the Black Byrds. A College based group of Music Majors from Virginia State College, the group had all the makings of a super group. Tight horns, moves, and a fantastic lead vocalist Larry Tynes. Later when the group signed with Elektra they added a second outstanding lead vocalist Michael Spratley. In 1973 the group formed in the Snack Shop of Virginia State for the first month or two they were known as the Snack Shop Band. Then they went looking for a name. Near VSC there was a train trestle, the drummer and co-founder Ron Buky Smith (Englewood, NJ) spoke with a lisp and said let’s name the group TRUSSEL.. hence the spelling and pronounciation. The group members graduated in the early and mid-seventies from college and formed a record label in 1975. Bridge The Gap Records, they released what would now be two very rare 7″inch singles. The Bi-Centennial Boogie which was renamed to try and get in on the 1976 Bicentennial.. the original name was “CHICKEN SH%T”, the b side was another period song “How Many Tricks In 1976”. That song which Buddah Records wanted to release was a Graham Central Station sounding track that was written to blast Tricky Dick Nixon and the mess that he caused.

The next release were two pretty songs “Beautiful People” b/w “Spread Love Everywhere”. Both were well recorded and poorly promoted. The groups break came when a college friend Marvin Daniels (Chops – Southern Energy Ensemble) asked Bill would the group be willing to backup a young 15 year old girl out of Philadelphia who had signed with RCA. Reluctantly they did and became Evelyne Champagne Kings first touring band. They started with her when SHAME was a blip on the Disco Chart and were exiting when SHAME was on it’s way to the top of the charts. The group tells the story about a gig at Broady’s in NY where the whole RCA staff including the President came to see this new young talent. The band was so tight after years of playing the Mid-Atlantic College Circuit that RCA Producers Warren Schatz and Al Garrison came into the dressing room at the break and offered the group TRUSSEL a record deal with RCA. It never happened, the parents of Evelyn King became despondent with the management that had hooked her up with Trussel and fired the young black manager for a older white established management firm that worked with lots of RCA artist? (Sounds familiar) Trussel being a loyal bunch of guys gave the original young manager 1 year to get them a record deal. So they left the road and went in to writing and preparing for the record deal that was sure to come. About a week before the year was to expire the group signed with Elektra for a three single studio budget. From that recording date in Philadelphia came “LOVE INJECTION”, “GONE FOR THE WEEKEND”, and a third single. “LOVE INJECTION” was released in the fall of 1979 and quickly became a New York Disco Hit. Most of the DJ’s knew the group because of their many appearances in NYC and it helped that the term LOVE INJECTION caught on in the GAY community. So the song took off. In the mean time the young black manager turned the group over to a Philadelphia slickster who basically ripped the group off and mismanaged the release of the album. Elektra changed company presidents in the fall of 1979, the new guy in charge froze all of the Album budgets, including the Trussel budget even though the groups record was high on the Disco Charts and up on the R&B Charts. The big error came when the finally completed album March 1980 was named LOVE INJECTION.. stupid move. The single was a hit in the fall of 1979 and they named a spring 1980 album release LOVE INJECTION… they also refused to put the groups picture on the cover… the looked too black (ethnic).. So stupid and corrupt management eventually caused the group to refuse the offer of the second album, which they now acknowledge in hind sight was a mistake. So there you have it another one hit wonder.. TRUSSEL – Love Injection is listed as one of the Top 200 Disco records of all time.. The lead singer Larry Tynes passed away in the late 80’s the young lady who didn’t make the album date Veronica Jones passed away in 1988. The other members are still working or playing, producing and writing. The groups leader Bill McGee is a smooth jazz trumpeter with several CD’s on the market.

Website

Records:

  1. TrusselLove Injection, Elektra

Dj Harvey

The music career of DJ Harvey (Harvey William Bassett) began inconspicuously, as a teenaged drummer in Ersatz, a post-punk band based in his native Cambridge, England. His earliest work can be heard on “Smile in Shadow,” a 7″ single released by the band in 1980, on his Leisure Sounds label. A trip to New York a few years later fostered his interest in DJ’ing. By the end of the decade, his effortless charisma and eclectic selections, translated through marathon sets as part of the TONKA Hi-Fi sound system, earned envy and admiration from aspiring club DJs. Word spread internationally, which enabled him to play in Japan and on Ibiza, while he also established Moist, an early-’90s venue in London’s Covent Garden district that hosted the likes of Larry Levan, François Kevorkian, and Kenny Carpenter, among others. On a more commercial level, he took up a residency at London’s Ministry of Sound, mixed the 1996 set Late Night Sessions for the nightclub’s label offshoot, and remixed tracks by the Police, the Brand New Heavies, Super_Collider, and Ian Brown.

During the early 2000s, Harvey settled in the U.S., specifically California, in part due to a visa issue. He remained in the States for several years, yet his image swelled through continued DJ work, sought-after re-edits and noncommercial DJ mixes, additional remixes for Electronic, the Avalanches, and LCD Soundsystem, and a profile-raising association with Sarcastic Clothing. Among many other outlets during the 2000s was Map of Africa, a partnership with Thomas Bullock (A.R.E. Weapons, Rub N Tug) that allowed him to indulge in his throwback rock frontman fantasies. Early the following decade, he drove the left-field house act Locussolus, as well as the neo-psychedelic band Wildest Dreams (featuring three members of Orgone), each of which issued an album. All the while, he continued to operate as a revered maverick DJ who projected the unique image of a biker/surfer type with a stylistically broad and free-spirited approach to his trade. Although he eventually abstained from alcohol and other drugs, his oft-circulated quote — “You can’t understand the blues ’til you’ve had your heart broken, you can’t understand my music ’til you’ve had group sex on ecstasy” — continued to accurately encapsulate his philosophy.

Website

Records:

  1. Dj HarveyLove Is Everything, Black Cock Records

 

Black Ivory

Black Ivory was formed in 1969 by fellow members, Russell Patterson, and Stuart Bascombe. Later they asked their friend Leroy Burgess III to join and sing lead. They called themselves “Mellow Souls.” While shopping around for labels to get a deal, they met a songwriter / producer named Patrick Adams, who was in a group called “Sparks”. Adams was no stranger to the music industry, knew the tricks of the trade and took the group under his wing. He initated the name change to “Black Ivory” and signed the group to a newly formed label named “Today”. The Today label was a subsidiary of the sister label, “Perception”, which at time featured The Fatback Band and great poet Wanda Robinson, who would record her first LP on the label, using Black Ivory’s music as the background during her poetry recitation.

Website

Records:

  1. Black Ivory Mainline, Buddah Records

 

Bobby Thurston

Bobby Thurston, 1954, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. Bobby originally sang backing vocals and played congas with the group Spectrum Ltd while at high school. Eventually he took over as lead singer while maintaining a job at the State Department. Performing one night he met producers Willie Lester and Ronnie Brown who took him to the Prelude label. You Got What It TakesMain Attraction Here Lester / Brown wrote and produced his debut album ‘You Got What It Takes,’ from which ‘Check Out The Groove’ was a UK Top 10 in 1980. The album contained Bobby’s version of Billy Stewarts classic ‘Sitting In The Park’. ‘The Main Attraction’ followed in 1981 and featured the popular ‘Very Last Drop’. Sweetest Piece Bobby moved on to Willie Lester and Ronnie Brown’s own label Mainline for one album, ‘Sweetest Piece Of The Pie’, including ‘Just Ask Me’ and ‘Treat Me The Same Way’, eventually released in the UK on the Hi Hut label in 1988. The album featured Al Johnson on keyboards and arrangements.

Website

Records:

  1. Bobby ThurstonYou Got What It Takes (original), Prelude Records

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