The Dells were an American R&B vocal group. Formed in high school in 1952 by founding members Marvin Junior, Verne Allison, Johnny Funches, Chuck Barksdale, Mickey and Lucius McGill, under the name the El-Rays, they released their first recording in 1954 and two years had their first R&B hit with "Oh What a Night". After disbanding due to a near-fatal car crash in 1958, the band reformed in 1960 with Funches being replaced by Johnny Carter; this lineup remained together until Carter's death in 2009. In 2004 The Dells were inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame; the group performed until illness forced longtime lead singer Marvin Junior and bass vocalist Chuck Barksdale into retirement, ending the group's 60-year run. The Dells grew up in Harvey and began singing together while attending Thornton Township High School. Forming in 1952 under the name the El-Rays, the group consisted of Marvin Junior, Mickey McGill, Lucius McGill, Verne Allison, Chuck Barksdale, Johnny Funches.
Lucius soon left the group and the remaining quintet signed with Checker Records, releasing their first single, "Darling I Know," which flopped. In 1955, the group signed with Vee-Jay Records. In 1956, they recorded their first hit, "Oh, What a Night", which hit the Top 5 of the R&B singles chart, it sold over one million copies, was awarded a gold disc. The song is ranked #260 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In November 1958, the Dells suffered a car accident that left McGill in a hospital in Ohio for six months; the group temporarily disbanded and Barksdale sang as a member of Harvey Fuqua's spinoff Moonglows act and the Moonglows, which included a young Marvin Gaye. In 1961, the Dells auditioned for Dinah Washington. After Washington agreed to hire them, Johnny Funches left the group to take care of his family. Funches was replaced by Flamingos founding member Johnny Carter and sang background for Washington for two years. In 1966, they were hired to open for Ray Charles, only to be fired after a performance resulted in several standing ovations.
The group would sing background for Barbara Lewis on Lewis' 1963 hit, "Hello Stranger", while working with Quincy Jones, who helped to fine-tune their vocals for standards and jazz material. In 1966, the Dells returned to Chess under the label's Cadet subsidiary working with Bobby Miller and future Earth, Wind & Fire arranger Charles Stepney. In 1967, the Dells issued the album There Is which included their first R&B chart-topper in years with the title track, which showcased the sharp baritone of Marvin Junior and the harmonies with the four other Dells; the song was their first top 20 pop hit. Subsequent R&B hits included "Wear It on Our Face," "Always Together" (Top 20 Pop, "I Can Sing a Rainbow - Love is Blue", their first #1 R&B hit and first Top Ten pop hit, 1968's "Stay in My Corner," which reached #10 on the pop chart and showcased both Carter and Marvin in lead vocals. In the following year, 1969, The Dells' soulful remake of their debut hit, "Oh What a Night" gave the group their second chart-topping R&B single and reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100.
For a second time, the song sold over a million copies. Subsequent hits included "Open Up My Heart," "Oh What A Day," and "On the Dock of the Bay." In 1971, the Dells' "The Love We Had Stays on My Mind" became another Top Ten hit on the R&B charts reaching the pop Top 30. By this time Charles Stepney had taken over production duties from Bobby Miller. 1973's "Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation" was their third certified gold record. The song was written by L. V. Johnson and produced by Don Davis. Leaving Cadet around the end of 1974 with the parent company in financial difficulties, the group would continue recording in order under the Mercury, ABC, Virgin labels finding some hits, including 1980's "I Touched a Dream", which returned the group to the top 40 on the R&B charts; the Dells were confined to the oldies market afterwards until they were asked to be creative consultants to Robert Townsend's acclaimed 1991 film, The Five Heartbeats, loosely based on the lives of The Dells and other groups of its era.
The group recorded a composition titled "A Heart Is a House for Love". The song reached number 13 on the Billboard R&B chart, making them only one of two groups to have hit singles in five decades; the following year, signing with PIR, they released the album. The Dells continued recording sporadically in the early years of the new millennium. In 2004, the group were inducted to both the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the group continued performing until 2012. Original Dells vocalist Johnny Funches died of pneumonia on January 23, 1998, at the age of 62. Johnny Carter died of cancer on August 21, 2009, at the age of 75. Carter is one of the few artists to be a double Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, having been inducted with The Flamingos in 2001, the Dells in 2004. On May 29, 2013, founding member Marvin Junior died in his sleep at his home in Harvey, succumbing to complications of kidney failure and a weak heart at the age of 77. Marvin Junior - lead baritone, lead vocals Verne Allison - second tenor, background vocals Mickey McGill - baritone, background vocals Chuck Barksdale - bass, background vocals Johnny Funches
It's Your Thing
"It's Your Thing" is a funk single by The Isley Brothers. Released in 1969, the funk anthem was an artistic response to Motown chief Berry Gordy's demanding hold on his artists after the Isleys left the label in late 1968; the lyrics of the chorus, which serve as first verse, run: "It's your thing/ Do what you wanna do/ I can't tell you/ Who to sock it to". The song is ranked #420 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. After scoring one popular hit with the label with "This Old Heart of Mine", the Isleys felt typecast in the role as a second-tier act while well-established Detroit acts like The Temptations, The Miracles and the Four Tops got more promotion from the label Motown; the brothers' decision to leave Motown came after a successful UK tour, where the brothers had a bigger fanbase than in America. A re-release of "This Old Heart" had reached number three on the UK pop singles chart. Similar success came with two more singles from their Motown catalog that were hits well after their Motown departure.
Berry Gordy allowed the brothers to leave the label, the Isleys reactivated their own label, T-Neck Records, which they had started a few years prior to their Motown signing. For Buddah Records, the Isleys recorded "It's Your Thing" which Ronald wrote upon arriving home after taking his daughter Tawana to school; the lead singer said that he thought of some of the lyrics in his head. His older brothers O'Kelly and Rudolph helped compose more lyrics. Recorded in two takes and featuring the first appearance of 16-year-old Ernie on bass and Skip Pitts on guitar; the song was released as a single on February 16, 1969, rose to the top of both the Billboard pop and R&B singles charts, peaking at #2 on the former, marking their first #1 hit in the latter. Upon the song's release and ascent to success, Gordy threatened to sue the group for releasing it in an attempt to bring them back to Motown, but he cancelled his threat, in February 1970 the brothers became the first former Motown act to win a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
Over 60 artists have recorded their own version of the song. A version was recorded by Memphis soul singer Ann Peebles for her 1969 debut album This Is Ann Peebles. Saxophonist Lou Donaldson recorded an instrumental version on his 1969 album Hot Dog; the same year, Atlantic recording artist Lotti Golden recorded the song in a mash-up medley with "Sock It To Me Baby", to promote her Atlantic Records debut LP The medley included the only two covers that Golden recorded as an artist. In 2000, the medley featuring "It's Your Thing," was reissued in an Atlantic compilation, with Golden as the sole female artist in the line up; the song has been credited for being one of the first fully-fledged funk songs at the time that such artists as James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone brought their own funk anthems to the scene. Brown interpolated the melody in his 1974 song "My Thang". Brown used the musical background from the song for the songs "It's My Thing", an answer song by Marva Whitney, Brown's own 1974 single, "My Thang".
Led Zeppelin would perform an instrumental of the song in a medley format with "Communication Breakdown". Led Zeppelin included a four-bar snippet during the opening song sequence of their Playhouse Theater performance on June 27, 1969. In 1969 The Temptations recorded the song for on their Puzzle People album; the Jackson 5, who were not yet established artists, first performed the song at their television debut on the Miss Black America Pageant recording it during sessions for their ABC album. Aretha Franklin recorded the song for her 1982 album Jump to It. Former Motown label-mates The Supremes and the Four Tops recorded a duet version in 1971 that remained unreleased until 2009; the song has been sampled by hip hop acts, most famously by rap group Salt-N-Pepa and DC go-go band E. U. who sampled it for "Shake Your Thang". Like many of their earlier singles, the song has been featured in commercials; some Canadian commercials for the Ramada hotel chain have featured a cover version of "It's Your Thing", modified so the lyrics say "Do Your Thing" instead.
Lou Donaldson's cover has been sampled for multiple tracks hip-hop, including Ghetto Red Hot by Super Cat, Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down by Brand Nubian, Bitties in the BK Lounge by De La Soul and Six Million Ways to Die by Funkmaster Flex. The 1989 album Girl You Know It's True by Milli Vanilli contains a cover of this song; the song was covered by H-Town on the 1993 soundtrack album Addams Family Values: Music from the Motion Picture. The song "Power" by Kanye West uses a sample from "It's Your Thing" in his 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Adriano Celentano's "Prisencolinensinainciusol", released three years has a similar feel and chord structure. Walk the Moon covered the song on their 2015 Different Colors EP, it appears in the 1999 movie Muppets from Space, the ending of the 2016 movie Sausage Party and the beginning of the 2017 movie Smurfs: The Lost Village, as well as in the teaser trailer for DreamWorks Animation's 2017 movie The Boss Baby. It appears in the English version of the adult animated film Bad Cat.
Lead vocals by Ronald Isley Background vocals by O'Kelly Isley, Jr. and Rudolph Isley Written and composed by Ronald Isley, O'Kelly Isley, Jr. and Rudolph Isley Produced by The Isley Brothers Drums by Woody Woodson Bass by Ernie Isley Guitar by Charles "Skip" Pitts Piano by Herb Rooney Saxophone and arrangement by George Patterson Horns arranged by The Isley Brothers Lyrics of this song at Met
Autry DeWalt Mixon Jr. known professionally as Junior Walker, was an American saxophonist and vocalist who recorded for Motown during the 1960s. Walker was born Autry DeWalt Mixon Jr. on June 14, 1931 in Blytheville and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. He began playing saxophone while in high school, his saxophone style was the anchor for the sound of the bands he played in, his career started. His longtime friend and drummer Billy Nicks formed the Rhythm Rockers. Periodically, Nicks would sit in on Jumping Jack's shows, Walker would sit in on the Rhythm Rockers shows. Nicks obtained a permanent gig at a local TV station in South Bend and asked Walker to join him and keyboard player Fred Patton permanently. Nicks asked a local singer, to perform with the group; when Nicks was drafted into the United States Army, Walker convinced the band to move from South Bend to Battle Creek, Michigan. While performing in Benton Harbor, Walker found Tony Washington, to replace Nicks. Fred Patton left the group, Victor Thomas stepped in.
The original name, The Rhythm Rockers, was changed to The All Stars"l. Walker's style was inspired by jump blues and early R&B players like Louis Jordan, Earl Bostic, Illinois Jacquet; the group was spotted by Johnny Bristol, he recommended them to Harvey Fuqua, in 1961, who had his own record labels. Once the group started recording on the Harvey label, their name was changed to Jr. Walker All Stars; the name was modified again when Fuqua's labels were taken over by Motown's Berry Gordy, Jr. Walker & the All Stars became members of the Motown family, recording for their Soul imprint in 1964; the members of the band changed after the acquisition of the Harvey label. Tony Washington, the drummer, quit the group, James Graves joined, their first and signature hit was "Shotgun", written and composed by Walker and produced by Berry Gordy, which featured the Funk Brothers' James Jamerson on bass and Benny Benjamin on drums. "Shotgun" reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the R&B chart in 1965, was followed by many other hits, such as " Road Runner", "Shake and Fingerpop" and remakes of two Motown songs "Come See About Me" and "How Sweet It Is", hits for the Supremes and Marvin Gaye respectively.
In 1966, Graves left and was replaced by old cohort Billy "Stix" Nicks, Walker's hits continued apace with tunes such as "I'm a Road Runner" and "Pucker Up Buttercup". In 1969, the group had another hit enter the top 5, "What Does It Take". A Motown quality control meeting rejected this song for single release, but radio station DJs made the track popular, resulting in Motown releasing it as a single, whereupon it reached No. 4 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on the R&B chart. From that time on Walker sang more on the records than earlier in their career, he landed several more R&B Top Ten hits over the next few years, with the last coming in 1972. In 1979, Walker went solo, disbanding the All Stars, was signed to Norman Whitfield's Whitfield Records label, but he was not as successful on his own as he had been with the All Stars in his Motown period. Walker re-formed the All Stars in the 1980s. On April 11, 1981, Walker was the musical guest on the season finale of Saturday Night Live. Foreigner's 1981 album 4 featured Walker's sax solo on "Urgent".
He recorded his own version of the song for the 1983 All Stars's album Blow the House Down. Walker's version was featured in the 1985 Madonna film Desperately Seeking Susan. In 1983, Walker was re-signed with Motown. In the same year, he appeared as a part of the Motown 25 television special which aired on May 16, 1983. In 1988 Walker played opposite Sam Moore as one-half of the fictional soul duo "The Swanky Modes" in the comedy Tapeheads. Several songs were recorded for the soundtrack, including "Bet Your Bottom Dollar" and "Ordinary Man", produced by ex-Blondie member Nigel Harrison. Walker died of cancer at the age of 64, in Battle Creek, Michigan, on November 23, 1995, he had been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Foundation that year. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, in Battle Creek, under a marker inscribed with both his birth name of Autry DeWalt Mixon Jr. and his stage name. Walker's "Shotgun" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. Jr. Walker & The All Stars were voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2007.
Soul 701 – Shotgun Soul 702 – Soul Session Soul 703 – Road Runner Soul 705 – "Live" Soul 710 – Home Cookin' Soul 718 – Greatest Hits Tamla Motown STML/TML11140 – These Eyes Soul 721 – Gotta Hold on to This Feeling Soul 725 – Live Soul 726 – A Gassssssssss! Soul S732L – Rainbow Funk Soul 733 – Moody Jr Tamla Motown STML11224 – Greatest Hits Vol 2 Soul 738 – Peace and Understanding is Hard to Find Soul S6-742 – Jr Walker & The All Stars Motown M7-786 – Anthology Soul S6-745 – Hot Shot Soul S6-747 – Sax Appeal Soul S6-748 – Whopper Bopper Show Stopper Soul S6-750 – Smooth Whitfield WHK 3331 – Back Street Boogie Motown 6053ML – Blow the House Down Tamla Motown STMS5054 – Greatest Hits List of Motown Records artists List of soul musicians List of people from Arkansas History of Rock'n' Roll entry Jr. Walker & The All-Stars on the Soulwalking UK website
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" is a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966. The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Whitfield for Gladys Knight & the Pips and released as a single in September 1967; the Miracles recorded the song first and included their version on their 1968 album, Special Occasion. The Marvin Gaye version was placed on his 1968 album In the Groove, where it gained the attention of radio disc jockeys, Motown founder Berry Gordy agreed to its release as a single in October 1968, when it went to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks from December 1968 to January 1969 and became for a time the biggest hit single on the Motown label; the Gaye recording has since become an acclaimed soul classic, in 2004, it was placed 81 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. On the commemorative fortieth anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 issue of Billboard magazine in June 2008, Marvin Gaye's "Grapevine" was ranked sixty-fifth.
It was inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical and significant" value. In addition to being released several times by Motown artists, the song has been recorded by a range of musicians including Creedence Clearwater Revival, who made an eleven-minute interpretation for their 1970 album, Cosmo's Factory; the lyrics tell the story in the first person of the singer's feelings of betrayal and disbelief when he hears of his girlfriend's infidelity only indirectly "through the'grapevine'". By 1966, Barrett Strong, the singer on Motown Records' breakthrough hit, "Money", had the basics of a song he had started to write in Chicago, where the idea had come to him while walking down Michigan Avenue that people were always saying "I heard it through the grapevine"; the phrase is associated with black slaves during the Civil War, who had their form of telegraph: the human grapevine. Producer Norman Whitfield worked with Strong on the song, adding lyrics to Strong's basic Ray Charles influenced gospel tune and the single chorus line of "I heard it through the grapevine".
This was to be the first of a number of successful collaborations between Strong and Whitfield. Producer Norman Whitfield recorded "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" with various Motown artists; the first known recording is with the Miracles on August 6, 1966, though there may have been a recording with the Isley Brothers, or at least Whitfield intended to record it with them. The Miracles' version was not released as a single due to Berry Gordy's veto during Motown's weekly quality control meetings; the Miracles version appeared on their 1968 Special Occasion album, a different take from the same session but unreleased, appeared on the 1998 compilation album, Motown Sings Motown Treasures. Marvin Gaye's version was recorded in spring 1967, is the second known recording, though it was rejected by Gordy as a single, would later go onto an album, In the Groove; the third recording was in 1967 with the Pips in a new, faster arrangement. Gordy accepted the new arrangement and the Gladys Knight version was released as a single in September 1967, reaching number 2 in the charts.
When Gaye's album with his version of Grapevine was released in August 1968, radio disc jockeys were playing the song, so Gordy had it released as a single in October, it went to number one in December. In 1968, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers recorded a version for their debut album based on Gladys' recent hit. In 1969, Whitfield produced a version for the Temptations "psychedelic soul" album, Cloud Nine, in which he "brought compelling percussion to the fore, relegated the piano well into the wings". In 1971, the Undisputed Truth recorded the song in a Marvin-styled version as did Bettye Lavette on her 1982 Motown album, Tell Me a Lie. Whitfield recorded the song with Marvin Gaye over five sessions, the first on February 3, 1967, the last on April 10, 1967. Recordings of this version took more than a month due to Whitfield overdubbing Gaye's vocals with that of the Andantes' background vocals, mixing in several tracks featuring the Funk Brothers on the rhythm track, adding the string section from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with an arrangement by Paul Riser.
The session featuring Gaye led to an argument between the singer. Whitfield wanted Gaye to perform the song in a higher key than his normal range, a move that had worked on David Ruffin during the recording of the Temptations' hit, "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"; the mixture of Gaye's raspy vocals and the Andantes' sweeter harmonies made Whitfield confident that he had a hit. Gladys Knight & the Pips recorded "Grapevine" on June 17, 1967 in Motown's Studio A, with Norman Whitfield as producer. After hearing Aretha Franklin's version of "Respect", Whitfield rearranged "Grapevine" to include some of the funk elements of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. According to David Ritz, Whitfield set to record a song. After Whitfield presented the demo tapes
James Joseph Brown was an American singer, dancer, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century music and dance, he is referred to as the "Godfather of Soul". In a career that lasted 50 years, he influenced the development of several music genres. Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Georgia, he joined an R&B vocal group, the Gospel Starlighters founded by Bobby Byrd, in which he was the lead singer. First coming to national public attention in the late 1950s as a member of the singing group The Famous Flames with the hit ballads "Please, Please" and "Try Me", Brown built a reputation as a tireless live performer with the Famous Flames and his backing band, sometimes known as the James Brown Band or the James Brown Orchestra, his success peaked in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", "I Got You" and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World". During the late 1960s, Brown moved from a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly "Africanized" approach to music-making that influenced the development of funk music.
By the early 1970s, Brown had established the funk sound after the formation of the J. B.s with records such as "Get Up Sex Machine" and "The Payback". He became noted for songs of social commentary, including the 1968 hit "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud". Brown continued to perform and record until his death from pneumonia in 2006. Brown was inducted into 1st class of the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2013 as an artist and in 2017 as a songwriter. Brown recorded 17 singles, he holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which did not reach No. 1. Brown has received honors from many institutions, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Joel Whitburn's analysis of the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, Brown is ranked No. 1 in The Top 500 Artists. He is ranked No. 7 on Rolling Stone's list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. Rolling Stone has cited Brown as the most sampled artist of all time.
Brown was born on May 3, 1933, in Barnwell, South Carolina, to 16-year-old Susie née Behling, 22-year-old Joseph Gardner Brown, in a small wooden shack. Brown's name was supposed to have been Joseph James Brown Jr. but his first and middle names were mistakenly reversed on his birth certificate. He legally changed his name to remove "Jr." In his autobiography, Brown stated that he had Chinese and Native American ancestry. The Brown family lived in extreme poverty in Elko, South Carolina, an impoverished town at the time, they moved to Augusta, when James was four or five. His family first settled at one of his aunts' brothels, they moved into a house shared with another aunt. Brown's mother left the family after a contentious and abusive marriage and moved to New York. Brown spent long stretches of time on his own, hustling to get by, he managed to stay in school until the sixth grade. He began singing in talent shows as a young child, first appearing at Augusta's Lenox Theater in 1944, winning the show after singing the ballad "So Long".
While in Augusta, Brown performed buck dances for change to entertain troops from Camp Gordon at the start of World War II as their convoys traveled over a canal bridge near his aunt's home. He learned to play the piano and harmonica during this period, he became inspired to become an entertainer after hearing "Caldonia" by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. In his teen years, Brown had a career as a boxer. At the age of 16, he was sent to a juvenile detention center in Toccoa. There, he formed a gospel quartet including Johnny Terry. Brown met singer Bobby Byrd when the two played against each other in a baseball game outside the detention center. Byrd discovered that Brown could sing, after hearing of "a guy called Music Box", Brown's musical nickname at the prison. Byrd has since claimed he and his family helped to secure an early release, which led to Brown promising the court he would "sing for the Lord". Brown was paroled on June 14, 1952. Shortly thereafter, he joined the gospel group, the Ever-Ready Gospel Singers, featuring Byrd's sister Sarah.
Brown joined Byrd's group in 1954. The group had evolved from the Gospel Starlighters, an a cappella gospel group, to an R&B group with the name the Avons, he reputedly joined the band after one of Troy Collins, died in a car crash. Along with Brown and Byrd, the group consisted of Sylvester Keels, Doyle Oglesby, Fred Pulliam, Nash Knox and Nafloyd Scott. Influenced by R&B groups such as Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, the Orioles and Billy Ward and His Dominoes, the group changed its name, first to the Toccoa Band and to the Flames. Nafloyd's brother Baroy joined the group on bass guitar, Brown and Keels switched lead positions and instruments playing drums and piano. Johnny Terry joined, by which time Pulliam and Oglesby had long left. Berry Trimier became the group's first manager, booking them at parties near college campuses in Georgia and South Carolina; the group had gained a reputation as a good live act when they renamed themselves the Famous Flames. In 1955, the group had contacted Little Richard while performing in Macon.
Jerry Butler, Jr. is an American soul singer-songwriter,producer and retired politician. He is noted as being the original lead singer of the R&B vocal group the Impressions, as well as a 1991 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Since leaving The Impressions, Jerry has had over 55 Billboard Pop & R&B Chart Hits as a solo artist, including some 15 Top 40 Pop Hits in the Hot 100, 15 R&B Top 10's, he served as a Commissioner for Cook County, from 1985 to 2018. As a member of this 17-member county board, he chaired the Health and Hospitals Committee, served as Vice Chair of the Construction Committee. Butler was born in Sunflower, Mississippi in 1939; the mid-1950s had a profound effect on Butler's life. He grew up poor. Music and the church provided solace from the poverty of the slums he lived in, difficulties of a predominantly segregated society, he performed in a church choir with Curtis Mayfield. As a teenager, Butler sang in a gospel quartet called Northern Jubilee Gospel Singers, along with Mayfield.
Mayfield, a guitar player, became the lone instrumentalist for the six-member Roosters group, which became The Impressions. Inspired by Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers, the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Pilgrim Travelers, getting into the music industry seemed inevitable. Butler's younger brother, Billy Butler had a career in the music industry, including playing guitar with Jerry's band, until his death in 2015. Butler co-wrote the song "For Your Precious Love" and wanted to record a disc. Looking for recording studios, the Impressions, auditioned for Vee-Jay Records; the group signed with Vee-Jay, where they released "For Your Precious Love" in 1958. It became The Impressions' first gold record. Butler was dubbed the "Iceman" by WDAS Philadelphia disc jockey, Georgie Woods, while performing in a Philadelphia theater, he co-wrote, with Otis Redding, the song "I've Been Loving You Too Long" in 1965. Butler's solo career had a string of hits, including the Top 10 successes "He Will Break Your Heart", "Find Another Girl", "I'm A-Telling You", the million selling "Only the Strong Survive", "Moon River", "Need To Belong", "Make It Easy on Yourself", "Let It Be Me", "Brand New Me", "Ain't Understanding Mellow", "Hey, Western Union Man", "Never Give You Up".
His 1969 "Moody Woman" release became a Northern Soul favourite and featured at number 369 in the Northern Soul Top 500. Butler released The Ice Man Cometh and Ice on Ice; the Ice Man Cometh garnered Butler three Grammy nominations. He collaborated on many of his successful recordings with the Philadelphia-based songwriting team and Huff. With Motown, in 1976 and 1977, Butler produced and co-produced two albums: Suite for the Single Girl and It All Comes Out in My Song. Tony Orlando and Dawn revived "He Will Break Your Heart" in 1975, with a new title, "He Don't Love You", it was more successful than Butler's original, going to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Subsequently and Wilson produced an album with Dee Dee Sharp-Gamble with Philadelphia International. In 1981 with "Breaking and Entering" / "Easy Money", from Sharp-Gamble's album Dee Dee, Butler/Wilson's production spent four weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. Butler continued to perform while serving as a Cook County Board Commissioner before retiring from public office in 2018.
As Cook County Commissioner, Butler voted to uphold a historic 2008 Cook County sales tax increase, which remains the highest in the nation. As a result, the Chicago Tribune encouraged people to vote against him in the 2010 elections. Butler, won reelection in March 2014 with over 80 percent of the vote. In recent years, he has served as host of PBS TV music specials such as Doo Wop 50 and 51, Rock Rhythm and Doo Wop, Soul Spectacular: 40 years of R&B, among others, he has served as chairman of the board of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In 1991, Butler was inducted, along with the other original members of the Impressions, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the Hives covered "Find Another Girl" on their 2000 album Veni Vidi Vicious. The Black Keys covered "Never Give You Up" on Brothers, he resides in Chicago with his wife, one of his backup singers on the road. He has two sons and Tony, a grandson, Jeriel. Since his 1991 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Impressions, several music writers and critics have stated that Butler deserves a second induction as a solo artist, based upon his successful career as a recording artist and songwriter after leaving that group.
NB. * no R&B chart published during the chart runs of these singles R&B number-one hits of 1960 R&B number-one hits of 1961 R&B number-one hits of 1968 R&B number-one hits of 1969 List of soul musicians Pruter, Robert. Chicago Soul. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1991, ISBN 978-0-252-06259-9 Mississippi musicians: Jerry Butler. Erica Covin Jerry Butler Biography on VH1.com Jerry Butler on Philly Soul Classics "The History Makers: Jerry Butler
Sly and the Family Stone
Sly and the Family Stone was an American band from San Francisco. Active from 1966 to 1983, it was pivotal in the development of funk, soul and psychedelic music, its core line-up was led by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sly Stone, included Stone's brother and singer/guitarist Freddie Stone and singer/keyboardist Rose Stone, trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, drummer Greg Errico, saxophonist Jerry Martini, bassist Larry Graham. It was the first major American rock group to have a racially integrated and female lineup. Formed in 1966, the group's music synthesized a variety of disparate musical genres to help pioneer the emerging "psychedelic soul" sound, they released a series of Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits such as "Dance to the Music", "Everyday People", "Thank You", as well as critically acclaimed albums such as Stand!, which combined pop sensibility with social commentary. In the 1970s, it transitioned into a darker and less commercial funk sound on releases such as There's a Riot Goin' On and Fresh, proving as influential as their early work.
By 1975, drug problems and interpersonal clashes led to dissolution, though Sly continued to record and tour with a new rotating lineup under the name "Sly and the Family Stone" until drug problems forced his effective retirement in 1987. The work of Sly and the Family Stone influenced the sound of subsequent American funk, soul, R&B, hip hop music. Music critic Joel Selvin wrote, "there are two types of black music: black music before Sly Stone, black music after Sly Stone". In 2010, they were ranked 43rd in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, three of their albums are included on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Sylvester Stewart was born into the Dallas, family of K. C. and Alpha Stewart, followers of the Church of God in Christ who encouraged musical expression in the household. After the Stewarts moved to Vallejo, the youngest four children formed "The Stewart Four", who released a local 78 RPM single, "On the Battlefield of the Lord" b/w "Walking in Jesus' Name", in 1952.
While attending high school and Freddie joined student bands. One of Sylvester's high school musical groups was a doo-wop act called The Viscaynes; the Viscaynes released a few local singles, Sylvester recorded several solo singles under the name "Danny Stewart". By 1964, Sylvester had become Sly Stone and a disc jockey for San Francisco R&B radio station KSOL, where he included white performers such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in his playlists. During the same period, he worked as a record producer for Autumn Records, producing for San Francisco-area bands such as The Beau Brummels and The Mojo Men. One of the Sylvester Stewart-produced Autumn singles, Bobby Freeman's "C'mon and Swim", was a national hit. Stewart recorded unsuccessful solo singles while at Autumn. In 1966, Sly Stone formed a band called Sly & the Stoners, which included acquaintance Cynthia Robinson on trumpet. Around the same time, Freddie founded a band called Freddie & the Stone Souls, which included Gregg Errico on drums, Ronnie Crawford on saxophone.
At the suggestion of Stone's friend, saxophonist Jerry Martini and Freddie combined their bands, creating Sly and the Family Stone in November 1966. At first the group was called Sly Brothers and Sisters but after their first gig at the Winchester Cathedral, a night club in Redwood City, they changed the name to Sly & the Family Stone. Since both Sly and Freddie were guitarists, Sly appointed Freddie the official guitarist for the Family Stone, taught himself to play the electronic organ. Sly recruited Larry Graham to play bass guitar. Vanetta Stewart wanted to join the band as well, she and her friends, Mary McCreary and Elva Mouton, had a gospel group called The Heavenly Tones. Sly recruited the teenagers directly out of high school to become Little Sister and the Family Stone's background vocalists. After a gig at the Winchester Cathedral, CBS Records executive David Kapralik signed the group to CBS's Epic Records label; the Family Stone's first album, A Whole New Thing, was released in 1967 to critical acclaim from musicians such as Mose Allison and Tony Bennett.
However, the album's low sales restricted their playing venues to small clubs, caused Clive Davis and the record label to intervene. Some musicologists believe the Abaco Dream single "Life And Death In G & A", recorded for A&M Records in 1967 and peaking at #74 in September 1969, was performed by Sly and the Family Stone. Davis talked Sly into writing and recording a record, he and the band reluctantly provided the single "Dance to the Music". Upon its February 1968 release, "Dance to the Music" became a widespread ground-breaking hit, was the band's first charting single, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Just before the release of "Dance to the Music", Rose Stone joined the group as a vocalist and a keyboardist. Rose's brothers had invited her to join the band from the beginning, but she had been reluctant to leave her steady job at a local record store; the Dance to the Music album went on to decent sales, but the follow-up, was not as successful commercially. In September 1968, the band embarked to England.
It was cut short after Graham was arrested for possession of marijuana and because of disagreements with concert promoters. In late 1968, Sly and the Family Stone released the single "Everyday People", which became their first No. 1 hit. "Everyday People" was a protest against prejudice of all kinds and popularized the catchphrase "different stroke