Question for Bobby Eli

SoulfulDetroit.com FORUM: Archive - Beginning April 17, 2003: Question for Bobby Eli
Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (64.12.97.7) on Saturday, December 28, 2002 - 08:16 pm:

Mr. Eli I noticed that you produced an album on Jackie Moore called I'm On My Way in 1979. There were several songs that you wrote on that album with J.Prusan and B.Gray. What were those sessions like? What was it like working with Jackie Moore? Also you played on a 1983 album called Goddess Of Love by Phyllis Hyman produced by Thom Bell. What were those sessions like? Mr. Eli what are you're favorite philly sessions that you worked on? Where did you learn your arranging technique? You did some brilliant arrangements for Blue Magic. Why is it that Bobby Martin is so underrated?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Phillysoulman (64.12.97.7) on Saturday, December 28, 2002 - 09:13 pm:

Wow, where do I start????
I have known Jackie Moore and her first cousin the late and great producer/writer Dave Crawford since the Precious, Precious days.
She came to Philly in '73 to work with Phil Hurt and Bunny Sigler at which time we became fast friends.
Fast forward to 1978 when she got signed to Columbia after losing 150 pounds. She did a fine recording of the song Personally with Phillip Mitchell which should have been a smash.
Then she specificaly requested to work with me as she felt that we would work well together and it was a match made in musical heaven!
The #1 club smash This Time Baby resulted from those sessions.She loved the O'jays version and thought that it should be remade.
I was also producing Atlantic Starr at the same time and that is them playing on the rhythm tracks.
Unfortunately Bruce Gray passed away from an asthma attack.
Jeff Prusan is a guy who I have known from the James Bounty days and we got back in touch in '77 starting with a Harold Melvin project.

The Phyllis Hyman sessions were recorded in Sigma's NYC studios in 1982. Those songs (as singles) were never promoted properly although they are on several albums.
Phyllis was such a troubled soul and thought that she deserved better material and deservedly so.
She should have been where Anita Baker was or where Toni Braxton is.

I am pleased that you think that my arrangements were "brilliant"but they were all trial and error as I was just starting to really get into arranging horns and strings. In fact when I took a correspondence course in arranging from the Berklee school of music, they essentially told me to "keep my day job" But that was my day job as well as my night job and shortly thereafter I started to get hit records and I proved them wrong!!!

My favorite Philly sessions are far too numerous to mention but I will name some highlights.
For The Love Of Money,for it's innovation in recording tecniques at the time.
Didn't I...(Delfonics) for the way the playback(live horns and strings and rhythm)hit me.
Be Thankful.... for the loose and natural and immediate feel of the track due to the limited time that we had to record it.
Right On the Tip of my Tongue for the briliance of Van McCoy(God rest his soul)and the sweetness of Brenda Peyton's(God rest her soul) voice.
Ten Percent for the great party atmosphere in the studio with the Salsoul gang. As I was doing that guitar break one of the Cayre bros was distributing various delights for all of us to partake in and following that session which also included My Love Is Free everyone went to my house to listen and continue the party!!
The Love I Lose for flipping the script and going from a ballad to a disco classic in seconds when Huff said "f**k it pick up the tempo Earl, put it right here" and the disco beat was born that day in 1972.
Do it any way yo want to for the relentless groove and the feel of Dave Thompson's drum groove(and my guitar figure)
Engine #9 by Pickett, and the seemingly endless track puntuated with Pickett saing"play that guitar son" to me as I was taking that solo.
Mighty Love for the energy and spirit of Phillipe Wynne, You make me feel brand new(because)
I want to be a free girl by Dusty S. because it was the first time Linda Creed heard one of her songs played back in the studio and I can still envision her waltzing around the studio in sheer delight and disbelief!!
Those are but a few and promise that I will tackle some more very son.

As for Bobby Martin, G&H refused to glorify the genius tat he was and undrpaid him immensly. Only when he went to L.A. to work for A&M did he get the kind of respect and money that he deserved.
The reason that he did not go the forfront is that he became a Jehovahs Witness due to the brainwashing of his manager at the time, ron Nadel who persuaded al of his artists to do the same. They were Bobby, Patrice Rushen, George Benson and some more as well.
As a postscript, I was in Total Experience studio with Bobby Martin watching Jeffrey Osborne record We deserve each other's love!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (152.163.188.68) on Saturday, December 28, 2002 - 09:31 pm:

Thanks for the insight Mr. Eli. Yoyo shep.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (205.188.209.38) on Saturday, December 28, 2002 - 09:38 pm:

My Pleasure!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (205.188.209.38) on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 12:44 am:

Mr. Eli I can't get enough of the Philly sound!! Do you know what became of the group New York City? The song "I'm Doing Fine Now" is very uplifting. You probably played on that session. What did you learn from your experiences working with Thom Bell? Can you give any insightes on the beautiful My Melody album by Deniece Williams that you played on? What are the members of Blue Magic doing today?...Ted Mills? What is Leon Huff up to these days? Thanks for the info. Yo yo shep.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (152.163.188.68) on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 08:13 am:

OK here I go again!!
Yes I was on Im doin fine now andit was uplifting although it was about love gone wrong.

Thom was classically trained and a huge fan of Burt Bacharach which shows in a lot of his music, with the time changes and beautifiul chord progressions. Thom loved to tell a lot of stories in the studio and was funny(but not as funny as me though) When Babbitt and Andrew started working with us then the stories started to intensify.
Thom always stated with just playing the song on the piano then piano and bass then piano bass and vibes then with the guitars and drums, usually pausing somewhere in between all of this to tell a story. Of course the clock was running at double time so why would we care!!

I loved Deneice Williams and we became friends. When I would go to L.A. I usualy would go to her house to visit and one some occasions write a song. She was and is a sweetie pie and very appreciative of us. In fact, when she did the video for waiting by the hotline she requested that we be in the video, and we were and she came to Philly to shoot it. We did two albums with her.
While she was doung the second album, Teddy P. came by after one of the sessions in a shart beige suit to take her to the sixers game and she could not go. We all know what happened next.

Blue Magic is working a lot but not with Ted.
Huff is counting his money and probably out buying a car and some fancy clothes!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (152.163.188.68) on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 09:36 am:

I appreciate the antidotes. Thanks Mr. Eli.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Paulie3shoes (205.188.209.38) on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 12:05 pm:

Dis is Paulie(over here)
even I can tell ya dat its ANECDOTES!!!!%^&*(

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (205.188.209.38) on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 12:33 pm:

Here are several moreof my favorite sessions.
You'll never find... for Lou's of colour jokes(he's full of 'em)and the drum groove Charles Collins came up with.
BB King album "To know you is to love you"
where there was interaction between BB Norman and myself and Stevie Wonder, under the down home production genius of Dave Crawford.
The Mighty Clouds of Joy album for Dave's down home style, loved it!!!
The Temprees Dedicated to the one I love and the album for it was a whole other perspective from a Stax point of view but done in Philly at Future Gold which had that southern hospitality.
ohn Gary Williams was a joy to work with. We did
the World's going crazy there too.
You mentioned Philly but the Elton John sessions in Seatle were a joy. E.J. is quite the music historian.We talked"records" all of the time.
Also the Linda Clifford and Curtis stuff in Chicago for the joy of working with my friend the great Gilbert Alexander Askey!! Especially when he got frustrated and used to throw all of the charts up in the air(after a few nips of course)
Working at Tera Shirma with the wonderful Mike Terry just when studio B had opened and looking up to see the Terrana brothers in the control room. Was I seeing double or something?
Almost thought that I saw ol' Paulie (over there) lurking in the corner. Or could it have been John Merlino???? Capice????

More to follow.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 12:41 pm:

Bobby,
I wish Paulie was around in those long ago days. A little envelope of cash and my Merlino problems would have " disappeared ".

Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (152.163.188.68) on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 01:02 pm:

Once again! Mr. Eli do you know what became of the MFSB pianist/organist Lenny Pakula? I have a 45 by him called "Mr. Record Company Man" from 1975. Also what became of the great arranger Jack Faith? Did you play on the Thom Bell produced act Derek and Cyndi? They had a song called "You Bring Out The Best In Me" written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed in 1974. Can you give insight on the Major Harris album Jealousy? What is the story behind "Yes I'm Ready" by Barbara Mason. Did Jack Faith really arrange that song for free because he liked it so much? Yoyo shep

Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (64.12.97.7) on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 03:45 pm:

Also!! Mr. Eli Can you give any insight on the following: The True Reflection album done in 1973 at Sigma Sound called Where I'm Coming From. The group featured Glen Leonard who was once a member of the Temptations. This album had a song on it called "Whisper" which had a cold arrangement by Norman Harris. The group The Modulations had an album called It's Rough Out Here done in Philly. Charles Mann who was a songwriter did an album in Philly called Say Love Me Too done in 1973. I believe you played on that album. That album was produced by Dave Crawford. Also any insight on the albums you did with Keith Barrow. Thank you.

Top of pageBottom of page   By PhillyGroove (64.12.97.7) on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 06:23 pm:

Yoyoshep,

Caught your thread on the Soulful Detroit Board. I'm a big fan of Blue Magic, too, and I thought you might want to read my exchange with Bobby Eli on the Board dated 12/1 "Ted Wizard Mills." By the way, Ted is currently recording and performing gospel, and Blue Magic with most of the originals are still performing.

Yours in smooth soul,

PhillyGroove

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (64.12.97.7) on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 06:51 pm:

Let me start with Barbara Mason.
It was Russ Faith who arranged that record not Jack(no relation) and I am sure that in his case he would not have worked for free.
Jack is still living in Philly and is the original mr. nice guy. It was he who played the alto sax intro on Love won't let me wait and hitting that high g flat which is
technically out of range in the key of a major!!
He arranged the spinners Games people play and Dont let the green grass fool you, as well as Close the door and most of Teddy's and Lou Rawls stuff. In fact when Bobby Martin left Jack took up his slack.
I spoke to Lenny Pakula several weeks ago and he wants no part of the biz although I thing with my"ways" I can get him back. He is king of the organ as far as Philly is concerned.

Derek and Cyndi--- Cyndi is Cindy Scott or Sundrae Tucker which ever you prefer. She is the granddaughter of Ira Tucker SR., of the Dixie Hummingbirds.
For Major's Jealousy album I enlisted the talents of Joe Jefferson to come up with some stuff(title tune) and ron Kersey as well. I did this for another color.
True reflection and the Modulations were executive produced by New Yorker Bob Currington who we did a lot of things for. Norman worked closely with him most of the time doing arrangements.
Say you love me too was a song that could have been a smash for the Delfonics!! I love that song till this day.
Keith Barow could have been like Prince had he lived. He died of aids in October of '83. He had the charisma, the moves, the voice, the everything it took to become a star. Columbia handed him to me on a silver platter and said"here, see what you can do with this kid"!!
His mom is the Reverand Willie Barrow, head of Operation Push. One of the folks whom I met thru eith was Desmond Child who is one of the biggest writers outthere today.

Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (152.163.188.68) on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 08:54 pm:

Thanks again Mr.Eli! Yoyoshep.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London (195.153.219.170) on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 08:03 am:

I received a great CD for Christmas called 'The spirit of Philadelphia', which is a new compilation of great Philly tracks I hardly know. I cannot wait to play it thoroughly, especially track one, which is by The Jones and Bobby, you may have been involved with that? And the last track by The Whispers, 'Will you be mine', as far as I am concerned, their Philly style deliveries were fantastic. At 17 years old, I had never heard of them until 'Mother for my children' - what a great song. Then I was hooked. I like their SOLAR stuff, but the Janus stuff, to me, is sooo good!

Top of pageBottom of page   By skip (209.69.165.10) on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 09:49 am:

Mr.Eli why the Delfonics didn't record say you love me to. I have the LP by Charles Mann another cut off the lp, You came out of nowhere which was my favorite.

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi (68.18.48.14) on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 09:53 am:

Mr. Eli; I am a Jackie Moore & Dave Crawford fan.Aren't they from Jacksonville?I am also a huge fan of philly soul and Dee Dee Sharp is a close friend of my brother.You mentioned Jackie Moore's "Personally" which I also thought would be a big hit but she was part of that big wave of Black artists that Columbia signed at about the same time and they did not properly promote her or Bobby Womack."This Time Baby" was way cool!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (152.163.188.68) on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 10:20 am:

Hey Carl,
If it is the one on Expansion I helped put together the liner notes on that one.
Thgere is another good one called Philadelphia Uncovered with some rare PIR gems as well.

Now will everyone join me in a chorus of Happy Birthday for Carl!! one...two..three.....

Happy Birthday to you........

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London (195.153.219.170) on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 10:29 am:

Thank you Bobby! Yes, it is the Expansion CD. We played it in the car driving to Hull on Boxing Day, but could not hear it properly because I have poor equipment in the car. The notes are good and they gave you a nice credit. It is good to see the alternative Philly stuff being available like this. Nice pressie for me. I also got The Four Tops DVD, so I have that to look forward to as well.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (152.163.188.68) on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 10:34 am:

Jackie and Dave were from jacksonville at the time.
He originally started out as a radio dj and got into production when he met Brad Shapiro in Miami and they hit it off They were an interesting pair, Dave with his southern flair and drawl and Brad with his Miami Jewish soul they were a sight to behold in the studio especially when Brad got excited over a groove and egged everyone on by flailing about the room!!!
One time Brad wanted me to do an arrangement for Millie Jackson and I went to the Holiday Inn to meet with them and she came into the room using every swear word and epithet under the sun and then some!!!
Dave was the FIRST person to play a clavinet at Sigma. In fact, they bought their original red one because of Dave.
We all loved working for those guys.
No electronic scrotum needed for them!!
(For those who do not know about the "scrotum",
please refer to archives old under studio stories)

Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (205.188.209.38) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 12:36 am:

To Mr. Eli. Happy New Year! I pray that you have great health and wealth in 2003!! The Philly Sound!! How would you desribe the diffrent arranging styles of Thom Bell, Bobby Martin,and Norman Harris? What are your favorite arrangred songs by these gentleman? Do you know anything about a book written about The Philly Sound? Were The Romeos featuring Kenny Gamble popular in Philadelphia back in the day?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London (195.153.219.170) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 05:00 am:

yoyoshep - I have a book about the Philly Sound, written in about 1975. I think Mr Eli should also write a book about his perspective on the years he was involved in the creation of this music in Philadelphia. I am sure it would make excellent reading.

Pray have a good year Bobby. Best wishes to you from London/England.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (205.188.209.38) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 05:19 am:

Hi Yoyoshep,
I thank you kindly.
A wonderful new year to you also my friend!!

As far as arranging goes, Thom, being classicaly trained used his knowledge to it's full advantage
by creating some of the most dynamic arrangements in Philly. He was the master of tricky time signature shifts ala Burt Bacharach whom he was a big fan of. He loved all of the great concertos as well. His chords were nice and well rounded with good placement of the viola and cello parts.
Listen to Life is asong worth singing and You make me feel brand new as examples.

Bobby Martin was schooled in be bop and jazz and raised on Basie and Ellington as well as Bird and 'Trane. He was the best horn arranger in Philly because of this. His charts were recognizable due to their great tasty horn puncuations. Listen to Love is the message and TSOP as prime examples.
Norman, bless his soul was more street and was a kitchen sink" kinda guy. His charts were probably the "buisiest" but they worked.
Listen to Armed and extremely dangerous and Dr. Love as prime examples.
Kenny and the Romeos were mainly a mainstay of the Black clubs especially the Cadillac Club in North Philly.
The Philly Black clubs were notorious for not paying their bands very much and usually had an excuse at the end of the night as to why the "bread just wasn't there"
That's because someone went out the back door with it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London (195.153.219.170) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 07:07 am:

But, to the 'average' ear, many of the Philly tunes had a similar sound and only an expert could detect say, the clever Thom Bell arrangements from Normans stuff. The ingredients for me, for early 70's stuff, to detect if recorded in Philly, would be the bass drum on the 2 and 4 and hi hat just on the 1 and 4, and even the Sigma echo, I think I can detect that too! Strings in abundance and the guitar octave (Wes Montgomery?) and clever brass arrangements. I also detect deep within some songs use of woodwind (Catch me on the rebound). Now I have this new CD I can check out the arrangements on these. Am I right in saying that MFSB used more saxaphones, for example? A romantic love song would probably always have a harp? Armed/First Choice - great arrangement! If that is the kitchen sink, where is my monkey wrench? It is big and brassie and a superb track. I am sure Lyney de Paul and 'Thunderthighs' based 'Central Park arrest' on this tune!

Top of pageBottom of page   By My Opin (63.188.33.229) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 07:34 am:

Thom Bell arrangements are distinct and detectable after only a few notes. I can recognize them almost instantly. I have never confused a Norman Harris arrangement with one by Bell. And I'm not saying one or the other is better, just saying that Bell developed a style of arranging that is uniquely his own. He (Bell) gets more credit than he should, however, as THE arranger of the Philly Sound that honor should go to Bobby Martin.

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (195.219.7.3) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 08:07 am:

Bobby,
Did you ever get to work with the Brilliant Orlons in your time?
As well as spinng Top being a rare/northern soul classic years ago I love there other stuff,
especially Envy in my eyes.not me,watusi,but the one that really stomps along is I ain't coming back.
What a superb cut that is.Really pounds a.long.
Also I remember when the Great Doris Duke cut an album,but recorded one side in Muscle Shoals but another side with The Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and Richard Rome doing the honours.
The album was called A legend in her own time and she recorded on the Canyon Label(jerry williams).
Must just add what a great singer Len Barry is,love his Ill Always need you.
thanks bobby,
MEL.

Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (64.12.97.7) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 11:20 am:

Thank you Mr. Eli. Time and time again you have answered my questions and I greatly greatly appreciate this!! I hope you don't mind more quetions?! Thank you. Do you know of any Philly albums upcoming on CD? The last reissues that I bought were the first MFSB album that features "Freddies's Dead" and "Family Affair" and 360 Degrees by Billy Paul. I had the great pleasure of sending those CD's to Joe Tarsia because he was so nice to me when I met him earlier last year on my musical pilgrimage to Philadelphia. What was it like working with Billy Paul? Whatever became of Dexter Wansel? He wrote some beautiful songs.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Caleb (65.59.97.121) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 12:12 pm:

This is a hot thread!!Bobby,can you talk a little more about the "You Bring Out The Best In Me" record by Derek and Cyndi.That was a great record.I heard a whole album of quality material was recorded but never released.How did the single do and how come an album wasn't released?Thank you,Caleb

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.20.2) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 02:12 pm:

Who is the Derek in Derek & Cyndi?

Top of pageBottom of page   By b.soul (152.163.188.68) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 08:16 pm:

Mr. Eli. Do you know what has happened to one of my favorite groups, The Whispers. I know you played on a couple of their albums in the seventies. I heard recently that Nick Caldwell had triple bypass surgery, Leavil Degree had served some time for a felony, and one of the twins, Walter Scott went solo. What happened to a couple of the original members, Marcus Hutson, who left in 1990, and Gordy Harmon, who left in 1974. Why did they leave, and what have they been doing since leaving the group?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Caleb (209.245.116.64) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 09:20 pm:

DVD Mike,Derek and Cyndi were brother and sister,their father being a minister.Hopefully Bobby can tell us more about those recordings. Caleb

Top of pageBottom of page   By john c (12.81.203.28) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 10:40 pm:

Mr. Eli,

Whew! I thought I was crazy to think Thom Bell arrangements sounded heavily influenced Burt Bacharach. I guess my ears are OK. Thanks again for sharing your experience and knowledge.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Elino shoes (205.188.209.38) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 11:33 pm:

Mel,
TheOrlons were before my main session days.
Most of that stuff was the Cameo musicians who were Joe Renzetti and Dave Appell on guitars( I own the Twist amp)
Joe Macho on bass, Bobby regg on drums, Budy Savit on sax and pianos varied. Probably Walter Gates .
I was too young and soulful for those dates.
There were more D&S sides recorded but the Tommy label came and went just like Mariah's Crave did. Typical of CBS/Sony.
I forget who Derek was. They were not bro and sis and their pop was not not a minister. Cyndi's dad is Ira Tucker of the Dixie Hummingbirds. One thing for it was not Clapton!! I don't think it was his real name. It may have been Ted Wortham. I am not sure though.
As for the Whispers. No one knows for sure and they are not with a label at present. They were one of the most identifiable groups of the period and a pleasure to work with in the studio.
As for Billy Paul. I enjoyed the "Jazz" approach the G&H were trying to do and the wonderful musicians lkie Eddie Green on piano andbringing in Anthony Jackson on basalthough it was Ronnie B. on Me and Mrs Jones s well as all of us regular guys and Billy recorded his vocal live in the vocal booth at the back of the studio.
Incidently, on the intro to Ill always love my momma I had my Les Paul miked at the bridge(no amp) doing harmony with T.J. Tindal who was amped thru the "twist" amp which I later aquired.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London (195.153.219.170) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 03:24 am:

Bobby - The Invitations tracks on the 'Spirit' CD are just great. The lead singer has a fantastic voice - is he still around?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (64.12.97.7) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 05:10 am:

Carl,
The lead singer's name is Lew Kirton who had sveral solo singles released on various labels including Silver Blue. I am sure that he is still around in some capacity as he was very talented and great in the studio.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London (195.153.219.170) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 06:36 am:

Bobby

His voice should be exploited further - it is truly superb! The second Invitations track on the CD should be a number one. His and Teddy's voice are similar. Santa brought me The O'Jays greatest hits with the Neptune stuff on, The Detroit Spinners Atlantic hits as well. I have not listened to everything yet - I do not know where to start. The 'Spirit' CD is like hearing the Philly sound for the very first time.

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (65.208.234.61) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 07:19 am:

Bobby, do you remember the Dee Dee Sharp "Happy 'Bout The Whole Thing" sessions? Bobby Martin produced the album with a Chicago homie named Calvin Bridges who at the time was using the name James Mendell. I remember talking to him about the album years ago and he didn't seem to enjoy discussing the experience. Calvin went on to become Jerry Butler's musical director, did a lot of stuff with Curtom and eventually became an ordained minister and stopped doing secular music altogether. I was just wondering if you had any memory at that album at all.

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (195.219.7.8) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 09:59 am:

Cheers Bobby.

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.17.78) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 05:02 pm:

The first Stylistics LP credits the vocal overdubs with being recorded at Regent Sound Studios. Would that be the Regent Sound in New York?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London (62.31.40.155) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 05:03 pm:

Bobby - remind me, did you play on One Night Affair, and Deeper (in love with you)/The O'Jays? Was it Karl Chambers on drums? Nice to hear these in stereo on CD. My Neptune singles are not so good. This Sony compilation says Deeper, was 1973 - I don't think it was. I just love sleeve notes. They cannot even tell us when Looky Looky first came out, those naughty chaps at Sony!

Top of pageBottom of page   By John R. (64.12.97.7) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 08:21 pm:

Carl:

If I recall correctly, "Deeper" and "One Night Affair" were recorded in 1969.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Caleb (65.59.99.49) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 09:24 pm:

I guess the information on the 45 sleeve on the "You Bring Out The Best In Me" record was wrong.What happened to the album-no release on it?

Top of pageBottom of page   By StingBeeLee (68.43.129.202) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 11:22 pm:

Mr. Eli;
There is a years-old rumor that the Soul Survivors did not sing on "Expressway To Your Heart", but that the Vibrasions sang on the record and it was released under the Soul Surviviors name. Any info?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Weldon A. Mc Dougal III (68.80.164.254) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 11:59 pm:

the Soul Survivors did sing on "Expressway To My Heart", I know, because I promoted the record, and took the Soul Surviviors to record hops,here in philly, where is all this miss informasion coming from?
WELDON

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (65.208.234.61) on Friday, January 03, 2003 - 06:55 am:

The Soul Survivors released a decent album on the TSOP label in 1974. I have one of the tracks, "City Of Brotherly Love" on a French Philly Sound compilation. Be nice to see that issued on CD.

Top of pageBottom of page   By StingBeeLee (155.139.68.10) on Friday, January 03, 2003 - 02:35 pm:

Weldon; it was on a couple of oldies programs years ago and in a few books about soul music that possibly the Soul Survivors did not sing on the record, but instead it was the Vibrations. As I recall, one of the singers in the Vibrations stated they sang the record. I'll try to find the source.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Scratcher (65.134.147.165) on Friday, January 03, 2003 - 02:50 pm:

Neptune Records released a version of "Expressway To Your Heart" by the Vibrations in 1969, two years after the Soul Survivors' original. Gamble & Huff produced both versions. This is possibly where the confusion stems from. As for the Vibrations singing on the record by the Soul Survivors...it doesn't sound like them; but who knows, it's not like some producers didn't use voices on records other than the ones in the group before.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Weldon A. Mc Dougal III (68.80.164.254) on Friday, January 03, 2003 - 06:11 pm:

I do remember Gamble talking to Carl of the Vibrations, thats where the confusion came from,
Jerry Blavet was the Soul Survivors manager, he paid Gamble and Huff to produce them, thay did it first,I was at Motown in 69 I did'nt know what was going on here in Philly, but knowing Gamble and Huff thay would produce the same song on another group.
WELDON

Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (152.163.188.68) on Saturday, January 04, 2003 - 12:08 am:

Does anyone know whatever happened to the Three Degrees? The song "When Will I See You Again" had a beautiful arrangement by Bobby Martin. Also to Mr. Eli, can you tell me how many guitar players are on the song "Drowning In The Sea Of Love"? The guitar work is brillant on that song. I love the song that you wrote on the Wilson Pickett In Philadelphia album "Help The Needy".

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.10.68) on Saturday, January 04, 2003 - 08:41 am:

I bought an import CD of "Drowning In The Sea Of Love". It's one of my favorite non-Philly International Philly albums along with "Wilson Pickett In Philadelphia" and "Cowboys To Girls".

Top of pageBottom of page   By Keith herschell - London (213.122.130.53) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 11:47 am:

Hi Bobby

Listening to a home made tape in the car, a favourite track from the mid 70s came on called “I wouldn’t give you up” by Ecstasy Passion and Pain, and I was reminded of what a good voice the singer had. I believe she was Barbara Gaskins. Were you involved with that session, and do you know where she is now. I think she also recorded as Barbara & Brenda in the 60s for Dynamo or Musicor. Another favourite is “ Call the FBI, my baby’s missing” by Gene Faith. I believe the US label was Virtue. Were you on that session. It is not a typical Philly sound, having more of a raw R&B feel to it. Wasn’t he was formerly with the Volcanos. Do you know where he is now. On a previous answer you mentioned Cindy Scott. She did a couple of records that were very big on the Northern scene. “In your spare time” and “I love you baby”. I think they were on the Veep label. Do you know of these.
Regards
Keith

Top of pageBottom of page   By Common (209.2.55.146) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 11:52 am:

Hello everyone,

Keith: Thanks for mentioning Ecstasy, Passion & Pain(I love this group's name!). I've heard some of their songs, but don't know what the group members look like or if they are still performing. I'm as curious as you are about them. My favorite songs by them "One Beautiful Day", "Ask Me" & "Touch & Go".

Peace!

Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (64.12.97.7) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 02:16 pm:

Mr.Eli what were the Dick Jensen sessions like? I recently found a copy of the album he did in Philly. To find a new Philly discovery is great. The song "32nd Street" written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed is haunting (Great Bell arrangement). Also the Gamble and Huff songs; "A Penny For Your Thoughts", "Three Cheers To Love", and "New York City Is A Lonely Town"(Great Norman Harris arrangement) are cold! Do you know if Gamble and Huff cut any tracks with Barbara Streisand? And did Thom Bell cut any tracks with Lulu or the Bee Gees?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Nish (170.224.224.134) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 02:33 pm:

Sheila Ferguson is in London, I believe, doing solo work and acting. The three degrees today are Helen Scott, Cynthia Garrison, and Valerie last-name-escapes-me-now. I met them at the Rhythm, Love and Soul show, and saw them perform "When Will I See You Again." They still harmonize wonderfully.

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.20.211) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 04:28 pm:

Nish, Valerie's last name is Holiday. Several years ago, I saw Sheila Ferguson on an episode of Desmond's as the girlfriend of Desmond's older son.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Nish (66.119.34.39) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 10:57 pm:

Yes, thanks DVDMike! And if I didn't say welcome sometime before, now's not too late, I hope! :-)

What is Desmond, a show in England?

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.12.190) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 11:02 pm:

Desmond's was a TV sitcom, taped in London about a West Indian family. BET showed reruns of the show in the early-to-mid nineties.

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (195.219.7.36) on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 03:26 am:

Regards all the Soul Survivors talk,
Weldon is the man,
as far as I have known about the Expressway to your heart track,it was done by the afore mentioned also by The Vibrations on Neptune and also another version done by Margo Thunder on Haven Records?(not certain on the Label).
Didnt the S/Survivors also record on these labels,
MB Records in New York around 1966.
Crimson Records in Philly between 1966/68.
Then on to Muscle Shoals,and around 1974 back to the Sigma studios in Philly.
Also an album for Atco if my memory is right.The Crimson Album and also an album on TSOP.
Bobby/Weldon.
Do you recall anything regards the following by any chance?
The Companions on General American Records and a 45 called Be yourself.An all male group.
An all girl group known as Tax Free
that recorded a track on the Foxcar Label out of philly titled Love is Gone.A George Tindley production.
A Label that Billy Harner was on called Melomega.
And a last one if you can bear it,
I have an inst. called Choppin'Around by Jimmy Wisner,And I know about the input Wisner had with the great Action speaks louder than words and the superb Rags to Riches on the other side etc,
Whats Jimmy Wisner up to these days?
Well guys,sorry to ramble on and on.
Any info whatever would be fully appreciative.
MEL.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Scratcher (63.188.32.168) on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 07:30 am:

I'd forgot about the television show Desmond. I use to watch it on BET all the time, thought it was quite funny and somewhat of an insight of black family life in England. If I remember correctly Desmond was a barber. I wish I would have taped some of the shows.

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.7.155) on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 09:21 am:

Guyana born Norman Beaton starred as Desmond, a middle class barber who lived in London with his wife and two sons, one a teenager and the other, a banker. Beaton, who was known as the "Jamaican Bill Cosby", ironically did a guest appearance on "The Cosby Show" in 1991.

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.17.112) on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 04:39 pm:

Bobby, would you know who produced "I Really Love You" by Dee Dee Sharp and who was the arranger? Did they cut that record at Virtue or Cameo-Parkway?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Chancellor of Soul (66.207.40.18) on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 05:11 pm:

Hi Bobby,
I don't know if you remember me but I met you
at Felix Hernandez's Rhythm Revue Dance, through
a good buddy of mine named Steve Nicholas. I'm
Mike Boone. Just wanted to give you a shout out
and see how you were doing these days. The last
time I saw you was 5 years ago, when Felix had
his 12th Anniversary at the Museum of Television
& Radio in Dec of 1998. If you're interested,
you can pictures of yourself appearing there at
my web site called, www.chancellorofsoul.com
Hope things are well with you and I hope to speak
to you soon.

Take care,
(Chancellor of Soul)
Mike Boone

Top of pageBottom of page   By Nancy (24.101.72.243) on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 09:20 pm:

Hey Bobby:
I heard from a mutual friend that you have been to sitsom twice, I have been 9 times

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.20.176) on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 10:20 pm:

Bobby, do you know at what studio The Stylistics recorded "You're A Big Girl, Now"? And for the first Stylistics' album, were the vocals cut in NYC? The liner notes say the vocals were recorded at Regent Sound Studios, and there was no such studio in Philly.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.5.157) on Saturday, January 18, 2003 - 04:43 pm:

Nancy,
Who is that mutual friend, I ask??
And Mike, as far as the Stylistics go, "Big Girl" was recorded at Virtue.
There was a subsequent album produced by Morris Bailey also done at Virtue which I played on as well as DARYL HALL on piano before his climb to the top.

Regent Sound was in fact the old Cameo/Parkway studio which was purchased by Bob Lifton who owned Regent in NYC where all of the old George Goldner stuff was done . It was noted for their echo chamber.)listen to I only have eyes for you and Tears on my pillow for an example)
After Bob died the building was aqired by Philly International and the rest in history.
The Virtue album was never released and I was trying to get it for Phily Archives but Amherst has it but not for release.
It was kinda crapy but authentic with the "real" Stylistics singing on it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Scratcher (65.133.219.227) on Saturday, January 18, 2003 - 04:47 pm:

Bobby, I hear the unreleased Stylistics' album--which should have been their debut LP--depicted them standing in front of their high school in Philly, is this correct?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Nancy (24.101.72.243) on Saturday, January 18, 2003 - 05:22 pm:

HEY BOBBY: WELDON IS THE MUTUAL FRIEND,

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.10.236) on Saturday, January 18, 2003 - 05:51 pm:

The "real" Stylistics"? Then who were the fakes? I'm sure Thom Bell was one of them and probably Carl Helm as well. I'm not mad at 'em, though, those were some monster albums. Hey, I also heard from an inside source that Harold & Teddy were the only Blue Notes on their records and that Gamble & Huff and sometimes McFadden & Whitehead would provide the other voices.

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.10.236) on Saturday, January 18, 2003 - 05:55 pm:

So there was a Regent Sound in Philly?

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (195.219.7.18) on Wednesday, February 05, 2003 - 05:10 pm:

Hey Bobby,
can you help me out,
Do you know who Mike and Ike were that recorded Sax on the tracks for Arctic records.
Rumour was it was Mike Terry?
if so who's Ike?
many thanks
mel.

Top of pageBottom of page   By 1wicked (64.32.154.94) on Wednesday, February 05, 2003 - 07:40 pm:

Eli....on the Al Green thread you mentioned that a couple of guys from Pockets were good friends of yours. What happened with them ?? I really expected big things from them for a long run....not just 2 LP's. Not being in the know, I chalked it up to Verdine, Maurice etc. backing away from outside production....even though Verdine is said to have *discovered* them. They were a great "live" band and "Elusive Lady" and "Posado" rank among my favorite songs.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.38.47) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 12:28 am:

Twicked,

Back around 1981 Maurice White rang me up and asked me to produce Pockets for ARC due to my work with Atlantic Starr. Then Verdine rang me up and said that he wil exec it.
I went to Baltimore where they live and I started to go over tunes with them. We decided on twelve good ones and then I booked time at Sigma to do the project. Soon thereafter Bob cavallo caled to say that they were dropping the group.
So I went ahead with the session anyway and did the whole album. It never was picked up by a label although it was quite good.
The good thing was that Charles and Eban became good friends and wrote some good songs for my projects at the time including Heart to Heart for Ronnie dyson.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.38.47) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 12:36 am:

Me, Mike Terry did in fact do some arrangements for Jimmy Bishop. I do not know who Ike was.

Dvd, When I the real Stylistics were the ones who performed live but their harmony was dreadful therefore Thom had to use studio singers much to their dismay. The sessions included Carl Helm, Phil Hurtt, Ron Tyson and/ or Bunny Sigler and the Sweeties. Incidentally, Bunny wwill be here at my studio friday evening for a session.
He goes to Italy in September to do Othello!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (65.208.234.61) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 06:58 am:

Wow! Bunny Sigler aka Bundino Sigalucci as Othello? Speaking of Pockets, Tom Tom did horns & strings on all of their Columbia LPs. Thom Bell orchestrated their version of "La La Means I Love You". I didn't like the way they sang it, but I liked Thom's chart.

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (195.219.7.32) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 08:34 am:

Thanks Bobby.
mel.

Top of pageBottom of page   By yoyoshep (152.163.213.54) on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 03:16 pm:

Mr. Eli what are latest projects? Would love to hear some new matarial by you on the radio!

Top of pageBottom of page   By fayette (205.188.209.38) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 07:38 pm:

mr eli are you presently working with a artist.
i would like to hear more of your songs. and
in this day and age, what group of singers
would catch your eye as far as writing songs
for them.what is your favorite entertainer now?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Yan (80.194.105.141) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 07:58 pm:

Wow. This thread is great reading.

Concerning Philly and the arranging styles of Bobby Martin and Thom Bell; does anyone eles remember and love that track by Odds And Ends called "Let Me Try"?? (Today, 1970) I mention it not just because it's a fantastic side and philly at it's best; but also 'cos it's the only record I have which is both arranged AND produced by BOTH Bobby Martin and Thom Bell. How did that work?? It must have been hard having two such distictive arrangers working together on one record. As I never saw a dual arrangment credit for Martin/Bell after the Odds N Ends stuff; I am guessing they came to the conclusion that they were better working apart.

However "Let Me Try" is musically perfect, so something must have gone right!!

Does anyone (Bobby?) know who played on this session??

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 08:32 pm:

Yan:
The Odds & Ends sessions weren't the first time Thom & Bobby worked together.
They produced & arranged "In A Moment" by the Intrigues in 1969 on the Yew label (#10 R&B, #31 Pop - Billboard).
From what I gather from the interview Brian Chin did with Thom Bell for the Sony Music boxed set "The Philly Sound", Thom & Bobby worked together fine and respected each other's talents.
Maybe Mr. Eli can shine some light on the subject.
By the way, you're right about the Martin/Bell combination for "Let Me Try" - it's a great sounding arrangement/production.
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (63.188.33.176) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 08:46 pm:

KevGo, I heard different about Bell and Martin getting along fine. Quite different. Martin was the top arranger at Philly International yet Bell gets all the credit. Both live in Washinton State and not that far from each other but the two never speak or visit or are even aware the other is living in the vicinity. There are no ties. The Odds & End sessions ended their working together permanently.

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.21.224) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 09:47 pm:

Bobby Martin said that when he and Thom Bell worked together, they would flip a coin to decide who would do the horns & strings.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Yan (80.194.105.141) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 10:05 pm:

Hey-

...heres a link to the allmusic bio on Odds & Ends; it does seem to hint at differences between Bell and Martin. It's also just good reading if you love "Let Me Try" and the band. (do you all know "Talk That Talk"?? Sequel featured all the Odd & Ends stuff in one of their Batle Of The Bands CDs)

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=10:02:25|PM&sql=Bi098s36la3pg~C

...that looks awfully complicated. Hope it works.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Yan (80.194.105.141) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 10:19 pm:

Okay: It doesn't. Heres the bio- the writer is Andrew Hamilton (good job, Andrew!), and I've posted the link to the general allmusic site; so it should be o.k to post the whole thing here-

ODDS AND ENDS

A family affair consisting of siblings Wanda (December 29, 1952) and Larry Butler (January 31, 1951), and Jim Grant (August 26, 1955); Grant had a different father but the same mother. Originally from Dorchester, GA, the youngsters sang in school and church before moving to Philadelphia when Wanda, aka Doll, was 13.
Philly's fast-talking disc jockeys Sonny "the Mighty Burner" Hobson and Jerry "the Geater with the Heater" Blavatt fascinated the Southern teens. Naturally talented, they formed Doll and the Odds & Ends and worked up some secular songs. Mom's (Regina Grant) basement doubled as a rehearsal room for her kids. Doll and Larry did a Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell takeoff, but Mom wanted Jim involved and they acquiesced. Jim didn't like singing — he hated it. Larry had to pay his younger brother to rehearse, but he did enjoy dancing and busting moves while Doll and Larry performed. Jim's only solos through Odds & Ends' existence were Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" and Edwin Starr's "Twenty Five Miles." Mrs. Grant encouraged them to sing together because she sang gospel with her siblings and cousins in Georgia but never got anywhere.

They rehearsed diligently and were accompanied in Mom's basement by Kenneth Jackson (guitar), Tyrone Braxton (piano), Kenny Stone (xylophone), and a drummer. These musicians were history, however, when the trio started recording. Robert Hawes assumed the managerial duties after observing them perform at family gigs, such as cookouts and weddings.

Hawes got the ears of Bobby Martin and Thom Bell; an audition followed, and soon the group signed with Today Records as Odds & Ends. The first release, "Let Me Try" (August 1970) — produced by Bobby Martin — was an irresistible beat ballad that sold well in Philly, Jersey, and New York, but never broke nationally; Doll sang lead in a totally engaging style that defied her age. Many believed Odds & Ends was a female group because Larry and Jim sang extremely high; the flip side "Foot Track" was a frantic, up-tempo number.

At their first recording session Doll was pregnant with her first son, Keith, which didn't set well with her producers or recording company. By the age of 18, Doll was married, with a kid. If this wasn't enough, Bell and Martin, both arrangers, began quibbling over arrangements and productions. Their next single, "Love Makes the World Go 'Round" (January 1971), was a creamy floater produced by Thom Bell that rivaled Deon Jackson's original. It was their biggest recording but they don't think so because their bookings didn't increase. They did see an improvement with their third single, "Who Could Doubt My Love," a slight rip of Holland-Dozier-Holland's "Who Could Ever Doubt My Love" b/w "Foot Track"; Bell's writing partner, Linda Creed, joined on backing vocals. It was the last time Bell worked with them. The increase in live work was a carryover from the impact "Love Makes the World Go Round" made on the charts. Terry Philips produced "Give Me Something" b/w "Who Could Doubt My Love" in December of 1971. But Bell left, and Martin soon followed, killing a proposed album. The final Odds & Ends single "Talk That Talk" b/w a remake of Jay & the Techniques' "Apple Peaches Pumpkin Pie" — both written by Maurice Irby and produced by Patrick Adams — should have been a two-sided hit, but languished in obscurity despite outstanding vocals by Doll.

After five singles Odds & Ends was history. Jim never sang again. According to Doll, "BMI sent Jim a big royalty performance check, but didn't send me or Larry one." They later discovered the check was intended for James Grant, a Philly songwriter who wrote "Stop to Start" (Blue Magic) and "La La at the End" (Little Anthony & the Imperials).

Explaining the songwriting collaboration with her brothers, Doll says "Larry would doodle some lyrics, I smoothed them out and if the song was a ballad I added a verse; Larry finished the melody, and Jim added background parts." A younger brother, Michael, also got pushed by Mom but suffered from incurable stage fright.

Near the end of the '70s they formed Unity which consisted of Doll, Larry, and Mark King; the trio recorded for United Artists Records. Perception/Today kept the name Odds & Ends, hence the change. The same three also recorded as Three Million on Cotillion Records, changing names again when the label claimed ownership of Unity. Larry left music around 1991 after failing to get the Butlers, a gospel group consisting of him, Doll, and their Mom, Regina, off the ground after recording nearly an album's worth of material; Jim owns a hauling business; Doll, whose married name is Wanda Maultasby, has been inactive since 1994 when her third manager, Reggie Wilder, died — Wilder was pushing her as a solo act, something she regretted not doing years before. — Andrew Hamilton

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (63.188.33.176) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 10:22 pm:

Most of these people you have questions about are pretty accessible all it takes is a little research. Bobby Martin use to be accessble by telephone until some UK magazine printed that he had passed and ticked him off. He's a devout Jehovah Witness now and don't care to talk about his music days but will if in the right mood, or use to anyway.

The Bell/Martin relationship went up in flames during the Odds & End sessions--too many arrangers spoils the soup. One of them even tried to get the group involved in their differences.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.5.43) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 10:53 pm:

Let ME set the record straight!!
I dont know where you guys get your info from.
There was no such "feud". It just is not a Philly Thing as we did and still do all have the utmost respect for one another.
We all took pride in learning from each others
distinct arranging and producing skills and "playa hatin'" was not on our agenda, respect and much love was was.

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (63.188.33.176) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 10:57 pm:

No feud Eli, they just never worked together after the Odds & Ends sessions. I got my info from Bobby Martin and Larry & Wanda Butler. Maybe you should talk to Wanda Butler-Maultasby or Larry--they were there: at the sessions.

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (63.188.33.176) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 01:13 am:

It was creative differences, Eli. Both are too gentlemanly to let it get ugly, but you must admit they are totally different type arrangers. Odds & Ends preferred Martin and this may have ignited the spat. O&E liked uptempo tunes and wanted to record the songs they wrote, and Bobby let them; though they did like "Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie." They share a CD with Black Ivory that features both groups' Perception/Today recordings.

Top of pageBottom of page   By JSmith (212.39.231.20) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 07:25 am:

Bobby,
You asked about the origins of the Philly Groove Orchestra CD available in the UK at present.

The CD is titled 'Face The Future' and is on the ABM label. ABM are Audio Book & Music Co (a Hallmark label). The CD was made in Czech Rep. &
contains 14 tracks....it states the tracks were licensed from ODS Media Germany in 2001.

ABM / Hallmark are a very legit UK based outfit but who ODS Media are and how they acquired the rights to Stan Watson's back catalogue, I do not know.

I asked before but you were too busy to answer... do you know anything about an outfit who recorded for WMOT in 1980. They are the Thompson Brothers & cut the much in-demand "You Brought Love Into My Life" (song written by T Wellington, R.Meltzer & D Morris Jnr). This seems to be a very rare WMOT 7", why this should be so I don't know (were WMOT in difficulties at the time?)

Top of pageBottom of page   By fayette (152.163.195.199) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 11:36 am:

mr eli

relax you know yourself better than anybody else.
if you know there were no playa hatin then AMEN.
you were there and you should know

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.41.123) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 01:06 pm:

JS, I am not familiar with the Thompson Bros record although the D. Morris is David Morris who had some local releases and most noted for
Midnight Lady/Jack in the Box on Buddah which I produced and he is also the lead voice on the Brothers Guiding Light recording of Get Yourself Together on Mercury which were essentially David and the Dreamlovers.
When I see Alan Rubens I will ask about the Thompson Bross record and post it here.

Also to all of those who claim to be "in the know"
regarding the various goings on within the Philly music infrastructure, and you know who you are,
get your facts right before you post them here.
Remember, I was there from the very beginning WAY BEFORE the birth of the Philly sound as we have come to know it and ALL of its architects were close friends of mine before and during its creation and EVERY step of the way and then some
so bearing that in mind, I do know what I am talking about here and it can be etched in stone!

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (195.219.7.79) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 01:26 pm:

Bobby,
do you know how Weldon's project is going along regards his set up with the uk Grapevine Label.Have things started to roll yet?
If your with Bobby,Weldon,any chance of an update please.
And if you dont think I am being nosey,What are you busy with at the moment?

Hope you dont mind Bobby.
Also quite a while ago,I asked about Lee Garrett and if memory serves me right,I got a reply from your good lady Vonnie.
Is Lee still cutting tracks today?
Still love his 'I cant break this habit' on Harthon.

Many thanks,
mel.

Top of pageBottom of page   By drums (63.242.208.176) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 01:29 pm:

Hey Bobby Eli!!

Daren Metz jus checkin in to see how you are doing!! I hope everything is okay!!!

Tell miss Vonnie and the family I said hello!

Daren

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.41.123) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 02:16 pm:

Mel,
There is a wonderful Bunny Sigler album shipping soon. I heard a preview and it is the bomb!!
Lee Garrett lives in Oregon.
When he comes east he always comes to visit us.
In fact he did his best Curtis Mayfield on a rap track I produced called Pimps and Hustlers for the female rapper Dutchess.
I do get into Rap too as long as its contents are palatable.

DVD Mike, it was great talking to you the other night. you sure do know your stuff!!!!

Hi Daren!!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By drums (63.242.208.176) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 02:37 pm:

Hey Bobby!!!

If you hear from Paulie 3 shoes, tell him I said Hows ya doin!!!

Daren

Top of pageBottom of page   By paulie3shoes (151.197.41.123) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 02:52 pm:

Hey Daren, its paulie(over here)
t'anks fer tinkin of me kid and givin me da respect dat i desoiv.
Its hard bein da kinda guy dat i am an we dont get no respect fer what we do, capice??
foist of all wen ya read da t'reads dat i post on ya gotta put yerself in karacter.foist ya gotta hold yer arms and hands out as if saying whats it to ya?? and ya gotta have akwiz..kwiz s**t i cant pernounce it..kwizical look on yer face like saying huh!! an kinda flail yer arms around an s**t and den ya can get da propper feel of da t'ing..go head you try it...

Top of pageBottom of page   By drums (63.242.208.176) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 02:58 pm:

OK Imma try dis here Eye-talian thing here..

Gimme one a dose spinach lingini tings dere wit sum a dat chitlin ziti and ( oh forget it :))

Iluv Dat guy!! Capice
Daren "8 Feets"Metz

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (195.219.7.79) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 04:45 pm:

Cheers Bobby,
great to hear about Lee Garrett,
and the Bunny Sigler stuff.
I was only looking at a copy of 'I cant break the habit'and gave it a spin again.Still does it for me,as do all the Harthon material I have.
mel.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 04:56 pm:

Dear RD:
There was a reason why I said in my post regarding Martin & Bell that Bobby Eli may want to give his input. Being one of Philly's top (if not THE top)session guitarists, songwriters, producers and someone who grew up with these guys, he would know whether Martin & Bell worked well together or not.

As far as "Thom Bell getting all the credit.." for the arranging, granted Thom may have been a "household name" due to his rather active schedule, there's no way on God's green earth that he got all the credit for Philly soul arranging. Bobby & Thom each had a distinct style and the credits on the albums made sure that the right arranger was credited for the right tune.

I'm sure the Butlers had witnessed moments of disagreement between Thom & Bobby. What great teams DO agree all the time? For example (this anecdote is from the JERRY BUTLER - ICEMAN Anthology on Mercury), guitarist Billy Butler started playing chords based on "Jingle Bells" for "Never Gonna Give You Up". Leon Huff tells him "don't play that, man" but Kenny Gamble says "no - do play that, it's okay". Guess who Billy listened to?

Finally, bear in mind that nowadays Bobby Martin may look at things a bit differently because he's older, wiser & more aware of the contributions he made - which may also lead to moments of bitterness. Even Bobby Eli mentioned on several occaisions here on S.D. about how Bobby feels ripped off because it was his arrangements that made Gamble & Huff money and he only saw his fee (should there be royalty payments for arrangers? Think about it).

While your input is indeed valuable & of interest, if Bobby Eli said "I was there" I would be foolish to doubt his word.

Regards,
Kevin Goins - KevGo

(PS - Go back to my thread mentioning Brian Chin's interview with Thom Bell. He got it from the "horse's mouth" about the relationship with Martin, which DVDMike explained in his thread as to how they divided up their assignments).

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (63.188.32.232) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 05:54 pm:

KevGo, If you notice I rarely pose questions on this forum. If I want to know something I go to the source. I contact the person and talk to them. I rarely deal in secondhand information. I've talked for hours with Bobby Martin, Larry Butler and Wanda Butler-Maultasby. Larry and Wanda were members of Odds & Ends along with their little brother James Grant.

I don't think both Larry and Wanda in separate conversations would lie to me about the tension at rehearsals and in the studio between Mr. Martin and Mr. Bell, or what one of the parties said to them about the other.

I explained in a previous post that Odds & Ends wanted to only record the songs that they wrote. They really wanted to produced themselves, instead two producers were assigned to them. Bobby Martin allowed them more freedom to record their own material. They didn't like doing "Love Makes the World Go Round" at all. It had been a hit by Deon Jackson and they just flat out didn't like the song, and still don't.

Now hindsight says if they had been more comfy with Thom Bell and what Wanda described as "his different style" they might have been more successful. But they wanted to do their own thing. Wanda and Larry with another guy formed another group called Unity. They recorded for a major label but had no success. They then form Three Million and had a record that was big in New York and Philly and nowhere else.

Other people were there also, Kevgo. And even people who were there are speaking from their own perspective. If you talk to different members of a group you'll get different perspectives of how things went and they all were THERE.

Nobody said Bobby Martin and Thom Bell had a knock down dragged out fight or were the principals in shouting matches. I simply said they had created differences about how to best present Odds & Ends who were a young teenage group group at the time, with the younger brother not even quite a teen.

Yes Bobby is bitter. He wish he had been more aggressive in getting pieces of songs via publishing that he arranged and produced for groups like the Manhattans. If you check his B.M.I. copyrights you won't find many blockbusters. A publishing venture with Luther Dixon (Mardix) did little because Dixon never became a part of the venture. He's bitter about the song "The Horse" he feels he should have received songwriting credit and a piece of the publishing for that one. All he got was the arrangement fee.

Bobby Martin never signed an exclusive deal with Philly Int'l so he was free to freelance on other projects. Yet, he still did the bulk of the arrangments of the significant recordings during the label's glory years.

Some people who participate on this forum aren't selling anything, promoting websites, or are on any ego trips. We simply want the history told correctly and not revised to fit personal agendas.

One last point. Never take anything anybody says verbatim. If you have doubts check it out yourself, like I do. For years everybody thought David Ruffin was born in Meridian, MS cause that's what he told everybody; find out he was born in Whynot, MS.

You can contact these people as I did and get the accounts yourself. They're not in the witness protection program so you should be able to find them.

Top of pageBottom of page   By fayette (205.188.209.38) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 06:46 pm:

mr eli.

you ever thought of writing a book on your
experiences in the recording industry???????

now that's a thought

Top of pageBottom of page   By 1wicked (64.32.154.94) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 06:59 pm:

Eli...you mentioned Ron Kersey earlier. How is he ? Rumor has it that he's quite ill here in Los Angeles. I had the pleasure of meeting him several years ago @ my sister's home.....but I almost tripped over him because I was staring at his absolutely, positively, beautiful date, session singer Alexandra "a Lady named Alex" Brown.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 07:22 pm:

RD:
Your last comment regarding these folks not being in witness protection was unnecessary & unwarranted.

Second of all, I never take anyone's word verbatim unless they have proven reliable such as Bobby Eli. He was there for hundreds of sessions for decades in Philadelphia as well as several productions here in NYC, Los Angeles and other cities. Your condensending comment I find asinine.

I also do listen to many sources which is why I write liner notes(check out my other posts) and have spoken to others regarding Philly's musical history from Dick Clark & Jerry Ross to Felix Hernandez & Bobby Eli. Also, I use written documentation for my research that is first hand.

If anything, you failed to read my comment regarding the Butlers. To refresh your memory, here it is:
"I'm sure the Butlers had witnessed moments of disagreement between Thom & Bobby."
There I've acknowledged the fact that Thom & Bobby had differences when it came to producing Odds & Ends. I didn't go into detail because it wasn't warranted (you handled that quite nicely).
I also acknowledged the Butlers' account in a consise manner.

Also, I never said that Bobby & Thom had a knock-down-dragged-out whatever. If you go back to my passage using the Gamble-Huff-Jerry Butler anecdote, I was showing how civil two men could be in the studio and still disagree. These were the same two men who used Martin & Bell on those Jerry Butler sessions.

All I'm saying is that Bobby has proven time & time again that his knowledge is keen being that he was there for more than the ride. In fact the point you brought up regarding Martin's bitterness over "The Horse" was mentioned many, many posts ago by - guess who - the man who was there, Mr. Eli.

I tried to respect you in your posting without being condensending or high on a horse. Please show me the same.

Regards,
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.40.240) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 11:28 pm:

Hi Kev,
Thanks for reaffirming the real facts. I truly respect you for your knowledge on what really is the real deal.
Give me a call when you get a chance.

RD, James (Little Jim)Grant has been a CLOSE friend of mine for over forty years.
In fact because of me he plays the bass as he is formerly a guitarist and when my group needed a bass player he "converted"
He is the writer of Stop to Start as well as others.

He had no older siblings named Butler. I gave him a call today to verify this.
If he were their younger brother then the Odds and Ends would be in their seventies by now.
Get your facts straight!!

Twicked.. Ron Kersey lives in the Philly area with his mom and sister Toni who is a graphic artist.
He had as massive stroke some years ago and is nearly blind.
Ron was one of the most soulful and funkiest keyboardists ever to grace our studios.
He was the first to play the Clavinet and was a master of the Fender Rhodes as well.

So many of our dear brothers from the original MFSB and associated lineup have passed or are very ill and it is so frightening to think about it.
When everyone was still with us their was a magic in the music that eminated from 212 n. 12th. street that cannot and will never be duplicated.

Top of pageBottom of page   By givethedrummersome (152.163.201.184) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 12:07 am:

Hey Bobby
I was not in the studios when a lot of the creative magic was happening in Philly, however I was in Philly and I was at WDAS a lot when Carl was on the air pumping the philly sound. We have never met but as far as I am concerned, you have no reason to justify to anybody your experience, knowledge and expertise when it comes to TSOP. I want to be on the list to be able to review any new music that you are creating.

Oh yeah, Weldon don't forget, our house in Ardmore was the recipient of many 45's with the Weldon Mcdougal label on them. It would be my pleasure to review any new tunes that you are working on as well.

By the way, I have no problem signing a NDA agreement with either of you.

Lonnie Wilson

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.40.240) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 01:02 am:

Thanks Lonnie ..I am looking forward to hearing from you. My e mail is phillysoulman.mfsb@verizon.net

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (63.188.33.104) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 07:45 am:

Bobby, the James Grant who wrote "Start to Stop" and the James Grant who sang with Odds & Ends and is the younger brother of Larry and Wanda Butler (they have different fathers) are two different people.

If you had read a previous post correctly you would have discovered that I said that B.M.I. got the two James Grants from Philly mixed up by sending the Odds & Ends James Grant a performance check that was meant for the James Grant that you know.

If you check the B.M.I. site you'll see the James Grant you know and the Odds & Ends' James Grant songs listed separately as they should be. The Odds & Ends James Grant songs always feature the names of his siblings Larry and Wanda Butler. The James Grant I'm talking about musical career began and ended with Odds & Ends.

I know some of the same Philly musicians and songwriters that you know, even people who interned at Philly Int'l when you and other musicians would meet in Bunny Sigler's office prior to recording sessions to get the songs in the pocket as Bunny would say and some of their accounts differ from yours. But as I said people bring their own perspective to things.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Yan (80.194.105.141) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 07:50 am:

Bobby- you're talking about a different Jim/James Grant. There was definetly a James Grant in Odds & Ends and he was definetly the younger (half) brother of Wanda and Larry Butler- thats who RD was talking about. It's a mistake anyone could make; infact it was made back then by BMI! This is from the music bio of Odds & Ends I posted above-

"After five singles Odds & Ends was history. Jim never sang again. According to Doll, "BMI sent Jim a big royalty performance check, but didn't send me or Larry one." They later discovered the check was intended for James Grant, a Philly songwriter who wrote "Stop to Start" (Blue Magic) and "La La at the End" (Little Anthony & the Imperials)."

While you're here; could I ask ya (and anyone else who knows their stuff who's here) about The Courtship sessions for Tamla?? I'm thinking specifically about "It's The Same Old Love" on Tamla, and "Love Aint Love" which came out on Glades after Tamla didn't release it. These are two of my very (very) favourite Philly-style sweet soul tracks- especially "Same Old Love".

So- were they cut in Philly?? I know the Courtship came to Motown via Jerry Ross; also that Thom Bell did the mind-blowing arrangment on "Same Old Love" (absolutley amazing; very complex/sophsticated). But the stuff was written and (it says on the label)produced by Gary Knight and Gene Allan; who I think were New York based. (brill building type songwriters; Knight worked closely with Bob Crewe for some time) Also who played on those sides....yourself, maybe? I'd really, really love to know. Whoever played sax on that incredible break desrves a knighthood- as do the entire session!

Oh, if anyone knows anything about the group themselves please tell me; I have a picture of them at the piano downloaded from some Japanese web-site I'd dearly like to be able to read; that's as far as my "Knowledge" of the group go!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Yan (80.194.105.141) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 08:03 am:

Damn. Took too long writing my post and RD gets in there before I'm finished! Sorry Bobby, as it would like you were being ganged up on! Well the questions about The Coursthip still stand!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (195.219.7.104) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 08:09 am:

Yan,
I have Bob Crewes full history in a old mag,
Which may be of relevence,but dont hold your breath mate,as it is not in its proper order.
Havent read them for ages,but also have relevent mags etc regards a few of what you are talking about.
Some nice early editions all about Little Anthony/Duponts/and all there life history.
Must dig them out.
mel.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Yan (80.194.105.141) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 08:13 am:

Mel- The Bob Crewe history: It would be fantastic if you could find it and post some of it here. Believe me I'm sure there are a lot of big fans of his work here who would be eternally grateful to ya.

No pressure!

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (63.188.33.104) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 08:15 am:

Agreed Kevgo. My main point in that post was that too many people (not neccessarily you) are intellectually lazy and settled for secondhand information when with a little effort they can find out the info themselves from the sources.

If you trying to find out about a group it's always best to talk to more than one member as each will speak from their own references. Is there any question that if Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, or Paul Williams had wrote a book about the Temptations that if would have differed from Otis Williams' book?

Subjects of interviews tend to tell you what they think you want to hear if you don't press them for more details or ask hard questions. If you patronize and suck up to them you usually get a patronized and worthless interview.

Intellectual laziness is why a mag printed that Bobby Martin had passed, and another incident that was discussed on this site. There is really no excuse for sloppy journalism though I can understand daily newspapers' errors because of the time factor. But a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly magazine? They have the time to check things out.

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (63.188.33.104) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 08:19 am:

Sorry about that Yan, I wouldn't have answered if I had saw your post first.

Top of pageBottom of page   By district attorney (195.219.7.37) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 08:27 am:

There you go then intellectual laziness of the highest order.Practice what you preach sir.
regards to you
judge roy bean.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Yan (80.194.105.141) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 08:35 am:

RD- no need to apologise as you did post first!

Mel- what are the mags you are talking about?? Old U.K soul fanzines or U.S trade magazines or what? I'd love to know.

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle (81.135.51.13) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 09:17 am:

RD is Andrew Hamilton.

Andrew always goes to the source for his info!

Check out his contribution on the All-Music Guide for the Debonaires.

Then check out the real story on our Golden World webisode.

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle (81.135.51.13) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 09:24 am:

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=9:24:54|AM&sql=Bfypzefuk7gf2~C

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle (81.135.51.13) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 09:48 am:

Other corrections required in that story :-

Freddie Gorman was not one of the Hamilton Brothers.

Andrew also said that by August 1965 Golden World was "cold as a deep freezer" and that "Ric-Tic was doing much better with tunes by Edwin Starr, the Fantastic 4, JJ Barnes and the Detroit Emeralds."

Facts are, JJ'S first record was October 65, F4 was December 66, Detroit Emeralds was March 68.

He also calls Joanne Bratton, JoAnne Britton.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.39.187) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 11:32 am:

RD...Thanks for the correction on James Grant.
Who do you personally know from Philly??

Yan... Gene Allen and Gary Knight were two New York writer/ producers who came to record with us from time to time mostly from 1972-1974.
Beside the Courtship who I believe were New Yorkers they produced J. Kelly and the Premiers
and some lesser known records which I do not remember at this time.
The original MFSB ers played on those sessions.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Yan (80.194.105.141) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 12:40 pm:

Bobby- thanks for the info; next time you see any of the MFSB crew thank them for me for "It's The Same Old Love"!

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle (62.252.128.6) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 12:48 pm:

This is Bobby Eli Friday last
1

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.39.187) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 01:06 pm:

Holy cow!! A two-fer. I do take up a lot of room.
Gotta get to the gym...quick!!
Kinda looks like Paulie (overe there)

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon (193.122.21.26) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 01:54 pm:

Hi Bobby,

Good to see an up-to-date photo of you.

Any chance of a mug-shot of Paulie ? - well,
maybe not, you never know who's looking at this site ........ :-)

Davie

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon (193.122.21.26) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 01:58 pm:

Gary Knight's an interesting guy - if you ever see
singles on Columbia by "Dey & Knight" that's Gary
and another Bob Crewe artist Tracey Dey.

He was also the writer / producer for Kenny Wells'
brilliant "Isn't It Just A Shame" on New Voice.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph Terrana (ralph) (209.240.198.62) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 02:05 pm:

Sorry Bobby. We had to reduce your photos to just one. The other wasn't very flattering to your mug. you know something? You really do have a remakable resemblance to Paulie 3 Shoes.

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (195.219.7.40) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 02:22 pm:

Yan,
the mags as far as I can remember were the SMG uk issues. I cant say for certain until I dig them out.
mel.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 03:35 pm:

Kenny Wells' "Isn't It Just A Shame" is one of my favorite Bob Crewe-related releases which is available on West Side's excellent 2CD set "Bob Crewe Presents the Dyno-Voice Records Story - The Label That Had To Happen!", along with a TON of Mitch Ryder/Detroit Wheels singles for you Motor City nuts out there :)
Kevin Goins - KevGo

PS - another track fave was "Down By The Ocean" by George & Sonny Woods.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 03:36 pm:

Mel:
Looking forward to the Crewe article when & if you can find it.
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon (193.122.21.26) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 04:17 pm:

Kev,

You struck lucky finding that CD - it was withdrawn before I even knew it had been released.

Apparently Mr. Crewe wasn't too pleased at his photo being used on the cover without his permission so he demanded that the CD be pulled.

A tribute CD to his label and he wants it
withdrawn - go figure ! :-)

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (195.219.7.116) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 04:30 pm:

Kev,
If I can dig them out,no probs mate.
I do recall it being quite lengthy,but will do my best for you and Yan.
MEL.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 04:35 pm:

Davie:
No wonder my friends weren't able to find the CD! After I bought my copy I told a few of my friends about it & they were interested in getting the CD. How the hell does he expect the CD to sell without any "retro" artwork from that period. I felt that the job West Side did was in good taste. I guess Bob is getting vain in his young age :) !

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By drums (63.242.208.176) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 04:44 pm:

Okay here is my Bobby Eli question for the day:

ON "Its a Shame" by the Spinners is that Bobby playing the sitar intro or someone else? I was in Restoration Hardware yesterday and they are selling these vintage record players and guess what 45 is sitting there playing!! :)

Anyway give me info!!!

Daren Metz
Sony/studio 4

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 04:50 pm:

Daren:
It's A Shame was a Motown release (via the V.I.P. label) produced & co-written by Stevie Wonder. No sitar was used on the record - just lead & rhythm guitar. One of the guitarists on the session was the great Dennis Coffey.

There are older posts/threads pertaining to this record with Dennis filling in the details.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Yan (80.194.105.141) on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 06:16 pm:

Davie- Tracey Dey: "I Won't Tell"; WHAT a tune.
Kev- I'm another one looking for that Crewe CD; you know we all hate you now, yeah??

...what's so interesting about the Courtship stuff is that it's pretty untypical (in sound-not the song itself) of what I know of Knight and Allan's stuff; I wonder how much input they actually had production-wise on "It's The Same Old Love". I'd have to dig out my old 45 to check it (on that bizarre UKAmerican label; I can't think of anything else on this label) but I'm pretty sure that the second single was still them writing; but the production credits had shifted to Jerry Ross. (and maybe Bobby Martin arranged "Love Aint Love" rather than Thom??: I am going totally on memory here and could be wrong) Perhaps Thom Bell should have got more than just an arrangment credit for "Same Old Love".....why was he "Tommy Bell" on the label, anyway? Contractual stuff, I guess?? Sorry, my mind is drifting everywhere!

Top of pageBottom of page   By SteveS (209.219.207.3) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 08:11 am:

Bobby,

I heard "Just Don't Want to be Lonely" on my car radio this morning. I must confess, I forgot just how great a tune that was. You've done some really great stuff over the years. Thanks.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.39.160) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 09:51 am:

Thanks Steve. That one was my first gold record.
The Main Ingredient really took it to another level. cuba Gooding was really a world class singer.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Allen (24.165.80.12) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 10:00 am:

Hello Mr. Eli,

My name is Allen McGrier.
I've listened to you most of my life. I'd like to thank you for sharing your wonderful gifts with us over the years.

The trumpeters will be winded of blowing the fanfare so long during the recital of you accolades.

You really kicked butt sir!
Thank You,

Allen

Top of pageBottom of page   By drums (63.242.208.176) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 10:12 am:

Wow!! I didnt know that Stevie Ghost wrote back then as well!! Was "Its a Shame" a track that he didnt think was good enough for his albums at the time or was it specifically written for the Spinners?

I love that track especially the YAAAAAOOOOOOOOO scream at the end!!

Daren Metz

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.39.160) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 10:29 am:

Hi Allen,
I am moved by your accolades!!
You are the Tina Marie collaborator aren't you??
Sometimes I canot believe that I came up with all of those "classic soul" ditties.
It always pleases me to know that those songs and my contribution to music are truly appreciated to this day.
Just dont want to be lonely was just something that we were fooling around with one lazy afternoon with nothing else to do.
Believe it or not we were just listening to the Carpenters and Bread just prior to writing that tune.
It was originally submitted to Tommy Bel for Little Anthony and the Imperials who were signed to Avco for a minute.
He told us to tighten up the lyrics a tad and we did and so he then cut it on Ronnie Dyson.
Then there were some covers by Marlena Shaw and Etta Jones. Then an RCA rep from NYC saw me at a function and informed me of the Main Ingredient cut and during that time it was cut on Blue Magic. That song really got around didnt it?
Its still getting around.
Freddie McGreggor had a top five on it, Regina Belle, Shaggy recently used it on his 10 million plus Hot Shot cd and now Will Downing.
It was done numerous times by lesser known and international artists as well as have many other songs in my Fridays Child catalog.

By the way, you don't have to call me sir!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue (63.85.105.20) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 10:33 am:

SteveS,

I know you had to be listening to WQBH AM, the Queen's station, because there's no way those stinkers at WOMC would play anything like "I Just Don't Want To Be Lonely."

Top of pageBottom of page   By SteveS (209.219.207.3) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 10:39 am:

Sue,

Classic R&B in the morning, great blues in the evening - all that's missing is Mr. Paul and the Queen. Is there really any choice?

Steve

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 10:54 am:

Daren:
Stevie co-wrote "It's A Shame" with Syreeta Wright, who was his wife at the time (1970). Stevie started writing songs for himself & others as far back as the early 1960s (Stevie also co-wrote "Tears Of A Clown", Smokey & the Miracles' first #1 Pop hit).

The Spinners came into Motown via their association with Harvey Fuqua who owned the Tri-Phi label (which he sold to Motown when Fuqua joined the label's management team; he was also married to Berry Gordy's sister Gwendolyn). Although the group cut many great tunes for Motown, they didn't have the priority status of the Supremes or Temptations.

If you research the Dennis Coffey thread, you will find more info regarding the "It's A Shame" session (which featured Stevie on drums as well as behind the producer's board).

BTW, you're dead on re: G.C. Cameron's lead vocal. One of the best I've heard from a Motown recording.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By skip (12.2.196.17) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 11:01 am:

Mr Eli is there a chance of you working with the Delfonics with his voice and your music i think that would be great. like music was when I was growing up because the music of today makes me sick its terrible. skip

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.39.241) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 01:58 pm:

Skip,
In fact William Hart and myself are good friends and for a time we were writing a lot of songs together. I could safely say that we have over eighty songs together.
I owe him a call and a visit (or two or three) and continue the mission.
The Delfonics and Blue Magic in my opinion, are timeless and defy any of the pompous naysayers attitudes who are into ageism and are trapped in todays vacuous abyss of throw away cookie cutter product of less than limited shelf life.

Wait...my soapbox is crumbling...time for the gym!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Allen (24.165.80.12) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 02:26 pm:

Wow Mr. Eli,

Thank you for noticing my efforts. If I was fortunate enough to have created one quarter of your catalogue, I'd be content. I'M still trying though. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to pass them along to me.


Your body of work is outstanding. Unfortunately, the record companies have decided talent is no longer a prerequisite to be an artist. I refuse to write down to the market. I’ll wait until the people regain their senses.

If you’re in touch with Jimmy Williams, please give him my best. He looked out for me when I was a youngster playing bass for the Jones Girls. We opened for the Ojays for a couple of years.

Allen

Top of pageBottom of page   By Allen (24.165.80.12) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 02:29 pm:

Mr. Eli,

You may borrow my soap box.
Its freshly refitted for California Earth Quake standards.

Allen

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.39.241) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 02:37 pm:

Allen,
You can reach me at phillysoulman.mfsb@verizon.net

Eli

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle (62.252.128.6) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 03:54 pm:

Here's an image from Yan to support the Coutship discussion....
1

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (63.188.32.69) on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 11:18 pm:

Bobby Eli, I probably opened a can of worms with the James Grant incident cause I doubt if the James Grant you know ever got the check he should have or ever knew it was issued to the wrong James Grant.

To add to the James Grant confusion, there's another James Grant who received some label credits on some Detroit labels in the '60s.

David you must have Andrew Hamilton on the brain. I guess he posted or had the guy post the Odds & Ends bio too. I'm not the guy. But to back him on the Gorman being a brother of the Hamilton's, I've read and I'm certain others have too where Freddie Gorman stated this himself. This might be a case of where African-Americans call someone a brother or cousin if they were raised together. If the info is false then Gorman was the one who put it out there first. If he hadn't why would anyone have made the connection in the first place. It's similar to G. C. Cameron saying that Philippe Wynne was his cousin when in fact he is not a blood cousin but a family friend that lived in the same house growing up.

A good thing about online bio's and the such is that they can be corrected and often are. Again, not to defend Hamilton but if you can't find the source or the source won't give you the time of day and as a writer you feel the subject should be covered I guess you give it your best shot. I bet you this David M., if Hamilton hadn't wrote something about the Debonaires for AMG they wouldn't be mentioned at all. I've yet to find a music reference that didn't have errors and this include ones that I personally love.

It appears from what I've read by him that he did obscure artists, writers, musicians, and background singers that no one else had any inclination to do. And, typos happen. I read a lot of what he did on that site, like the Odds & End bio somebody pasted on this thread; that Mr. M. is more about that group than I've ever read before...anywhere. I guess they all can't be gems. I read a bio he did on Margaret Foxworth who sang background for Al Green. I'll be willing to bet nobody else at AMG even knew who she was and if they did couldn't have cared less.

Bobby again, I know quite a few people who ran in and out of Philadelphia Int'l Records. The point I referred to about some not agreeing with you was specifically addressing your statement that everybody got along. In one example told to me: some songwriters who worked under a producer (all songwriters at Philly was assigned to a producer)who will go nameless felt very uncomfortable when Kenny Gamble left for the day and they were left alone with this producer who they said sabotaged their songs. But this is no big deal or something you would have known about.

I appreciate your candor on this site Bobby Eli. You tell it like it is with no sugar coating, if it stunk you say it did. If somebody drank too much you tell it; but we all can be wrong at times.

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle (213.122.140.236) on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 04:01 am:

Andrew

A number of things give you away.

Anyway why not answer Bobby's question.

Who do you know in Philly?

David

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (63.188.33.168) on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 07:35 am:

To David M.: Don't bet your first born that I'm Mr. Hamilton it would be a bad wager.

To Bobby Eli: Post your email and I'll drop the info privately if you really want to know. Some people don't want their names publicized. I know some members of Blue Magic from way back, not from Philly, but from the District (Washington, D.C.), where some had girlfriends and hung out.

Bobby, Impact's first album is a great LP that should be reissued on CD. A friend had it and played it all the time; when I went to purchase it the store nolonger stocked it. The background vocals were as big a part of Impact's songs as the lead (common with District/B-Mo groups). Question: who sang falsetto in the Ebonys?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.41.249) on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 11:05 am:

RD,
Thanks for your appreiation of the Impact album as it is one of my favorite productions if not my absolute favorite as it was a labor of love all the way around from the rehearsals to the final mix.
I would close my eyes and imagine that those were the Tempts out there singing that harmony.
Damon was the ultimate Eddie as he lived and breathed his vocal persona.

The Ebonys tenor guy is called Beasley.

Top of pageBottom of page   By skip (209.69.165.10) on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 11:21 am:

Mr Eli I was just thinking about what you said about Together with the voice of Little Sonny and Barbara Mason are you gonna do it I cant wait also did you write Funny kind of guy funny kind girl funny kind of love we got thats a nice valetine day song. thanks Skip

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.41.249) on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 11:34 am:

Skip,
That wasn't my song.
The Sonny/Barbara as my pet desire and if I could pull it off I will.

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle (62.252.128.6) on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 11:37 am:

RD

What a sick thing to suggest.

Over and out.

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (63.188.33.101) on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 04:35 pm:

Bobby what amazed us about that album was the creative backgrounding behind Damon. Did the group come up with those parts themselves or the producers/writers? The songs were also top notch there were no weak songs on the album. I never heard the follow up LP--the Pac is Back, or Damon's solo albums, all which got good ratings but sold poorly. A multi CD containing all the two Impact albums and the two Damon Harris solo albums would be something I would shell some bucks out for. Since the LP's had about eight songs each it would make a nice two CD set.

David that expression is quite common in the States and is not meant to be sick. It means make sure you're right before wagering. Eli and I seemed to have come to an understanding like most people on this forum have when they disagree. I can't understand why you're trying to make an issue out of nothing. Bobby and I will probably disagree again about something. That's life.


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