The words "Soul Brother" are still visible behind the white paint

The riots had changed Detroit forever, and Bridges Knight and Eaton needed a new name, something with some street cred.

Fred recalls,  "During the riots many shops and stores were daubed with the words 'Soul Brother'  in the hope that looters and arsonists would leave them alone.  I played on the words and came up with The Brothers of Soul."

The first release on Boo was 'Hurry don't linger' b/w 'Can't get you off of my mind'. Fred sang lead on the top side and Richard sang lead on the flip side.  

But Ric was keen to release "Dream" too and with another session producing the flip "Footsteps", the trio found themselves on the Zodiac label almost simultaneously, under another moniker, The Creations. 

It was the fall of '67.

Fred went on to explain their routine.....

"Throughout our catalogue we varied lead on our songs about two thirds Richard and one third me.

The rhythm tracks would be laid down first, in a 3 hour session. Then we would go back and add horns and strings which might take 4 hours. Adding Backgrounds would take another 4 hours and finally leads might take 3 or 4 hours. Then we would do a mix. Some mixing we did at United some at Tera Shirma some in Chicago. I think studio time ranged between $75 and $150. That adds up to a lot of money.... WOW!

We wrote and produced all our songs but let Ric in on some of the credits as was the way back then. The songs were put together in both Detroit and Chicago depending on what was most cost effective. For example we might lay down the instrumentals in Tera Shirma in Detroit then the vocals in Chicago at either RCA/Universal or Columbia. It was all to do with logistics."

The trio were finding their own sound at this time too. The Motown Sound was changing, the Ric-Tic sound was changing, love lyrics were being replaced by politics and anger.

But The Brothers stuck with love and developed a new line, quite different to what had gone before in Detroit. Placing a lot of emphasis on instrumentation, and with no expense spared on strings, this mix, together with their wonderful harmonies, was the essence of their sound.

Boo's fourth release was the Brother's follow up and became their biggest hit. 'I guess that don't make me a loser'  coupled with 'Hurry don't linger' reached #32 in the R&B charts on 13th April 1968.  Richard Knight sang lead on this classic song.

Things were progressing well but they needed some kind of premises to work from.


Notes thanks to Notes thanks to David Meikle.

photograph courtesy of Andrew Foot

scans courtesy of MotorCityMusic


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