I want specially to thank the following Artists who are giving me the honor to collaborate together in this new venture of THE GOLDEN YEARS OF MUSIC TOURS.
Thank you for watching. P.R.
In 1955, Herb Reed, David Lynch, Paul Robi, Zola Taylor and Tony Williams crashed through the racial divide in the music industry paving the way for The Platters® to become the first African-American vocal group to reach international superstardom!
Just two years earlier, in 1953, Reed founded the multiplatinum, Rock & Roll, Vocal Group and Grammy Halls of Fame Artist, The Platters in Los Angeles, California. The original lineup did not include female vocalist Zola Taylor, but in an unprecedented move in the industry, Reed, and then manager, producer and song writer, Buck Ram, later added her to the lineup, making The Platters the first African-American group to crash through both the racial and gender divide.
The Platters debut single, Only You (and You Alone), launched the vocal group on the world stage, but it was reportedly done by mistake. As the story goes, a popular U.S. DJ named Alan Freed accidentally played their Mercury Records single on air during a "prime" time that was traditionally reserved for "white artists" only. The romantic ballad, based on the then groundbreaking Tin Pan Alley sound, became an instant hit with the public and would eventually reach number five on the Pop charts, pioneering the “new sound” of Rock & Roll as we know it today.
The follow-up single, The Great Pretender, propelled The Platters to the number one position on the pop charts, providing the launch pad for their meteoric rise as crossover artists. As a result, The Platters became the first African-American group to achieve international superstardom. Both tracks have since been declared songs of the 21st century by the Grammy Music Hall of Fame.
Lead vocalist Tony Williams’ romantic, soaring tenor voice is largely credited with creating The Platters unique sound. He stopped performing with the group in 1960 to pursue a solo career but continued to record with the vocal group. He was replaced on stage by Sonny Turner who finally recorded an LP on the Musicor record label in 1964 during the so-called “beach music” phase.
In 1969, Herb separated from his manager and producer, Buck Ram, who wrote many of The Platters major hit songs including Only You and The Great Pretender. This opened the door to more than 50 years of legal battles over control of the name and rights to the iconic quintet. Competing versions of so-called “Platters” groups sprang up worldwide with unscrupulous identity thieves trying to cash in on The Platters historical success. The public was deceived and misled for years until Reed and his manager, Frederick J. Balboni, Jr., hired Eric Sommers, an IP litigator from Boston, to stop the music identity thieves from preying on the public.
The trio became a dynamic team, and together they worked tirelessly with local counsel in Nevada, led by stalwart John Krieger of Dickinson and Wright, to right half a century of wrongs.
The team’s legal strategy, executed by Sommers, set out to untangle the dark legal web that had been spun over the vocal group. They developed a precedent-setting winning legal strategy, brilliantly executed on a road to victory.
One year before his death on June 4, 2012, Reed was able to feel the thrill of a long overdue victory when a federal judge ruled that he had superior rights above all others to the group's legendary name. This ruling, in principle, was subsequently validated by three other federal judges as well as two, three-judge panels in the 2nd and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeal. In July of 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Herb Reed Enterprises, LLC with the trademark, allowing for Herb’s dying wish that the legacy of The Platters be secured and that their music live on and continue to influence America’s diverse soundtrack.
In keeping with the founder’s wishes, The Platters continue to evolve and entertain music fans of all ages worldwide. With a solid foundation of multiple hit songs under their belts, thanks to the founding members, The Platters today, Wayne Miller, Adele Galinda “DD” Grey Martin, Lance Bernard Bryant and Kenny Williams—all seasoned, veteran performers of film, stage and music from Broadway to Hollywood—continue to captivate audiences under the baton of musical director Michael Larson.
In 2015, The Platters returned to the recording studio, and after a 50-year hiatus, they released the CD Back to Basics with The Platters® LIVE! This 10-song CD eerily captures the blueprint of the original sounds of the hit songs made famous by the groups founders in a live studio recording.
The Platters 21st century injection into today’s music scene continues to open the hearts and minds of new generations of music consumers to the rich vocal and historical tradition that is making timeless melodies relevant to all ages of worldwide fans.
The Grammy Hall of Fame declared The Platters’ first two hit singles Only You and The Great Pretender as songs of the 21st century. As evidence to the vocal groups enduring legacy, The Platters’ classic hit My Prayer was featured in a key spot on the Oscar®-nominated soundtrack The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In 2015, The Great Pretender was pivotal to a riveting “Russian roulette” scene in FOX Television’s Emmy Award-winning series Empire.
In addition to continuing to tour the world, The Platters are involved in myriad projects and are planning to go into the studio in early 2017 to record much anticipated new music highlighting an evolved, contemporized sound founded on the music tradition that won The Platters enduring international music acclaim.
Glenn Leonard’s Temptations Revue is the world’s most authentic, most talented, easiest to work with, and most affordable tribute to the original Temptations today! Mr. Leonard is an authentic former member of the group, serving as their lead high tenor for almost 10 years -- and recorded 10 albums with them. The Temps version of “Silent Night,” which is one of the most played songs on the radio, worldwide, at Christmas time, features Glenn’s beautiful high tenor lead vocals. Glenn also performed and recorded with all of the original members during the Temptations Reunion Tour in 1982.
FAST FACT: We have a configuration of this show available for virtually any budget! We can offer the group with full band, use the buyer’s provided band, do the show with all five vocalists to backing tracks, or even have Glenn perform his well-known Tempts/Motown show SOLO ---- just inquire --- we’ll find the best option for you!!
FUN TRIVIA: Did you know Glenn sang backup vocals on Rick James’ smash hit “Super Freak” ??
GLENN LEONARD BIOGRAPHY
Glenn Leonard is a native of Washington D.C., growing up in DC and North Carolina. Glenn started singing at the early age of 6 years old. At the ripe old age of 13 he began to earn a living performing on stage: for parties, concerts, and as a recording artist. Glenn had a dream of being a successful, established professional entertainer. Through diligence, hard work and determination, Glenn successfully established 3 groups by the time he was in his early 20’s: The Chancellors, The Instant Groove, and The True Reflections. He was also a member of another popular and successful recording group from DC called The Unifics.
He recorded international releases with his first group, The Chancellors, on Cap City Records, a subsidiary of Septar Records and later his third group The True Reflection on Atlantic Records. He then came to the attention of the world renowned Tempts in 1975. Glenn had a long illustrious career as their first tenor and lead singer from 1975 to December of 1983.
Glenn sang on 10 albums with the super group. Most noted for songs like, I’m on Fire; Go for It, The Best of Both Worlds, Eyes, Ever Ready Love, and the classic Silent Night from their world-reknown Christmas Album.
After leaving the group in 1984, he became a born again Christian. Mr. Leonard entered into the ministry full-time and was licensed in 1986. He became ordained and received a doctorate degree in the early 90 ’s. After starting several churches in the Houston, TX area, Glenn began touring internationally again with his own group in the late 1990s.
PLEASE NOTE: Glenn Leonard’s Temptations Revue is in no way affiliated with the actual Temptations. Glenn was a former member of the group from 1975-83. Buyers, venues and agents are not permitted to book, advertise, promote, or otherwise convey this show as anything other than what it is... a showcase of this former member’s talents and those of his cast. Glenn acknowledges that Otis Williams, the only living original member of the group, is still with the actual Temptations, who are still touring.
GLENN LEONARD: A native of Washington, DC, Glenn successfully established 3 groups by the time he was in his early 20’s: The Chancellors, The Instant Groove, and The True Reflections. He was also a member of another popular and successful recording group from Washington called The Unifics. He recorded his first record with his first group, The Chancellors on Cap City Records. He later would record with The True Reflection on Atlantic Records, and begin his career touring the world. With the success of his groups, Leonard soon would come to the attention of the world renowned Tempts in 1975, who were looking for a new lead singer. Glenn had a long, illustrious career as the first tenor and lead singer of the Tempts from 1975-1983. He sang on 10 albums with them, and appeared on television specials worldwide. Most noted for songs like, I’m on Fire; Go for It, The Best of Both Worlds, Eyes, Ever Ready Love, and the Christmas classic, Silent Night, from their esteemed Christmas album. After leaving The Tempts in 1984, he became a born again Christian. He entered into full time ministry and was licensed in 1986. He became ordained and received a doctorate degree in the early 90’s. In 2002, Leonard decided to reunite some of the great former members together, to share the history and to give back to the fans. Some of this all-star cast included Barrington Henderson, GC Cameron, and members that have since passed on including Harry Barry, Ray Davis, Ali Woodson and Damon Harris. As a tribute to the super talented supporting cast, Joe Herndon, the current bass singer with the Tempts, came from Glenn's group. Mr. Leonard has hand selected his current group, all with a long history with Glenn and a variety of national recording groups. They've had amazing reviews worldwide because of their vocal talent, showmanship on stage, and personalities off-stage. After spending several years in Houston, TX, Glenn is back home in Washington, DC.
KAREEM ALI: From the Baltimore, MD area, Kareem starting singing at an early age. He and Damon Harris, who is a former member of the Tempts, sang together in a group called the Vandelles. They recorded for T-Neck Records and were produced by the Isley Brothers. Kareem and Damon went on to form a new group called Impact, who would record for Atlantic Records and toured throughout Europe. Kareem has a very keen eye and ear for music production and is a great choreographer as well as a great vocalist. Kareem lives in the Baltimore, MD area.
JOE HERNDON: Glenn Leonard's Temptations Revue is honored to welcome back bass singing legend, Joe Herndon, to the group! He is the former bass singer of The Spaniels and the former bass singer for The Temptations from 2003 until late in 2015. Born in Washington, D.C., Herndon began his career joining the D.C.-based version of The Spaniels in the 1970s. He would remain singing with them until the late-1990s when he first joined forces with former Temptations singer Glenn Leonard. In 2003, Herndon was asked to join the legendary Tempts by Temptations founder Otis Williams. He made his official Temptations debut on their last Motown album, 2004 's "Legacy." He remained a member of the group alongside Otis Williams, Bruce Williamson, Ron Tyson and Terry Weeks until his departure in December of 2015.
JOE COLEMAN: Joe Coleman is a consummate entertainment professional, renown as a “double, triple threat.” He is an accomplished singer, actor and performer. Joe’s “double, triple threat” comes from his acclaim as a theatrical composer, songwriter, and astute businessman. Joe was the lead vocalist with “The Platters” for many years and was a regular at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas performing popular songs such as “My Prayer”, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, “The Great Pretender” and many more Number 1 hits. He’s been featured on the “Today Show with Katie Couric” and has also appeared on the “Regis & Kelly Show”.
ANDRE JACKSON: He is definitely one of the most powerful vocalists to grace the stage today. André has been singing since the age of 5 but he really began to “sang” as a tenor in the Cardozo HS choir, his first group was named the Terrible Tenors, his first song, “Always and Forever” by Heatwave. André went off to college in Pennsylvania but would return home to the DC area. André has been working in education since 1994, mostly with children with special needs, and in the realm of Physical Education. André was introduced to former Tempts Revue member Pete Marshall, lead singer of “The Choice 4”, a legendary group that hit it big in the 70’s out of Washington, DC. André can proudly say that he was the last member of the Choice 4 and performed with them for several years. André learned a lot from The Choice 4 and vowed to put it to use in his band, Sudden M Pac. A few years later Pete would introduce André to Glenn Leonard, and Andre has been with Glenn Leonard’s Temptations Revue since.
RON HASLEY - MUSIC DIRECTOR: Every great music group needs a great music director. Ron Hasley fits the bill, playing piano and directing the band on each performance. Hasley was the recipient of two NAACP Image Awards for “Best Musical Director” for the productions of Mark Swinton’s "Ephraim's Song" in 2002 and ”The Gospel Truth." Ron has served as Musical Director for the hit Broadway musicals such as, "Your Arms Too Short To Box With God" with Jennifer Holliday and Stephanie Mills; "Raisin" starring Peabo Bryson, Lynette Hawkins, Jeffrey Osborne the 1997 National tour of "The Wiz" with Grace Jones, Cee Cee Penniston and Tony Terry, and excerpts of Les Miserable, Dreamgirls, and Chorus Line. Ron also was the MD for The Motown Review Show at the Las Vegas Tropicana Hotel with The Supremes, The Originals, The Contours, Kim Weston and Martha Reeves and The Vandellas. Mr. Hasley calls Los Angeles, CA home.
SOME THOUGHTS FROM GLENN LEONARD
My most memorable moments with the Tempts was when I joined in 1975. Just the idea of being part of something that you dreamed about as a youngster was a tremendous experience to say the least.
It was also a tremendous challenge to uphold the tradition and legacy of what they had already accomplished and to be counted qualified to be apart of what the group meant to so many other young people as a point of inspiration.
Motown meant so much to our people and our country at the time when they first came on the scene. It gave us a sense of hope and pride and great possibility for the future. Many wonderful doors opened in the industry for our people.
The next most memorable moment was when we did the “Reunion”. It was a privilege and an honor to have been out on stage and sing on the same recording with the likes of Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Dennis Edwards, Richard Street, Otis Williams and the greatest bass singer to ever live, Melvin Franklin. There were 7 of us on stage --- and it was truly an amazing and memorable time!
In 2002 I had a brain storm: why not reunite some of these great talents with a shared history and give the history back to their fans?
I began bringing in other ex-Tempts to be special guests in performing with my group “Legendary Singers of Motown”. We’ve had some amazing talent perform with my group: Damon Harris, Ali Woodson, GC Cameron, Bo Henderson, Ray Davis and Harry Barry to name a few. As a tribute to the super talented supporting cast and standards that we uphold, Joe Herndon, the current bass singer with the Temptations, was hired by Otis from my group. I still stay in touch with many former and current members of the group. Currently, the guys in my group are all stand up talents, and stand up men! They’ve been with me for many years, and before that they all performed with other national recording groups, and even other former Tempts. Trust me when I say this show isn’t just a local tribute act. You will not be disappointed. In addition to the world-class vocalists on stage, we also play with world-class musicians. This is as good as it gets. We are looking to continue to give our fans an experience they will never forget. Their support has certainly changed all of our lives forever!
While the American music scene has undergone many drastic changes within the last 40 years, a true ‘anchor’ has been Motown, and Motown influenced music groups. Perhaps the most consistent Motown act from the very beginning, both in terms of record sales and appearances, has been the Temptations.
Even today, their music dominates the airways on everything from light rock, contemporary R&B stations, to oldies.
What is perhaps most remarkable about the group has been their ability to completely change personnel over their 40 year history without affecting the quality of their music, or performances. That is because each individual member, from the very beginning, has had a unique superstar quality.
As early as 1971 some of the early original members began leaving the group for highly successful solo careers. The first to leave were David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks, whose success as a solo performers and as a duo reached Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame status. Glenn Leonard had a long illustrious career as the First Tenor and Lead Singer of the group from 1975-1983. His current GLENN LEONARD’S TEMPTATIONS REVUE show gives of blend of all the major hit songs, the smooth choreography, high energy and personality from the stage that leave fans wanting more!
Glenn Leonard is a native of Washington D.C. and was a veteran of numerous groups through out the 60’s and 70’s before joining the Temps, such as, the Chancellors, Instant Groove, True Reflections and the Unifics, before being scouted and signed by the Temptations to take over their First Tenor lead.
Mr. Leonard recorded 10 albums with the Temptations. He is most noted for songs like Every Ready Love, I’m on Fire, Power, Give Love on Christmas Day and his signature song Silent Night.... as well as his membership with the world-reknown Temptations Reunion tour & album with all the original members.
Glenn Leonard is no longer a member of the Tempts, but his own legacy lives on!
Glenn Leonard’s recordings (and lead vocals) with The Tempts: 1975-83
*House Party 1975
*Surface Thrills 1983
*Wings of Love 1976
*Temptations Do the Temptations 1976
Why Can’t You and Me Get Together
I’m On Fire
Is There Anybody Else
*Hear To Temp You 1977
In a Lifetime
It’s Time for Love
Can’t You See Sweet Thing
Go For It
*Give Love at Christmas 1980
Give Love on Christmas Day
Little Drummer Boy
*The Temptations 1981
Aiming at Your Heart
The Best of Both Worlds
Open Their Eyes
*The Temptations Reunion 1982
Wake Up To Me
Ever Ready Love
Mystic Woman (Love Me Over)
Taking their name from the popular mixed drink, The Manhattans began their legendary musical journey. After placing third in a competition at the Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater, their undeniable musical star power earned them their first recording contract. Joe Evans, a former Motown musician, who had started Carnival Records eagerly signed The Manhattans. It didn’t take long before their first major hit “I Wanna Be (Your Everything)” broke onto the Pop and R&B charts. And the hits just kept coming. With “Searching For My Baby” and “Follow Your Heart” selling records by the hundreds of thousands, the group was on their way to national recognition.
In a mere three years, songs like “Baby I Need You” and “I ‘m The One Love Forgot” firmly established The Manhattans a place in musical history. This earned the group NATRA’s “Most Promising Group” award. After moving to King Records (Deluxe Label), their smooth sound and repeated quality songwriting, soon brought court from Columbia Records, a subsidiary of world renowned CBS. This accomplishment afforded them the power of self-producing and collaboration on their albums. From their inception and throughout their career, with their classic songs “There’s No Me Without You”, Kiss And Say Goodbye” and “Shining Star”, The Manhattans set a new RIAA standards for platinum sales. Numerous awards and a Grammy proved again just how resplendent the group had become to their artistic community and the hearts of their fans.
Throughout the decades, with one enduring song after another, this exalted super group continues to leave their mark on the world-touring stage. They perform at numerous charity events and make appearances at lofty high profile festivities such as former President Clinton’s Christmas Gala. The late “Original” founding member Edward “Sonny” Bivins vowed to preserve the integrity of this priceless musical gem. He gathered the vocal styling of Charles Hardy, Harsey Hemphill, Alvin Pazant & Kenneth Jackson, to complete the modern day lineup and seek out new horizons. The group continues to record and perform songs, with melodies and harmonies that few of us will ever forget. This lineup carries forth, the musical tradition of The Manhattans for generations to come
Born in Detroit, Michigan, USA, Scherrie began her long illustrious career as a member of Los Angeles based soul group The Glass House. The Glass House consisted of Scherrie, Pearl Jones, Larry Mitchell and Tyrone Hunter. The band's creative partnership with songwriters and producers Holland/Dozier/Holland resulted in many classic singles. Scherrie's biggest hit with the group was "Crumbs off the Table" which charted at #7 in the Soul Chart in September 1969, and reached #59 in the Billboard Singles Chart. It was Eddie Holland who had persuaded Scherrie and elder sister Freda (of "Band of Gold" fame) to join the new company, Invictus. However, Scherrie's joining the company owed much to chance as she later explained:- "Freda was on the phone discussing her contract with Eddie, and I was playing the piano and singing. And he heard me and asked if I would like to come along to audition".
In a past interview, Scherrie spoke of her days at Invictus with The Glass House:- "Want Ads was the first hit I recorded with the whole group. But we were irate when we found out that Honey Cone had recorded the song. In fact, I walked into the studio one day to discover I was listening to it. I hadn't heard the song for several months and I thought it was me singing (laughter). I didn't know the difference to the very end. Edna did a little lick that was a little different than mine, then I realized that wasn't my voice, because Edward (Holland) had this thing. He would coach each singer the way to sing a song, and actually we all sounded like female Edward Holland's. So Freda, Edna and myself sounded quite a lot alike because of the way he would phrase a song, and he wanted us to sing it exactly the way he phrased it. So when I heard Edna's version it didn't really bother me until they put it out and it became a million seller. Then we were really upset."
In October 1973, Scherrie took over the role of lead vocalist with Motown legends, The Supremes. It was Lamont Dozier who had recommended Scherrie to Mary Wilson, following Jean Terrell's departure. Mary Wilson recalls in her book "Supreme Faith" :- "When I asked if she'd like to come out to LA and audition, Scherrie said she'd be honored to. A few days later she was there, and I was sold. She was pretty, easy to get along with, and her voice was phenomenal. As far as I was concerned, she was in. My timing was perfect as Scherrie was considering taking a regular job when I called. Her eagerness was refreshing, and she and Cindy hit it off". As lead singer, Scherrie recorded three albums with The Supremes, The Supremes (in 1975) High Energy (in 1976) and Mary, Scherrie & Susaye (in 1976).
When The Supremes disbanded in 1977, Scherrie went on to record one final "highly acclaimed" Motown album Partners (1979) with Susaye Greene (also of The Supremes) as "Scherrie & Susaye". Regrettably, this album was never issued in the U.K. Amongst Scherrie's other projects of this time was the writing of a musical called "Ten Good Years", and her appearance in a musical show called "Dream Street". Along with Susaye, Scherrie also sang background vocals on "Animal Party", a track on James Ingram's "It's Your Night" album.
During the early eighties Scherrie was closely associated with British record producer Ian Levine. In 1982 Scherrie recorded a "high energy" dance version of the 10cc classic "I'm not in love", with Mary Wilson on backing vocals. "I'm Not In Love" was produced by Rick Gianatos in Chicago with a Tom Tom arrangement and released on Airwave Records, Hollywood USA. After the record achieved a top 20 status on the Billboard dance charts, it was licensed by Doug Weston to Record Shack Records in the UK. The following year Scherrie recorded a second "high energy" record, "One Night Only", for the US "Megatone" label. Again, Scherrie was joined by a former "Supreme" on backing vocals, with the rare guest appearance of Cindy Birdsong.
In 1986, Scherrie joined a reformed lineup of The Supremes (for legal reasons known as "Former Ladies of the Supremes" or FLOS for short) alongside Jean Terrell & Lynda Laurence. Two songs were recorded for Superstar International Records, "We're Back" and "Getaway", but sadly the company folded before the new recordings could make much impact. In 1989, The Supremes returned to the recording studios, this time under the direction of Ian Levine. Several singles were released on Levine's Motorcity label, including a reworked version of Stoned Love and a Scherrie Payne self-penned track "Hit & Miss", until the departure of Jean Terrell in 1992.
After a break lasting 2 years, Scherrie and Lynda recruited Lynda's sister, Sundray Tucker, as Jean's replacement. The ladies have since recorded many critically acclaimed albums and have toured Britain, Europe & Japan extensively. More recently in July 1996, Sundray Tucker was replaced by new member Freddi Poole.
Lynda was born in Philadelphia, and came from a gospel background, her father being the legendary Ira Tucker. In 1969 Lynda Laurence (along with Syreeta) sang background vocals on Stevie Wonder's "Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours". Stevie wanted a group to accompany him on a forthcoming tour, so Lynda formed The Third Generation along with her sister Sundray and Terri Hendricks. This group later became the basis for Stevie Wonder's backing group "Wonderlove".
In 1972, Lynda joined The Supremes, first of all when she deputized for ill Jean Terrell, and later when she replaced Cindy Birdsong. Lynda recorded "I guess I'll miss the man", and the Stevie Wonder produced "Bad Weather", which incidentally was co-written by Lynda's brother Ira Jnr. In October 1973, Cindy Birdsong returned to The Supremes, replacing Lynda. Lynda was first seen on the photo of The Supremes album "Floy Joy", although she was not featured on the album itself. Lynda explained, "Motown thought it was good publicity to put my picture on the sleeve. Anyway Cindy didn't want to pose for the picture because she was having a baby".
After leaving the Supremes and after having her baby, Lynda's career was varied. Among the work she undertook was an album with Nilsson. Shortly afterwards Lynda appeared with her sister Sundray on a disco version of the "I Love Lucy" TV show theme. The record became a big disco hit in the US, released under the name of The Wilton Street Band, which was put together by Lynda's former husband Trevor Laurence.
During the late 1980's, Lynda was asked to join the reformed line-up of The Supremes, again filling a vacancy left by Cindy Birdsong. A string of 12" singles followed, all released on Ian Levine's UK "MotorCity" label. In 1992 Jean Terrell decided to leave the group to pursue business interests and the ladies invited Lynda's sister Sundray to join the line-up.
“Like fine art, great music stays with us through the years to enjoy and to share.”
“The best act of its genre on the music scene today...”, the Bill Pinkney legacy group still reflectsthe entire Legendary Drifters presence in the music industry as it weaves a blend of nostalgic magic and on-stage excitement with a 21st century twist. Because today’s sophisticated and more informed music lovers reject generic imitations, the group’s entertainment services remain in demand.
Music’s Drifters represent more than the story of a single group’s success. Changes in personnel and management have led over the years to the sprouting of many Drifters permutations, but 1953 original BILL PINKNEY used the name / mark THE ORIGINAL DRIFTERS since the 1950s, and his legacy continues.
Organizer Clyde McPhatter (Mount Lebanon Gospel Singers), BILL PINKNEY (The Southern Knights), and Gerhart and Andrew Thrasher (The Thrasher Wonders) met while singing in gospel groups. When Atlantic Records rejected McPhatter’s trial group, these four men, along with Willie Ferbee, joined forces, signed with the company, and established in 1953 the foundation upon which a music legacy was subsequently built. Thirty-five years later in 1988, originals MCPHATTER, PINKNEY, GERHART THRASHER and four later Drifters, Johnny Moore, Ben E. King, Charlie Thomas, and Rudy Lewis, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which filmed PINKNEY’s oral history in 2000 for its Legends Series.
Music Icon PINKNEY was a Negro Baseball League sandlot pitcher and a World War II Presidential Citation recipient with five Bronze Stars (including Normandy and Bastogne), a Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer, Gospel Stellar Award recipient, and a member of the United Group Harmony Hall of Fame, Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and Beach Music Hall of Fame. South Carolina dedicated a Highway, a park near his Dalzell, Sumter County birthplace, bestowed the Order of the Palmetto, its highest civilian honor, and commissioned him the State’s official “Ambassador of Music and Entertainment” by ongoing gubernatorial appointments. Coastal Carolina University bestowed an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree upon him.
After 45 years of performing, Thelma Houston continues to celebrate her long and outstanding career and shows no signs of slowing down!
Over the course of many years, promoters have been asking Thelma, when is she going to return to her Motown roots? After much thought, Thelma has decided that the timing was right to launch a brand new band tribute show called: Thelma Houston's Tribute to Motown, Music, Memories and More. The show features non-stop classic Motown songs (that we all know and love,) along with tributes to her gospel roots, and to the legendary Jimmy Webb, who wrote and produced Thelma's debut album called "Sunshower."
Thelma was asked to join a stellar list of artists honoring the illustrious career of the late Donna Summer, who Thelma knew. Thelma recorded covers of Donna's classic songs: "Last Dance," Could it Be Magic?" and "I Love You." Thelma's 23rd album, "A Woman's Touch", was released recently through Shout Factory Records (distributed by Sony/BMG) and offers her rich interpretations of many classic R&B and pop recordings originally made famous by such male vocalists as Luther Vandross, Rev. Al Green, Sting and Marvin Gaye.
A Mississippi native, Thelma started out in the 60's performing in gospel music with the Art Reynolds Singers. She then signed to Capitol Records (home of the Beatles, Nat King Cole and Nancy Wilson) in 1967 and had her first hit song called "Baby Mine." Soon Thelma was courted by several record labels and signed with ABC/Dunhill where she recorded and released her first solo album called "Sunshower" which was written, arranged and produced by the legendary Jimmy Webb. After this critically acclaimed album was released, Thelma decided to accept an offer from one of the biggest record companies around, Motown Records.
With Motown Records, Thelma claimed the top of the Pop, R&B and Dance charts with her high-powered rendition of "Don't Leave Me This Way." That Gold Record classic gave Thelma the distinction of being the first solo female artist at Motown to win the Grammy Award for "Best R&B Female Vocal Performance."
Known as a humanitarian for her charitable causes and her tireless efforts in the battle against AIDS, the City of West Hollywood proclaimed January 29th as "Thelma Houston Day" in 2003. She has donated her talents to numerous charities including Devine Design for Project Angel Food, AIDS Project Los Angeles, and the Minority AIDS Project, to which she donated her $20,000 winnings from the TV show Hit Me Baby. She is also very active in the Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch of the NAACP.
Thelma has rocked Rockefeller Center on NBC's The Today Show and the summer music special "Hit Me Baby, One More Time." She dazzled in ABC's Motown 45 and glittered on ABC's The Disco Ball. Along with Aretha Franklin and Mary Wilson, she raised the roof on Love, Rhythm and Blues for PBS. Thelma appeared with Phoebe Snow, Chaka Khan, Mavis Staples and CeCe Peniston as the "Sisters of Glory" in New York City in a rousing performance that received a special request to perform at The Vatican for The Pope.
The legendary Nile Rogers called upon Thelma to be his special guest for a sold out concert at the Hollywood Bowl and she toured with Cher on her Living Proof Concert Tour. Additionally, she headlined at Harrah's in Las Vegas. Thelma has also been inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York City and honored as an "Apollo Legend" on the syndicated hit TV show, Showtime at the Apollo.
In April 2009, Thelma was honored to perform on the #1 rated television show in the USA, Fox's American Idol, where she tore it up for an estimated audience of over 25 million people. Shortly after, Thelma was called upon to open up the finale of the hit summer show, NBC's America's Got Talent, for an estimated TV audience of over 18 million people.
Thelma performs at many national dinner receptions for the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) and was honored to perform in Denver when Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination. In January 2009, Thelma then was asked to headline the official inauguration dinner for President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., at the Mayflower Hotel along with her friends, Cyndi Lauper and Melissa Etheridge.
HRC President Joe Solmonese says, "It doesn't get much better than Thelma, as she adds nothing but class to our events."
With appearances from Tokyo to Las Vegas to London and beyond, Thelma continues to bring audiences to their feet with her dynamic, energetic show. This Diva logs over 200 performances annually and the singer/songwriter is enjoying every moment of her success. "I still feel a tremendous excitement about performing," states the upbeat songstress. "I have so many more things I want to do and I have NO plans to retire anytime soon."
Little Anthony & The Imperials have begun to take the concert stages by storm once again. Officially reuniting in early 1992, the group had not performed together for over 17 years, yet the magic returned immediately and audiences are showing their approval with thunderous applause.
This successful reunion has already brought the group to sold_out appearances at concert halls and fairs throughout the U.S., including Madison Square Gardens in New York and the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. They were recently honored as recipients of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Fourth Annual Pioneer Award. They are just now receiving a long-overdue recognition of their artistry and lifelong contributions to rhythm and blues music.
After high school, Anthony originally with " TheDuponts", left to join "The Chesters", a group founded by Clarence Collins who were looking for a lead voice. In early '58, Richard Barrett and Lou Gally (A&R and P.R. men from End Records, respectively) spotted the group and signed them to a contract and named the "THE Imperials". Their first record for End was a double-sided ballad smash. The "A" side, "Tears on My Pillow", instantly launched their career into musical history. This would be one of their biggest selling hits, with over one million copies sold, and has been one of the most enduring love ballads of the '50's. The flip side hit, "Two people In The World" made this one of the most popular double-sided ballad records in vocal group history. Anthony was sitting on a Brooklyn park bench one evening, listening to WINS radio DJ Alan Freed, coming over the radio.
As he announced the next record, Anthony heard, ... "and here's a new record that's making a lot of noise, ... Little Anthony & The Imperials...singing Tears On My Pillow...". The nickname Little Anthony stuck, and the new group name was official.
GARY PUCKETT has performed on more than thirty network television shows and prime time specials during his career, even adding a command performance for the President and Prince Charles at the White House. The Union Gap disbanded in the seventies. In 1974, "Young Girl" was reissued in England where it received a silver record award for attaining a top five position on the pop charts, several years after its initial release.
Gary continues to tour nationally & internationally, has a new album out now, "GARY PUCKETT - LIVE", and has recently released his first ever Christmas CD, entitled "At Christmas."
GARY PUCKETT AND THE UNION GAP WAS ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL MUSICAL GROUPS OF THE SIXTIES.
GARY'S UNMISTAKABLE SIGNATURE VOICE GARNERED SIX CONSECUTIVE GOLD RECORDS AND TOP TEN BILLBOARD HITS WITH THE FOLLOWING TITLES :
"YOUNG GIRL" "WOMAN WOMAN" "LADY WILLPOWER" "OVER YOU" "THIS GIRL IS A WOMAN NOW" "KEEP THE CUSTOMER SATISFIED" "DON'T GIVE IN TO HIM" "HOME"
In 1968 Gary Puckett and The Union Gap had six consecutive gold records and sold more records than any other recording act...including the Beatles. They played a command performance at the White House for Prince Charles and Princess Anne by special invitation of the President. Gary Puckett and The Union Gap was one of a very select group of touring acts to achieve prominence worldwide.
In 1971 Gary disbanded The Union Gap.
In 1974 "" Young Girl "" was reissued by popular request in England where it reached number five and achieved a Silver Record Award for the second time. This is a full six years after the song was initially released.
SINGLES : Woman Woman - Young Girl - Lady Willpower - Over You - Don't Give Into Him - This Girl Is A Woman Now.
ALBUMS : Woman Woman - Young Girl - Incredible - The New Gary Puckett and the Union Gap - Album - The Gary Puckett Album "Greatest Hits - Looking Glass - In This Love - In Europe - At Christmas - LIVE.
When looking for the perfect presentation of the Motown sound and style, few fit the bill as well as Martha Reeves & the Vandellas. It was 1963 when they moved from being Marvin Gaye’s original backup singers (“Stubborn Kind of Fellow,” “Pride & Joy,” “Hitch Hike”) to stars in their own right with the trifecta of “Come and Get These Memories,” “Heat Wave,” and “Quicksand.” Over the next decade, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas would be a consistent presence on the music charts, as well as on television and top venues across the US and abroad.
With the unmistakable voice that helped define “the sound of young America,” Reeves reigns as one of music’s most beloved and acclaimed female singers. As one reviewer recently exclaimed, “Martha Reeves is the ultimate Motown diva with soul flowing from the tips of her toes to the last hair on her head. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.” Reeves and her Vandellas – her sisters, Lois (who joined the group in 1967) and Delphine (who came aboard in 1980) – remain in high demand, heating up clubs, casinos, concert stages, colleges and music festivals across the globe.
Their hits are a thing of legend: In addition to the aforementioned, they include the gospel-tinged “Nowhere to Run,” the classic soul favorite “My Baby Loves Me,” the pop anthem “Jimmy Mack,” and the signature, “Dancing In The Street.” While best known for up-tempo, hard driving tunes, Reeves’ shows are often highlighted by jazzy renderings of Billie Holiday’s “God Bless The Child,” her driving original blues “Watch Your Back” (both included in her self-produced CD “Home to You”), and the perennial showstopper, “Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things.”
Martha’s story is a familiar one to legions of fans.
Soon after graduating from high school, she performed in clubs as “Martha Lavaille.” One night, Motown A&R director Mickey Stevenson heard her and invited her to audition for the then-fledgling label. The highly-motivated Reeves arrived the next morning. Upon learning that auditions had to be scheduled, she made herself valuable by answering phones and taking messages. When people say she started at Motown as a secretary, Reeves corrects them, laughing, “I was never a secretary. I was a singer who could type.”
Reeves soon become an invaluable administrator, interacting with musicians and performers, scheduling sessions, and making sure that business was taken care of. And she waited her turn to sing. One day, when Mary Wells missed a session, Martha stepped up to the mic, got notice and a contract. She left the A/R department to become one of Motown’s most enduring and beloved stars.
As classics never fade, new and diverse audiences are constantly being introduced to the Martha Reeves songbook.
She has counted talents as diverse as James Brown and Beverly Sills among her singing partners. Robin Williams spun “Nowhere to Run” in Good Morning, Vietnam. Her version of the Van Morrison rocker, “Wild Night” was featured on the Thelma and Louise movie soundtrack. The boys in The Boys In The Band and Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act 2 partied to “Heat Wave.” Everyone from Mick Jagger and David Bowie, the Mamas and the Papas, Dusty Springfield and the Grateful Dead have gone “Dancing In the Street.” Singers such as Adele, Amy Winehouse, Florence Welch and Jennifer Hudson sing her praises. The popular US cable show “Power” (produced by rapper Fifty Cent) uses a reworked “Nowhere to Run” as its theme song.
Moving beyond the confines of the concert stage, Reeves starred in a US tour of the Tony-winning “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, and has performed in road shows of “The Jackie Wilson Story” and “Good Black Don’t Crack.” She co-starred for three seasons in the UK stage review “Dancing In The Street,” alongside Motown peers like the late Edwin Starr, Mary Wilson, and Freda Payne. Following Starr’s death in 2003, Reeves held the spotlight alone. That same year, she made her opera debut singing with the Motor City Lyric Opera.
Reeves is the recipient of the Dinah Washington Award, a Rhythm n’ Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, a Black Woman in Publishing Legends Award, and has been inducted in the Alabama, Soul, Rock and Roll, and Vocal Group halls of fame. “Dancing in the Street” has been entered into the Library of Congress Registry of Historical Recordings and into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas are listed among Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Immortal Artists.”
Eddie's "Hey There Lonely Girl" is one of the top selling and best Remembered romantic ballads of all time. Exhilarating soul ballad king, Eddie Holman, is on the scene with a great, live show featuring his spectacular million selling gold record "Hey There Lonely Girl" showcasing the full worth of his vocal range. No one need to be lonely anymore. Ably and strikingly backed by the Eddie Holman Band, Holman has found the perfect match of musicians to bring out the powerful vocals qualities of his crystal-clear, yet emotive instrument. Stylish vocals have been synonymous with Eddie Holman. Holman's rich and powerful vocals, as distinctive as ever, using that unique range which remains the envy of many.
Holman has one of the finest tenor voices ever to emerge from Philadelphia, and his rich soaring falsetto, the signature of the Holman persona always strikes new highs.
Eddie Holman is a very special soul stylist, a singer about whom British writer, Tony Cummings has said: "Eddie Holman's voice, an astonishing precision instrument which leap octaves with speed of mercury and bend notes into shapes unimagined by lesser singers, has assured its possessor a place in history." Holman has typical soul singer roots; singing gospel in church beginning at age two. Born of musical family in Norfolk, Virginia, he was inspired and taught to sing by his mother, learned piano and guitar and wrote original songs. Then New York City beckoned and he moved north at the age of five. Says Eddie, that where I gained my first exposure to show business.
Eddie attended Victoria school of Music and Art in New York City. As 'Little Eddie Holman, he appeared in Off-Broadway shows and concerts at Carnegie Hall in-addition was a regular on NBC-TV's "The Children's Hour" and he won amateur shows at the Apollo Theater.
He later moved to the City of Music, Philadelphia. This turning point was the beginning of a new career. Eddie wrote, produced and recorded in Philadelphia while attending Overbrook High School. Success as a recording artist came with his first national release while still a freshman at Cheyney State University. He's had a string of national and international hits, starting with "This Can't Be True Girl" which as a point of fact, was his first charted song. "This Can't Be True, Girl" was significant not only because it was Eddie's first hit but, it was unarguably the archetype on records of the era, says writer Tony Cummings." Prior to "Hey There Lonely Girl" Eddie's recorded repertoire included, "Am I A Loser, From The Start", "I Love You" and "All In The Game", Other popular recordings included "Don't Stop Now", "Stay Mine For Heaven Sake" and "I'll Cry 1,000 Tears".
The vocalist I learned most from are Nat 'King' Cole and Jackie Wilson." If you ever ask Eddie where he acquired his talent, he will no doubt tell you that he was inspired and guided by God's divine power.
The achievement of a long held ambition. Although Eddie has in past worked and will continue to work, within secular field of popular music, he has always been a religious man and in fact an ordained Christian Minister of the Baptist Church. To publicly testify his faith he formed his own company, Agape Records, for the U.S. release of his first gospel album/CD, all of which was written, arranged and produced by Eddie and recorded in Philadelphia with some of the top session men that accompanied many of his previous releases.
"LONELY GIRL" made a band a necessity." Now he travels internationally with the Eddie Holman Band. He's appeared in concert in Europe and Japan many times where he's extremely popular and his popularity never ceases, he remains a much loved artist and still something of an idol and legend. On the strength of "Lonely Girl" Eddie has been able to present an image of class and the ability to be himself.
Terry “Buzzy” Johnson
Terry “Buzzy” Johnson is an original member of The Flamingos and an Inductee to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Grammy Hall of Fame, The Rhythm & Blues Foundation and The Vocal Group Hall of Fame. He was and is still the musical and vocal arranger,songwriter, producer, 1st tenor and lead vocalist for The Flamingos. He is the trademark owner of “The Flamingos.”
In 1954, Terry (at age 16) recorded with a Baltimore group called THE WHISPERS, (not The Whispers of the 1960's), on Gotham Records in Philadelphia. He wrote, arranged and sang lead on “Fool Heart” and wrote, arranged and sang lead on “Are You Sorry”, released in 1955.
He brought that sound and talent to The Flamingos in 1956 with his first arrangement of music and vocals on “The Ladder of Love” and continued with writing and arranging, “Lovers Never Say Goodbye”, “Mio Amore”, “At The Prom”, “Heavenly Angel”, “You, Me and the Sea” and others, and also with his unforgettably beautiful production and arrangement of “I Only Have Eyes For You”. Terry arranged the music, vocals and sang tenor on all of the songs on the albums “Flamingo Serenade”, “Requestfully Yours” and “Flamingo Favorites”. Terry sang on the duets such as “Lovers Never Say Goodbye”, “Love Walked In”, “Time Was” and “But Not For Me”. He also sang the lead on some of their album cuts such as “I’m In The Mood For Love”, “When I Fall In Love” and “Beside You”.
Terry spent many years at Hitsville U.S.A. (otherwise known as Motown) working with the likes of The Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Temptations, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and The Four Tops. During his visit to Detroit in 2003, he had some nostalgic moments in front of the recording studio.
During his visit to Detroit in 2003, he had some nostalgic moments in front of the Motown recording studio, “Hitsville USA”. After The Flamingos, Terry formed his own group called Terry Johnson & The Modern Flamingos. When Nate Nelson left The Flamingos, he joined forces with Terry. They recorded under the name THE STARGLOWS. They co-wrote and sang “Let’s Be Lovers” on the Atco Label, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records. Terry arranged the background vocals using his group.
Still working with his group, Terry went to Motown Records as an artist and producing partners with Smokey Robinson. As an artist, he recorded several records on the Gordy Label. He wrote, arranged, and produced songs for Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Edwin Starr, The Spinners, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers, Jimmy Ruffin, Mickey Denton, Blinky and other Motown artists.
Terry is extremely grateful for the opportunities that he has had in recording with the other members of The Whispers, (Billy Thompson, James Johnson, Bill Mills) and The Flamingos, Jake & Zeke Carey (Founders), Paul Wilson, Tommy Hunt and Nate Nelson) and the above named artists at Motown. Working with such great artists is a major part of his success.
From The Whispers, to The Flamingos, to The Starglows, to Motown Records and up to today, his legacy, sound and the success of his music continues with his own group TERRY JOHNSON’S FLAMINGOS. Many of you have already seen him around the country on the PBS special called “Rock and Roll At 50?, and you will also see him on the latest PBS special called “Doo-Wop Lost And Found”, filmed in Atlantic City, due to air in November of 2005.
He is currently celebrating the Diamond Anniversary of The Flamingos as well as his own with a new CD entitled “The Flamingos’ Diamond Anniversary Tour 2013.” During May through September of 2013 he will be in the process of recording and releasing new originals. True to his reputation of being ahead of his time, he is enjoying co-producing with some of today’s hottest young producers and musicians throughout the country, creating a combination of styles from the past and present. The Diamond Anniversary CD is available on this website, ITunes and Amazon. Thanks to all the Fans, the DJ’s, the Promoters, the Agents and fellow Artists. We’ll see you soon in your city. Terry was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Starling Newsome Jr.
Raised in New York City, Starling Newsome’s musical experience moves through a myriad of musical platforms from music appreciation in college to early development in the area of classical music: studied voice at Manhattan School of Music attended Brooklyn Conservatory performed in New York City’s various musical venues such as acts for Amateur Night at the world famous Apollo Theatre: female group – Sizzle, 1st place winners Starling has performed at eclectic jazz clubs like Blue Note, and R&B circuits: Cellar, Savage, and Sidney’s around the city. And, he also turned out radio voice-over work (Time magazine, Mario Biaggi’s campaign commercials.) Background vocals in the Metropolitan area was a contributing factor in refining his present vocal skill set. Nicknamed “Star” by his close friends, he has worked in the studio doing vocal work with some of the leading back-in-the-day dance and disco “Mix Masters” such as Larry Levan of Paradise Garage, Peach Boys, Chris Mc Callum, and Giovanni Fusco “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and Timmy Regisford.
Early in his career, Starling garnered the lead roll in one of MacDonald’s most successful productions of the world famous “Quarter Pounder” campaigns. Later on, he appeared in Woody Allen’s production “Here Come the Gurus.” Starling also appeared in a Celery Soup production of “ Touch and Go “ at the Princess Theater in Sanford, Florida admitting there is a certain “ in the moment energy” that can be appreciated when doing theater.
He stayed with the music for a while back then, but would later enlist in the US Army. During his tour with the 25th Infantry Division, Starling sought to walk on the stage of any USO hall that he could find “to do that music thang.”
Music and Entertainment was not always my “primary focus” as Starling readily admits. “I had to step away and take care of the family for a minute.” That “minute” lasted about thirty-seven years in the United States Postal Service. Having recently retired as a Manager of Maintenance Operations, he now says, “It’s my time!”
Starling is married to a loving, supportive wife and a father of three successful children. His oldest son, officer in the Navy is currently deployed; next, his daughter, a Law student, and his youngest son is attending the University of Central Florida.
In his words, Starling says, “My life has really come full circle. I recall singing “I Only Have Eyes For You” in the hallways of the projects where I lived (Wilson Projects in East Harlem), and any other place which included subways – “gotta get that sound.” Who would think that the man whose song I Only Have Eyes For You, responsible for setting me on this musical path, would be the guy that would pick me to come aboard and become a part of the next episode of the “melodic adventure.” You can’t make this stuff up. Right now, I am living a dream doing what I love, and whispering back to God these words……Thank you, I love you!!”
Stan Prinston, New York City born and raised, started his musical career as a choir boy in Catholic school. Like so many other aspiring singers, high school opened up the world as he and his friends sang close harmony in the hallways and stairways looking for that echo.
After high school, he enlisted in the Army and was stationed at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, in the Continental Army Command. Later, Stan was transferred to the 24th Infantry Division in Augsburg, Germany. During his tour of duty, he formed a singing group called The Fararri’s. They entertained the troops with R&B and Pop hits of the day at the NCO clubs. Upon leaving the service, Stan was called to be the front man with a New Jersey based group called The Motifs. They were managed by Gordon Vinyard who also managed Bruce Springsteen at the time. Stan would open up for Springsteen’s group called The Castilles as well as the Young Rascals at the Choo Chu Club and for Jackie Wilson at The Chatter Box in Seaside Heights. Springsteen’s group and The Motifs were sharing the limelight in the Garden State’s most popular venues for years: Asbury Park Convention Hall, Mrs. J’s, and Stone Pony to name a few. Stan sang with The Motifs for 12 years playing the Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania and New York with much regional success, recording their originals at the famed studio “Le Studio” in Manhattan, NY.
After The Motifs disbanded, Stan was asked to join a classic rock group called Unclaimed Freight who frequently played at the Up Stage in Asbury Park, NJ. Soon afterward, he joined a group called Calibre, again playing The Chatter Box, The Bamboo Lounge, and The Hoffman House in the Point Pleasant, Jersey Shore area. Later in his career, Stan decided it was time to take his years of performance experience to establish himself as a single act.
Stan has spent many years honing his craft on cruise lines, well-known super clubs, and casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Stan became a Florida resident with his encouraging, loving wife and five children. Three of which are in the construction industry, one is a personal trainer, and one is a stay-at- home mother. Stan and his wife also have eight grandchildren.
He continues to work as an entertainer in the Tampa Bay Area, as well as the east coast of Florida. He has worked as a radio announcer and MC, and is skilled at doing voice-overs and script writing for WDUV Radio in St. Petersburg, Florida. Stan was acclaimed by Sun Coast News as one of the best R&B singers in the Tampa Bay Area.
Along with his classic, cool style as a vocalist, he has dabbled in the motion picture industry playing extras in such movies as Presumed Innocent with Harrison Ford, A Shock to the System with Michael Cane, and the part of a police detective in the Michael Estefan movie Only the Strong.
In Stan’s words, “Tony Bennett sang a great song called ‘The Best Is Yet To Come.’ Well, the best has come for me. It’s an honor and an extreme privilege to be traveling with Terry Johnson and The Flamingos performing to audiences that appreciate meaningful music. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this day would come.”
Leroy Gomez is an American, native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
He started his musical experience in the group "Tavares" , and for several years toured with them the USA, Canada, Caribbean Islands and Europe. First stop Italy.
Leroy loved Italy so much that he decided to leave Tavares to stay in Europe and see the rest of this new found land. He went to Paris, where very quickly he became one of the top session saxophone players and vocalists. He worked with many great artists, among them : Gilbert Becaud, Claude Francois , Patrick Juvet , and many more.
He played saxophone on the famous Elton John album "Yellow Brick Road" His first solo success was a single "Here we go Round" which was an instant hit in France, Europe and Latin America.
His world wide success "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" from the album Santa Esmeralda starring Leroy Gomez broke the record of album sales with 15 million LPs sold within a few months. To date more than 25 million, Santa Esmeralda "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" is a NC2B0 1 Disco hit in the world with 48 Gold albums and 42 platinum albums. Twice elected best live show in Europe by the Federation of European press awarded the "Mask of Success". Winner of 6 Cash Box and Billboard awards in the USA.
The First foreign artist ever to be presented the "Gondola D'Oro" at the Venice Music Festival
"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" was recently featured in Quentin Tarentino hit film "Kill Bill" Leroy is also a songwriter, with the Hit song "You're My Everything" to add to his list of credits.
"Santa Esmeralda starring Leroy Gomez" is a great disco sound to which the whole planet has danced. It has recently been revealed that Leroy work has been sampled by over 80 artists. From Madona to Rap, Hip Hop and Pop artists such as Janet Jackson , LL Cool J, Naughty by Nature Mary J. Blige, Etc. Etc.
While recording as a saxophonist in Paris. Leroy recorded with the group Lafayette Afro Rock Band collaborating on their first album Lafayette Afro Rock Band Soul Makassa. Leroy wrote and produced on this album the song "Hihache", which has been sampled regularly for over 20 years by artists as diverse as Janet Jackson, Biz Markie, LL Cool J, De La Soul, Digital Underground, Naughty by Nature, and the Wu-Tang Clan. and many more.
"Hihache", has also been used as a sample on Madonna Erotica (Madonna in My Jeep Mix).
LL Cool J feat Timbaland, Feel The Beat, Mary J. Blige feat The Notorious B.I.G Real Love (Remix), 2 Pac Only Fear of Death, Chris Rock feat Gerald Levert No Sex (In The Champagne Room) and the list goes on and on. To see and hear the compositions of artists that where inspired and samples Leroy song "Hihache", just connect to the following link: (link coming soon)
Also while recording with Lafayette Afro Rock band Leroy collaborated on the bands second album:Lafayette Afro Rock Band Malik. Leroy soulful Saxophone interpretation on a song written by Michael McEwan "Darkest Light" has been sampled on over 27 Rap and Hip Hop productions. "Darkest Light" has been sampled in Public Enemy's "Show 'Em Whatcha Got".
After Public Enemy's sample of "Darkest Light" was highly praised, "Darkest Light" was sampled in numerous culturally significant songs, including "Back to the Hotel", the multi-platinum 1992 single "Rump Shaker" by New Jack the group Wreckx-n-Effect and rapper Jay-Z's 2006 single "Show Me What You Got".
Leroy Saxophone solo in Michael McEwan "Darkest Light" was also sampled in Ice Cube Friday, Queen Latifah Latifah Law, Heavy D & the Boy Slow Down, Kurious Spell It With A J (Yes, Yes Jorge) and again the list goes on and on. To see and hear the complete list of artists that found inspiration from samples Leroy horn from Lafayette Afro Rock Band, Michael McEwan "Darkest Light" just connect to link: (Link coming soon)
Presently Leroy is touring the world with his new show and preparing a new album.
Leroy has recently united forces with DJ Producer Ricky Rocco to create a new project mixing the Latin, Pop, Rock ,Rhythm and Blues, roots of Gomez and the Dance, House, Tecno, Pop influences of Rocco to create an exciting new mix. Leroy Gomez Vs Ricky Rocco
Creating a new Record label, Santa Esmeralda Records. The creative side will be run by Leroy Gomez and his partner Ricky Rocco bring new artists and fresh quality new music into his roster managed on the distribution? and strategic side by Sharkarts Group, under the direction of CEO Ivan Klass.
The Labels first new releases "Angel" "Everybody In Love" "I can? feel it" "A Little Love" "Believe In Me" "Che Guevara" "Living For Your Love" "Come The Night". The Crystals The Crystals started in 1961. Phil Spector heard them in a rehearsal, and signed them. The rest is pop music history. The hits just came pouring out.
When she was 18 years old, Bonnie Pointer talked her younger sister June into joining her in a singing act to find work in the vibrant and growing Bay Area club scene. The Oakland teenagers called themselves Pointers-A Pair and it became immediately obvious that what they lacked in experience they made up for in talent: their music was HOT. When the girls persuaded a third sister, Anita, to join them, they renamed themselves The Pointer Sisters. This new act quickly developed a reputation as one of the top back-up groups in the city, while working with some of the top musical acts in the world. Elvin Bishop, Taj Mahal, Grace Slick, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin all used the Pointer Sisters for back-up or as opening acts for their San Francisco club dates. The young girls similarly worked with Edgar Winter, Dave Mason, Santana, Tower of Power, Boz Scaggs, Bobby Womack, Bill Wyman, Chicago, Dr. Hook and Rod Stewart. By the time the fourth Pointer, big sister Ruth, finally joined the party, The Pointer sisters were clearly one of the rising stars in the music business.
Bonnie Pointer continues an unbroken chain of music that began in those San Francisco clubs back in 1969 and continues through today.
Actually the music started a lot earlier than 1969. Bonnie Pointer and her three sisters (they also have two brothers) learned to sing in the choir at the neighborhood Church of God, in tough West Oakland, California where their fathers was the minister. One can only imagine the reaction from the church-goers of West Oakland when little Bonnie, June, Anita and Ruth Pointer would harmonize to gospel classics like "The Blood." But life was also hard for little Bonnie and here sisters; her parent's home was very strict and they were very poor. Popular music was not allowed in the house and the children lacked almost every material convenience. Bonnie dressed in thrift shop clothes—anticipation a 40's style that later would make them famous. Never deprived of most common material possessions, Bonnie developed and ambition for success that would serve her all her life, and an artistic talent that would earn her two college scholarships and a degree. In addition to her music, Bonnie still expressed herself through her art, painting primarily with oils, watercolors, and also using pen-and-ink. At this time, young Bonnie Pointer made the tough choice to avoid the path of marriage and family after high school that her older sisters took. Instead she took June on the road to seek her fortune.
Right away a series of bad breaks, which have never really stopped, found the girls. In one misadventure, stranded in remote Houston, Texas with no money and no way home, Bonnie was forced to appeal to a stranger for help. That stranger was record producer David Rubinson and Bonnie took all the nerve she had to call him. Rubinson not only rescued the girls, he persuaded his partner, the legendary music impresario Bill Graham, to sign them to a management contract. In 1971, after a series of showcases arranged by Graham, Jerry Wexler and Atlantic Records inked Bonnie and her sisters to their first record contract. In 1972, after Ruth joined the group, the girls followed Rubinson to his new label, Blue Thumb.
Blue Thumb released the Pointer Sisters self-titled first album in 1973, with two songs "Yes We Can, Can" and "Wang Dang Doodle," charting. This was followed in 1974 with the release of "That's A Plenty," which contained; of all things a country tune Bonnie co-wrote with Anita called "Fairytale." The country single was a huge success, and when it hit the country charts the sisters were invited to be the first black women ever to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. "Fairytale" won the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group and was later covered by the King himself, Elvis Presley.
The Pointer Sisters successes continued. Their Blue Thumb Records album "Steppin" included the top 20 hit "How Long (Betcha Goa A Chick On the Side)" written by Bonnie and Anita which was a Top 20 and #1R&B hit. "Going Down Slowly" also charted as did "You Gotta Believe" showcased in the feature film "Car Wash," starring Richard Pryor.
In 1979 Bonnie Pointer left the group and signed with Motown Records for whom she made three albums, won the first Billboard Award, and had a number-one song ("Free Me From My Freedom") and a number one dance record ("Heaven Must Have Sent You").
Since leaving the Pointer Sisters, Bonnie has spent much of her time living on the East Coast, mostly in Florida and New Jersey, writing and performing. With her popular club act she works constantly, and has developed a large cult following in the gay community. Bonnie is an exercise freak and can always be found in her dance or exercise classes or swimming. A common sight for residents along Florida's inter-coastal waterway is Bonnie Pointer racing by in a speedboat or Para-sailing out of the blue Florida sky, her increased studio demands have brought Bonnie back to Los Angeles for the time being.
Always a prolific songwriter, Bonnie Pointer has been busy writing for herself and many other well-known performers, including much of the Motown stable, including Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Sly Stone. Recently she has also worked with Jody Watley, Sylvester and Gloria Gaynor. Bonnie also composed music for the feature film Heavenly Bodies. Bonnie sings the songs "Heaven" and "The Beast In Me" on the soundtrack to the movie "Heavenly Bodies." She also won the Tokyo Music Festival Award for a song that she and sister Anita wrote for Stevie Wonder. Bonnie attended the ceremony for the unveiling of the star for group on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994 and joined her siblings on stage for a concert performance of "Jump (For My Love)" in Las Vegas, Nevada on New Years Eve in 1996. Bonnie still continues to perform all over the country and has appeared at several Gay Pride celebrations throughout the United States. In early 2008 Bonnie Pointer embarked on a concert tour of Europe. A 5-year running must see in Atlantic cities Disco Ball Trump Taj Mahal.
After returning from the European Tour in 2008, Bonnie has performed for several Gay Pride Festivals during 2009. She performed at the Hard Rock Café in Florida of February this year. Yearning to get back in the studio and create Bonnie made contact with long time friend David Williams with Melrose music and with the producing partners Lloyd and Robin completed this new project. "Like A Picasso" captured a new feel and sound for Bonnie with her vocals being at their peak this project turned out to be one of her greatest vocal performances taking advantage of her rich musical history. Some fans will be surprised by her new direction but they are going to love it. New and Old alike! The new single scheduled for release June 29th is "Hide" which captures Bonnie's rich rock flavor.
The Crystals started in 1961. Phil Spector heard them in a rehearsal, and signed them. The rest is pop music history. T he hits just came pouring out.
The girls have not missed a corner of the world. Their popularity has taken them on numerous tours to England, Scotland, Wales, Hawaii, Australia, Japan, coast to coast in Canada, the Caribbean, and The Bahamas, to name a few. But it's to our own shores that the Crystals devote most of their energy. They've played large hall concerts all over the nation, from Madison Square Garden in New York City, to the Forum in Los Angeles.
Their first release, "There's No Other Like My Baby", landed in the top 20 in popularity charts all over the world. Then came "Uptown", "He's A Rebel", "He's Sure The Boy I Love", "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "And Then He Kissed Me", the sixth gold record for the Crystals.
The Crystals have not only fulfilled their promise of their early years, but are constantly finding new worlds and audiences to conquer. They are always prepared for a sentimental journey into the past or a bold leap into the future of sounds that are different.