The Stage Corporation was an unknown soul funk vocal group from Columbus,Ohio. The members of the group were Stan Embry, Francine Embry, Beverly Flowers, Jack Marchbanks. They started under the name "Paragon". However they changed their name because there was already another Afro-Carribean vocal group with the same name. The group was unlucky because they had the opportunity to open for Teddy Pendergrass at the Columbus Convention Center and hoped to win a recording contract with Philadelphia International Records but the concert never happened. A few days before the concert, Pendergrass was involved in an automobile accident. He suffered a spinal cord injury, leaving him a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down.
The group has recorded several songs. All the songs were written by Jack Marchbanks. Most of them today are unreleased. However in 1981 they released a single entitled "Take Me Right Now / Desire" on DoubleTree Records. I have chosen the song "Take Me Right Now". Produced by M.Spangler and Jack Marchbanks.
Note: The above posted single is not played in full.
C.K.Dexter-Haven is an uknown singer who performed mainly in the early 80s. I have seen two records by him. The first is named "Let's make a memory" and the second "That's why (I love you so)". Both were released as a single.
Today I'm presenting the song "Let's make a memory" which was released as a single on Crosby Ave.Records in the early 80s. The flipside is enitled "C.K's Theme" and it is instrumental.
Crosby Ave.Records is an indepedent label that was formed in the early 80s by Derek David, Yvonne Pagan and Benjamin Pagan in Brooklyn, N.Y.
"Let's make a memory" was written by Yvonne Pagan.
The name of the artist reminds everyone the name of the famous actor and singer of jazz music Bing Crosby who used this name "C.K.Dexter-Haven" in the film "High Society" which was released in 1956. However Bing Crosby and C.K.Dexter-Haven don't have any relation, even though the label has the name of this famous actor.
Note: The above posted single is not played in full
I have the pleasure to announce that I created a radio station for all the fans of soul music. This radio station is in trial version for one month. Later I will decide what I will do concerning this musical effort.
The Frierson Family has performed for over of four decades. They began under the name The Frierson Family and later became The Frierson Singers and The Frierson Brothers. Inspired by their parents' musical education, 10 children of the family learned how to sing and formed the group Frierson Singers, receiving their first performance training by their cousin, Mattie Wilson. In school while participating in various classes, they also learned to play different instruments. Over the years several members of the group have changed.
They released a few singles in the late 60s and early 70s, receiving very good reviews from both gospel radios and the community.
In 1979 they released an album entitled "I want to go to heaven" on Down Record Co from Cincinnati, Ohio. It was recorded at 5th Floor Recording Studio, Cincinnati, Ohio, owned by Rich Goldman and Ellie Goldman. In this studio many famous soul and funk bands have recorded like Ohio Players, Slave, Zapp, Midnight Star, Sun, Dayton.
The musicians that played in this album were J.Casper Butler on keyboards and saxophone, Ralph Lofton and Sara Frierson on keyboards, Rick Vandivier and S.Reynolds on guitars, S.Walker on bass and Curtis Sanford on percussion. Vocals by The Frierson Family. They were Calvin Frierson, Christine Frierson, Mattie Frierson, Leonard Frierson, Sarah Frierson and Albert Frierson.
I want to mention that I bought this album for the song "Jesus forever more". In fact this song is the song "Deja Vu" by Dionne Warwick. They worked upon the music of "Deja Vu" and changed the lysics. The album was produced and arranged by J.Casper Butler and Leonard Frierson.
I have chosen two tracks entitled "Jesus forever more" and "Joy". Solo sax on "Joy" by J.Butler.
During their career, they appeared in the movie Dream Team in 1988. They also appeared in local and national television and in various gospel shows. They also participated in the United Way talent show in 1988, being contestants for first place(!). Their contribution to gospel music has been recognized by the Municipal Counsil of the city of Newark. Nowadays, they continue to exist as a group. Indeed, they recorded their first CD in Joyland Records and they still perform throughtout the United States.
Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full This article was compiled by Souldennis and Helen Dimou.
Bob Williams is a singer who was influenced from soul and reggae music. He was born in 1946 and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. In the late 60s he moved along with his friend Jimmy Wisdom in Canada. They worked in various clubs in Toronto. In the early 70s, they cut a few singles as a duet Bob & Wisdom.
One of them was the single "I believe in music / Mighty creator" on Vintage Records. It was released in 1972. The song "I believe in music", which was a cover of Mac Davis, has been included in the compilation named "Jamaica To Toronto - Soul Funk & Reggae 1967-1974". Doug Riley recruited them for the band Silhouettes and they sang with Jo-Jo and The Fugitives. Later Jimmy Wisdom decided to follow different path and turned his attention to hair cutting. He opened a shop in 1980.
So Bob Williams followed a solo career. In 1979 he released a single entitled "I'm alright" on Nad-Lyn Productions.
Two years later in 1981, he released another single called "I love you (In a very special way) / Life must go on (without you)" on GP Production.
The song "I love you (In a very special way)" was penned by Herbert Clifton, Bob Williams, John T.Davis and Melvin Pierre.
Produced by Junior Chung, Blaine Selkirk and Herbert Clifton.
Note: The above posted single is not played in full
Nick Fradiani is a great singer, songwriter, guitarist and bassist. He started playing the guitar at the age of 8. He won the East Haven Exchange Club Talent Show with his band at the age of 13. He graduated from the University of New Heaven. In the mid 70s Nick became member of the groups called Sagebrush Rock Band and Gene Cipriano Band.
In 1977 Nick Fradiani formed his own show band called "Rhapsody". From 1977 to 1984 the group appeared in various hotels and casinos across the country. At the beginning the members of the group were Nick Fradiani on bass, guitar and lead vocals, Jon Turner on guitar and sax, Joe Mirando and Carolyn Grant on lead vocals. Later Carolyn Grant was replaced by the singer Debbie Horner. Joe Mirando left from the group and was replaced by Allen Adams. The band got together about two years ago after Fradiani, Turner and the drummer Allen Adams finished an extended period playing on the road. Debbie Horner also left from band.
Later Nick Fradiani recruited the keyboard player Paul McCoy. Allen Adams contacted with the singer Asa Harris with whom he had played years earlier in Hawkins Road another New Heaven area band of the mid 70's.
The group with Asa Harris acquired a different dimension. Asa Harris daughter of singer, pianist, arranger for the original InkSpots Ace Harris and the niece of world famous trumpet player and big band leader Erskine Hawkins gave with her voice a jazzy feeling in the band.
While the group was appearing in various hotels, casinos and clubs, they entered in the studio and recorded an album.
The album was recorded at Connecticut Recording Studios, Bridgeport, CT. In my opinion, it is one of the top albums that were ever recorded. The songs of the album have two directions, those that Nick Fradiani sings and the ones that Asa Harris sings. The first direction has a pop/soul feeling and the second direction has a soul/jazz feeling.
It is worthy to note that the heart of the band is John Turner. John played soprano, alto and tenor saxophones as well as flute and lead electric guitar. He was also on backing vocals. The other members Allen Adams on drums, percussion and background vocals. He also sang the song "On And On".
The compositions on both directions are brilliant, excellent. Nick Fradiani wrote three songs entitled "Sunset Beach", "Lady Of Song" and "Empty Promises". All these songs performed by himself. The other songs performed by Asa Harris were written by John Turner (You never know) and by Paul McCoy and Flo Goldstein (Touch me (All ya gotta do is)) The song "Broadway Medley" is a medley of songs "New York,New York", "One", "What I did for love" and "Tomorrow".
All the songs were produced by Rhapsody. Sax and flute arrangements by John Turner. String arrangements by Paul McCoy.
Sunset Beach (Sample)
You Never Know (Sample)
Touch Me (All Ya Gotta Do Is) (Sample)
Lady Of Song (Sample)
Empty Promises (Sample)
Broadway Medley (Sample)
The band except for the album released a single entitled "Sunset Beach / You never know" in the same year on the same label.
In 1982 they continued to perform in various places like the Sheraton in Station Square. Their appearance was great. Asa Harris was outstanding. Her style had some of Dionne Warwick and Ethel Merman. She finished with her hour-long show with a 10-minute medley of Dionne Warwick's songs.
Her singing partner and band leader, Nick Fradiani was excellent on the stage. He performed a medley of songs by Kool & The Gang and Neil Diamond. He also performed songs from the big band period. However the highlight of this night was a fantastic duet of Nick Fradiani and Asa Harris, when they performed the famous song "Endless Love".
When the band disbanded in 1984, Nick Frediani followed a solo career. A year later Nick returned to Connecticut and started working on his new release. The single entitled "Midnight Lady / Hold On To Our Love" was released as a 12-inch on the Sunset Beach Records. Both songs were produced by Vic Steffens.
"Midnight Lady" is a catchy upbeat dance record written by Nick Fradiani. It features him on all vocal parts backed by a richly textured horn section and a dynamic guitar solo performed by Rohn Lawrence.
This 12-inch single contains two versions of Midnight Lady. A long version dance mix and a short mix for radio play.
Midnight Lady (Sample)
"Hold On To Our Love" is written by Nick. Featuring him on vocals along with the beautiful saxophone work of Jon Turner.
After "Midnight Lady", he began to perform as a piano player and keyboardist, playing in cruise ships (Cunard Line) and major hotels. He landed back in Atlantic City at Resorts International, and began performing internationally with stints in Montreal, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Acapulco and Aruba.
By the early nineties, Nick was back in the studio recording his first solo album “Living on the Edge of Time".
In 2009, Nick is releasing a brand new CD titled “Aruba Nights” which was recorded at Horizon Recording Studio and was produced by Vic Steffens (also producer of "Midnight Lady" and "Living on the Edge of Time").
Nowadays, Nick Fradiani along with the previous member of Rhapsody Debbie Horner appear in various places as The Rhapsody Band.
His passion for music has been passed down to his son Nick Fradiani Jr., who has also been performing as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. They have teamed up in the studio on the Aruba Nights CD for the duet “In Her Loving Soul”.
Nick Fradiani Jr. has formed his own band named Beach Avenue. The Band was formed in the Summer of 2011. Nick Fradiani Sr is also member as a keyboardist.
Finally, I want to mention some things for Asa Harris. The daughter of pianist Ace Harris and the niece of the legendary Erskine Hawkins, Asa Harris grew up surrounded by music. She started in the early 70s. She sang in choirs and plays in Catholic grade school and, as a speech and drama major at Catholic University. In 1975 she sang with entertainer/ompressionist/comedian Billy Fellows. Later she joined in the Rhapsody Band until 1984. After Rhapsody Band she appeared in various clubs and hotels and she collaborated with the singer Tony Viviano. Harris worked as an actress in theater for many years. She has appeared in the 1996 film 'A Family Thing,' starring Robert Duvall. Harris often sang with her Uncle Erskine's band in the NY Catskills, taught jazz vocal performance at Webster University, and was active in bringing jazz into the elementary and junior high schools in and around St. Louis, MO.
In 1999 Asa Harris made her long overdue recording debut, interpreting standards (including Erskine Hawkins' acclaimed theme song "Tuxedo Junction) on her 'All In Good Time' CD. Since moving to Seattle in 2005, Asa (aka Chaplain Maggie Finley) has devoted her time to serving as a home hospice chaplain.
Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full. # You can find herea digital download for the song "Midnight Lady" . ## To make this article, I worked for over a year.
I wish to all my visitors Happy New Year. I decided to present a mix-samples of my favorite songs. Finally I want to mention that I'm the first blogger in the world who presents a song from the extremely rare album of the group Rhapsody. Enjoy !!!
1. Willie Toliver - Bit off more than I could chew (Thin Dime 45")
2. Blue Magic - Can't you get of my life 1978 (ATCO Lp)
3. Joneses - Universal love 1977 (Epic Lp)
4. Rhapsody - Lady of song 1981 (Sunset Beach Lp)
5. MayneStream - Sheri (La Perla Cafe 45")
6. Rita Johns - A little bit of love 1981 (Jingle Machine Lp)
7. Barbara Morrison - Dreams in flight 1990 (Pony Canyon CD)
8. Barbara Reed - The tear returns to me 1985 (Rare Sound Lp)
9. Acey McCone - Love will find its way (Unreleased featuring Jaimee Paul)
10. Jeff Tyzik - Prized possession 1985 featuring Phil Ballou (Polydor Lp )
Hello my friends. I uploaded this Blog because I love music. To me, music is a way of living. Through this space, I want to promote fine Soul, Funk and Jazz music (rare or not rare). Here you will find outstanding topics so you can enrich your knowledge and be entertained as well. Yet, I would like to complain because some bloggers share entire albums with others whether they have the records or have the tracks from other bloggers. I don’t think it’s fair for some of us to pay in order to buy the records and others to find them free through Blogs. Perhaps it’s not the same when someone owns a record compared to another who has only the tracks. But honestly I want you to answer to one question (not to me but to yourselves). Anyone of you – after a reasonable period of time – is capable of presenting them as their own stuff. Thanks.
For this reason I don’t share my tracks – you can listen to them only.
Also there are many collectors and bloggers who are after rare records without paying any attention on the quality of the tracks. (For example Nigerian Funk).
I would like to thank some special friends and people who helped me a great deal. First and foremost I want to thank my friend Nicolas Drosos who has been always a friend and a brother to me. Also special thanks go to George Polychroniou (G.Poly) a huge collector in Greece. My friend JR FUNK from France. Also to ANTONIO from Spain. Finally, I would like to thank a special gentleman from England for his unconditional help. THANKS JOHN FROM MY HEART.
Note: Some of the tracks related to rare topics on this Blog, are not going to be heard on the whole because they can easily be stolen thanks to today’s technology.