Soul Fantasy

Monday, December 6, 2010

Charisma - Let Love In Your Life 1983

Melvin Davis in studio

First of all, I want to thank John "AJ"Carter for all his info.

For several years many collectors and radio producers thought that Melvin Davis was the lead singer of the group called Charisma. One reason was that the voice of singer seemed with the voice of Melvin Davis. The second reason was that the record was released on Rock Mill Records, label of  Melvin Davis.
In fact Charisma was a soul/funk group which was formed by Ray Green the brother of Jerry Green of the Contours who had his own version of the Contours touring Detroit from 1976-1981. The members of the group were Ray Green, Louis Carter Jr, Al Chisholm (former Contours), a gospel singer named Chris and Chris' brother named DougJohn "AJ" Carter was collaborator and manager.
Melvin Davis recorded the song "Let love in your life" in 1979 for himself, but the song didn't take off and Melvin shopped around for someone to produce it on. This song was included on CD entitled "His Greatest Recordings" which was released in 2004.

Melvin was friend of Ray Green and he asked him to form a group. Ray Green took three members of his version of the Contours who had split off. 
Melvin took these singers into the studio and recorded their voices over his track and sped up the tempo. AJ Carter wrote the intro line of the song and revamped the lyrics. Louis Carter brother of AJ, sang it as a member of Charisma. In fact Louis Carter sang only the intro line and the lead singer was Chris (a gospel singer). They had auditioned several singers before they ended up in Chris whose voice is similar to Melvin's. For this reason until nowadays many people thought that Melvin Davis was the singer. During the audition they also liked a guy called Tony Coates who later collaborated with Babyface.
They released a single entitled "Let love in your life / Gonna never give up" in 1983 on Melvin Davis' label called Rock Mill from Detroit. Both of these songs were recorded at Dearborn Studio A, Detroit.

Enjoy "Let love in your life". Produced by Ray & Pam Green and Melvin Davis. Composed by Melvin Davis.

After single's release John "AJ" Carter and his brother Louis Carter Jr. left Charisma because they wanted as lead singer Tony Coates who was also a songwriter and piano player. However Ray Green and Melvin Davis had chosen Chris as they thought that he was better on stage.
In the mid 80s Charisma appeared on Detroit's "The scene". What is remarkable is that other than Ray Green, none of the singers who sang on television were the ones who had previously recorded the song in 1983.

Note: The above songs are not played in full

1 comment:

MotownShowdown said...

Melvin Davis did record HIS version of " Let Love in your life " in 1979. However, he re-recorded it with Charisma in June of 1983 at Studio A in Dearborn Heights Michigan. Charisma was a group reformed out of the Ray Green version of the Contours, Ray Green being the brother of Jerry Green, one of the members of the Contours who came after Dennis Edwards left for the Temptations. Jerry and Ray formed a Contours group, then Jerry left and Ray formed a Contours review, then after the original Contours returned, Ray formed Charisma with 3 members of the Contours review. Mel took these singers into the studio and recorded their voices over his track and sped up the tempo somewhat, and I added the intro line to the song. My brother Louis Carter Jr. sang it as a member of Charisma. A young man whose name I recall as Chris sang lead, Al, one of the members of the Contours sang second tenor and the refrain, and Chris brother sang baritone, with Ray Green on first tenor. The R and P Green is Ray Green and his wife Pam who financed the project.

The group split after the session, due to personal differences, and when it was released in the fall of 1983, Ray Green appeared on " The Scene ", a Detroit dance show on WGPR television, with yet another set of Charisma lip syncing the song to the vocals that were laid down in June 1983. The version varies quite a bit from Melvin Davis' 1979 version with the harmonies and the intro line. Ray and Louis are the only ones left from that version of the Contours, all of the others have passed on, and the members of Charisma have all scattered as well. Ray and Pam Green own a limousine service in Detroit , Louis sometimes sings R&B demos for me, and of course Melvin Davis is now northern soul history.

I recall Melvin as a soft spoken well mannered guy, nice to work with. Those sessions were fun, and more or less, I count Melvin Davis as one of my mentors in the business.

AJ Carter, Nectarine Records, Alvin the First Music (BMI )