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Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Dramatics

Collection of The Dramatics

Before assuming the name the Dramatics, the vocal sextet comprised of Rob Davis, Ron Banks, Larry Reed, Robert Ellington, Larry "Squirrel" Demps, and Elbert Wilkens initially released two singles as the Dynamics on the Wingate imprint that saw no chart action. The group became a quintet upon Ellington's exit, and also changed their name to the Dramatics. They migrated to the Sport label and in 1967 released their first single to hit the charts, "All Because of You," which peaked at number 42 on the R&B charts. However, in spite of the exposure and limited record sales, some group members became discouraged, which facilitated a major personnel change. William "Wee Gee" Howard replaced lead singer Reed, and Willie Ford of the Capitols replaced bass Rob Davis. Also during this time, the Dramatics had signed with producer Don Davis' production company.

Even though the group managed to stay together, the ensuing years were unproductive for chart action and sales. Between 1967 and 1971, the Dramatics made very little noise on the national scene. By the end of 1971, Davis summoned the group to the studio to record producer/songwriter Tony Hester's "Watcha See Is Watcha Get." The single was the Dramatics' first major national hit, peaking at number three on the R&B charts, and sustaining chart action for 15 weeks. That single was followed by the R&B Top Ten single "Get Up and Get Down."

The following year the Dramatics released "In the Rain," which was also penned by Hester. The single torpedoed its way to the number one spot on the R&B charts, maintaining that position for four consecutive weeks; the single also peaked at number five on the pop charts. Ironically, in spite of the national attention the group was receiving, another personnel shuffle was simmering.

Larry "L.J." Reynolds, who had been a member of Chocolate Syrup and was pursuing a solo career during this time, met Dramatics member Banks at the Apollo following a performance by the group. It just so happened that Howard was absent that night. Reynolds auditioned for Banks backstage; it was not too long afterwards that Reynolds, who was also signed to Don Davis' production company, began to occasionally sit in with the Dramatics during Howard's absences.

In 1973, Howard's decision to leave the group opened the door for Reynolds' entrance; Reynolds' vocal presence and permanent entry into the group was manifested with the release of the R&B Top Ten single "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain." And while Reynolds was replacing Howard, Lenny Mayes was replacing Wilkens, which spelled out identity problems for the remainder of the group. Wilkens formed his own version of the Dramatics and began touring. During this time and pending legal procedures, the name of the group was changed to Ron Banks & the Dramatics.

The Dramatics' success continued with mainly R&B Top 20 hits during the heyday of disco, cracking the R&B Top Ten just once more with "Welcome Back Home" in 1980. In 1981, Reynolds went solo; the group disband after Banks went solo in 1983. The group managed to stay active, reuniting to record new material every three or four years since the early '80s. They occasionally reunite for concert events.

Album: Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get (1972)

01. Get Up And Get Down
02. Thank You For Your Love
03. Hot Pants In The Summertime
04. Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get
05. In The Rain
06. Gimme Me Some (Good Soul Music)
07. Fall In Love, Lady Love
08. Mary Don't Cha Wanna

Album: A Dramatic Experience (1973)

01. The Devil Is A Dope
02. You Could Become The Very Heart Of Me
03. Now You Got Me Loving You
04. Fell For You
05. Jim, What's Wrong With Him?
06. Hey You! Get Off My Mountain
07. Beautiful People
08. Beware Of The Man (With The Candy In His Hand)
09. Stand Up And Clap Your Hands

Album: Dramatically Yours (1974)

01. And I Panicked
02. I Dedicate My Life To You
03. You've Got Me Going Through A Thing
04. I Pray She'll Never Go Away
05. I Made Myself Lonely
06. Highway To Heaven
07. Beautiful Feeling
08. Toast To The Fool
09. It's So Hard Trying To Get Over You

Album: The Dramatic Jackpot (1975)

01. (I'm Going By) The Stars In Your Eyes
02. Good Things Don't Come Easy
03. Trying To Get Over Losing You
04. I Cried All The Way Home
05. Never Let You Go
06. A Thousand Shades Of Blue
07. Me Myself And I
08. I Dig Your Music
09. Me and Mrs. Jones
10. How Do You Feel

Album: Drama V (1975)

01. You're Fooling You
02. She's A Rainmaker
03. I Was The Life Of The Party
04. Things Are Changing
05. I'm Gonna Love You To The Max
06. Treat Me Like A Man
07. Just Shopping (Not Buying Anything)
08. Come Out Of Your Thing
09. I'll Make It So Good

Album: Joy Ride (1976)

01. Finger Fever
02. Richest Man Alive
03. Stand Up And Move
04. Sing And Dance Your Troubles Away
05. I Get Carried Away
06. Be My Girl
07. After This Dance
08. Say The Word
09. I Can't Get Over You
10. Sundown Is Coming (Hold Back The Night)

Album: Shake It Well (1977)

01. Shake It Well
02. You Make The Music (I Just Dance Along)
03. My Ship Won't Sail Without You
04. Come Inside
05. Spaced Out Over You
06. That Heaven Kind of Feelin
07. (I Like) Makin' You So Happy
08. Oceans of Thoughts and Dreams
09. Music Is Forever

Album: Do What You Want To Do (1978)

01. Why Do You Want To Do Me Wrong
02. Do What You Want To Do
03. Disco Dance Contest
04. California Sunshine
05. Jane
06. Stop Your Weeping
07. I Want You
08. Yo' Love (Can Only Bring Me Happiness)

Album: Anytime, Anyplace (1979)

01. I Just Wanna Dance With You
02. Bottom Line Woman
03. That's My Favorite Song
04. I Think About You
05. Get With the Band and Dance
06. Life is Just a Playground
07. I'm Hooked on You
08. Stranger (In My Life)
09. Love Birds
10. A Marriage On Paper Only

Album: 10 1/2

01. Music Is The People's Choice
02. Welcome Back Home
03. Runnin' From My Love
04. Love Is Here
05. I Just Wanna Dance the Night Away
06. If You Feel Like You Wanna Dance
07. It Ain't Rainin' (On Nobody's House But Mine)
08. Be With The One You Love

Album: The Dramatic Way (1980)

01. Get It
02. Given' Up My Love
03. You're The Best Thing In My Life
04. (We Need More) Loving Time
05. Turn On The Music
06. You Promised To Be My Girl
07. How Can I Be Sure
08. Share Your Love With Me

Album: New Dimension (1982)

01. The Devil Is A Dope
02. You Could Become The Very Heart Of Me
03. Now You Got Me Loving You
04. Fell For You
05. Jim, What's Wrong With Him?
06. Hey You! Get Off My Mountain
07. Beautiful People
08. Beware Of The Man (With The Candy In His Hand)
09. Stand Up And Clap Your Hands

Album: Somewhere In Time (1986)

01. Dream Lady
02. Razor Blade
03. One Love Ago
04. Show Me What You Got
05. When Love Is Over
06. Medley Somewhere In Time
07. Days Of Yea And Ney
08. Luv's Callin'
09. She's Wild

Album: Positive State Of Mind (1989)

01. Positive State of Mind
02. Live Your Life
03. Bridge Over Troubled Water
04. Blame It On New York City
05. Please Say You'll Be Mine
06. Give Me Some Attention Tonight
07. Come On and Stay
08. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Instrumental)

Album: Stone Cold (1990)

01. If U Really Luv Me
02. She's Stone Cold
03. Just a Little Bit
04. If You Love Me
05. Let's Make Luv 4-Ever
06. Get on Up
07. Candy
08. Ready 4 Love
09. No Place to Live

Album: The Best of The Dramatics (1991)

01. Get Up and Get Down
02. Thank You For Your Love
03. Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get
04. In The Rain
05. (Gimme Some) Good Soul Music
06. Fall In Love, Lady Love
07. The Devil Is a Dope
08. You Could Become the Very Heart of Me
09. Fell For You
10. Hey You! Get Off My Mountain
11. Beware of the Man (With the Candy in His Hand)
12. And I Panicked
13. I Dedicate My Life To You
14. I Made Myself Lonely
15. Highway to Heaven
16. Toast to the Fool

Album: Me & Mrs. Jones (1994)

01. Me And Mrs. Jones
02. Be My Girl
03. Shake It Well
04. You're Fooling You
05. Never Let You Go
06. Say The Word
07. I'm Hooked On You
08. (I'm Going By) The Stars In Your Eyes
09. Welcome Back Home
10. I Just Wanna Dance With You

Album: Mellow Drama (1994)

01. One Monkey Don't Stop No Show
02. Hurt By Love
03. Sexy Devil
04. Cloud Nine
05. Paradise
06. Space Age (May Day Mix)
07. Everything Reminds Me Of You
08. For Your Love
09. Mother Nature
10. Key To The World
11. Space Age (Jam Mix)

Album: Shake It Well-The Best of the Dramatics 1974-1980 (1998)

01. Shake It Well
02. Be My Girl
03. You're Fooling You
04. Me and Mrs. Jones
05. Don't Make Me No Promises
06. Love Is Missing from Our Lives
07. Door to Your Heart
08. (I'm Going by) The Stars in Your Eyes
09. Finger Fever
10. I Can't Get Over You
11. Do What You Want, Be What You Are
12. Jane
13. Welcome Back Home
14. That's My Favorite Song
15. You're the Best Thing in My Life
16. Stop Your Weeping

Album: Look Inside 2002)

01. Look Inside
02. Looks Like Rain
03. Got My Pride
04. Pushin' Up On Ya
05. What Must I Do
06. Baby Boo
07. Right In the Middle of Heaven
08. Special Lady
09. I'm So Alone
10. Better Love As Friends

Album: The Very Best Of Dramatics (2007)

01. Your Love Was Strange
02. Watcha See Is Whatcha Get
03. Get Up And Get Down
04. In The Rain
05. Toast To The Fool
06. The Devil Is Dope
07. Hey You! Get Off My Mountain
08. Fell For You
09. And I Panicked
10. Highway To Heaven
11. Bridge Over Troubled Water
12. Thank You For Your Love
13. Gimme Some (Good Soul Music)
14. Fall In Love, Lady Love
15. You Could Become The Very Heart Of Me



alex said...

thank you so much for this collection!
a legend of a group!

ney said...

Great stuff ! thanks a lot!

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