VOICES Notes and news on Digital releases
13 SEP 10 DAVID NATHAN
Within the world of soul music, The Dramatics have been stars for close to 40 years. Formed in Detroit in 1962, they built a loyal fanbase on a handful of now-classic tracks, which can be found on The Dramatics' Soul Six Pack.
Recorded in 1971 after The Dramatics signed to Volt Records for a second time, the Latin-flavored "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," was recorded in the group's hometown rather than at the label's Memphis usual recording headquarters. With producer Don Davis masterminding the initial sessions with group, the Motor City quintet began a run of hits that established their formidable presence on the R&B scene.
Davis brought in producer/songwriter Tony Hester who wrote "Whatcha See," the 1972 follow-up "Get Up And Get Down" and the timeless "In The Rain," which became the group's biggest crossover hit when it reached No. 5 on the pop charts in '72 and gave The Dramatics their first (and only) No. 1 R&B hit. Hester was also responsible for penning 1973's stirring, "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain" (featuring then-new lead singer L.J. Reynolds) which would become the group's last major hit for Stax/Volt.
The remaining two tracks on Six Pack (part of the Six Pack series of distilled introductions to some of America's greatest artists), the 1974 cut "And I Panicked" and songwriter Hester's "(Gimme Some) Good Old Soul Music" help give a soul-filled taste of one of the enduring groups in the soul music pantheon.