In The Rain
Founding member and leader of The Dramatics, Ron Banks
passed away yesterday in his hometown of Detroit. That's him on the right in the way cool Soul Train photograph above.
As a struggling Motor City vocal group, Ron and his Dramatics were being produced by Don Davis
for Golden World
's Wingate subsidiary when the whole shooting match was sold to Motown in 1966. Motown apparently wasn't interested in picking up their contract, and so when Al Bell
brought Davis down to Stax, he brought the Dramatics with him. When their initial Volt 45 went nowhere, he gave the group their release and sent them back to Detroit. Back home, they started working with a producer and songwriter named Tony Hester
, who was able to hear the the group's potential, and brought things to the next level.
Duly impressed with what he heard, Davis resigned the group to his Groovesville Productions, and let Hester produce them 'under his supervision'. Their next Volt release, the groundbreaking What You See Is What You Get
, sailed to #3 R&B in the summer of 1971, and established the Dramatics as a leading voice in the burgeoning Disco market. Their follow-up single, Get Up and Get Down
, cracked the top twenty, and paved the way for their biggest hit, the awesome record you're listening to now.
Like its predecessor, it was pulled from the huge selling What You See Is What You Get LP
, and spent a month
at the top of the R&B charts in early 1972. Just a classic example of the interplay between Detroit and Memphis, that's Dennis Coffey
playing that wild guitar...The Dramatics
have remained active, and are scheduled to perform as part of the 70s Soul Super Jam
this weekend here on Long Island. "The show must go on. If it was me I’d want them to go ahead and I’m sure he’d feel the same way,"
fellow group member L.J. Reynolds
was quoted as saying, "It’ll be a long, silent ride there. But we’ll take Ron’s mike and put it up onstage, and let it stand there.”
May God rest his soul.