Friday, March 05, 2010

The Dramatics - In The Rain (Volt 4075)


In The Rain

Ron Banks
1951-2010

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.

5 Comments:

Blogger Robin said...

Another sad piece of news Red, did you Know that the Dramatics and the Floaters came from the same Detroit high school? Academic excellence!

11:28 AM  
Blogger Darcy said...

Sad news. I played and played the What You See... album back in the 70s. Must play it again now.

2:43 PM  
Blogger funk tone said...

great song! thank you

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God! this song's really awesome!
Thanks for sharing...

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dramatics brought a new and amazing energy to the music industry in the early 70's, and were a huge influence on me as a musician/producer. Masters of the complexity and simplicity of R & B.

Andrew Jackson
Memphis, Tn.

3:04 PM  

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