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RIH Willie Ford

There is little doubt that The Dramatics is one of the greatest groups that ever worked in the music industry. Thirty plus something top ten hits, more appearances than anyone on Soul Train, went on for 48 something years, you can't even sum it up if you try - there is so much to find out about this group. And although it is in fact often times about numbers when we look at things, with music the proof is in the pudding too - and it can't even be fully described where the most deep and rich music is concerned. You could attempt to, and assign music theorists and poets for the task of describing the harmonic, melodic, rythmical, blended, rich, vast, deep sounds of the Dramatics, and they would be coming up short. The best music is indescribable. We don't have the faculties. We can wave about a bit and say SOMETHING about the music, but it will only ever be something in the midst of it ALL that could have been said had we had the vocabulary.

The Dramatics original members were Ron Banks, Larry Squirrel Demps, William Wee Gee Howard, Elbert Wilkins - and Willie Ford. The group was formed in the 60s and a trillion gazillion things happened since. And two weeks ago we had the news that Willie Ford has passed over, and as these words are written this great contributor to music is returned home.

At the end of the road something happened that no one talks about. That is not to be the case, no. The great Mr. Willie Ford is not going to be sent off having given all of his life to The Dramatics and to music without being shown the basic respect of the truth being told. Not here, no way. Willie Ford is one of the original members of this group, and he will forever be just that to the fans. Willie Ford was also always there through The Dramatics' entire journey, including the creation of this group and its massive breakthrough - which is what most people associate with The Dramatics, while others started in this group when their success was already established - and sometimes came and went. Just briefly we need to flip to this:


more & more & Normally how it works, Mr. Reynolds, is that if an original member says that someone is in the band they are in the band...It's how it worked with say...The O'Jays...or...your own joining this act...and took quite a long break from this act...and...  )

How this happened? Does it matter? The legal system may have the control over letters and trademarks. It doesn't write the history of music, and it doesn't boss over our ears or hearts! Mr. Willie Ford was part of the start of The Dramatics and will always be one of the true and original Dramatics - to the fans, hearts, minds, souls, ears, universe and the forever. And it doesn't matter that this happened OR that the persons' who did this now actually pretend it didn't happen like Willie never continued the band that he founded, elsewhere

- not anymore. (Wow! And we will never hear what they could have done...) The original member of this act perhaps wanted to get away from something, clearly had another visionWe don't have to pretend here. We will be outlaws at Musicians' Corner, in this sense. To us The Dramatics have dissolved and disbanded. That was some great 48 year something run, and we truly love and respect ALL of the Dramatics, and want to thank ALL of the Dramatics for their outstanding - outstanding! - contributions to the art of music. But to us this is over now, unless of course some recorded music we haven't heard yet from this unit should turn up or something. Someone was prepared to grab an entirely unimagninable affidavit, but it doesn't matter how hard anyone works or how much of a business-person anybody is - they don't write about themselves in the history books. Future generations will sing 'Some people are made of plastic, and you know some people are made of wood...' though it just may be the case that some people will wind up owning a whole lot of nothing where there was something to take loving care of and not only count. And we're sorry that we won't be paying attention to any 'future-plans' that this venture (The family business now called The Dramatics, one man show with cast that got a 5th man and changed the show somewhat because Mr. Ford did this) might have, as we will be too busy listening to The Dramatics' first million-selling album from here on.

Now we said what someone needed to say, we can just go back to smiling over the great legacy left by this man, Willie Ford, and his compadres in this amazing group, from here on, here at Musicians' Corner - and he did leave a legacy that is so easily smiled upon.

The beginning...

The end... All genuine smiles there... :) Something sounding, looking and feeling like the dignified & matured thing this legacy and five part harmony concept deserved. And you just look at had a young customer base. Well done!!! 

Thank you sooo much, Willie Ford, for what you have done for a world of music fans, and enjoy that Heaven that loves to have you! 

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Legendary singer L.J. Reynolds ..."Top That!"...

Musicians' Corner meets L.J. Reynolds


L.J Reynolds

An article with L.J. Reynolds

To me music is my life and what I am driven to do. It is what I will be doing until I am under ground. 

Even at the time when Aretha Franklin was really sick she was still working on an album. 

There is never the last album.

Music is the air I breathe, the food I eat, and my gasoline that keeps me going.

L.J. Reynolds' new single "You and Me Together, Forever" off the forthcoming new solo album

I am just now releasing a new solo album, “You And Me”, featuring the single “You And Me Together, Forever”. It is a great record, one of the best I ever made. It was recorded in 2018 and will be out in a few weeks. It includes a remake of “Key To The World”, from my self-titled solo album, which has been a big hit in my solo career, and which the public demands to hear at The Dramatics’ gigs too. I am trying to top what I already did. You can always do anything even better. The new record also for example includes a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me”, where I have added to the lyrics. It is a line-dance product. My records are great stepping records. I have an extensive solo career that features solo albums and gospel albums, with songs such as “Touch Down”, which was a single from my album "Lovin Man" , and albums such as "Travelin" and “Tell Me You Will” . I for example covered Aretha Franklin’s “Call Me”, so she called me and said that I had asked her to. That was really funny! She sometimes also came out after that song at my concerts.

It was suggested to me that I should cover something from Motown, and my video for “Come Get To This/Stepping Out Tonight” has nearly a million views on YouTube right now.

A lovely and popular video for YouTube to safekeep: L.J. Reynolds' "Come Get To This/Stepping Out Tonight" off the release "Get To This"

My daughter has passed away. I am nearly in tears when I talk about it.

L.J. Reynolds' solo hit "Key To The World"

A typical day in the studio back in time with The Dramatics, if I wasn’t producing, was a good eight hours long. We made sure that we had fun, and we allowed very few people to come to our recording sessions. We were focused, and always focused on how to outdo each other. 

Top that! 

After eight hours we had a record.

The Dramatics - as good as it gets - "(I'm Going By) The Stars In Your Eyes" on Soul Train, where this act appeared 20+ times

It wasn’t work and it isn’t work now. It’s the traveling that is the work – on stage I’m at home. And the most fun of all is when you get paid. 

We had thirty-seven hits. I have many favorites. I wrote a couple that are favorites… I can list them – it would take a while. 

L.J. Reynolds

The music business is rough on all. I have the gold records, but there has been obstacles, the shift to the digital world, production companies that didn't pay us, drugs, managers that weren’t fair with the money, changes of labels, offers that didn’t come through. There has been a lot happening that the younger acts now aren’t exposed to as much, and I have a saying that I want you to make note of: - If you’re not in control of the money the money is out of control. 

It takes its toll living this lifestyle. Being an entertainer can shorten your life, like cigarettes. Tragedies are what they say: Tragedies. I have lost all of that now. And it says that I have to keep the legacy going. None of us are getting out of this alive. There is great feeling and great faith about what you do. We want to be great. I lost my only brother. I lost my daughter. I turn that into song. I have been compensated well, so why more money as the prime driving force? I can only eat so much salmon. I want to do more music. I want to please the public. Artists fight to be liked.

I don’t think that you can ever go back. You can only always go forward.

L.J. Reynolds is a legendary singer, composer, arranger, producer, manager and entrepreneur, based in Detroit. He joined the phenomenon that is the massively successful singing group The Dramatics in 1972, and has since been one of the famous voices and faces recognized as The Dramatics. This group indeed has a dramatic story, but more than anything it has had outstanding and legendary voices and has a very long string of immortal songs to its name. The Dramatics are an important part of modern American history. L.J. Reynolds' brilliant solo career includes several studio albums and two gospel albums to date.

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