Who was/is The Dramatics ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

The Dramatics

Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get

The Dramatics

Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get


Although he was ensconced as a producer for Memphis-based Stax Records, Don Davis looked around his hometown of Detroit for talent. That’s where he found The Dramatics, who had started out at Pershing High School as The Dynamics but had already switched monikers by the time they waxed two 45s for Big Ed Wingate’s self-named Wingate label in 1966.

At that point, they consisted of Ron Banks (born May 10, 1951 in the Motor City), Elbert Wilkins, Rod Davis, Robert Ellington, and Larry Reed. Their All Because Of You for the Motor City’s Sport Records made a national R&B splash in 1967. But personnel changes ensued; only Banks and Wilkins remained from the original lineup when the smoke cleared. The group picked up William ‘Wee Gee’ Howard, Willie Ford, and Larry Demps to fill out the ranks.

Signed by Davis for his Groovesville Productions, The Dynamics waxed Your Love Was Strange, a group-generated composition that ended up their first single for the Stax subsidiary Volt. It didn’t chart, and Davis let them go. Then writer/producer Tony Hester entered the quintet’s life. Davis liked what he heard from the new combination and brought The Dynamics back into the Volt family, turning over the production reins to Hester.

Hester scribed the Latin-tinged Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get for his charges, hiring Detroiter Johnny Allen to arrange the strings and punchy horns. Though the gruff-voiced Howard was the primary lead, every member had a lead line or two, a democratic approach reminiscent of The Temptations’ recent output. Out in May of ’71, Whatcha See vaulted to #3 R&B and #9 pop that summer. 

- Bill Dahl -

Various - Sweet Soul Music 26 Scorching Classics From 1971

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