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Bloodstone

Biography

Bloodstone is an R&B, soul, and funk group, most popular in the 1970s and early-1980s. The band charted 13 songs between 1973 and 1984.

Formed in 1962 in Kansas City, Missouri, the group was originally a high school doo-wop group named the Sinceres. The members renamed themselves Bloodstone, learned to play instruments, started a funk band, and eventually moved to Los Angeles, California. From their first album, Bloodstone introduced the song "Natural High" reaching number 10 on the Pop chart. The groups other hits include, "Never Let You Go", "Outside Woman", and "My Little Lady". Bloodstone was instrumental in the "black rock" and funk movement of the 1970s, and even had a hand in the brown-eyed soul movement with some Latin music-tinged hits. Bloodstone performed with artists such as Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Elton John, The Impressions, The Temptations, Etta James, and many more.

Bloodstone received no record company interest in L.A., however; at the advice of their manager, the group relocated to London in 1971. There, they teamed up with Mike Vernon, founder of the Blue Horizon label. Vernon took Bloodstone into the studio and by early 1973, its debut single, "Natural High," had cracked the R&B and pop Top Ten, becoming the group's defining song. The group would return to London; both to record with the London Symphony Orchestra’s string section and appear with such artists as the Who, and Sir Elton John. While Natural High was being certified gold, the band suffered their first loss with the passing of band member Roger Durham in 1974.

Mike Vernon produced the first five Bloodstone albums, which garnered seven Top 20 R&B singles, almost all of which made the pop Top 40. The group was a big concert draw, and its albums sold well, if not spectacularly. Somehow, all of this was parlayed into a 1975 film deal. Train Ride to Hollywood (1975) is arguably the funniest picture of the whole '70s black film boom. Bloodstone also starred in and wrote all the music for the film. Somehow, amidst the Slapstick and the Reefer jokes, Bloodstone wedges in a fairly complete history of black vocal harmony music from the Mills Brothers, the Coasters, to their own bad selves. They do it even better on the soundtrack album. (All of the Vernon-produced Bloodstone albums contain versions of '50s and '60s oldies.)

Bloodstone achieved a moderate comeback in the early 1980s with their album “We Go a Long Way Back “(1982), whose title track reached the R&B chart top five. The follow-up single "Go On and Cry" reached number 18. The group continued to record into the mid 1980s. While on tour they received word that Melvin Webb, their longtime friend and drummer passed away. Founding member Willis Draffen died in 2002 at the age of 56. Willis Draffen was later replaced by Donald Brown who is also a Kansas City Resident.

Original members
Willis Draffen - Vocals, Guitar
Charles Love - Vocals, Guitar
Harry Williams - Vocals, Percussion
Charles McCormick - Vocals, Bass
Roger Durham - Vocals, Percussion
Melvin Webb – {1973} Drums

The Old School revival of the early 1990s brought Bloodstone back to prominence, and they began an extensive slate of live performances throughout the nation and overseas.
Despite the death of founding members Roger Durham in 1974, Melvin Webb in 1982 and Willis Draffen in 2002, Bloodstone has kept on singing.
The group recorded an album in Kansas City, Missouri in 2003 entitled “Now That’s What I’m Talking Bout’.

In 1970 a musician by the name of Hense Powell worked with the group performing on the Piano, and Trumpet. Hense Powell moved to Los Angeles, Ca. in June of 1970 after graduating from J. S.U. in Jackson Mississippi. Hense played Piano on most of the songs on the Natural High album including the hit single “Natural High”, and is currently the Musical Director, Pianist, and Producer of various new projects on the group.
One of the most recent projects is a solo album on Bloodstone’s lead singer Charles Mc Cormick entitled “ The Many Moods Of Charlie Mac” on Desert Sounds Records.
The latest of the new projects which began in 2002 is the production and release of two Patriotic Songs on Bloodstone. {1. }America The Beautiful. {2.} Star Spangled Banner. The two Patriotic Songs were produced and arranged by Hense Powell, with the assistance of Bloodstone.
These two Patriotic Songs are dedicated to the men and women of the Armed Forces, especially those who gave their lives so that we may pursue life, liberty, and happiness.