The Different Shades Of Brown
Ronald Logan – Nate Newsome – Stevie Warfield – Marvin Sutton were the original members of the DSOB
The DSOB’s of the 70’s were a group of 4 handsome talented singers and close friends from Springfield, Ohio who became popular performers throughout the South and Midwest, and had the potential to make a major impact on the entertainment industry.
In 1971 they were spotted performing at the famous 20 Grand Lounge in Detroit by the Legendary Motown writer, producer, Clay McMurray, who realized the special talents of the group and went to work immediately to get the group signed to the Motown Record Label.
McMurray’s efforts were not in vain and in 1971 the DSOB became the new kids in the Motown family of artists. McMurray co-wrote and produced the first single release on the DSOB entitled “Label Me Love” which featured the unique vocals of their Lead vocalist Ronald Logan. The record began to receive national radio play and it appeared the DSOB were on their way to the top of the charts with their first hit record…..when Ron (the lead singer who’s voice helped to add the magic that it takes to create hit records) decided he had to leave the group during the initial release of their 1st record to pursue a higher calling …the Ministry.
The group was devastated because this was the opportunity that they all had hoped for during their struggle as a bunch of regular guys from the little town of Springfield, Ohio. McMurray although a bit surprised took the challenge in stride, wished Ron all the best, and convinced the guys to replace Ron and keep it rolling. They agreed and brought a new soul to the group with the addition of a gifted singer from Dayton, Ohio by the name of Nate Alexander.
Unfortunately due to the loss of their original lead singer on their 1st record …all the momentum of their potential hit record was lost and they had to start all over to try and regain their 15 minutes of fame.
As the DSOB and McMurray prepared for their second wind and the next record, Motown was in transition and in the process of moving to the West Coast. During that period all concentration seemed to stall regarding marketing and promoting of the DSOB who were basically the last group that got signed before the Motown move to LA. Due to a combination of circumstances out of their control the group disbanded in 1976.
But wait …it doesn’t end there. After more than a month of Sundays, McMurray was contacted once more by a member of the DSOB. That voice was none other than Nate Newsome the exceptional 1st Tenor and original member of the DSOB who was now living in Denver, Colorado. He and another talented singer from Springfield, Mike Harris, had been contemplating putting the group back together. They wanted to know if McMurray was interested in coming on board to assist in what would later prove to be a successful, but sad, revival of an R&B vocal group that still had a lot to say. Sadly, Mike Harris, the strong 2nd Tenor who McMurray had previously recorded and McMurray felt was a key factor in providing the group with a bit of vocal distinction that would easily help to identify the new sound of the DSOB, was stricken and passed on suddenly, leaving McMurray and Newsome,Stevie Warfield and Ellsworth stunned and saddened with their untimely loss.
About this time and just by chance former lead singer of the DSOB, Ron Logan, now Pastor of one of the largest religious congregations in Springfield had put together a gospel play entitled “From Motown to the Ministry” and would ask McMurray to be a special guest for the opening celebration of the play along with all the original and replacement members of the DSOB. The play earmarked the origination of the DSOB and their struggle to become world class entertainers, their timely meeting with Motown Producer, Clay McMurray, and the start of a major career in the Music business, and the individual and home town disappointment of a homegrown group of fellas that should have ranked with the top names in the Music Biz. They were that GOOD.........
After the play, McMurray and the DSOB members embraced and talked about old times. The gathering moved to the Springfield home of Ellsworth Senior(Slak) who had been a former member of a spin-off group McMurray created in LA after the DSOB breakup called the “LoveMakers”. During this time the fella’s who, hadn’t sang together in more than 2 decades, began to start singing harmonies and mixed leads as if they had never been apart. They were quickly joined by Clay’s partner and world class female performer, “Pree”, who added a special vocal flavor to the already unbelievable sounds being created. Stevie Warfield (Bass vocalist) along with Nate Newsome (1st Tenor) the only the two original members were once again feeling something special and after more than 20yrs of separation from the original group…the new gathering of their voices combined with Ellsworth Senior , Nate Alexander , and Pree simply took the possibilities of the return of the DSOB’s to a new level.
McMurray’s A&R antennas went up and he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. The DSOB still had something to say and McMurray suggested that they consider this gathering to be the return of the DSOB …this time featuring 4 guys and a girl with everyone in the new group doing a lead on a song on what McMurray envisioned to be a CD full of new songs and HIT covers.
Since McMurray felt he had 5 vocalists who had their own distinct style of singing, and combined they made making harmony and lead exchanges sweet and painless, he would once more bring together a special group of people; some he had started out with years ago, and others who happened to be at the right place at the right time.
McMurray said, “I wanted to make this CD with a passion. I loved the original group and felt I had once again been guided by Fate to collect and direct the DSOB and let the current world hear a group that paid their dues, maintained their talent, and didn’t really miss the BOAT but decided to catch it later.”
When I listen to Stevie(Lo-Notes) perform the song “Fallin” he spits it from the BOTTOM of his heart and soul……Nate (Nuke) makes a real school 1st tenor feel like a warm silk sheet…..Ellsworth (Slak) makes Dee Clark proud with his one of a kind treatment of the classic HIT “Raindrops”….. Mike(Smoove)Harris’s “Farwell Love” made this big man cry….. Pree’s “Love Vibrations” lets you know that you can’t play a real woman over and over again and not get the boot….Nate(Dayton)has a R&B style of his own whether he’s singing solo lead on “Then Again Maybe” or sharing the stage on the pop classic “Never Gonna Give You Up” You can’t ignore his “Ruffin” interpretations.
Although there’s a lot more to their story, lets stop it here and let you spend some time listening to R&B and Real School Music at its’ best. There’s something here for anyone who likes to keep it real …real musicians …real strings and horns …real songs …and real singers. Baby boomers beware …and with all others we’re proud to share.
THE DIFFERENT SHADES OF BROWN
“HAVE A HEART”
50’s – 60’s – 70’s – 80’s and current classic R&B songs it's a Real School approach with a new twist......Enjoy