Soul-Patrol Newsletter



SPN: Soul/R&B, RIP Ron Banks of the Dramatics, Iris Smith (Personal Reflection), Honor our Legends Now, Levi Stubbs (Four Tops), Johnny Carter (The Dells), Robert (Squirrel) Lester (Chi-Lites), Malia Franklin (Queen of Funk)
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RIP Ron Banks (of the Dramatics)

RIP Ron Banks (of the Dramatics)Ronald Dean Banks, born May 10, 1951

"It's not a good day Iris, as a matter of fact it is a terrible day… It's always terrible when someone dies, but it's even more so when it's your brother, your friend..."

--"L.J. Reynolds" Co-lead vocalist of The Dramatics speaking on the untimely death of founder and co- lead vocalist Ron Banks"

Ron Banks, husband, father, son, brother and friend died Thursday March 4, 2010 from a massive heart attack in his home of Detroit Michigan. I won't go into a bio, suffice to say that Ron not only an original member of The Dramatics, but also he was the founder of the group. He began singing at a very young age in family groups, grew up in a musical home, his mother sang in white supper clubs; his dad was a big band musician. He formed the Dramatics in 1962, and the rest as they say, "is history"

I was blessed to have become close to Ron, traveling with him and the Dramatics, taking photos for the Dramatics fan club, myspace, during these times I had many in-depth conversations with Ron. He worked with local inner city school districts, hoping to get computer training to inner city youth. Never one to shy away from fans, Ron would engage in deep conversations with fans after shows, pose for photos, and sign autographs. He was the ultimate performer, giving his all with each performance. I have many fond memories of Ron, having been a fan for over 40 years; my most favorite memory was very recent, 2008. We were in Atlanta, leaving the hotel heading to the venue, when I asked Ron about one of my favorite songs, which of course he sings leads… "You're Best Thing in My Life" I ask him why it wasn't a part of the show, he smiled and said, "um, I don't know" I said, "that's my favorite" he looked at me and right in the middle of the hotel lobby, begin singing, he say "Best thing in My Life' in its entirety, I was grinning from ear to ear, people stopped in their tracks to listen as he sang. When he was done, he asked me "How was that?" I was crying, he laughed, and we walked out of the hotel. Now I'm sure there are many more fans who can tell these kind of memorable stories about Ron, I'm also sure that there are many, many people who never had a chance to hear or see him perform. Our music legends are leaving us at such a fast rate, Levi Stubbs (Four Tops), Johnny Carter (The Dells), Robert (Squirrel) Lester (Chi-Lites), Malia Franklin (Queen of Funk) just to name a few…

With each passing of one of our musical legends, we hear plenty of "Oh My Gods, how sad, and most of all, I never had a chance to see them" I say to all who will read this, "GO SEE THEM NOW!" time is "NOT" on our side, drag your children, grandchildren, any youth and take them to see, hear and experience true music, true artistry, real show stoppers! Do this before it's too late, before we have none…

To the family of Ron Banks, The Dramatics, his friends, know that Ron was loved and his passing is heart wrenching, but we will keep him alive, whenever we "go outside in the rain" he gave us The Dramatics, which to me was "The Best thing in My Life"

Iris Smith
Soul-Patrol - Cleveland, Ohio
http://www.myspace.com/therealdramatics


Classic Soul - The Dramatics

RIP - Lenny Mays/Dramatics Memories On Sunday Lenny Mays of The Dramatics, passed away at 4:30 am of heart failure. It was a tough battle but he is at peace now. Lenny was visited this past weekend by more then 1000 people, the cards and post sent to me through U.S. mail, and post were all read to him. The Dramatics performed in (Cleveland ) this past weekend, the second show was cancelled due to Lenny's slipping away. Please pray for his family, and The Dramatics, this has been hard on them all.

(Thanks to Iris Smith, Cleveland Soul-Patrol Coordinator for keeping us informed)










Dramatics


"Be My Girl" - Written by our own Michael Henderson. What a beautiful love song. It's right up there for me with "I Love You Secretly" - Miracles, "I Only Have Eyes For You" and others. Songs of "unrequited love" have a way of touching me.

"What Cha See, Is Whatcha Get" - Today the kids like to use the phrase "Keepin It Real". The lyrics of this song made the point much clearer. I remember using the lyrics of the song in chat rooms, whenever I could see that people were in there lying....lol. It's always been one of those types of songs that for me JUMPED RIGHT OFF THE NEEDLE when you first put it on. I remember seeing the Dramatics perform the song on Soul Train and remembering how sharp they were with their "finger snappin". I remember when the song comes on during the movie WATTSTAX during the montage showing everyday life in the Black community in Los Angeles. Whenever I see that scene, the song almost carries a political overtone to it.

Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get:
"Some people ...are made of plastic"
"Some people....are made of wood"
"Some people....have hearts of stone"
"Some people....are just up to NO GOOD"
"But baby.....I'm for REAL" "I'm as REAL...as REAL can get"
"And if what your lookin for.....is REAL lovin"
"Then What You See......Is What You Get" !!


"In The Rain" - What a song.... I remember pushing girls up against the wall in basements off of this song as a teenager and walking away all sweaty. I remember how true and how sad the words run.... Can you imagine hurting sooooo bad that all ya wanna do is...

"GO OUTSIDE IN THE RAIN, SO NOBODY CAN SEE YOU CRY..."

I know that kinda pain, so do you most likely if you are a human being...

"Toast To The Fool" - I remember how when that song first came out on the radio, me and my boys were walking around using the lyrics to "woof" each other, in a way that teenagers do that both endears themselves to each other and yet at the same time is also the cause of many fights....lol

"Devil Is Dope" - A Great Anti Drug Song

"Hey You, Get Off My Mountain" - Another great song to grind off of

"Dells vs. Dramatics" - a "battle of the bands" concept that would subsequently be "borrowed" by many others. Wasn't that LP cover fantastic?

"Doggy Dog World" - When it first came out, I really dug the music video because of the many 70's references. Later when I saw the Dramatics live in concert doing the song, there seemed to be something wrong with the sight of grown men in tuxedos singing that song....lol

However, it was at that very concert, held at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island that I met Lenny Mays, for the first and only time backstage at the show. The conversation was brief and uneventful at the time.

Now I look back at it and know just how fortunate I was to meet one of my heroes before he left this earth.

RIP - Lenny Mays
Lenny Mays of The Dramatics





 

If you have a news item, update, review, commentary, etc that you would like to submit to the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, please send them via email for consideration to:

earthjuice@prodigy.net


Hopefully you enjoyed this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter.
We will be back soon with the next edition, with email alerts for local events, Soul-Patrol website updates/chat sessions or breaking news in between, as required.

If you have any comments, questions, etc feel free to drop me an email and let me know what's on your mind.
Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net

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