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Triangle Downtowner Magazine

70's Soul R&B

Nov 19, 2017 10:19PM ● By Lamarr Fowlkes

In matching gold crested suits, R&B group The Dramatics opened the show. Formed in 1964, the group specialized in romantic ballads before transitioning to dance music during the Disco era of the late 70’s. No track emphasizes that better than their cover of the Billy Paul song “Me and Mrs. Jones.” In between performances, the members danced and jokingly mocked each other’s abilities as a result of pre-show drinking. Despite disbanding in 1982 before reuniting before the end of that decade, the group has been busy actively touring and entertaining live audiences with their specialized soul style.

Smoke littered the stage and images of the slave trade adorned a stage screen as The OJay’s sauntered out clad in shades of Prince purple suits. The group started in the late 50’s as a five-man act before making it onto the charts as a trio in the early 70’s. The current lineup of original co-founders Eddie Levert and Walter Williams as well as 90’s addition Eric Grant, went into a rendition of “Shipahoy” which garnered lead Williams chants of you still got it. Later, a single spotlight shone on a woman in the front row and Levert as he repeated to her, “a relationship ain’t nothing without communication.” “Usa to Be My Girl” followed, then their only Billboard Number 1 US hit “Love Train” which itself was accompanied by a video of the group performing live on the classic American dance music program, Soul Train. Seven decades and many accolades later, The OJay’s are still rocking like the true professionals they are.