follow up to the best-selling album "Drama V” (reissued by SoulMusic Records in
2013, SMCR-5104), the 1976 LP JOY RIDE proved to be even more successful for
the Detroit-based Dramatics (originally formed in 1962), spawning a US Top 20
chart hit with ‘Finger Fever’ and two US Top 10 R&B hit singles (‘Be My
Girl,’ #3 and ‘I Can’t Get Over You,’ #9) both of which became staple tunes in
the group’s live performances.
quintet (by 1976, consisting of L.J. Reynolds, Willie Ford, Ron Banks, Larry
"Squirrell” Demps and Lenny Mayes) had established themselves as hitmakers
with classics such as ‘Whatcha See Is
Whatcha Get’ and ‘In The Rain’ for Volt Records.
three primary producers on JOY RIDE had been key players in the group’s
previous success - Don Davis, songwriter Tony Hester and key musician/artist in
his own right Michael Henderson. In
addition, two members of the group – Ron Banks and L.J. Reynolds - stepped up
with each producing one track while longtime arranger Jimmy Roach wrote and
produced another standout cut, ‘I Get Carried Away.’ Henderson’s ‘Be My Girl’ quickly became one
of the album’s highlights (with his own version competing with the group’s for
US airplay) propelling JOY RIDE into the US Top 20 R&B Albums chart.
SoulMusic Records’ reissue includes two bonus tracks, single versions of ‘Be My
Girl’ and ‘Sundown Is Coming’ along with liner notes by renowned US writer
Janine Coveney with 2013 quotes from Michael Henderson.
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