When asked about the Stars’ longevity, vocalist Nehemiah “Slim” Small (who was only born the year that original manager Robert White Sr. assembled the first line-up) explained that “we know what people like and what people don’t like.” Mr. Small, who’s been with the group for 40 years (second only to George Inabinett, who’s clocked in a half century), also added that “the biggest things that break up a group are women and money.” Here’s a photo from one of his first years:
And here’s the 2007 line-up:
One staple of the Silver Stars’ programs throughout the years has been “The Bible Days,” and we are pleased to share a late-‘70s take that’s found on their only-ever 45-rpm release.
Butch Kennedy of Charleston, South Carolina wrote in last August and revealed his amazing connections to Moe the Rooster, King Clyde Perkins, Lady Jam, and Midnight Blue, all of whom were previously profiled here at Carolina Soul:
“I just viewed your site I was wondering if moe the rooster is still alive. I just found out king clyde is no longer with us. My name is Butch Kennedy I was a DJ in the 70’s I was Mr. Boogie I worked with Lady Jam and was curious we used to play at Clydes Celestial !! all the time I also played with Midnight Blue from 1972 until 1976 thanks for the memories.”
Since then, Butch has gradually made his way through his photo albums, sharing with us these priceless images of himself and Lady Jam:
When Crawford Cornelius Jr. passed away in April of 2008, he was remembered for not only his music, but for his industrious tenure as a schoolteacher in the Columbia, South Carolina area. Befittingly, this song is appropriate for churchgoers and kindergarteners alike, blurring the line between church ballad and lullaby.
“Have Faith” by Entertainment Unlimited, featuring Cornelius, Crawford
The Educators Band—an off-shoot of the same-named group that came together in Washington, DC and made “Everybody Doing Their Thing (Parts 1 & 2)” (Dy-Rich DM 4538) there in the mid 1970s—is open for business:
Leader/saxophonist Ricco Richardson moved to South Carolina a few years after producing that funky 45 with Clifton Dyson, and he has been there ever since. Merging with a local group, Blackrock, and combining names as “Blackrock Educators”, Richardson was involved in their rarity “Isn’t It Nice” b/w “Give Into Love”, released on Bobby Cohen’s eponymous imprint in 1979. The Blackrock affiliation did not last very long, and Richardson reverted to his band’s original handle. In addition to the dynamic sax-man, the current line-up also consists of Gregg Johnson (lead guitar), Thomas Kelsey (bass guitar; ex-Profiles Band and Revue* of “Boo-Koo-Stump” Carolina Soul fame), and Tim Faber (drums; also ex-Profiles Band and Revue). Local South Carolinian “James Brown, Jr.” is available on request.
*Note: “Profiles” was actually a typographical error for “Profilers”. The defunct Columbia, South Carolina outfit is still remembered locally by their correct band name. Some music enthusiasts in town also remember their unmistakably-titled synthesizer-funk jam, “Boo-Koo-Stump” (Columbia World Of Music 0055-J), which you can hear at the end of this entry.
The current line-up again, in picture form (in upper advertisement only), from left to right, Kelsey, Johnson, Faber, and Richardson:
Midnight Blue’s rendition of the Leiber-Stoller composition “I Who Have Nothing” is right up there with Moe The Rooster as a frequent topic of email received here at Carolina Soul, and in this case, the writers always ask how they can hear the song again. As a response, we are offering an mp3 right here in this blog posting.
Midnight Blue is clearly a well-remembered Columbia, South Carolina group, and this song in particular must have been their hottest. Indeed, within a year after its local release on Samarah, it was picked up by Motown of all labels. On the strength, Samarah gained some momentum and diversified beyond just releasing records, as shown by this 1988 listing in a trade journal:
The success of “I Who Have Nothing” must have funded more off-beat releases like King Clyde’s or a seasonal offering that I have yet to come across, “What Is Christmas Without A Toy?”, by Drake and Company, featuring saxophonist Skipp Pearson.
The Carolina Soul website serves as a living encyclopedia of soul music made in North and South Carolina. We strive to share Carolinian songs and stories of the last half century, and we invite the input of musicians and fans. We hope you will contact us if you have information on bands or recordings from the region.