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By WAYNE SAVAGE, entertainment writer
Thursday, November 29, 2012
I’m not good first thing in the morning; case in point, confusing myself then poor Herb Murrell of The Stylistics.
Chatting ahead of the Philadelphia legends’ visit to Ipswich Corn Exchange he mentions there’s a bit in the show where they leave the dance routines behind, sit back, relax and ask the audience to holler out some songs for them to sing.
Any songs I ask innocently? Despite having been up late performing the previous night Herb’s more on the ball than I am.
“Oh no, they’re all Stylistic songs.”
Part of me thought it was odd.
“Right, come along and do a whole bunch of cover songs,” he laughs. “Our songbook consists of too many songs for us not to be able to do our own you know what I’m saying.”
I do. Hailing from the City of Brotherly Love, The Stylistics are one of the best-selling soul groups ever; recording ten straight top ten hits during the early 1970 and appearing on more than 40 albums altogether if you include compilations.
Starting off as two separate high school bands – the Monarchs and The Percussions – when each disbanded a teacher suggested some of the members formed a new group. They’ve never looked back.
Herb says he, Jason Sharpe, Airrion Love and Harold Brown feel blessed being still able to do what they love; paying tribute to the great people they’ve worked with along the way like creator of the Philly Sound Thom Bell.
“The most important thing is being able to come and perform for our fans and see the excitement on their faces, know they’re still enjoying our music, which makes it worthwhile.”
Songs like You’re A Big Girl Now and the Grammy nominated You Make Me Feel Brand New have stood the test of time.
Herb says they were very fortunate, coming along at a time when songs had more meaning.
“The love message was sincere and real. Today on the music scene everything seems to be watered over, you just get a string beat and one little line that everybody sings along on and they call that a song.
“Not taking anything away from them, because times do bring about change, we came along with songs that people can still relate to today.”
Fans can expect all the hits, including I’m Stone in Love With You, Sing Baby Sing, plus some album tracks.
“It’s a family orientated show. We run into our fans year in, year out and they tell us about their kids growing up listening to the music and now we have folks saying my grandkids are now listening to you music.
“Come along, have a good time and enjoy yourselves. I would like to say to all of our fans throughout the UK thank you so much for your support over the years.”
The Stylistics play Ipswich on Saturday, December 1. For more entertainment and events news follow me @WhatsonWayne on Twitter.