Lost but not least! Moments and Whatnauts – Girls (Stang Records)
Time on occasions doesn’t seem to have (bad) effect on things. This therefore being the reason why we tend to qualify them as ‘evergreen’, if not… timeless! Which is exactly the case regarding ‘Girls’. A groovy soul cut that saw labelmates The Moments and The Whatnauts joining forces back in 1974.
US rapper Funkmaster Wizard Wiz gave it a scratchy version 14 years after on Tuff City, although remaining quite true to its original spirit. And he also entitled it ‘Girls’. Not to be missed with Kandidate‘s ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’!
– Hailing from WDC, Eric Olfus Sr., Richard Gross and John Morgan formed The Moments in the mid-60’s. They dropped their first single – ‘Baby I Want You’ – on the Mizell Brothers‘s transient label Hog.
Mark Greene joined after the single’s release. The group then signed with the newly established Stang Records. A label which Sylvia Robinson set up at All Platinum Studios in Englewood, NJ with her husband, Joe. There, they would deliver 12 albums between 1969 and 1978, although with different line-ups.
These regular changes started from the very beginning, with original members Greene, Olfus and Gross leaving All Platinum together in 1969. In the meantime, baritone singer Al Goodman and lead tenor/baritone William Brown had joined John Morgan. This explaining their presence on the cover artwork of The Moments‘ debut-album ‘Not On The Outside, But On The Inside, Strong!’.
Soon after, Sylvia Robinson‘s brother-in-law, Johnny Moore briefly replaced Morgan. He eventually appeared on the cover of the group’s second album along with Goodman and Brown. But absent from a live appearance, he got fired then replaced by Harry Ray.
The then newly formed threesome, Ray, Goodman & Brown served as the nucleus of The Moments until the end. Signing with Polydor in 1979, they turned the name of the group into their own for contractual reasons.
As Ray, Goodman & Brown, they are most likely remembered for their 1979 classic ‘Special Lady’. They also regularly collaborated with The Whatnauts during their period at Stang Records.
– Baltimore, MD-based Carlos Herndon, Garnett Jones and Gerard Pinkney gave birth to The Whatnauts back in 1969. They released their debut-single – the socially conscious ‘Message From A Black Man’ – the year after on A&I International. Then, they signed a record deal with Stang Records where they released 3 albums, from 1970 to 1972. Their biggest classics from then are ‘Please Make The Love Go Away’ and ‘I’ll Erase Away Your Pain’ in 1971. And last but not least, the memorable ‘Girls’ credited to Moments & Whatnauts.
They might be best remembered by the younger generations for the 1981 released ‘Help Is On The Way’ with mixing work courtesy of Tee Scott. A cut given an interpolation the year after by Fat Larry’s Band on ‘Act Like You Know’. But also sampled by De La Soul on the memorable ‘Ring, Ring, Ring (Ha Ha Hey)’ in 1991. Not to mention Deni Hines on ‘It’s Alright’ 4 years after. Then Beverley Knight on ‘Greatest Day’ back in 1998…
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