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Sitting In The Park Radio - A Soul Goldmine

Sitting In The Park Radio  - A Soul Goldmine cover

"It is important to to get the stories of these groups out, in their own words -- otherwise this history will remain undocumented and lost." A highlight post of a deserving regular Chicago radio show Sitting in The Park that thanks to the sterling efforts of Bob Abrahamian has been building up to be an reference goldmine for 60/70s soul fans over the last 3 or 4 years or so




Sitting in The Park is a weekly soul show that broadcasts every Sunday night from 7:30-9:00PM on WHPK 88.5FM Chicago. Selected shows are also available to stream or download via the Sitting in The Park Website. With approx 80 shows on offer at current moment, all featuring interviews with 100s of the artists who made this so fine music, it is an almost unique archive. Bobs words says it all about the thinking and approach to the show "It is important to to get the stories of these groups out, in their own words -- otherwise this history will remain undocumented and lost."


The latest show features Sheryl Swope and is a great example of just what is on offer, its a great enjoyable listen, not only just for the info/background discussion but also the showcase that it provides for the artists involved work, be it from back in the era or indeed recent work such as Sheryls recent gospel cd.


Here's the intro to the latest show


Hi. Today on my radio show I did an interesting interview with soul singer Sheryl Swope. Sheryl was from the west side of Chicago and started singing and dancing at an early age. After graduating from Crane high school, Sheryl started working at WVON. At the station, Sheryl was discovered by producer Deke Atkins, who recorded Sheryl for his Duo label. Her first record, "Let's get this show on the road", got some local play (backing her on the record was Chicago group the Marlynns). Her next record, "Can't get him off my mind", had a classic late-60s Chicago soul sound (due to writing and backing by the Brothers of Soul), and became her biggest hit. Sheryl released two more records on the Duo label.


Even as a solo artist, Sheryl continued to be work with the Sammy Dyer dance school that she had been involved with since childhood. Several singing and dancing troupes existed at the school; Sheryl's older sisters were members of the Vashonettes (Vashon was Sammy's middle name) and Sheryl was a member of the Junior Vashonettes. In 1968, four singing members of the Vashonettes recorded a record for Checker records -- Love / A mighty good lover. Around 1970, due to their singing talents, Sheryl and one other Junior Vashonette were promoted to be members of the regular Vashonettes, forming a new four-member singing group with two of the original members. Sheryl went on her first tour with the Vashonettes to Acapulco. The new Vashonettes lineup did backing work for Chess and Checker records, and backed Donny Hathaway on his "Everything is Everything" LP. The group also recorded radio advertising jingles.


In the early the 70s, the Vashonettes continued to tour, playing resorts and clubs in the US and South America. The group broke their ties with the Sammy Dyer school to go with Sheryl's previous manager Deke Atkins. Deke renamed the group the Oncoming Times and recorded a single for the group, "If you had my love", which received some local airplay. Deke took the group to New Jersey where they recorded an entire LP for Sylvia and Joe Robinson's Turbo label. Unfortunately, the LP received little promotion. The group continued to tour until the mid-70s, when the group broke up.


Sheryl did some songwriting in the writers workshop in Chicago; a song she wrote called "Why must it be" was recorded by a group called the Teques on Clarence Johnson's Star-Vue record label. In the late-70s, Sheryl and Billy Brown (previously of the Shades of Brown), formed an act called "Two", backed by their band the Sounds of Theory. The group continued to perform until the late-80s. In 2002 Sheryl recorded an entire self-written and produced gospel CD. She continues to sing gospel music today.


The website is at http://www.sittinginthepark.com

and you can listen online or download the shows for later listening via the interview page - the link is under the photo


A list of all the interviews currently online follows below, which quite simply shows just what we are talking about!


Hats off to Bob for all his efforts and time spent in making this fine resource available.

You can get in touch with Bob via email or pm on his profile page on here (if a member)


or via email on his site




Soul Group Interviews


This page contains links to audio of radio interviews with soul groups done on my radio show ("Sitting on the Park" -- see the main page for more details). You are free to copy or distribute these interviews as long as they remain unedited and you are not profiting from them. It is important to get the stories of these groups out, in their own words -- otherwise this history will remain undocumented and lost. You can contact me with any questions or comments at the email address listed at the main page. Check back frequently as I'm doing many more interviews soon.


2/29/2004     Melvin Mason (Mighty Marvelows)     60 min

8/15/2004     Richard Pegue (Norvells, Nickel and Penny Labels)     90 min

10/24/2004     James Westbrook, Jr. (5 Wagers)     90 min

1/16/2005     The Steelers     60 min

3/6/2005     Berl Bynum, Lawrence Bibbs, Kirk Davis (Vows, Major IV)     120 min

4/2/2005     Clifford Curry, Bobby Thomas, Marcus Gentry (The Notations)     90 min

5/15/2005     Bobby Thomas, Jerrone Johnson (Channel 3)     30 min

6/12/2005     Gerald Dickerson (Creations, Contributors of Soul)     90 min

9/18/2005     Jerrone Johnson, Emmet Garner Jr. (Trends)     90 min

10/16/2005     Chris James (Natural 4)     90 min

11/13/2005     Kenny Rightout, Kirk Davis, Ronald Christian (Traits, Center Stage)     90 min

11/27/2005     Ron Renfro (Deltas)     20 min

12/11/2005     Frank Clark (New Concepts)     28 min

1/8/2006     Wayne Readus (Original Breed, People's Choice)     30 min

1/22/2006     Marcus Alexander, Marzette Griffith, Fred Smith (Turbulations, Age of Bronze, Essence)     50 min

1/29/2006     James Rushing (Devotions)     40 min

2/19/2006     Rosie Addison, Rose E. Kelly (Opals)     60 min

2/26/2006     Eugene Phillips (Moments of Truth, Wind, wrote and produced the Answers and Newsound)     70 min

3/5/2006     Irving Coleman, John Wynn, Roger Phillips, Ronald McLaughlin, Tyrone McCullough (Conquistadors)     60 min

3/26/2006     John Coleman, Kandice Patterson (Soul Majestics)     30 min

4/2/2006     Keith Steward (Heaven and Earth)     80 min

4/30/2006     Charles Perry (Naturals)     47 min

6/4/2006     Nathan Carter, James Noah Jordan, Ralph Peterman (Dynamic Heartbeats, Wasters)     27 min

7/9/2006     Bernice Willis, Tracy Williams, Laurel Ross (Muhammad) (Kittens)     67 min

8/13/2006     Omar Arnold, Albert Hunter (Sounds of Black, Sounds of Blackness)     36 min

8/20/2006     Marvin Glasper (Soul Suspects, Suspects)     37 min

8/27/2006     Fred Escobar, Walter Jones, Billy Sims, Robert Smith (Soul Procedures, Procedures)     40 min

9/17/2006     Mike Avery (New Image, Wreckin Crew)     32 min

10/8/2006     James Brown (Calvaes, Blenders on Aladdin, Accents)     36 min

11/5/2006     Lorenzo Clemons, Vernon Hammons (Mandells)     77 min

11/19/2006     Carol Sanford (formerly Carol Samuel), Linda Smith (formerly Linda Harris), Nepata Mero (formerly Marilyn McThune) (Ivorys)     37 min

12/3/2006     Walter Jones (Five Crowns)     29 min

1/28/2007     Ray Foreman (Visitors, Mist)     64 min

3/18/2007     John "Stormy" Colley (Lost Family, Saborian and the Los)     64 min

5/20/2007     Jimmi Mayes (Mill Street Depot)     74 min

6/3/2007     David Gogins, Ricky Gogins (Soul Impacts, Eight Minutes)     55 min

6/10/2007     Roosevelt Christmas, Doyle Cole, John Coleman (Passions, Newday)     65 min

6/17/2007     Elvin Spencer     24 min

7/8/2007     Leon Triplett, Levi Triplett (Triplett Twins)     73 min

7/22/2007     Robert Brown, Lamont Sanders (Dynamic Tints, Village)     37 min

8/19/2007     Lee Holloway (Krash Band, I.N.D.)     40 min

9/16/2007     Carl Boyd, John Jones, Farnell Jenkins, Paul Kelly (Conservatives, Teacher's Edition)     75 min

9/23/2007     Alex Alvarez, Robert Celestin, Dennis Harvey, Arlis Johnson, Art Lopez, Wareagle (Enchanting Enchanters, Enchanters on Atco)     56 min

9/30/2007     Henry Ford Yarbrough (Henry Ford and the Gifts)     61 min

10/21/2007     James "JJ" Janigan, Larry Ross (Puzzle People)     27 min

11/11/2007     Rudy Negron, Ted Thomas (Mystics)     54 min

12/9/2007     Jimmy Jordan, Sam Tate (Intensions, Measures, Jimmie and Eddie)     46 min

12/30/2007     Darrow Kennedy, Ron Kennedy, Bruce Rogers (Kaldirons, Marathon Band)     53 min

1/13/2008     Harold "Skipp" Lee, Bernard Reed (Constellations, Jalynne Sound, Pieces of Peace)     82 min

1/27/2008     Viola Floyd, Theresa (Legg) Franks, Kathy (Spates) Robinson, Vera (Regulus) Wallace (Versalettes, Trinkets, Little Foxes)     58 min

3/2/2008     Holly Maxwell     60 min

3/16/2008     Gus Redmond, Diana Simon, Fred Simon (Lost Generation, Mystique, New Lost Generation)     79 min

3/30/2008     Art Mitcham, Nate Pendleton (Dontells)     62 min

4/27/2008     Reginald Torian (Enchanters on Golden Ear, Impressions)     86 min

5/4/2008     Mose Freeman, Brema Lawhon, Richard McClendon, Frederick Robertson (Roe-o-tation)     59 min

5/25/2008     Randolph Murph (Brighter Side of Darkness)     40 min

6/8/2008     Kevin Rowan (Mystiques on Twinight, Raw Umber, Sons of Slum)     64 min

6/22/2008     Andrew Griffin, Johnny McKinney (Magnetics)     58 min

6/29/2008     Mark Greene (Moments, Leaders)     72 min

7/20/2008     Eddie Sullivan (Four Gents, Desideros, Classic Sullivans)     67 min

7/27/2008     Harvey Scales (Seven Sounds)     78 min

8/10/2008     Ray Buckner (Buckner Brothers, Buck)     49 min

8/17/2008     Patti Drew (Drewvels)     45 min

8/24/2008     Sam Pace (Esquires)     90 min

8/31/2008     Bill Brown (Shades of Brown)     53 min

9/14/2008     Vandy Lane (Ringleaders)     15 min

9/21/2008     Renaldo Domino     41 min

10/12/2008     Cecil Lyde aka Cecil Holden (Experience II; Lyde, Fisher, Giles)     70 min

10/19/2008     Carnell Haywood, Samuel Thomas Jr. (Magical Connection, Next Movement)     60 min

11/9/2008     Jerome Gilbert, Ron Martinez, Bobby Wilson (Realistics)     52 min

11/16/2008     Sheryl Swope (Vashonettes, Oncoming Times)     63 min



Sitting in The Park - check it out now!





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