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The Dynamic Sounds Orchestra - Soul Junction Release

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The Dynamic Sounds Orchestra - Soul Junction Release magazine cover

It has been a few months since the last Soul Junction release but they are back with the first release of 2015 with more quality unissued 70’s. A new label design is also introduced giving the label a 60’s or 70’s look and feel.


Back to the music, the group in question for the latest release is the Dynamic Sounds Orchestra giving us two great unreleased mid 70’s soul sides. Both very different, the top side “Take Me Back” a great dancer with a lot going on as you would expect from a nine-piece group. Flip it over and we are treated to a nice ballad entitled “All I Wanna Do Is Love You”.


Two excellent mid 70’s Chicago Soul already receiving extensive radio play and a 45 expected to sell out like so many other Soul Junction releases, get it bought before it is too late.


The group do though have some history that should be of interest to Rare Soul avids as you will see from the press release.


Press Release: Dynamic Sounds Orchestra “Take Me Back/All I Wanna Do Is Love You” SJ1000


Release Date: Monday April 27th 2015


The Dynamic Sounds Orchestra was a nine-piece ensemble who would later become the backing and touring band for one of the windy city’s most famous soul groups, The Chi-Lites.






The Jerma release of Lil Gray, mother to The Dynamic Sounds Norwood Gray.


The original origins of the DSO had begun earlier in the mid 60’s when teenage bass player Norwood Gray Jr along with fellow guitarist Anthony Barnes held performances using several different drummers as a three-piece combo under the name of The Dynamic Sounds. Norwood was the eldest son of female vocalist, Lil Gray who during the mid 60’s recorded three 45 releases “Are You Fooling” (101), “Out Of Nowhere” (102) and “One Day Your Gonna Get Burned (103) for Ulysses Samuel Warren’s Jerma records label. Norwood himself would also later play bass on U.S. Warren’s collectable funk album “For A Few Funky Dues More” which appeared on Warrens other label logo Chytowns (2001).


During 1970 Norwood was invited to play on a session that also featured a brass section that included Charles ‘Butch’ Cater (Trombone), Milton Thomas (Soprano and Tenor Saxophone), Louis Minter (Alto Saxophone) and the late Kevin Thompson (Trumpet). It was from this chance meeting that the concept of the Dynamic Sounds Orchestra was born. Further musicians were added to the line-up, Clifford Conley (Guitar), Ronald Scott (Keyboards), Dennis Howell (Drums) and finally Otis Gould (Conga Drums and Percussion). With the now retired (from her own performing career) Lil Gray assuming the role of the group’s manager.




Top row - Left to right

Milton Thomas (Saxophones), Kevin Thompson (Trumpet), Clifford Conley (Guitar

Middle row - left to right

Norwood Gray Jr. (Bass), Louis Minter (Saxophone), Otis Gould (Percussion)


Bottom row - left to right

Ronald Scott (Keyboards), Charles Carter (Trombone), Dennis Howell (Drums)(lower right hand corner)



From early 1972 till 1978 several different permutations of the DSO (at one point containing 13 members) supported the vocal talents of Chi-Lites, Marshall Thompson, Robert ‘Squirrel’ Lester, Creadel ‘Red’ Jones and Eugene Record, as well as later additional members along the Chi-Lites meteoric rise to world stardom. When Eugene Record left to pursue a solo career in 1976, some of the members of the DSO also followed him to Warner Brothers and are featured on the three albums that he recorded there. Eugene also produced an album for former ‘Lost Generation member Lorrell Simon entitled “Mellow, Mellow, Right On” again with musical accompaniment provided by some members of the DSO.


When Eugene Record later returned to the Chi-Lites line up he again called on some of the former members of the DSO to provide the orchestration on the 1982 Chi-Sound album project “Me And You” which featured the popular 12”/7”single release “Hot On A Thing (Called Love)”, a US R&B number 15 chart entry.


Back in 1976 the DSO using some of their earnings from their time with the Chi-Lites embarked upon an album project of their own although they never quite finished the project, also due in part to a later house fire, which destroyed their master tapes. The band later disbanded in 1978, but still remained in contact while following their, own careers and lives. Fortunately for us, a later discovery of a cassette tape of the unfinished DSO sessions by Otis Gould would lead to the groups lost masters eventually being heard by a wider audience. Otis painstakingly set about re- mastering the tracks, which he eventually released via several internet based outlets.



Through one of Soul Junction’s Chicago A&R contacts, this project was brought to our attention and two subsequent DSO tracks have been licensed, so before you, you have the uplifting dance track “Take Me Back” backed with the excellent sweet soul ballad “All I Wanna Do Is Love You” both finally gaining a vinyl release (SJ1000), its intended format at the time of its conception.






To this day all the members of the DSO have remained in contact with the exception of their trumpet player Kevin Thompson. Kevin lost his life during a house fire at his Chicago home, initially safely exiting the building he was then severely injured when he re-entered the building to save his beloved instruments, later dying from his injuries. His spirit is sorely missed. Kevin was also the lead vocalist on “Take Me Back”.


Both Clifford Conley and Dennis Howell relocated to the West Coast. Dennis did eventually return to his native Chicago where he still occasionally plays with The Chi-Lites. Clifford currently resides in Altadena. CA. where he still plays within a band at his local church.


Percussionist Otis Gould following the breakup of the DSO moved south to Atlanta, GA, to pursue a career in Education. Now a retired school administer he has just recently completed a two year tour with the Broadway show ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’. Otis is also the driving force behind the reclamation of the DSO’s previously unissued material.


Trombonist Charles Carter still resides in Chicago where he still plays with an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute act by the name of ‘Shinning Star’.


Alto-Saxophonist Louis Minter too still lives and works in the Windy City as a car salesman, he too continues to perform, some of his performances at the ‘Apostolic Church Of God’ can be found on You Tube.


The final member of DSO’s brass section Tenor and Soprano Saxophonist, Milton Thomas now resides in Ypsilanti, MI. Although now suffering from a deterioration in his hearing. He still continues to play in between his day job in the construction industry.


Keyboardist Ronald Scott later became an ordained minister at The Beyond The Veil Ministries. He is also an undertaker for Scott Funeral Services and continues to write and play around Chicago.


The final surviving group member, bass player Norwood Gray Jr still lives with his family in Chicago. In 1980 Norwood graduated with a degree in electrical engineering that allowed him to enjoy a long and successful career with HP Computers, from whom he is now retired. Sadly his mother Lil Gray passed away in 2000 due to heart failure.


Words By: David Welding.


With acknowledgements to: Norwood Gray Jr, Otis Gould, Clifford Conley, Ronald Scott, Dennis Howell, Charles Carter, Milton Thomas and Louis Minter.

Photograph courtesy of: Otis Gould.




Buy this and previous Soul Junction releases direct from Soul Junction or the usual stockists: http://www.souljunctionrecords.co.uk/buydirect.html


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Went to go and play this at Lenny's last night then 3rd or 4th rummage realised I'd left it on the deck at home  :facepalm: ..sorry again Dave. If only I could be as organised as Len :D Great track though and interesting write up as always too thanks. Cool new label design too!

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Like the new label design too !

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Superb release again from SJ....."Take me Back" is essential dance floor material

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Soul Junction are back with a bang. 
Upbeat and soulful. Perfect for today`s dancefloors

Mark H

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Will be very popular for sure?

Superb previously unreleased 70's mover

Back with a bang boys!


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Well Guys The Dynamic Sounds Orchestra has finally hit the streets and is available to buy from all the leading independent soul stockists.I must say the Soul Junction website has been really busy in the last couple of days on this and other back catalogue titles.Our European friends have really picked up on the DSO. With amongst others Tommy and the guys in Norway predicting great things for 'Take Me Back' at the Oslo Soul Experience (thanks for your comments ,Tommy). Although the DSO were a integeral part of the Chi-Lites meteoric rise to world stardom,they have until now never received to quote a phrase coined by former Blues And Soul Reviewer Bill Buckley "a footnote in the history of soul music" a situation we now hope to have rectified ! ( please checkout Bill's recent review of The DSO at: www.soulandjazzandfunk.com.So there you have it two previously unissued on vinyl 70's tracks, one a kick ass dancer the other a infectious sweet/group harmony ballad. Up front soul for Dj's and collectors alike.



Soul Junction

Edited by Louise
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A fantastic release and biography  Dave  :-


Two awesome sides - all making  for enjoying and collecting our music so rewarding in 2015  !!!! 


"The Dynamic Sounds Orchestra"


Defo not to be missed and recommend grabbing a copy  !! 




(Great  posting Chalky)  :thumbsup:

Edited by tfk
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Well the DSO is offically out today,and sales have been brisk all weekend. Mind you we've been getting calls on this from theYarmouth faithfull since Steve Guanori spun it at the Soul Essence Weekender. Also a big shout out to all the radio jocks who've got behind this one too.



Edited by Louise
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Another SJ winner......picked one up off Fish on Saturday night!  :thumbsup:




Mark R

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Im sure will get a few plays at the north lancs soul festival in 2 weeks and i have a sunday afternoon show on starpoint radio 24th may 2-4pm

Great track Dave!!

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