Tag: Blue Magic

In Memoriam: Richard Pratt

Blue Magic was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1972 when former member of The Delfonics, Randy Cain, brought in singer-songwriter Ted Mills to do some writing with the Philly-based WMOT production company to create a new band. A short time later the group Shades of Love, featuring Keith Beaton, Richard Pratt, Vernon Sawyer and his brother Wendell, came in to audition. (According to Marc Taylor in his book A Touch of Classic Soul of the Early 1970s, “although the group performed admirably, they lacked a standout lead singer”.) The execs decided to replace the Toppicks, the act Mills recorded with. They inserted Shades of Love (which they owned contractually) with Ted Mills and retitled the group Blue Magic. They were signed with Atco Records through WMOT in the same year.

Richard Pratt passed away March 1, 2022

From https://soultracks.com

We received sad news this morning via a post from legendary Blue Magic singer, Ted “Wizard” Mills, that Blue Magic co-founder Richard Pratt has died.

It is with a Heavy Broken Heart that I have lost my Brother/Best Friend Richard Pratt. He was my friend Before our group Blue Magic was ever Formed. Its so hard losing one of the Orginal Blue Magic memebers. My prayers go out to his Wife who called me early this morning. I was trying to be strong for her. Please keep us all in your prayers. May Richard Sleep well in Paradise.

While not the most flamboyant member of the iconic Philly group, Pratt was a key to the act’s success, helping to make Blue Magic one of the truly great vocal acts of the 1970s, and Philadelphia soul royalty.

Formed by Temple University student Ted ‘Wizard’ Mills, with some friends, the group scored an early hit with Mills’ composition “Spell.” When the other members who participated in the recording balked at touring, Mills merged with local band Shades of Love (Pratt, along with Vernon Sawyer, Wendell Sawyer, and Keith ‘Duke’ Beaton) to form the nucleus of Blue Magic that would top the charts for years to come.

Blue Magic’s fortunes faded as the 70s came to an end, and Pratt left in the early 80s. And over the past twenty years, Blue Magic splintered into multiple groups each led by one or more original members, with Pratt fronting his own version of the group, Richard Pratt Blue Magic. The five members of Blue Magic reunited in 2018 for an episode of TV One’s music biography show, Unsung. It was the first time they had all been together in nearly three decades, and they mulled over the possibility of a full reunion, though that has not materialized.

We will be praying for Mr. Pratt’s family, even as we celebrate the half century of musical greatness he brought.

Great Soul Performances with Bobby Jay 7pm ET

gsp-iPhoneIt feels good to be back in the home studio after spending the last three weeks in Massachusetts, so, it’s once again time for “Great Soul Performances” on home turf. This evening we’ll hear music from: the Commodores, Gene Chandler, Blue Magic, Angel Rissoff, Joe Cuba, Wynonnie Harris, Archie Bell & the Drells, Jimmy Castor, the Soul Survivors, Ray Charles & the Raelettes, Curtis Mayfield live in concert, segment 9 of the “Motown Story” and a whole lot more. We’ll begin as usual at 7PM ET, 6PM CT, 5PM MT and 4PM PT. Let’s get together and have a good time later on “Great Soul Performance” right here on RadioMaxMusic.com.

Great Soul Performances with Bobby Jay 7pm ET #gsp

BobbyJay14Wow! It’s the first day of Summer. In honor of the beginning of the season, on “Great Soul Performances” this evening we’ll be playing a few “Summer” songs. In addition, I’ll be saluting my cousins the Chantels and also you’ll hear: James Brown, the Impressions, M.F.S.B, Dyke & the Blazers, Brenda Holloway, the Magnificent Men, the Temptations, Joe Simon, Blue Magic and others. We’ll kick off our “Summer Madness” at 7PM ET, 6PM CT, 5PM MT, and 4PM PT. You can hear the show again, anytime you want starting Monday “On Demand.” Just click on the PODCAST link, or go direct to http://radiomaxmusic.com/podcasts.html for a listing of all the RadioMax programs available “On Demand.” Let’s start Summer off right by getting together later for “Great Soul Performances” only on RadioMaxMusic.com.