Today on Sounds of The 80’s we feature: Christopher Cross, Pointer Sisters, Missing Persons, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Van Halen, Barry Manilow, Warren Zevon, Gregory Abbott, Blue Oyster Cult, Four Tops and more . . .
The Four Tops are a vocal quartet from Detroit, Michigan, USA, who helped to define the city’s Motown sound of the 1960s. The group’s repertoire has included soul music, R&B, disco, adult contemporary, doo-wop, jazz, and show tunes.
Founded as the Four Aims, lead singer Levi Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton remained together for over four decades, performing from 1953 until 1997 without a change in personnel.
The Four Tops were among a number of groups, including the Miracles, the Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, the Temptations, and the Supremes, who established the Motown Sound heard around the world during the 1960s. They were notable for having Stubbs, a baritone, as their lead singer, whereas most male and mixed vocal groups of the time were fronted by a tenor.
The group was the main male vocal group for the highly successful songwriting and production team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, who crafted a stream of hit singles for Motown. These included two Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits for the Tops: “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” in 1965 and “Reach Out I’ll Be There” in 1966. After Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown in 1967, the Four Tops were assigned to a number of producers, primarily Frank Wilson, but generally with less success.
When Motown left Detroit in 1972 to move to Los Angeles, California, the Tops stayed in Detroit but signed a new recording deal with ABC Records’ Dunhill imprint. Recording mainly in Los Angeles, they continued to have chart singles into the late 1970s, including the million-seller “Ain’t No Woman”, their second release on Dunhill, produced by Steve Barri and the composers Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter.
In the 1980s, the Four Tops recorded for Casablanca Records, Arista Records and Motown, returning to that label on two occasions for brief stays. Apart from their album Indestructible (owned by Sony Music Entertainment), Universal Music Group controls the rights to their entire post-1963 catalog (through various mergers and acquisitions) and also their 1956 single, “Could It Be You”.
A change of lineup was forced on the group when Lawrence Payton died on June 20, 1997. The group initially continued as a three-piece under the name the Tops, before Theo Peoples (formerly of the Temptations) was recruited as the new fourth member. Peoples eventually took over the role of lead singer when Stubbs suffered a stroke in 2000, with Ronnie McNeir then joining the group. On July 1, 2005, Benson died of lung cancer. Payton’s son Roquel Payton replaced him. Levi Stubbs died on October 17, 2008.
Fakir, McNeir, Roquel Payton, and Harold “Spike” Bonhart, who replaced Peoples in 2011, are still performing together as the Four Tops. Fakir is the only surviving founding member of the group. – Wikipedia
There is no “Shutdown” at RadioMax. Therefore on “Great Soul Performances” tonight at 7PM ET, you’ll hear: Joe Tex, Jackson Five, Five Stairsteps, Jackie Wilson, Dells, Rufus & Chaka Khan, Four Tops, Trammps, Avons, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Timothy Wilson, a cut from the new CD from my surrogate son Kid Kyle, from their acapella album; taken from practice tapes, Sheps, Joel & the Dymensions, Tower of Power (live) and more.
Then following on “Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s,” I received so many positive responses about last week’s “1980s Remakes,” we’re doing it again today with songs from artists like: The Impressions, Stephanie Mills, Tierra, Natalie Cole & Peabo Bryson, War, Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville, Manhattans, Richard “Dimples” Fields, Larry Graham, Blues Brothers, New Edition and several others. The “80s Remakes” begins at 9PM ET. It’s gonna be exciting this evening when I come your way with “Great Soul Performances” and “Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s” on RadioMaxMusic.Com. DON’T MISS IT!
I hope everyone is enjoying this Labor Day; the last holiday of the summer season. I’ll be coming your way with “Great Soul Performances” this evening, and I’ll be playing: The Four Tops, the Dells, Dave “Baby” Cortez, the Jimmy Castor Band & the Jimmy Castor Bunch, the Isley Brothers, Ronnie Dyson, the Van Dykes, Gloria Lynne, the Detroit Emeralds, James Brown, the Dreamlovers, Donny Hathaway; live at the Bitter End in New York City and more. Check us out at 7PM ET, 6PM CT, 5PM MT and 4PM PT. Put an extra chicken leg on Bar-B-Que for me and join for “Great Soul Performances” on RadioMaxMusic.Com.
#musicforpeace – Sunday at noon we start our three hour special dedicated to the concept of Music for peace. Living in the past as I do, I’m linking this to concept of Peace through Understanding – the theme for the 1964-65 world’s fair. With a special thanks to Marci Geller for coming up with the concept – because we need it now more than ever… Here are some of the artists featured today. Jeff Buckley, Tom Clay, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Glory Rhodes, 5th Dimension, Four Tops, Olivia Newton John, Jimmy Cliff, John Lennon, Beatles, Chambers Brothers, Isla Grant, Cat Stevens, The New Seekers, Big Sean, Perry Como, Drifters, Temptations, Louis Armstrong, Rodger Whitaker – New World In The Morning — with Marci Geller.
This week Ron Kovacs fills in for Bobby Jay on Great Soul Performances. We’ll feature music from Simply Red, Pointer Sisters, Four Tops, Ben E. King, Kool and The Gang, Eartha Kitt, Diana Ross, Earth Wind and Fire, Tyrone Davis, Bobby Brown, Sister Sledge and more! It all starts 7pm ET Live on RadioMaxMusic.
I will be joining you for “Great Soul Performances” on RadioMaxMusic.com and on the broadcast we’ll present the Four Tops, Pharell Williams, Tito Puente, the Temptations, James Brown singing Jazz, the Dells, Blue Magic, the 5th Dimension, Jackie Wilson, the Intruders, Aretha Franklin live in concert and much more. It gets started (following an encore performance of “Great Soul Performances 2: The 80’s” at 5PM) at 7PM ET, 6PM CT, 5PM MT & 4PM PT. Don’t forget, if you want to hear it again, you can catch the encore shows on Monday at 10PM or Wednesday at 12Noon; all times are EDT. So if you plan to come to the shows this weekend in Long Island, stop by and say hello to me, if not, catch me later this evening on “G.S.P.” as always, only on RadioMax Music.com.