One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

R.I.P.: Ron Banks

I just wanted to give a belated acknowledgment to the legendary Ron Banks, founder of the Dramatics singing group, who passed away late last week in a Detroit hospital.

Even after Motown Records left Detroit in 1972 and its trademark "sound" began losing some steam, the Dramatics, who were never signed to Motown but rather to Memphis-based Stax/Volt Records, continued to remind the world of Detroit's centrality to soul and R&B. During the '70s, the Dramatics dropped hits such as "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," "In the Rain," "Toast to the Fool," "Be My Girl" and a luscious remake of "Me and Mrs. Jones." They even got love from the hip-hop generation after a guest appearance on Snoop Dogg's debut album in 1993.

Just as importantly, for local music fans hurt when Motown moved to LA, Banks and the Dramatics were yet another reminder that, while record labels may come and go, this city will always have talent.

  • Print
  • Comment
Comments (7)
Post a Comment »
  • 1

    Providing there are any people left ;D

    Chastity must have been made of putty after writing the whole damn Freep on Saturday.


    Now don't forget Ed McKenze.

  • 2

    Mackenzie, McKenzie?

  • 3

    How about an article in your blog about nationally famous guitarist and Wayne State University employee, Tim Bowman. Tim just returned from playing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Tim is a great, yet very down-to-earth person who meets no strangers. He, and his siblings, including Vickie Winans, was brought up in Apostle Charles O. Miles' International Gospel Center, which is now pastored by Bishop Marvin Miles. Tim is highly rated nationally for his musical ability as can be seen on his web site: Despite its sometimes tarnished reputation, Detroit remains a distinctive music capital of the world.

  • 4

    I'm a songwriter and wrote hits like Earth Wind & Fire's "September" and Boogie Wonderland" as well as the musical, The Color Purple. I'm also from Detroit. "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" is one of the best soul songs ever written and records ever made. I always play it when I'm gearing up for a new musical project. R.I.P. Ron Banks. You've left a great legacy.

  • 5

    The father of Ron Banks was my language arts teacher in middle school, so two Detroit legends. Thanks for this piece.

  • 6

    [...] We all loved Ron Banks, I want all my fellow Lions football fans to check out detroit.blogs and tell me what you think about[...]

Add Your Comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.
The Detroit Blog Daily E-mail

Get e-mail updates from TIME's The Detroit Blog in your inbox and never miss a day.

More News from Our Partners

Quotes of the Day »

NICHOLAS FISHER, expert at Stony Brook University in New York who took part in a study which found that bluefin tuna contaminated with radiation believed to be from Fukushima Daiichi were present off the coast of California just five months after the nuclear meltdown.