Soul Brothers Six

Soul Brothers Six

Profile:
This hard-hitting soul group formed in Rochester, NY, consisting of the multi-talented Willie John Ellison, along with Lester Freeman, Vonell Benjamin, and Charles, Moses, Sam, and Harry Armstrong. (That's seven, but one of the Armstrong brothers' bounced early.) Joe Beard was also a founding member on bass and vocals, so that's eight! They debuted with "Stop Hurting Me" on Fine Records (1965) and another on Lyndell Records (1966) typo-credited to the Sold Brothers Six. A Philly DJ introduced them to Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records, and they had a small hit with "Some Kinda Wonderful" (written by Ellison) in 1967; it was their most successful record, making it into the Top 100 at number 91. The Fantastic Johnny C took it four slots higher the following year; and Grand Funk Railroad outdid 'em all by rocking it to number three pop in 1974.

John Ellison, a coalminer's son, grew up in West Virginia. He learned to play guitar and wrote his first songs when he was 13, later moving to New York City and then Rochester. Soul Brothers Six cut two records on two tiny labels before inking with Atlantic on the strength of Ellison's "Some Kinda Wonderful." But sales of follow-ups -- "You Better Check Yourself," "Your Love Is Such a Wonderful Love," "Thank You Baby for Loving Me," and "Drive" -- were embarrassing and Atlantic dropped the group before the end of the decade.

Around this time, Joe Johnson, James Johnson, Charles Pevy, and Eddie Reno replaced the Armstrong Brothers, who left disgusted and soured by the Atlantic ordeal. This new lineup waxed three singles on Phil La of Soul from 1972 to 1974: "Funky, Funky Way of Making Love," "You're My World," and "Let Me Do What We Ain't Doin'." None hit nationally but they worked steadily throughout the country anyway. A substantial royalty check from Grand Funk Railroad's rendition of "Some Kinda Wonderful" revitalized Ellison's songwriting juices. He secured a deal with a small label in Rochester, and scored a Carolinas beach hit that did some business in Europe as well.

Ellison has cut two solo albums to date, appeared in the A&E movie Rev, and marketed a Some Kinda Wonderful spice via the Allen Beef Company. ~ Andrew Hamilton, All Music Guide
Members:
Variations:

Soul Brothers Six Discography

Singles & EPs

FI-9M2566 Soul Brothers Six I Don't Want To Cry / Move Girl(7", Single) Fine Records (3) FI-9M2566 US 1966 Sell This Version
Soul Brothers Six You Better Check Yourself (Single) Atlantic US 1967 Sell This Version
Soul Brothers Six Some Kind Of Wonderful / I'll Be Loving You (Single) Atlantic US 1967 Sell This Version
Soul Brothers Six Your Love Is Such A Wonderful Love (Single) Atlantic Germany 1968 Sell This Version
Soul Brothers Six Drive (Single) Atlantic US 1969 Sell This Version
Soul Brothers Six She's Some Kind Of Wonderful Atlantic UK 1969 Sell This Version
John Ellison Of The Soul Brothers Six John Ellison Of The Soul Brothers Six - Funky Funky Way Of Makin Love / Let Me Be The One Phil L.A. Of Soul US 1972 Sell This Version
Soul Brothers Six Some Kind Of Wonderful / Check Yourself (Single) Atlantic UK 1972 Sell This Version
The Soul Brothers Six* You Gotta Come A Little Closer / You're My World (Single) Phil L.A. Of Soul US 1973 Sell This Version
Soul Brothers Six Thank You Baby For Loving Me / Somebody Else Is Loving My Baby (Single) Atlantic US 1969 Sell This Version
365 Soul Brothers Six Lost The Will To Live(7", Promo) Phil L.A. Of Soul 365 US 1974 Sell This Version
John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six / Soul Brothers Six John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six / Soul Brothers Six - Dazz / Can You Feel The Vibrations GRT Canada 1976 Sell This Version
1230-116 Soul Brothers Six Featuring John Ellison Soul Brothers Six Featuring John Ellison - Can You Feel The Vibrations(7") GRT 1230-116 Canada 1976 Sell This Version
ATM 6, EP 5359 The Drifters / The Capitols / Soul Brothers Six The Drifters / The Capitols / Soul Brothers Six - Under The Boardwalk / At The Club / Cool Jerk / Some Kind Of Wonderful(7", EP, Mono, Ltd) Atlantic, Atlantic ATM 6, EP 5359 UK 1980 Sell This Version
Soul Brothers Six / Esther Phillips Soul Brothers Six / Esther Phillips - I'll Be Loving You/Just Say Goodbye (Single) Atlantic UK 2000 Sell This Version
2592, 2406 Soul Brothers Six Thank You Baby For Loving Me(7") Atlantic (2), Atlantic (2) 2592, 2406 UK Unknown Sell This Version
S-1001 Soul Brothers Six / Archie Bell & Drells* Soul Brothers Six / Archie Bell & Drells* - Some Kind Of Wonderful / Showdown(7", Promo) Sugarville S-1001 US Unknown Sell This Version

Compilations

JAMIE 4013 Soul Brothers Six Funky Funky Way Of Makin' Love(CD, Comp) Jamie / Guyden Dist. Corp. JAMIE 4013 US 2001 Sell This Version
11485 Judy Cheeks / Marianne Faithfull / John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six Judy Cheeks / Marianne Faithfull / John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six - Mellow Lovin' / Dreamin' My Dreams / Dazz(12", Comp) Eurodisc 11485 France Unknown Sell This Version
FVR 5009 John Ellison, Soul Brothers Six John Ellison, Soul Brothers Six - The Very Best Of John Ellison And The Soul Brothers Six(CD, Comp) Forevermore Music & Records FVR 5009 Unknown Sell This Version

Videos (24) Edit