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
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Singles & EPs

746, 747 Don't Neglect Your Baby — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six Don't Neglect Your Baby (Single) Lyndell Records, Lyndell Records 746, 747 US 1966 Sell This Version
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FI-9M25661, FI-9M25662 I Don't Want To Cry — Soul Brothers Six The Soul Brothers Six* I Don't Want To Cry(7") Fine Records (3), Fine Records (3) FI-9M25661, FI-9M25662 US 1966 Sell This Version
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45-2456 You Better Check Yourself — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six You Better Check Yourself (Single) Atlantic 45-2456 US 1967 Sell This Version
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45-2406 Some Kind Of Wonderful / I'll Be Loving You — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six Some Kind Of Wonderful / I'll Be Loving You (Single) Atlantic 45-2406 US 1967 Sell This Version
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Atl. 70.315, ATL 70315 Your Love Is Such A Wonderful Love — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six Your Love Is Such A Wonderful Love (Single) Atlantic Atl. 70.315, ATL 70315 Germany 1968 Sell This Version
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584256 She's Some Kind Of Wonderful — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six She's Some Kind Of Wonderful (Single) Atlantic 584256 UK 1969 Sell This Version
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45-2645 Drive — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six Drive (Single) Atlantic 45-2645 US 1969 Sell This Version
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45-2592 Thank You Baby For Loving Me — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six Thank You Baby For Loving Me (Single) Atlantic 45-2592 US 1969 Sell This Version
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K 10204 Some Kind Of Wonderful / Check Yourself — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six Some Kind Of Wonderful / Check Yourself (Single) Atlantic K 10204 UK 1972 Sell This Version
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355 Funky Funky Way Of Makin Love / Let Me Be The One — Soul Brothers Six 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 355 US 1972 Sell This Version
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360 You Gotta Come A Little Closer / You're My World — Soul Brothers Six The Soul Brothers Six* You Gotta Come A Little Closer / You're My World (Single) Phil L.A. Of Soul 360 US 1973 Sell This Version
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365 Lost The Will To Live — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six Lost The Will To Live Phil L.A. Of Soul 365 US 1973 Sell This Version
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1230-116 Can You Feel The Vibrations — Soul Brothers Six John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six / Soul Brothers Six John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six / Soul Brothers Six - Can You Feel The Vibrations GRT 1230-116 Canada 1976 Sell This Version
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K-6670 Dazz / Can You Feel The Vibrations — Soul Brothers Six John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six / Soul Brothers Six John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six / Soul Brothers Six - Dazz / Can You Feel The Vibrations (Single) GRT K-6670 Australia 1976 Sell This Version
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1230-129 John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six - Dazz(7", Single) GRT 1230-129 Canada 1976 Sell This Version
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SFL-2160 Dazz / Can You Feel The Vibrations — Soul Brothers Six John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six John Ellison With Soul Brothers Six - Dazz / Can You Feel The Vibrations(7") Philips SFL-2160 Japan 1977 Sell This Version
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ATM 6, EP 5359 Under The Boardwalk / At The Club / Cool Jerk / Some Kind Of Wonderful — Soul Brothers Six 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
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45-2406 I'll Be Loving You/Just Say Goodbye — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six / Esther Phillips Soul Brothers Six / Esther Phillips - I'll Be Loving You/Just Say Goodbye (Single) Atlantic 45-2406 UK 2000 Sell This Version
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OSV-172, OSV172 I'll Be Loving You / Walkin' Up A One Way Street — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six / Willie Tee Soul Brothers Six / Willie Tee - I'll Be Loving You / Walkin' Up A One Way Street (Single) Outta Sight, Outta Sight OSV-172, OSV172 UK & Europe 2018 Sell This Version
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2456 You Better Check Yourself — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six You Better Check Yourself(7", Single, AM) Atlantic 2456 US Unknown Sell This Version
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SAM 21 Some Kind Of Wonderful/Tonight's The Night/Sock It To 'Em J.B./Last Night — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six, Solomon Burke, Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers, The Mar-Keys Soul Brothers Six, Solomon Burke, Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers, The Mar-Keys - Some Kind Of Wonderful/Tonight's The Night/Sock It To 'Em J.B./Last Night(7", EP, Promo) Atlantic SAM 21 UK Unknown Sell This Version
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S-1001 Some Kind Of Wonderful / Showdown — Soul Brothers Six 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
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Compilations

JAMIE 4013 Funky Funky Way Of Makin' Love — Soul Brothers Six Soul Brothers Six Funky Funky Way Of Makin' Love(CD, Comp) Jamie / Guyden Dist. Corp. JAMIE 4013 US 2001 Sell This Version
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11485 Mellow Lovin' / Dreamin' My Dreams / Dazz — Soul Brothers Six 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
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FVR 5009 The Very Best Of John Ellison And The Soul Brothers Six — Soul Brothers Six 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