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Black Ivory

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The group was originally known as The Mellow Souls and formed in Harlem, New York in the summer of 1969. Members included all teenagers, Lawrence (Larry) Newkirk, Froilan (Vito) Ramirez, Michael Harris, Leroy Burgess and Stuart Bascombe. The group got their start by auditioning over the phone with musician Patrick Adams. After meeting with them, he took the group under his tutelage. Adams began to train and develop the group but soon decided that five were too many to work with, and Harris left the group. In time, the four remaining members, now calling themselves Black Ivory, began performing at private parties, block parties and social programs. In their second live performance they won a talent show at Roosevelt High School in the Bronx. Adams, in an effort to get the group signed, began negotiations with Gene Redd Jr., for a possible deal with his label Red Coach Records. Redd Jr., was also the manager for the band Kool & The Gang, and in order to give Black Ivory exposure, he arranged for the group to open the show for the Gang at a number of East Coast venues. In 1970 Russell Patterson replaced Ramirez, and Newkirk left the group to pursue higher education. The remaining members Leroy Burgess, Stuart Bascombe and Russell Patterson became the trio we know today as Black Ivory.
The group traveled to Philadelphia and recorded two songs at Sigma Sound Studios produced by Patrick Adams. The songs, "Don't Turn Around" and "I Keep Asking You Questions" would become the "A" and "B" sides of the Black Ivory's first single released on the Today Label, with which Adams had subsequently secured a deal for the group.

Sites:blackivory.com , Facebook , Wikipedia
Members:Leroy Jackson (2), Russell Patterson, Stuart Bascombe

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