b/w Time Stopped
Label: Brunswick / UK Coral
CatNo: ? / Q.72486
Value: £127 UK Coral Demo
Check out 'Sitting In The Park' interview with Marvin Smith
Just as strong singing natural or falsetto, Marvin Smith often switched between the two every other word in a song. He sang with the El Dorados from 1957 until 1961. During his tenure, they recorded as the El Dorados, Those Four Eldorados, and the Tempos. In 1964, he replaced Charles Davis to become the Artistics' fourth lead singer; Curt Jones, Robert Dobyne, and Davis preceded him. Producer Carl Davis asked Smith to join the group and sing lead; Smith wanted to solo, but acquiesced. Smith, Aaron Floyd, Jessie Bolian, and Larry Johnson recorded perky ditties on OKeh Records like "Got to Get My Hands on Some Lovin'," "Patty Cake," and "This Heart of Mine." But he didn't unleash his falsetto until the group followed Davis to Brunswick Records for a series of singles and albums. Brunswick dropped singles on Smith (solo) and the Artistics simultaneously. Singing in his natural range, with the Artistics (uncredited) backing him, "Time Stopped" (1966) made a little noise in some regions. At the same time, Brunswick issued "I'm Gonna Miss You" (with Smith on lead) by the Artistics, which soared to number nine on the R&B charts and number 55 on Billboard's Pop 100 to become their best-seller. They cut both songs at the same session at CBS Studios; the rhythm section consisted of brothers Daniel and Bernard Reed (guitar and bass respectively) and Quinton Joseph (drums). Smith quit the group the day after the session and didn't participate in promoting the record. Tommy Green replaced him, but his falsetto was different and "I'm Gonna Miss You" live, minus Smith, missed the mark. The next tandem was Smith's "Love Ain't Nothing but Pain," which didn't go anywhere, and the Artistics' "Girl I Need You," which charted. Brunswick issued their second LP, I'm Gonna Miss You (they also had one on OKeh); Smith wasn't pictured on the album cover, and most of the tracks featured Green (who did appear on the cover). Green fell into disfavor with Brunswick's honchos, who told the group to fire him, opening the door for Smith's return and two acclaimed albums: The Articulate Artistics and What Happened. Smith's final solo, "Hold On" (1967), a lilting falsetto number, deserved better, but was probably squashed for the sake of the group. By the late '60s, Smith left again and didn't participate in the group's recordings from 1970-1973. As a songwriter, he wrote most of his solo sides, plus "Patty Cake," "I'm Gonna Miss You," "The Chase On," "Troubles, Heartaches, and Pain," and other Artistics sides. He resurrected the Artistics with Tommy Green, Robert Dobyne, and Larry Johnson. Originals Aaron Floyd, Jessie Bolian, and guitarist Daniel Reed are deceased.
~ Andrew Hamilton, All Music Guide