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Darrell Banks

Born Darrell Eubanks in Mansfield, OH, (1938), the gospel-voiced soul singer stepped out as Darrell Banks from the east side of Buffalo, NY, where he lived since a toddler. He sang in church before going secular and wailing at local watering holes. He befriended Doc Murphy, a dentist whose nightclub the Revilot lounge was one of those "holes." A scorching song written by fellow Buffalo resident Donnie Elbert got Banks off and running, not in Buffalo, but further west in Detroit, MI.

Banks hooked up with Lebron Taylor and Solid Hitbound Productions via some type of license agreement with Doc Murphy; Lebron used the name of Murphy's Buffalo nightspot (Revilot) for the label which debuted in 1966 with "Open the Door to Your Heart" (whose legal name is "Baby Walk Right In"), the tune Donnie Elbert wrote for his Buffalo buddy. The recording took place when Elbert was on the road. No problem there. But when it came out, only Banks was credited as songwriter. A shocked Elbert checked with Broadcast Music Incorporated (B.M.I.) thinking Revilot's secretary inadvertently omitted his name, something that happens all the time; it's what's on the contract that counts, a record label is not a legal document. Elbert found the song clearance form submitted by Banks listed him as the sole writer allotting him 100 percent of the writers' share of "Open the Door to Your Heart" performance income. Elbert eventually got the mess straight, while copies of the 45 rpm list only Banks' name, newly issued CDs credits both Banks and Elbert. Still a sore point for Elbert, according to him, all Banks did was speed the tempo up a bit, for this he attempted to take full credit and ended up with 50 percent of a soul classic. The irony of this scenario is that Banks wasn't a songwriter, "Open the Door to Your Heart" is the only song he ever wrote, which he really didn't. Elbert, however, has more than 125 songwriting credits logged with B.M.I. While the legal battle ensued, the song scored an impressive number two R&B and number 27 pop showing in 1966, Banks' biggest ever.

Banks followed with Marc Gordon and Frank Wilson's "Somebody Somewhere Needs You" (a Motown song that wasn't originally or ever recorded by a Motown artist). Ike & Tina Turner first did the catchy romp on Loma Records (really just Tina, Ike's nowhere on the record). Banks' rendition charted at number 34 R&B and number 55 pop and provided chitlin' and the grits & gravy circuit work for the singer; it was his last chart record. The Revilot deal somehow switched to Atlantic Records' Atco division for two nonstarters: "Here Come the Tears" b/w "I've Got That Feelin'" and "Angel Baby (Don't Ever Leave Me)" b/w "Look into the Eyes of a Fool," both in 1967. Banks never issued an album on Revilot to commensurate the success of the hit single, but both Revilot singles were compiled on his 1967 Atco album Darrell Banks Is Here, as well as, both sides of the Atco singles and nuggets like "I'm Gonna Hang My Head and Cry" from the writing team of Rose Marie McCoy, Donald Bell, Cleveland Horne (the Fantastic Four), and Gene Redd who worked with Kool & the Gang on Delight Records. Atco switched him in-house to Cotillion Records for a final release "I Wanna Go Home" written by Fred Briggs (aka Coldwater Stone) and Don Davis, b/w "The Love of My Woman" in 1968. Revilot continued issuing singles on artists like the Parliarment, Rose Batiste, J. J. Barnes, and others without Doc Murphy's involvement. Changing cooks again, Banks signed with Stax Records' Volt division for two singles and an album issued in 1969. "I'm the One Who Loves" followed by the two-sided gem "Beautiful Feeling" and "No One Is Blinder (Than a Man in Love)" sold well but didn't create any overtime at Stax's pressing plants. The Dramatics later cut an equally stirring rendition of "Beautiful..." for their Dramatically Yours album.

Banks, an exciting entertainer, was often less than pleasant away from the footlights. He was moody, quick tempered and kept a "don't tread on me" Sonny Liston scowl on his face. Not the type of guy you approached with "wass up." Stax Records rattled his nerves when they compiled a song recorded by Steve Mancha on the Rare Stamps LP and credited it to him, which Banks considered an insult; both Mancha and Banks recorded the song, somebody just mixed them up, easy to do, since both singers, as well as J. J. Barnes sounded similar (especially since all were produced by Don Davis at the time). The original album featured just J. J. Barnes and Steve Mancha but a CD reissue added Banks' and his entire Stax LP Darrell Is Here to Stay, which included Banks' Johnnie Taylor sound alike "Don't Know What to Do," "Forgive Me," and the Mancha composition "I Could Never Hate Her."

Tragedy aborted Banks' recording output at seven singles and two albums. The man considered by many as soul's finest voice was shot dead March 1970 in Detroit by Aaron Bullock, an off duty policeman who was seeing Banks' woman (Marjorie Bozeman). He was waiting when Bullock dropped Bozeman off after work; when Banks grabbed her, Bullock intervened, Banks pulled a gun, and the officer reacted with deadly force ending Banks' four turbulent years as a recording artist/entertainer. Bozeman, a barmaid, allegedly was trying to leave Banks, who was divorced and the father of two kids.

Diehards will want to cop J. J. Barnes' The Groovesville Masters for the duet featuring Barnes and Banks entitled "Harder You Love." Goldmine Records released a compilation of Banks' two albums and three unreleased tracks: "I Will Fear No Evil," "I'm Knocking at Your Door," and "The Harder You Love," in 1997 entitled The Lost Soul which includes some unreleased tracks -- check it out. ~ Andrew Hamilton
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Brothers

1. Can't Stop A Man In Love

3. You Left The Water Running

4. Rome (Wasn't Built In A Day)

6. That's How It Feels

7. I Love You More Than Words Can Say

8. Baby, Baby, Baby

12. The Love Of My Woman

16. What A Woman Really Means

x

Track List: Hard To Find 45's On CD: Sweet Soul Sounds

1. Sweet Soul Music

2. Funky Street

3. (There's) Gonna Be A Showdown

4. Just One Look

5. Cry To Me

6. The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven

7. Open The Door To Your Heart

9. I'm The Lover Man

10. Dry Your Eyes

11. Part Time Love

12. Slip Away

13. Stand By Your Man

14. Reconsider Me

15. Expressway To Your Heart

16. (I Wanna) Testify

18. Trapped By A Thing Called Love

20. Love Land

x

Track List: Only In America: Atlantic Soul Classics

1. What'd I Say Parts I & II

9. Shoppin' For Clothes

15. Stupidity

17. Mojo Hannah

27. Cool Jerk

39. Maggie's Farm

46. Thank You John

50. The Love Of My Woman

52. You're Losing Me

57. Memphis Soul Stew

67. That's How It Feels

68. Warm And Tender Love

73. Tighten Up Pt. 1

76. Clean Up Woman

92. Love Won't Let Me Wait

99. Supernatural Thing, Pt. 1

x

Track List: The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 2: 1968-1971

Disc 1

1. I Was Born To Love You

2. Precious, Precious

3. Send Peace And Harmony Home

4. Soul-Limbo

5. I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)

6. It's Been A Long Time Coming

7. What A Man

8. I Like Everything About You

9. Stay Baby Stay

10. Private Number

11. So Nice

12. Long Walk To D.C.

13. Give 'em Love

14. Funky Mississippi

15. Lovin' Feeling

16. Where Do I Go

17. Bed Of Roses

18. Bring It On Home To Me

19. It's Unbelievable (How You Control My Soul)

20. Who's Making Love

21. Mighty Cold Winter

22. Hang 'Em High

23. You're Leaving Me

26. Running Out

28. I'll Understand

Disc 2

1. The Ghetto

2. Blues Power

3. The Echo

4. Funky Way

5. Take Care Of Your Homework

6. I Like What You're Doing (To Me)

7. I've Got To Have Your Love

8. Let 'em Down Baby

9. Love Is Here Today And Gone Tomorrow

10. It Ain't Long Enough

11. Mellow Way You Treat Your Man

12. Private Number

13. Time Is Tight

14. Double Or Nothing

15. (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay

16. So I Can Love You

18. One More Chance

19. I Wanna Be Good (To You)

20. Finger Lickin' Good

21. Tighten Up My Thang

22. My Whole World Is Falling Down

23. Testify (I Wonna)

24. Drowning On Dry Land

26. Don't Tell Your Mama

Disc 3

1. Mrs. Robinson

2. Love's Sweet Sensation

3. Just Because Your Love Is Gone

4. Chains Of Love

5. Happy

6. The Challenge

8. Never, Never Let You Go

10. I Need You Woman

11. I've Got A Feeling

12. It's Time To Pay For The Fun (We've Had)

13. I Could Never Be President

14. By The Time I Get To Phoenix

15. Long And Lonely World

16. Midnight Cowboy

17. I've Fallen In Love (With You)

18. Slum Baby

19. The Best Part Of A Love Affair

20. By The Time I Get To Phoenix

21. Walk On By

25. You're Driving Me (To The Arms Of A Stranger)

Disc 4

1. Open Up Your Heart (Let Me In)

2. Why Is The Wine Sweeter (On The Other Side)

3. When Will We Be Paid

4. Grinder Man

5. Born Under A Bad Sign

6. What You Gonna Do

7. I'm So Glad

8. Beautiful Feelings

9. Your Love Was Strange

10. Love Bones

11. Hard To Say Goodbye

12. Got To Get Rid Of You

13. Habit Forming Love

14. My Thing Is A Moving Thing

16. When Tomorrow Comes

17. Wrapped Up In Love Again

18. Do The Funky Chicken

19. California Girl

21. Sang And Dance

22. Hold On, I'm Comin'

25. Black Boy

Disc 5

1. Bracing Myself For The Fall

2. All I Have To Do Is Dream

3. Singing About Love

4. Goodies

5. Just The Way You Are Today

6. The Creeper Returns

7. Guide Me Well

8. Give A Damn

9. Steal Away

10. Your Sweet Lovin'

12. Can't See You When I Want To

13. Never Be True

14. Can't You See What You're Doing To Me

15. Sixty Minute Man (Part 2)

16. The Preacher And The Bear

17. Something

18. Seeing Is Believin'

19. You're My Only Temptation

20. What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me

21. Right, Tight And Out Of Sight

22. (What's Under) The Natural Do

Disc 6

1. My Girl

2. I Have Learned To Do Without You

4. Lonely Soldier

5. Heart Association

6. I Stand Accused

7. Brand New Day

8. Sweeter Tomorrow

9. Cool Strut

10. You Put The Sunshine Back In My World

11. Montego Bay

12. Got It Together (Parts 1 & 2)

13. Wade In The Water

14. You're Movin' Much Too Fast

15. The Best Years Of My Life

18. Soul Machine

19. (Follow Her) Rules And Regulations

20. (Do The) Push And Pull (Part 1)

21. Love Changes

23. Love Is Plentiful

Disc 7

1. Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)

3. Too Many Lovers

4. Black Christmas

5. The Mistletoe And Me

6. Ask The Lonely

7. Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone

8. Finish Me Off

9. Oh, How It Rained

10. The Look Of Love

12. Melting Pot

13. That's The Way I Like It (I Like It That Way)

14. Mr. Big Stuff

15. You Make Me Want To Love You

16. Stop! In The Name Of Love

17. I Don't Wanna Lose You

18. (Girl) I Love You

19. The World Is Round

20. A Penny For Your Thoughts

21. Never Can Say Goodbye

22. I Don't Want To Be Like My Daddy

Disc 8

1. You've Got To Earn It

2. Hold On To It

3. Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get

4. Born Too Late

6. That Other Woman Got My Man And Gone

7. If You Think It (You May As Well Do It)

8. Shame On The Family Name

9. Blood Is Thicker Than Water

10. Hijackin' Love

11. Sweetback's Theme

12. Breakdown, The (Part 1)

13. Pin The Tail On The Donkey

14. Them Hot Pants

16. It's Good To Be Careful (But It's Better To Be Loved)

17. Where Would You Be Today

18. Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven

19. Got To Get Away From It All

20. Love's Creeping Up On Me

21. Show Me How

22. If I Give It Up, I Want It Back

23. Woman Named Trouble, A

Disc 9

2. Respect Yourself

4. You Think You're Hot Stuff

5. All For The Love Of A Woman

6. Theme From Shaft

7. Jamaica, This Morning

8. Gone! The Promises Of Yesterday

9. Girl, Come On Home

10. (Let Hurt Put You In The) Loser's Seat

11. My Baby Love

12. How Do You Move A Mountain

13. Black Nasty Boogie (Part 6)

14. Do The Funky Penguin (Part 1)

15. You've Got A Cushion To Fall On

16. Get Up And Get Down

17. Son Of Shaft

18. Don't Cha Mess With My Money, My Honey, Or My Woman

19. I Can Smell That Funky Music

20. A Sadness For Things

21. That's What Love Will Make You Do

22. Standing In For Jody

x

Track List: Ultimate Northern Soul

1. Out On The Floor

2. Our Love (Is In The Pocket)

3. (I Get The) Sweetest Feeling

4. The Snake

5. Love Is After Me

6. How To Make A Sad Man Glad

7. Shing-A-Ling

8. Blowing My Mind To Pieces

9. Love You Baby

11. Baby Boy

12. Weak Spot

13. I've Lost You

14. I'm Waiting

15. Just Ain't No Love

16. Stop Sign

17. Wrong Side Of Town

18. Hung Up On Your Love

19. 24 Hours A Day

20. Wrapped, Tied And Tangled

21. Dearly Beloved

Comments

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Good to hear some music.
Report as inappropriate
Strong Soul Singer*978*5 m 1 4 y ~
Report as inappropriate
Haven't heard this song for decades. I'd like to know more about him too. He's too good to be forgotten.
Report as inappropriate
How about a bio? This guy is good. What is his story???

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