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The Friends Of Distinction

Known best for their pop smash "Grazing in the Grass," the Friends of Distinction were founded by Harry Elston and Floyd Butler, also including Jessica Cleaves and Barbara Jean Love (plus Charlene Gibson, who replaced Love during her pregnancy). Elston and Butler's involvement in music entailed several groups, including the Hi-Fi's, Ray Charles' backing band. When the group disbanded in 1966, Elston and Butler recruited Cleaves and Love for a new band; initially, Elston came up with the name Distinctive Friends, but Love suggested reversing the words to Friends of Distinction.

After polishing up their act for a few months during 1968, the group hit the local tour circuit in Los Angeles. With well-developed talent and the support of a well-known manager, former football great Jim Brown, the group signed with RCA Records. In 1969, the group released its first single, "Grazing in the Grass." Originally recorded by famed trumpeter Hugh Masekela (Elston wrote the lyrics to Masekela's trumpet lead), the song became a smash hit. It graced the R&B charts for 17 weeks, peaking at number five. Four months later, the second release, "Going in Circles," surpassed its predecessor. It climbed its way to number three after a prosperous 19 weeks.

Three more singles charted for the group -- "Love or Let Me Be Lonely," "Time Waits for No One," and "I Need You" -- though none was as rewarding as the group's first two hits. The group encountered some personnel changes following the two smash hits. Jessica Cleaves and Barbara Love both departed the group, with Cleaves joining other R&B acts (Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament, etc.). After the release of their fifth and final single, the decline of Friends of Distinction was on the horizon, but not by their own doing.

By the mid-'70s, the group's well had run dry. With more than five years elapsed since their first release, Elston and Butler called it quits. The two parted ways and didn't speak for several years. When they finally overcame their differences, however, Butler died of a heart attack -- in Elston's arms. In 1996 Elston ultimately accomplished what he and Butler had agreed to do: he re-formed the group with new members Pattie Brooks, Van Jewel, and Drake Frye. ~ Craig Lytle
full bio

Comments

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gfoster55102
This is great music
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My music that I will always love
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Now this is real music and all you hip hoppers ought to listen and take notes
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This is a bad a** song☺��
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I love their music good songs from the 1969 era, what a year.
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now this is the song
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Babe u have me going in circles. It been25 yrs n u have me going in circlrs cane 805
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Going In Circles is a classic! Great song!
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I love this song and the inspiration it brings to later artist
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hlnrlms
Love you cats born 1966
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Shot out to all them firme familias from way way back in the day burque 505 the cadenas, rascons ,robledo ,RIP NIETO FAMILY 4TH AND RINCON WE LOVE YOU BROTHERS AND GRAMMA NIETO SISTER JESSE
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To my flaka I need you..
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This Is music
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There nothing dusty music I am glad I grew up on good dusty music :)
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Going In Circles...cl a s s i c !
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Another group Unsung has not given a thought to. smh
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Love that music
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Real music.
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Before my time, but thanks mom for introducing me to REAL music....
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Always have loved the group The Friends of Distinction !!!!!! Shell1965 Going in Circles..... .
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209ricm
Spun out over you
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GIVE ME A LIL MORE
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209ricm
You got me going in circles
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ultimate slow drag music
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Going in circles..
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209ricm
What am I to do
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Feel like in going in circles. But what I'm to do. Give mean a little hope
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Old school cut
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burtonhl3
This time was the best ever music was the best then.
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Old school..
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I'm going through this rite now with somebody love hurts
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You got me spun out over you ♡♡
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Thanks 4you all digging my music
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some(bio) story...s**t was so different back then...grew up old school ..wouldn't have it any other way..saw some of the greats...gre w UP with them. Life has been good
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Yessiree this is vintage too!!!As usual U ROCKS THANKS!!!
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I love this song I always did, me enjoy ing myself !!!
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reenasax

alex_g0_01
Say iPhone 5 times say a color post this on 5 different songs look under your pillow
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Don't hear music like this anymore!
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bigdrom
timeless
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nancyweissbe i n
Love them oldies❤️
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They don' slow dance anymore used to love it
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gwendolynell i s
This is the business right here
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These soothing ballads gave birth to R&B, minus all the artificial sounds. Nothing can compare to the live adjustments of a REAL BAND..
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You know
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Old School is the best
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U get me Goin in Circles
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anthony.nanc y _ 2 0 1 0
Love this song....
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Take me back when my mother and my aunties uncle would sing this love them and my all them R I P this one is for y'all
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So old but so today
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thats a cut!
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