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Maze & Frankie Beverly

Combining a Philadelphia soul sound with a strong appreciation of Marvin Gaye, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly was among the top R&B acts of the late '70s and '80s. The distinctive Maze and its charismatic lead singer, founder, producer, and songwriter Beverly didn't have many pop hits, but they were extremely popular among soul and urban contemporary audiences and enjoyed at least six or seven gold albums. Beverly was born Howard Beverly in Philadelphia, PA, on December 6, 1946; he started calling himself Frankie after hearing Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers (a major doo wop group) when he was only nine years old in 1956. Before that, Beverly had been singing gospel in church, and it was Lymon who made him realize that he wanted to perform secular music. That isn't to say that Beverly's appreciation of gospel ever went away; the gospel influence remained when he was in his forties and fifties, but secular R&B would be his main focus. When Beverly was 12, he joined the Philly doo wop group the Silhouettes (who were known for their hit "Get a Job") and went on tour with them in 1959. Then, in the early '60s, he founded and led a short-lived doo wop/soul vocal group called the Blenders. After the Blenders' breakup, a 17-year-old Beverly founded another vocal group in 1963: the Butlers, who favored a Northern soul approach. The Butlers never became well-known nationally, although they did provide a few singles (including "The Sun's Message" and "She Tried to Kiss Me") and recorded for small, Philly based labels like Fairmount, Liberty Bell, and Guyden. The Butlers also recorded for Gamble Records, a small label that was named after producer/songwriter Kenny Gamble (who went on to co-own a huge R&B empire when he ran Philadelphia International Records with fellow Philadelphian Leon Huff in the '70s). It was in 1970 that Beverly founded the band that eventually came to be known as Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly. Originally, Maze went by Raw Soul; using that name, it recorded three singles for Philly's small Gregar label in the early '70s (one of which was a cover of bluesman Taj Mahal's "Today May Not Be Your Day"). Although Beverly was born and raised in Philly, he has been quoted as saying that he never thought of himself as part of the Philly sound, and while his band does have Philly influences, it didn't fit into either the Gamble & Huff/Philadelphia International school of Philly soul or the Thom Bell/Linda Creed school (which the Delfonics, the Moments, and the Stylistics were a part of). Further, Raw Soul's sound owed as much to Marvin Gaye and the Isley Brothers as it did to any of the soulsters who came out of Philly in the '60s or '70s.

Feeling out of place in his home town, Beverly moved Raw Soul to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1971. Raw Soul had been playing the San Francisco/Oakland scene for several years when Beverly's idol, Marvin Gaye, became aware of the band. Quite impressed by Beverly's singing and songwriting, Gaye sang Raw Soul's praises to Capitol and helped them land a deal with that major label in 1976. One thing Gaye didn't like about Beverly's band was the name Raw Soul. The late soul giant insisted on a name change and after considering a few other names (including Karma and Charisma), Raw Soul officially became Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly in 1976. (The name Karma wouldn't have worked because an obscure, L.A.-based funk/jazz outfit called Karma was recording for A&M around 1976-1977).

Maze's self-titled debut album was released by Capitol in 1977; that album (which contains the hits "Happy Feelin's," "While I'm Alone," and "Lady of Magic") went gold and earned Maze an extremely devoted following. The band's 1977 lineup consisted of Beverly on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Wayne Thomas on lead guitar, Sam Porter on keyboards, Ronald "Roame" Loary and McKinley "Bug" Williams on percussion and background vocals, and Joe Provost on drums. In 1978, Provost was replaced by Ahaguna G. Sun, formerly of a little-known soul/funk group called Sunbear; subsequently, Sun was replaced by Billy "Shoes" Johnson. There were other personnel changes along the way; keyboardist Phillip Woo (formerly of Roy Ayers' band Ubiquity) joined Maze in 1980, and Ron Smith was the guitarist who replaced Thomas. But regardless of who was coming or going, Maze always reflected Beverly's vision -- Beverly was to Maze what George Clinton was to Parliament/Funkadelic. 1978 saw the release of Maze's second album, Golden Time of Day, which contains the number-nine R&B hit "Workin' Together." Golden Time of Day went gold, as did 1979's Inspiration and 1980's Joy and Pain (the album that gave us the major hit "Southern Girl"). In the late '70s, Maze earned a reputation for having one of the best live shows in R&B and their first live album, Live in New Orleans (a two-LP set), came out in 1981. Another live double-LP, Live in Los Angeles, was released in 1986, which was the year after Maze's funky "Back in Stride" reached number one on Billboard's R&B singles chart and became their biggest hit ever.

In 1989, Maze left Capitol for Warner Bros. and recorded Silky Soul; the title track, an ode to Marvin Gaye, was a major hit. By that time, Maze was receiving a lot of attention from the rap world -- their recordings were being sampled extensively by hip-hoppers. In 1988, rapper Rob Base used the chorus of Maze's "Joy and Pain" on a single that had the same title -- unfortunately, Base did so without permission and Beverly threatened legal action. Maze didn't enjoy many hits in the '90s, although their live shows continued to be well-received by a very devoted fan base. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Greatest Hits

1. Workin' Together

2. Golden Time Of Day

3. Feel That You're Feelin'

4. Southern Girl

5. Running Away

6. Joy & Pain

7. Before I Let Go

8. Love Is The Key

9. Never Let You Down

10. We Are One

12. Back In Stride

13. Too Many Games

14. I Wanna Be With You

16. Can't Get Over You

17. Silky Soul

x

Track List: Anthology

Disc 1

1. While I'm Alone

3. Workin' Together

4. Golden Time of Day

7. Southern Girl

8. Joy And Pain

Disc 2

1. Running Away

2. Before I Let Go

3. Love Is The Key

4. Never Let You Down

7. Back In Stride

8. Too Many Games

9. I Wanna Be With You

x

Track List: Golden Time Of Day

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Hi Lupe I just want to talk about the elections well as you know I like Mr Trump because he's not my president I don't call him the P word .Luoe in the last few years I been political and I want to change the system but as you know the people vote it for a clown to the White House .Lupe he's not a good person he's a con man I can't believe that their went for a con man instead of a lady president well bady the powers at be .So now we have four years of a conman and now the people will pay for
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Silky Soul...that is Frankie Beverly's voice.
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Ok this is the jam get down get down
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Musical Royalty Indeed
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When lyrics meant something
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Hey people if anybody knows Maria Guadalupe Torres AkA- Maria Moreno she's at The sun shine state so anybody know her tell her I am looking for her .Tell her friends ok .Love Always Frenchie your lover man .❤️⚔️❤️⚔️❤️� . T h i s is my call sign.Bady
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Always baby!!!
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denisewillia m s 9 8 4
Yes I do
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Lupe want I listen to songs I think above you every day and night Man I got it bad for you girl please answer me someday God knows my heart for you so bady answer me Love always ��❤️❤️❤️❤️⚔️
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Old School
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I was born in 1957 and there is nothing like OLD SCHOOL music
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Eyes closed moving my head from right to left, in my own zoon
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It's Friday,just got paid,got me bottle ready to chill with Frankie,LETS GO
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Love me some Frankie Beverly smooth as silk
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dragonlady60 8 8
This Music makes me RELAX ty M and F
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This is a legend an makes me belive. in love again !!! For sure!
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You've given me a reason to love one more time. Thank you for your love
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Yes...
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dragonlady60 8 8
I love this music...Fran k i e and maze
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Frankie and Maze is the s**t and I'm still pumpin this s**t all day long in Oxnard Cali
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Can't wait to see them in concert
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......a shoNUff party starter Before I Let Go by Maze & Frankie Beverly
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One of the best. Great musician can't get no better than this
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dragonlady60 8 8
EXCELLANT MAZE AND FRANKIE
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REMIN ME OF MY FIRST LOVE,STANDIN G IN THE PARK WAITING FOR HIM TO COME OUT AND PLAY IN THE PARK WITH ME STILL LOVE HIM TODAY
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Maze number 1 out there
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We're the best girls!
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Poignant, hard to ignore, sincere sounding, you never let me down MASE!
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Loving me SOME MAZE,ALWAYS
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One of my favorites of all time
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Old School, like me some Them :-)
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I love them, those were the good days
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Love Frankie and MAZE
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We are one!!!
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Lovely, lovely my smooth groove YES !
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I LOVE MAZE
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Good times
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Fun, That's It ISS
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One of the all time greats bands always love listening to them
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Had a ball at the show with this man in Hampton Va
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nancy.fonsec a
Always wanted to see Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, finally got to see them for the 3rd time now within 3 yrs., last being on Oct.28th @Foxwoods in CT. The group never ceases to amaze me. Their music is timeless, unique & easy to listen to & I never tire from hearing it. Nancy
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Saw them this weekend in Hampton for the first time and it was worth the wait
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jaynjames1
Loved u n Hampton Va.
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Omg they killed it last night in Hampton Va nice a** Rand B Jazz show!!
Report as inappropriate
Golden Time Of Day- so smooth...
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Frankie Beverly and Maze still going strong all these years. seen then them in concert numerous times love them they are the best
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Maze is my #1group love their smooth sound. Never get tired of listening to them! ��
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tuffstuff357
He is just to cool for me, this is music I don't know what these kids think they listening to these days.....
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Can't wait to see my man Frankie on Oct 29,2016 coming too Hampton va had my tickets a mo ago and baby face and Jon G can't wait got good seats!!
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I've loved this music since the 70's it never goes out of style��
Show more

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