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New Birth

Formed by Tony Churchill and music-industry veteran Harvey Fuqua, New Birth was originally named the Nite-Liters. As the Nite-Liters, they enjoyed chart action with three R&B hits: "K-Jee," "Afro-Strut," and "Pull Together." Of the three, "K-Jee" was the most successful, peaking at number 17 during a 13-week run.

The roots of the band lie with Leslie and Melvin Wilson, who were gospel singers living in Muskegon, MI. After moving on to Detroit in the late '60s, their interest remained centered in gospel. Melvin Wilson eventually met the Nite-Liters, who at the time were backing Motown artists, and expressed the possibility that he and his brother Leslie could perform with them. As fate would have it, the two brothers became acquainted with former Marvelette Anne Bogan, who introduced them to Fuqua. He had three groups under his tutelage: Love Peace & Happiness (of which Leslie and Melvin became members), the Nite-Liters, and New Birth. All but two members of New Birth had left the group around this time, leaving just Londee Loren and Bobby Downs. The three groups toured, backed each other up, and ultimately merged into one, with New Birth the name of the new group.

Leslie, with his feisty vocals, and Melvin, with his more serene appeal, emerged as the primary lead singers. New Birth's first release was the R&B Top Ten single "I Can Understand It." Led by Leslie Wilson's intense vocals and reminiscent of Bobby Womack, the single zoomed up the charts, peaking at number four after only 12 weeks. In January of 1974 they released "It's Been a Long Time," one of their celebrated hits and another Top Ten entry. That single was followed by the classic, soulful ballad "Wildflower." During this time, the group was living in California, which presented problems; from egotism associated with the lights of Tinseltown to group-management problems, the band's best interests began to suffer. Consequently, New Birth terminated its affiliation with their founder and producer Fuqua, manager Jerry Weintraub, and RCA Records. In mid-1975 they signed with Buddah Records and immediately recorded their first and only number R&B one, "Dream Merchant." They recorded just one album for Buddah, however, before signing with Warner Bros. and later Ariola. In 1977, Leslie and Melvin Wilson left the group, and by 1979 the rest of the group had disbanded. However, in 1994, Leslie and Melvin re-formed the group and began performing at venues around the nation. ~ Craig Lytle
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Comin' From All Ends

1. End To End

2. Take This Train To Freedom

3. I Wash My Hands Of The Whole Damn Deal

4. Lady Love

5. Pretty Music

6. Patiently

7. Echoes Of My Mind

8. Do It Again

9. Comin' From All Ends

10. Epilogue

x

Track List: The New Birth

1. What'll I Do

2. Unh Song

3. All The Way

4. It's All In The Game

5. Pretty Words Don't Mean A Thing (Lie To Me)

6. Do The Funky Chicken

7. Brand New Lover

8. You Don't Have To Be Alone

9. One Way Bus

10. It's You Or No One

x

Track List: Birth Day

1. I Can Understand It

2. Until It's Time For You To Go

3. Got To Get A Knutt

4. Theme From "Buck & The Preacher"

5. Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)

6. Easy, Evil

7. You Are What I'm All About

x

Track List: Ain't No Big Thing, But It's Growing

1. O-O-H Child

2. I Want To Make It With You

3. Never Can Say Goodbye

4. How Good It Feels

5. It's Impossible

6. Honeybee

7. Fire & Rain

8. Oh, What A Feeling

9. Let It Be Me

x

Track List: Love Potion

1. Fallin' In Love

2. We Are All God's Children

3. I Never Felt This Way Before

4. Hurry Hurry

5. Slow Driving

6. The Long And Winding Road

7. Sure Thing

x

Track List: Greatest Funk Classics

1. I'm Back

2. I Can Understand It

3. Down & Dirty

4. One Way Bus

5. Pretty Words Don't Mean A Thing (Lie To Me)

6. Con-Funk-Shun

7. Never Can Say Goodbye

8. Honeybee

9. Do The Granny

10. Theme From Buck The Preacher

11. Come & Dream Some Paradise (Theme From Gordon's War)

12. Damn

13. I've Got Dreams To Remember

14. Lonely Room

15. We've Got To Pull Together

16. Patiently

17. Serenade For A Jive Turkey

18. Granddaddy

x

Track List: It's Been A Long Time

1. It's Been A Long Time

2. Keep On Doin' It

3. Wild Flower

4. Ain't No Change

5. I'd Spend My Whole Life Loving You

6. Pains Of Love

7. Heaven Says

8. Come On And Dream Some Paradise

x

Track List: Birth Day & It's Been A Long Time

1. I Can Understand It

2. Until It's Time For You To Go

3. Got To Get A Knutt

4. Theme From (Buck & The Preacher)

5. Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)

6. Easy, Evil

7. You Are What I'm All About

8. It's Been A Long Time

9. Keep On Doin' It

10. Wild Flower

11. Ain't No Change

12. I'd Spend My Whole Life Loving You

13. Pains Of Love

14. Heaven Says

15. Come On And Dream Some Paradise

x

Track List: The Very Best Of The

1. Comin' From All Ends

2. K-Jee

3. It's Impossible

4. I Can Understand It

5. How Good It Feels

6. I Don't Want To Do Wrong

7. I Wash My Hands Of The Whole Damn Deal, Pt. 1

8. Keep On Doin' It

9. You Are What I'm All About

10. Afro-Strut

11. Got To Get A Knutt

12. Dream Merchant

13. It's Been A Long Time

14. Do It Again

15. Wild Flower

16. Until It's Time For You To Go

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