Last night I had my weekly event in Darby. From time to time we get celebrity visitors who come in. A few weeks ago Norman Connors came in to see us and he came back last night to see us again. Also we had a visit from a group that called themselves the “Stylistics Review.” Of course, they did the songs of the Stylistics and the crowd loved them. However, none of these guys was an original member of the Stylistics, so the authenticity of their show could easily have been questioned. This also raises issues about other great groups that are still performing. Death and illness claims everyone at some point in life. While a group can have longevity it doesn’t mean that its core members will always be around to perform with them. When you pay money to see a live show for a group, does it matter to you if they have any original members left? Groups like the Rolling Stones may only have 3 original members left, but the lead singer (and most popular member) is alive and still singing (and that is Mick Jaggar). Would you still view them the same if Mick was no longer with the group? The Temptations were a singing group that featured 5 singing members that had widespread popularity. Now the leader of the group (Otis Williams) is carrying the group on, but he is doing so with fill in vocalists that were never on the original recordings and he himself never had many lead singing parts for people to recognize. Also, there are at least 2 Temptation groups out there, just like there are several Stylistics groups, Delfonics groups, Platters and many more. Even groups like Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes are touring and doing gigs with “no” original members in the band. When you think about it, at some point most of those groups who had been popular 30 years ago will no longer have core members due to age and illness. Because of this there are also many copy groups who are touring around performing the same music but getting paid for it (and in some instances using some version of the same name). Is it right for them to get paid off of the works of the original groups? Whether it is right or not, it is indeed happening. Most people have no idea who is original and who isn’t when they go to see a group. Kool and the Gang has a lead singer who looks and sounds like the singer that made them popular back during their heyday. I am sure that it is more than just coincidence that it worked out that way. I guess as long as no one complains about it (and still is willing to pay for it) then there should be no backlash from groups that are no longer original. Since time is moving on it will be interesting to see how much longer this lasts. I was trying to figure out how the Jacksons were doing. Their biggest star Michael left them a long time ago and now he is dead. I heard that the group was still performing their hit songs without him, but is it still the same? There may not be a right or wrong answer to this, but as long as people are still entertained, then I guess “no harm, no foul.” What do you feel? Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Harold Melvins’ Bluenotes (with no original members” performing in concert with Brett Jolly on bass