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The New Birth

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The history of the group starts with the instrumental outfit, The Nite-Liters which had originally been formed in 1963 in Louisville, Kentucky by Tony Churchill and Harvey Fuqua, and featured, in its heydey, besides Churchill on tenor sax and vibes, Charlie Hearndon on guitar, James Baker on keyboards, Robin Russell on drums, Robert “Lurch” Jackson on trumpet, Austin Lander on baritone sax, Leroy Taylor on bass, and, later, Carl McDaniel on guitar. (Earlier members included Johnny Graham, later of Earth, Wind & Fire) and Jerry Bell. Under this name the group had a few hits before the formation of New Birth proper. In 1969, Vernon Bullock had thought of creating an ensemble of groups for a touring company, and Harvey Fuqua and Tony Churchill soon took an interest. After discovering a male vocal group, The Now Sound, which featured Bobby Downs, Ron Coleman, Gary Young and an individual known as “Slim,” and a female vocal group, known as Mint Julip, which featured Londee Loren, Tanita Gaines, Janice Carter and Pam Swent, they brought them together with The Nite-Liters and additional vocalist, Alan Frye and called the newly formed ensemble New Birth. The band came together in 1970 with their self-titled debut on RCA. Their second album, Ain’t No Big Thing, But It’s Growing, yielded a minor hit with their cover of Perry Como’s “It’s Impossible”, in 1971.

Later that year, Bullock discovered a group from Detroit, Michigan called Love, Peace & Happiness which featured former Marvelettes singer Ann Bogan and brothers Leslie and Melvin Wilson.

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  • DickBigems

    Awesome band. Never really had a big, name-making hit, but they have stood the test of time with their very sample-able songs.

    1 Aug 2013 Reply
  • TheLukieBoi1

    Q-Tip brought me here. I can't believe "African Cry" isn't in the top listened to tracks.

    25 Jul 2012 Reply
  • armagedion

    "Two Kinds of People" & "African Cry"... wow... I have nothing more to say, but that...

    30 Jun 2012 Reply
  • llehcin

    Unsung, unrecognized, underrated....one of the best soul acts of the 70s.

    2 Jun 2010 Reply
  • RubberSoulBro

    you are what im all about

    12 May 2010 Reply
  • Roncsipar

    Lovely. To be mixed with Goatsnake & Sunnnn!!

    24 Apr 2009 Reply
  • d0nnell

    i love em

    2 Jan 2009 Reply
  • cb105

    Always on my Playlists, from Nite-Liters funk to New Birth ballads. Peace & Power. Soul Music Lives. It's Been Such A Long Time!

    26 Feb 2008 Reply
  • Apollofury

    first post

    8 Feb 2008 Reply

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