The Artistics - I'm Gonna Miss You





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Uploaded on Apr 10, 2007

This is yet another legendary Northern Soul favourite which we re-recorded for our six disc marathon box set on DVD, "The Strange World Of Northern Soul". It was the most beloved of all this group's output, and when I was growing up, as a young Mod in Blackpool, the record was almost sacred. We shot the video in Paris's studio in Chicago in early 1999, and the late Otis Leavill asked Marvin Smith, the lead singer, to find the two other surviving original members to reform especially for this occasion, twenty six years after they disbanded. The Artistics started in 1958 with four freshmen from a Chicago high school. Their success was rather limited until a breakthrough in 1963 when they changed their lead singer from Curt Thomas to Robert Dobney. Major Lance asked them to back one of his tracks, The Monkey Time, which was his first hit (reached number 2 in the Billboard charts). Carl Davis liked their backing and signed them up for OKeh. In October of the same year, The Artistics had their first 45 on OKeh "I Need Your Love". Internal conflicts forced Dobney to leave the band. He was replaced by Charles Davis who had followed Gene Chandler as the lead singer of The Dukays. His time with The Artistics was of a very short duration and he was very quickly replaced by Marvin Smith. Smith had had some previous experience with another well known 50´s band, the El Dorados. His first song as a lead singer brought their first local success. They covered the Marvin Gaye song "Get My Hands on Some Lovin'", which was typical for their motownish style they had on all their OKeh recordings. Another Motown-penned song, this time by Barrett Strong, "This Heart of Mine" was their only chart success on OKeh (peaked at number 25 in 1965). 1966 was a disastrous year for OKeh. Carl Davis left and took many of the most important actors and writers (e.g. Curtis Mayfield, Billy Butler) with him. Among those were also the Artistics who sign up at Davis' new employer, Brunswick. This change resulted in more than getting a paycheck from another company. The Artistics not only changed their sound from Detroit to a more typical Chicago sound but also experienced much more success. In their first year with Brunswick, the band had their most successful hit "I'm Gonna Miss You", which took them for their first and only time into the top-ten. Another change of the lead singer followed, Tommy Greene replaced Smith. Another success followed in 1967 with "Girl I Need You", which had a similar, typical Chicago-style sound as their previous hit. Marvin Smith had prepared his departure from the band with the recording of "Time Stopped" with The Artistics as his backing. More chart successes followed with "Just Another Heartache" in 1970 and "Make My Life" Over in 1971. Fred Bettis was their last lead singer before they disbanded in 1973, and reformed for this one time, twenty six years later.

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