QUESTIONS & ANSWERSLive versions of That’s the Way of the World
Q: Chris in San Francisco writes: On the live versions of That’s the Way of the World, as well as in concert, the group adds an additional verse which is not on the album. Something like: "Save the (word?) of the world, plan your flowers grow a pearl; Child is born his heart is gold, ‘way of the world his heart grows old….." Does anybody know the mystery word?
A: From Michael Goodwin: Regarding the live versions of That’s The Way Of The World, I’ve always thought that the line was "Sing the song ‘way of the world.’ Plant your flowers, grow a pearl. Child is born, his heart is gold. Way (of) the world his heart grows cold."
One thing I have noticed about this live version (in some of the recordings that I have) is that the above line is usually done twice at the end of the song. The first time it sounds more falsetto-ish like Philip’s voice and the second is usually a deeper Maurice harmony. I don’t if that is how they actually choose to perform it or if it is just mixed like that. I just saw them at the Pond in Anaheim and I honestly can’t remember what it sounded like without Maurice a part of it.
Sonny E – Hypnofunk on CD?
Q: Anybody knows where to get the Sonny Emory soloalbum Hypnofunk on CD? Compact Disc Europe used to have it stock, but it now seems to be deleted.
A: Chris in San Francisco writes: I have a copy of Sonny Emory’s Hypnofunk CD, which includes (I believe) a version of "Let Me Talk". I’ll be happy to copy or loan out.
Q: Aaron Davidson wonders how many videos EWF have made. He says: "I personally only know of 3 music videos they did (Let Me Talk, Let¹s Groove and System of Survival) and I’ve never seen any of them."
A: EWF: Lets Groove, Let Me Talk, System Of Survival, Thinking Of You, Evil Roy, Heritage, Wanna Be The Man, Spend the Night, Sunday Morning, Fall In Love With Me, Magnetic, September, Serpentine Fire. Also VH1 occassionally plays a lip-synched EW&F performance of "Boogie Wonderland" (including the Emotions), and also a live version of "After The Love Has Gone" and "Reasons".
Maurice White: Stand By Me, I Need You.
Philip Bailey: I Know, Easy Lover, Chinese Wall, State Of The Heart, Here With Me.
Q: Nicole from Switzerland: Does anybody know if there’s a transcription of "Shining Star" anywhere on the net? Probably including horn-arrangement? Other EWF-charts on the web? Addresses?
Thats The Way Of The World
Q: Harry Weinger, the producer of the Eternal Dance box-set, writes: I have a question that’s been nagging me for almost 23 years: Does anyone know what is said at the end of "That’s The Way Of The World" (the album). I guess you might call it the "African joke." During production of the box set I asked Maurice, but he said at the time he didn’t really know. It was just something he liked the sound of. I’ve often wondered if the saying had some signifigance.
Q: Neil Evans writes: I’m a music collector and interested in finding out what happened to Wade Flemons, – vocals, vibes and electric piano 1970-1972?
A: Wade Flemmons died in Battle Creek MI. October 13th. 1993
Q: Kevin Brathwaite in Toronto writes: We know that Maurice, Ralph and Fred all played drums for EW&F during the 1970s, so, if anyone knows, how was it determined who would play drums on which song? (If you listen closely to the hi-hats, I think you’ll hear that "Yearnin’ Learnin’" is probably the only song that they did in the studio with 2 drummers).
Songbooks and live tapes
Q: Gilles Snowcat in Belgium writes: I’m looking for photocopies of songbooks from all EWF albums from "Powerlight" to "In The Name Of Love". Also "All’n All" and some songs from "I Am" ("You & I", "Can’t Let Go", "Let Your Feelings Show"). Old stuff is welcome too. I’m also looking for audio or video live tapes from the same era (’83 – ’97, except the "Millennium Concert", but any other concert with more "Millennium" songs is welcome). I can trade for live tapes or songbook photocopies from other artists. (Got the "Raise!" songbook, full of mistakes).
Q: Doug Ramsay is looking for the EWF Gratitude songbook? It has the sheet music to all the selections on the album as well as the liner pics.
Powerlight & Electric Universe
Q: Gilles Snowcat in Belgium writes: I have some questions about those two underrated albums:
1. Which songs from them did EWF ever perform live?
2. Which type of synths and synth-drums were used to record them? The synth-basses on "Powerlight" are incredible!
3. EWF was a big band. But why were there so many studio players? Apart from White and Bailey, who really plays (from EWF) on those albums? Were the EWF musicians unable to play the way Maurice White wanted?
A: Jonathan R. Lieu answers:
1. I believe they may have performed "Magnetic" in their 1987 concert, but I can’t recall with 100% certainty.
2. According to the liner notes in Powerlight, a musician named Azar Lawrence uses a synthesizer called the Prophet. It is misspelled in the notes as Profit. This synthesizer was made by a company called Sequential Circuits. I believe it was the first programmable music synthesizer with instant recall of different sound settings. Unfortunately it does not say what songs it was used on. EWF’s keyboardist at the time, Larry Dunn was interviewed in a magazine called Keyboard sometime in the early 80’s. There was probably something about what was used on Powerlight or Raise in that interview. If I were to make a guess, much of the synth-basses were probably from a MiniMoog. On Electric Universe, the synth-drums were called Simmons drums. It was used on tons of songs from the Mid 80’s.
3. All EWF members could play. Most additional musicians were for the string sections or the horns. I know that additional studio musicians are used often times when another musician cannot play a part. Sometimes they are used merely for overdubs, or when the band member is not available. Sometimes when a person has written a song, they will also play on it. Other times, especially with synthesizers, a producer will bring in a musician who is an expert at that particular instrument and that person ends up playing on the album.
Hi Quality LP
Andrei Rouliakov writes: A couple of months ago I bought an LP of That’s The Way Of The World made by MFSL Inc. They are releasing "golden" CD’s and LP’s from original master tapes. Check this out!
That’s The Way Of The World (P) (C) 1975 Columbia / CBS, Inc. Original Master Recording (TM) Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, a Division of MFSL, Inc. MFSL 1-159
The sound quality on the LP is unbelievable, and the thing is definitely worth more than $25 I paid for it. Actually I can no longer listen to the CD of That’s The Way Of The World after I got the LP. The quality is incomparable!!! Does anybody have, or heard about, other releases in this series?
Q: Dan Rush writes: I represent the Gatchaman Anime Club of America. I’m looking for any sheet music from Mr. Whites collaberation in Japan for the 1994 Gatchaman OAV song "Let’s Fly" with Bill Meyers. We’d be honored to play this great song for next years 1998 San Diego Comic Con Ball, and hope to find it. I’ve been a fan of Mr. White for years, and that song was awsome to acompany a Japanese Anime show like Gatchaman.
Q: Andy Phillips is looking for the two sessions on the ‘Midnight Special" that were hosted by EWF. The group performed "MIghty Mighty," "Shining Star," and "Yearnin Learnin."
Guitarist Dick Smith?
Q: Roland Bron says: What happened to Dick Smith? I went to an EWF concert in Rotterdam in 1988 and he was fabulous on guitar in "That’s The way…". I must say the whole concert was outstanding, with Andrew Woolfolk on saxophone in "Reasons". But I especially remember Dick Smith, playing exceptionally well. Never heard of him again.
A: George Edgar Orlando M Watson says: Apparently Smith was hired as an extra sideman for touring purposes. He was also on the 1990 tour, see EWF Live in Japan 1990 video.
Mike Wiethorn says: Smith played guitar along with Sheldon during the ’88 Touch the World tour. Smith also plays guitar on the "Heritage" album….check out his work on "Daydreamin", one of the most underrated EWF songs.
Q: MONTEGF@aol.com (?) writes: Back in the early 80’s I ran across two EWF picture albumns. Best of…vol 1 and I Am. They are playable LPs with the artwork from the record jacket on the disk. Being a devoted EWF fan I snatched them up immediately. My question, does anyone else have these? Are there other besides the ones I mentioned? What are they worth – not that I’d ever consider selling them.
A: Landra Lorraine says: These were picture discs: , I Am, Raise!, Best of vol.1, Fall in love with me (7"), – and I think …All ‘n All
Here are some questions and a trivia from Aaron Morris
EWF midi Files:
Somewhere in the AOL Midi File library is an awesome version of Can’t Hide Love. The midi has an odd file name. It was some like "hideaol". I had it until my HD crashed earlier this year. If any fan has AOL could you please look for it and email it to me, or Webmaster.
Thanks to Chuck in the US, it’s now added as "canthide.mid" in the sounds section
EWF made an appearance on Don Krishner’s Rock Concert back in ’75. I know they did two songs and that one of them was Shining Star. The old Rock Concert Series was on VH-1 some time back but I never saw EWF’s appearance. Anyone know if they appeared on Midnight Special?
Webmaster: Contact Kevin Brathwaite from Canada for early 70’s stuff on video.
EWF performed to a capicty crowd (100,000) at the Louisiana Superdome Dec 31, 1976. The opening acts were Deniece Williams and The Emotions. Perchance, did anyone attend? I lived about 60 miles away in Baton Rouge, but couldn’t go.
What has Maurice White wrung!
In the movie The 5th element the story states mentions the old roman belief of four primary elements Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. Actually, the romans never said "air". Maurice used three of the elements but changed air to wind. Now, in almost every case people will sustitue air for wind.
This one is rather difficult, but here goes:
Back during the days of 8-tracks, some songs were repeated twice on the tape. This was done to help maintain equal lenghts on all four tracks. Which song was repeated twice on 1976’s Spirit LP?
Bonus Q: Why is everyone laughing at the end of "Saturday Nite"?
OK, since no one knew this, it’s time to reveal the answers. The repeated track is "Imagination", and the ending of "Saturday Nite" is a parody and putdown of drug use. Maurice uses the line "I might as well get down with the roach." A roach in drug terms is the twisted butt of a joint. Also in the ending Maurice says "I smell something". My guess is that he must have been to a few L.A. parties. Aaron Morris
Q: Gtokawa@aol.com (a name would have been nice. Webm.) wonders if anyone have any info or actually have any of the early pre-EWF recordings?
A: Webmaster: According to their biography, Maurice White, Wade Flemmons and Don Whitehead only recorded one song as The Salty Peppers called La La Time back in 1969. A Capitol Records local rep heard the song and decided to pick it up for national distribution. The song was re-recorded, but no Capitol album materialized. At the beginning of 1970, no longer with Ramsey Lewis, Maurice headed out to Los Angeles, but not before coming up with the idea for a group to be named Earth, Wind & Fire. "Somehow the name Salty Peppers’ didn’t feel universal enough… I came up with the name because my astrological chart had no water in it: Earth, Air & Fire didn’t sound right so I used "Wind" instead, and I literally draw a picture of what I wanted the group to look like.
According to All-Music Guide, they recorded TWO singles as The Salty Peppers. "Un huh yeah" b/w "Your love is life" – CAP 2568 F C9691. (Could this be the first recording of "Love is life" from the first EWF album?) and "La, La, La" – TEC 1014 E X8013 (According to their bio the title was "La La Time".
Got to Get You Into My Life
Q: Larry McCabe in the US says: My guitar teacher, Ray Wolff, asked me to search the web for either EW&F or Maurice’s home page. He’s wanting to obtain charts, including horns, for "Got to Get You Into My Life". Anybody?
Q: Kevin Brathwaite in Toronto asks: Can you tell me what year it was and what show it was that the band was performing one hell of a funkin’ version of "Time is on your side" on the PBS special "rock and roll" that came out last year? Jessica Cleaves was in it, so I wasn’t sure if it was in ’72 or ’73, but Johnny Graham was there and not Al Mackay (I thought Al joined first?).
A: Andy Phillips says: The place you saw EWF performing that funkin» version of "Time is on your side" was in 1973 at the California Jam. They performed with several other acts including Santana.
Kevin says it can’t be! Jessica Cleaves left a year prior to that, and the clip I saw was in front of a studio audience, not in front of 100.000 people. Santana was in the second California Jam in 1978, not 1974.
EWF & Microsoft
Q: Merril Flood is wondering if anybody have seen the latest Microsoft commercial with "Shining Star" being played as the background music.
A: Martin Holzinger says: I saw the Microsoft commercial with "Shining Star" as background music. Things on the screen did not fit to EWF in any way (Windows, icons, mouse-arrows and multimedia). The message of the spot seemed to be "Use Microsoft and you’ll be a shining star !" I for myself prefer trying to become a shinig star by following my dreams and not Bill Gates….
Maurice in Japan
Q: Steve Angle writes: Recently, while surfing on the net, I ran accross a reference to a September, 1996 EWF concert that took place in Tokyo. The summary of events was written (apparently) by someone who attended the concert. According to this individual, Maurice performed during the show, but only participated in three songs, including the finale, during which, in the words of the summary, he "appeared dazed and confused" and was "virtually led around the stage by Philip Bailey."
It was my understanding from reading J.R. Reynolds’ weekly Billboard magazine column, "The Rhythm and the Blues," in September, 1996, that Maurice did not participate at all in the group’s tour of Japan (promoting the new album, Avatar). Therefore, the above information perplexes me quite a bit. As with any information gleaned from the Internet, "consider the source" is a helpful watchphrase. Still, could someone confirm?
A: Moses Torres writes: From what I gather when I spoke with Reggie Young after the EWF concert at the Universal Amphitheatre this past August 1997, he said that in fact Maurice did perform with the group in Japan during their 1996 Avatar Tour. However, he did not specify if Reece only sang in a couple of songs.
Jonathan in the US says: I’m not sure if this is directly related, but I attended an EWF concert at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, CA in December of 1995. When they took the stage, everyone of course was wondering where Maurice was. He was not present on stage. About two-thirds into the concert, Philip spoke to the crowd and said he knew everyone was wondering where Maurice was, and said Maurice was fine, that after years and years of touring, he was tired of all the negative aspects of it. Philip also said, that Maurice was working on songs for the next EWF album in a studio in Los Angeles. Then the concert continued. A few minutes later, Maurice walked onto the stage and surprised the entire audience. I don’t know if this was staged or not, but they all acted surprised. Maurice joined them for 2 or 3 songs, but didn’t do any singing into a microphone. He sort of danced and sang on stage, but he looked a little lost, as if he had not worked with the band in a while.
Andy Phillips says: The video reffered to was taped in Tokyo in 1994. It was the first time I’d seen all the boys together since the "Touch the World" tour.
What’s Johnny Graham up to?
Q: Michael Robinson writes: I am avid EWF fan. Have been ever since I heard "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" back in the 70’s. But my question is, whatever happened to Johnny Graham? All the questions I’ve read, everyone is asking about Al McKay and Larry Dunn. Johnny Graham gave one of the most famous guitar solos in the history of music on That’s The Way Of the World. Plus he’s from my hometown (Louisville, Ky.) Anybody got any info?
A: Wayne Vaughn, keyboard player on Raise! and Powerlight, and co-writer of "Let’s Groove" says: " I saw Johnny Graham two years ago at the NAMM Show Convention and he told me then that he was recording in Japan and had a new record deal there. I think the album was titled "The Johnny Graham Show". Check out the "Old Members" section.
"Beat It To Life" album.
Q: Mike Wiethorn from Iowa was at Best Buy the other day looking through their music computer and he saw that EWF recorded a song on a compilation album of various artists called "Beat it to Life". However, it didn’t say what the name of the song was.
A: It turns out that it’s not just one track, but the complete Another Time album being re-released as Beat It To Life on Pair Records in 1984. Thanks to Landra Lorraine for clearing this up.
Q: From Merril Flood in the US: I wonder if anyone knows of EWF receiving star recognition on the Hollywood Walk of Fame around 1995/96? I wonder when they, or Maurice, will receive a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement. I for one, think it’s long overdue. How do others feel?
Around 1978/79, ABC’s "20/20" featured the homes of Maurice and Verdine and even possibly Ralph Johnson. I have two magazine articles that make mention of the show (Ebony and Sepia circa. 1978/79). Can anyone remember the show?
Can anyone remember the Natalie Cole special in which EWF appeared around 1978?
Finally, although many of the first members have solo careers and new projects, I think it would be great to have a reunion project of some sort with the 1974-1980 band members and current line up. Wouldn’t that be great!
A: September 15th, 1995, EWF was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. All the original members of the group showed up — including the group’s founder Maurice White. He attributed EWF’s success to the support of their fans. "It’s been quite a trip for us to stay together for over 20 years," White told the crowd of well-wishers that included Sinbad and radio DJ Tom Joyner. "When we first started on this scene we didn’t know if we were going to make it. But I want to thank you all for sharing the dream with us."
Mike Wiethorn from Iowa says: As for the 20/20 episode, I never saw the one where they toured the homes. I read in Reece’s 1985 interview that he has a home in Bel Air and another in Carmel. However, I do remember the episode, where they interviewed Maurice about accusations that MTV was/is racist. Reece felt that MTV avoided black artists, which many black musicians contend to this day. When Michael Jackson exploded with "Thriller", MTV immediately played his videos….many feel he opened the doors for shows like "Yo MTV" and "MTV Jams".
As for a reunion with the mid-70s Fire, the February 1988 issue of Musician points out that Larry Dunn and Al McKay were both invited back to take part in the "Touch the World" sessions. Both declined, citing other music commitments. Still, past and present members seem pretty amicable in their interviews, and I wouldn’t rule out a possible coming together of the "glory days" members. However, I do expect them to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame very soon.Supposedly a group can’t be inducted until 25 years after the release of their first album. "Last Days and Time", the first truly commercial album from EWF, was released in ’72……the guys should be inducted before 2000.
Susan Young in the US says: I saw the Natalie Cole special. I think it was around 1978 or so, and yes, a reunion concert of all the originals would be great, since Maurice has retired from the road. The only lifetime achievement award that I can think of that EWF has received was from the NAACP a few years ago.
Aaron Morris says: That show aired in late 1980. I remember the segment basically presented the members name and position in the band. The Natalie Cole show was in 1977. EWF did a medely (lip sync, the guys appeared sans instruments) of "Getaway", "Can’t Hide Love" and I think "Sing a Song". Ms. Cole joined in on "Can’t Hide Love". Visually the guys really appeared relaxed. It sort of looked like a scene from a broadway musical or closer still the video for "Fall In Love with Me".
Ynblood@aol.com in the US says: The 20/20 Special aired in April 1981 and talked mainly about Maurice and the members and showed his beautiful home in Carmel, CA. It also showed a short segment of the video "Let me Talk" from the Faces album.
Q: Marcus Ceravolo is looking for other brazilian EWF fans to contact.
Q: Noel Kratzer was watching TV the other night and guess who turned up? Right! Noel says: "16th of April I saw a show called "Grace Under Pressure", starring comedian Brett Butler. At the end of the show they went in a bar that had Kareoke and the guys that got up on stage to sing were none other than Verdine, Philip, Sheldon and Ralph. I think there was another one but definitely no Maurice. That was a little disappointing since they sang "Let’s Groove." I was just wondering if anyone else caught the show or knows how they came about doing it? It was great to see them on national television". (In the US that is).
A: From Michael J. Goodwin in the US I got the following: The TV show "Grace Under Fire" being referred to, originally aired several months ago. The show on the 16th was a re-broadcast. I don’t ever watch the show, it’s not my style. Too much like what we call "trailer trash" here in the US — YEEEEE-HAAAAA!!!! Y’all have a good time now y’hear?!?
Anyway, the episode was about Grace and a friend who think back to their high schoool days and how they were such BIG fans of EWF. (VERY difficult to believe as I was watching it). They get tickets to an EWF concert and drive a great distance to the show. To make a long story short, they end up giving their tickets away (NO WAY!) to some young Cyndi Lauper looking teenage girls (like THEY would be going to see EWF!).
The show is almost ending with the two friends in a bar later that evening. In walk Philip, Verdine, Slick (RJ) and Sheldon. They sit down to get a bite to eat or something and are recognized by Grace and her friend. The two complain about missing the concert and so the band closes the show by performing "Let’s Groove" on a small stage. The End.
I don’t have any behind-the-scenes info, but it like the song was performed live-to-tape. It didn’t look or sound pre-recorded.
EWF drummer Chyp Davis???
Q: Jonathan Sage in the US says: "I was wondering if you know if a drummer by the name of Chyp Davis has had any affiliation with Earth, Wind and Fire. In a local article, it said that he had, but he is not listed on any personnel list for the band. The guy keeps dropping names of people that he has played with and I am trying to verify his credentials. I am a very big fan of the band and am very curious. Thanks for your help".
A: Webmaster: Can’t say I’ve ever heard of a EWF drummer by that name. On the other hand, nobody has ever been credited for "handclaps". Could that be it 🙂 Anybody?
Q: TwoP2i2s@aol.com (?) wonders if anyone remembers the short instrumental that was used as a intro before the song "You are a winner." The full-length instrumental was featured on the B side of a 45 single. He thinks the A-side was "Side by side."
A: Nope! The A-side was "I’ve had enough" and the B-side was a 4:34 minute version of the interlude called "Kalimba Tree."
Mike Wiethorn, Iowa, says that the entire version can also be found on the 1994 Tristar import CD "Dance Tracks." That same CD also features the rare 12 inch "Holiday remix" of "Let’s Groove." "Kalimba Tree" is featured in prominent fashion as the introduction of the "Earth Wind and Fire in Concert" tape from around ’82 or so….the part at the beginning of the show where that huge electronic bird is swooping down across the stage before the members appear.
Bill Meyers album.
Q: Jaarso@aol.com wonders: Does anyone have any idea how I can get the 1996 Bill Meyers album "All Things In Time"? The album is mentioned in this website in the solo work of both Maurice White and Phillip Bailey. I checked at my local record store and they don’t have it. I also checked a few online CD retailers and they don’t list it. Anybody?
A: Martin Holzinger says that the album is available from CD-Special, Cologne, Germany. The Japanese CD catalog number is VACV-2007
Panasonic TV ad.
Q: Michael J. Goodwin was listening to "Africano" and wonders if anyone else remember the ads EWF did for Panasonic in the late 70’s? The TV ads featured the band strolling down the street, in full stage show garb, toting Panasonic boom-boxes on their shoulders, all the while singing the lyrics "Get yourself a box of Platinum … Panasonic Platinum. Panasonic … Panasonic Platinum" over the Africano theme. Anyone else enjoy taking these trips down memory lane?
A: Mike Wiethorn from Cedar Rapids, Iowa says: I remeber an EWF commercial for the Panasonic boombox with Ambience surround sound. The commercial featured the members of the group walking in a circle through the speakers and coming out on the other side. In other words, the sound of EWF supposedly "circles" you and surrounds you. I don’t remeber the song playing though.
The commercial from EWF that really sticks out in my mind is when they adapted "System of Survival" for the Coca-Cola company. The group(circa 1988) is on a soundstage performing, and instead of singing "System of Survival", they sing "Coca-Cola classic." It’s the exact same number of syllables, so it sounds really tight and funky. You see a dancing space-age robot and Philip Bailey laughing with a beautiful model. At the end of the commercial, Sonny Emory jumps down from his drum kit and grabs a bottle of Coke from either Verdine or Maurice. Really a slick commercial….kind of a computer age/futuristic kind of feel.
Merrill Flood in the US says: I remember seeing a couple of those advertisements on television but especially in magazines. I once read and article where Maurice was quoted as saying at that time he would only consider advertisements that were in some way connected to items they might use.
Moses Torres also remembers seeing both those commercials on T.V. with Earth, Wind & Fire plugging Panasonic & Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola commericial was really great! Wish I had a video taping of both those ad’s.
Q: Harold Beverly in the US came across an album which he thought was an EWF album but turned out to be an album called "Sounds Like EWF". It was performed by a group called Mirror Image (Canadian studio group?). They did September, Fantasy, That’s The Way, and Star among others, and it really sucked. He is (and so am I), curious if anybody knows anything about this.
A: Mike Mezzatesta in Philly says: I dug out my copy of "Sounds Like Earth Wind & Fire" by Mirror Image. It was released in 1980 by Pickwick Records (SPC-3720). If I’m not mistaken, this record was purchased at a 5&10, probably Woolworth’s for about $2.99, but looks like it had originally been distributed in Canada.
The track listing is as follows:
September, Shining Star, After The Love Has Gone, Singasong, Boogie Wonderland.
Fantasy, That’s The Way Of The World, Getaway, Star.
As you can see, this was released right after "I Am" as evident by the inclusion of "After The Love Has Gone", "Boogie Wonderland" and "Star". The overall quality is rather weak as it sounds to me as if a wedding band is doing EWF covers. Some of the lead vocals sound too "white" (no pun intended), sort of like New Kids On The Block. And then there are a few tracks that sound like Teddy Pendergrass. There is a lot of female backing and fills. Horn arrangements and instrumentation is thin and the strings are synthesized. The group took no liberties as they were probably reading directly from the charts. The cover art looks as if it were painted by a band member’s younger brother or sister in art class. The image is a Zeus-like man literally on fire flying past a pyramid and holding a loose interpretation of the Jupiter symbol. Don’t try to locate it. It’s not worth it!
A: Andrei Rouliakov says: I just remembered that I have an album by the group "Mirror Image" It is called something like "The Best Of Discopedia" and features covers of "Mac Arthur Park", "I Will Survive", "Y.M.C.A.", "Last Dance" and other popular disco songs from the end of 1970’s. On the inside of the jacket there is a disco dance lesson by Arthur Murray featuring "The Freak" dance. The group appears to be a Canadian studio group and it really sucks!
Q: Peter Hellstrom of Sweden wonders whatever happened to the old EWF drummer Fred White? Anybody?
A: Fred is currently playing drums with The LA All Stars, together with Al McKay on guitar, Andrew Woolfolk on sax, Johnny Graham on guitar and The Phenix Horns (Rhamlee Davis & Michael Harris)
The ladies of EWF
Q: Anybody knows whatever happened to the ladies of EWF? I know one deserted the group on tour to get married or something. Is she the same one that recorded "I think about loving you" on The Need Of Love album? And the female in "Keep your head to the sky"’, who is she? And where are they now?
A: Lead vocal on "I think about loving you" is Sherry Scott. She was replaced by Jessica Cleaves in 1972. When EWF went in to record Open Our Eyes in 1973, Jessica Cleaves had left, disappearing one night after a gig in Boston. As it turned out, she’d gotten married, moved to Detroit, and later went on to work with George Clinton. Maurice decided not to replace her with another female singer. Check out the "Old Members" section.
Anybody seen "That’s the way of the world"?
Q: Rob from California’s favorite album is "That’s the Way of the World" and he (and I, for that matter) is wondering what the MOVIE is all about?
A: Fred den Hollander in The Netherlands has actually a copy of it (Woaw!) He says that it, as a movie, it’s no good, but of course a collector’s item for all fans.
It’s about the record company business. A talented producer named Buckmaster (played by Harvey Keitel) hears a young beginning band and wants to produce their first album. The guys are of course our friends EWF. In the movie they are called "The Group" and Maurice has a speaking role as the leader.
While Buckmaster is producing the album, his boss (Ed Nelson) orders him to produce a band called "The Pages" (A family band in the Carpenters style, only much worse). During the movie Buckmaster learns about the deceiving world of recordcompany business (People keep telling him "that’s the way of the world"). EWF are performing an instrumental version of "That’s the way ..", and "Happy feelin’" is done twice. Verdine is seen being lifted up in the air while still playing his bass, and there is Freddie with his rotating drumset.
Maurice says: "This guy Sig Shore who had done the movie Superfly came to see us about doing a film. We decided to do the soundtrack. We were in the movie, trying to act. The movie flopped after tree days. But the album stood on its own. It was our time: the momentum had been building through the previous albums, through our live shows. We’d been a community band. That’s The Way Of The World put us in the mainstream."
Song "Writing on the wall".
Q: Fred den Hollander from The Netherlands, wonders about a song he heard on the radio some time ago, called "Writing on the wall". Could it be EWF?
A: Yes it could! I think it was released as a B-side of one of the singles from Touch The World, but it was never on the album. Can anybody confirm this?
Hiroshi Okuhara from California says it was the B-side on the "System of Survival" 7" single.
Q: Greg Thomas wonders what the symbol that looks like a "4" or "21" mean?
A: Martin Holzinger of Germany says that the EWF-symbol is the symbol of the planet Jupiter. ("Keep your eyes on Jupiter, such beauty in the sky….."). Check out the symbols page.
Extended version of "Reasons".
Q: Annouck Pereyra Valdivia of Mexico is looking for an extended live-version she heard years ago. It’s supposed to be the same version as heard on "Gratitude", only longer, including a spoken outro by Maurice, saying goodbye to everyone attending the concert.
A: Bruno Striano of Italy says there’s a live version that appears on the concert video they made in Japan in 1990 and the intro is a performance by the drummer, Sonny Emory.
Webmaster: The one Annouck is looking for has to be from around 1975. …Anyone else?
Live at The Rosebowl?
Q: Jayson Richardson is looking for a live recording made at The Rosebowl in 1994.
A: Michael Goodwin says that he’s 99% sure that EWF didn’t perform at the Rosebowl in 1994. He lives in the Los Angeles area, and at that time he was on several lists at ticket agencies that would have notified him if they had been performing anywhere in the area.
Old band members.
Q: Alexei Norris in the US wonders whatever happened to the old members of EWF? Especially Larry Dunn, Al McKay, Freddie White and Andrew Woolfolk?
A: Jan Nilsaeter from Sweden says: Larry Dunn has his own solocarreer, recorded one jazzoriented album called Lover’s Silhoutte on 101 South Records (877071-2). Andrew Woolfolk is now playing and touring with Phil Collins. Probably replacing Don Myrick who was shot dead by the police in Los Angeles. Ferdinand Boehner from Germany has contact with Al McKay who now lives in L.A. He’s got a video of Al’s new band, The L.A. Allstars, from a gig in Tokyo. Al is playing guitar and producing. The material is old EWF songs together with some new stuff. Check out the "Old Members" section.
What’s Maurice saying?
Q: Paolo Magnani of Italy wonders exactly what Maurice (or could it be Sheldon?) is saying (on vocoder?) in the beginning of "Feel U Up" on Avatar. (He doesn’t mean "Bust the new jam. Bust it like this, c’mon", but something said some secs later).
A: I’ve got several answers to this and they all refers to the "Bust the new….". Even after listening to the opening several times, it’s impossible to hear what’s been said. Mike Wiethorn says: I’ve been listening to "Feel U Up". As for what Sheldon is saying after "Bust it like this", he isn’t really saying anything. What he is doing is scat singing, like Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, and George Benson, whom Reynolds greatly emulates. Listen to Sheldon at the end of "Round and Round"…he scat sings along with his guitar at the end of the song. On "Feel", he is basically "rapping" a series of syllables and chord progressions. Cab Calloway is also an excellent example of a scat singer. Still, it does sound like maybe he’s saying, "Woo hoo, smoke a doobie", or perhaps, "Yoo hoo, Scooby Dooby". That, however, is quite unlikely. 🙂
Webmaster: What’s been said I still don’t know, but it’s Morris Pleasure performing on his vocoder. Thanks to Daniele Minotti for pointing that out.
(C) BBC MCMLXXXIII