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From Soul Express 2/1996


Stan Mosley’s debut EP, Standing Tall (Butler's Record), impressed me and many others and left yearning for more.

  First I talked to Mr. James Butler about his label out of Eight Mile, Alabama.”We have been in the gospel for the last 24-25 years, Seven Spirits Production at that point. Then we picked up Stan Mosley, and we made a blues and r&b label, which is Butler's Records. We have another one, we also did Big Joe Wade out of Mobile.”

  James' gospel roster includes The Nathanile Gospel Singers out of Michigan, The Noah's Ark out of Memphis, Tennessee, The Fantastic Spiritual Believers out of Cleveland, Ohio, The Mighty Righteous Soul also from Cleveland, The Keys Of Harmony out of Michigan, The Gospel Harmonizers out of Alabama, a preacher by the name of Jeffrey Rainey and James' wife, Addie Butler.

  ”Right now I'm doing several other guys in the studio. As a matter of fact, we've got about seven or eight releases that we are putting out. I've got two at the press. One of them is Baby Rae, r&b – jazz thing, he's out of Oklahoma. I'm getting ready to release a guy by the name of Morris Burnes. He's an r&b, Sam Cooke type of singer. My music director is a guy by the name of Larry Sanders.”

  Getting back to Stan's EP, vocally he is backed by Theresa Davis and Dianne Madison, instrumentally by Ronnie Hicks (on sax) and Hew Thompson. Stan has a fine, traditional `quality soul' voice, which in its harshness slightly reminds me of Bobby Womack and Frank-O, but the closest, however, that comes to mind is David Sea.

  Together Forever is a soulful midtempo floater.”It's a track that I put together dealing with the personal relationship that I had. Actually I wrote it for a young lady. It's a real slow track by today's standards.”

  Give Me A Chance is a deep beat ballad with Stan wailing and ecstazing to the max.”Give is a nice smooth ballad. It's also one of those songs that deals with personal relationships.”

  Thank You – coupled with the instrumental track – is a slow soul jam. ”Believe it or not, `Thank You' is the one that's getting a lot of airplay down south.”

  Stan was born in 6.5. 1952 in Chicago, Illinois. His all-time favourites could read like his vocal patterns. ”Most definitely Bobby Womack, David Ruffin and Marvin Junior. He's my mentor. He taught me a lot. Listen to `Give Me A Chance' real good and you can hear the Dells flavour in there.

  I've always admired people that we're able to communicate with other people through music. My mother told me that when I was a kid and on tv Elvis Presley would come on, I'd jump up and try to dance in the same way. I like people like Jackie Wilson and stuff like that.”

  Stan grew up listening to the sweet soul sounds of the 60's, and finally decided to give it a try. We'll let the man himself carry on from there.”In 1969 I got into a talent contest here in school in Chicago. I was only seventeen, and I got bitten by the bug. I did real bad, but it was a feeling that I got from that experience, and I've been doing it ever since.

  After that I formed my own singing group, Tainted Glass. We didn't do any recordings. We just did a lot of things locally in Chicago.

  I left Chicago in 1974 and moved to Saint Louis, where I joined a group called The Sharpees. They had some hits on the Okeh label, but I never did any recordings with them. I stayed with them for about a year and a half, and when I left them, I worked with Shirley Brown. I was one of her background singers. I stayed with Shirley for long enough to tour the south with her, but it was just for a season.

  I left and worked with Oliver Sain, still in Saint Louis. I left Saint Louis in 1978 and returned to Chicago, where I had the opportunity to work with the Dells as an opening act. I had met them before, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to work with them.

  I went to one of their shows and asked Marvin, if I could come up on stage. They're very gracious guys and allowed me that opportunity. I went up, and, man, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Once you get up there with those guys, you gotta know what you're doing.

  It was around 1981 that I went back off by myself again. Music I wanted to do for a living. Unfortunately I wasn't making that type of money where I could take care of my family. So I was in between working, and doing my music on weekends.”

  In the early 80's Stan won The Chicago Music Award for the best male vocalist in the r&b category.

 ”Shortly after that, believe it or not, in 1982 I quit the business. I got involved with church, and I started singing gospel. I was with a group called Ray Berryhill and Company. We did a live recording on the west side of Chicago. That was my very first recording, in '82. I had done a lot of demos, but nobody ever did anything with them. It was gospel and r&b, but I never had anyone to market them.

  I stayed with the group for about two years. Then I just started singing gospel by myself in churches, in funerals and weddings.

  Then I got bitten by the bug again. It was in 1989 when my interest sparked again about doing the r&b circuit. I wrote some songs along with a friend of mine called Gus Thornton. We wrote something like 15  –  16 songs together. I began to demo them, and I started sending them out to different people, and I started getting some good feedback. Actually what I was trying to do was to get somebody else to record the songs, but Marvin told me `no, Stan, you need to record the songs for yourself'.

  I formed my own record label, which was Stand Up Records, released them on my label, but I had no way of getting the type of distribution that I needed to put the record out there. All this happened in 1994. In between we just wrote songs.

  Then I had a conversation with Lenny Lewis out of Shreveport, Louisiana. I was trying to get picked up by one of the better independent labels, because all the majors were telling me that they liked the product but they were just tied and they couldn't do anything. Lenny gave me a call one day and told me that he's gonna have a guy named James Butler to call me out of Mobile, Alabama, that has a little label. And he called.

  This time I was an opening act for Cicero Blake. I had been touring with him, and we were getting good reviews everywhere we went. When I got back there was a contract mailed from Butler Records. I read it, we had some discussions over the phone and, because I didn't have anybody else that was gonna get it out there for me, I signed the contract.”

  The result was the product from Stan's own label being re-released on Butler's Records as Standing Tall.

 ”I've got a brand new album coming out right now. It's all new stuff. It's a variety of styles, but it’s all r&b and soul. It’s on JML out of Memphis, Tennessee. I am with Butler Records, but they gave me a release to do something with another company with a wider distribution, so that people will get to know me. It's a marketing move. After that we'll release another album with Butler.”

-Heikki Suosalo

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