Soulful Detroit Archives - January 2009 Remembering William (Wee Gee) Howard of The Dramatics Previous Next

Author Message
Top of pageBottom of page

Marv (marv2)
2-Debutant
Username: marv2

Post Number: 11
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 205.188.116.18
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 9:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is one of those songs that just sort of sticks somewhere in the back of your mind. William "Wee Gee" Howards' "Children Hold On (To Your Dreams). I never really knew how well it did nationally, but it was a big local Detroit hit during the Winter of 1980. Give a listen. RIP Wee Gee and thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =W10bGqRV-f4&feature=channel_p age
Top of pageBottom of page

Kdubya (paladin)
6-Zenith
Username: paladin

Post Number: 4348
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 71.57.98.64
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 11:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah WeeGee was the man. Sounded very much like David Ruffin on many Dramatics tunes. His return to the Dramatics on their Reunion Album was welcomed. Although not a major commercial success, it remains a favorite of mine.
Top of pageBottom of page

Marv (marv2)
2-Debutant
Username: marv2

Post Number: 12
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 69.117.127.26
Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2008 - 1:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wee Gee was one of the greats, underrated singers with his rough and gruff soulful delivery. The Reunion album was good and I was very happy to see the guys could get together one more time for all the fans.
Top of pageBottom of page

ColtonThomas (soullegends)
4-Laureate
Username: soullegends

Post Number: 91
Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 68.118.72.44
Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2008 - 2:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I very much agree David Ruffin highly influenced his sound and even William wore those David Ruffin style glasses!

-Colton
Top of pageBottom of page

ColtonThomas (soullegends)
4-Laureate
Username: soullegends

Post Number: 92
Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 68.118.72.44
Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2008 - 2:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

may i add the vibes kind have that still water peace thing going on.
Top of pageBottom of page

Marv (marv2)
2-Debutant
Username: marv2

Post Number: 13
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 205.188.116.18
Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2008 - 8:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ColtonThomas, you are right! After all these years, I hadn't noticed that (the Still Waters/Peace vibe) until now. Still a great, classic recording by any standard.
Top of pageBottom of page

michael r. lee shue (mikey)
6-Zenith
Username: mikey

Post Number: 1894
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 99.243.161.52
Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2008 - 9:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Monster hit in the hood.I saw it on a seven incher on JU-Par and then Cotillion grabbed it and ran with it. I believe Vernon Bullock had something to do with this song.
Top of pageBottom of page

Marv (marv2)
2-Debutant
Username: marv2

Post Number: 14
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 205.188.116.18
Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2008 - 11:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Michael r. lee, it was definitely a hit in Detroit/Toledo, etc when it was released in 1980 I believe. I remember first hearing it on the popular local Detroit television dance show "The Scene" and then daily on WGPR radio among other local stations. I never heard much else about the record nationally.

This song, this recording by Wee Gee is absolutely timeless and holds a strong message today for youth and for those of us that are , uh,urr....a bit older. LOL!
Top of pageBottom of page

Heikki (heikki)
6-Zenith
Username: heikki

Post Number: 742
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 94.101.4.113
Posted on Sunday, December 14, 2008 - 2:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi!

Wee Gee: "I was the vice-president of Ju-Par..."

(on Hold On To Your Dreams): "We put the record out as a single, and it was so hot that Atlantic picked it up. They were the first company to bid on."
(Soul Express: The Dramatics story, part 3)

The album by the same name was cut at Sound Suite in Detroit, and Vernon Bullock produced it and co-wrote the songs.

Best regards
Heikki
Top of pageBottom of page

michael r. lee shue (mikey)
6-Zenith
Username: mikey

Post Number: 1904
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 99.243.161.52
Posted on Sunday, December 14, 2008 - 2:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I visited Detroit regularly during "Hold on to your dreams" height of popularity.You heard it on radio,record store speakers.
It was a monster hit.Anthem.
Top of pageBottom of page

JSmith (jsmith)
6-Zenith
Username: jsmith

Post Number: 3147
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 195.93.21.9
Posted on Sunday, December 14, 2008 - 2:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cotillion can't have promoted his LP that well as a few years after its release (mid 80's) copies were mass imported into the UK (along with lots of other Cotillion soul LP's) and were for sale here at 19p each (about 25c back then).
Top of pageBottom of page

Marv (marv2)
2-Debutant
Username: marv2

Post Number: 16
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 64.12.116.18
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008 - 12:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey thanks Heikki for that additional info. I had a notion that this particular song was popular outside Detroit, just never knew to what extent. Thanks.
Top of pageBottom of page

Marv (marv2)
2-Debutant
Username: marv2

Post Number: 17
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 64.12.116.18
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008 - 12:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I actually first heard it on television. It was spotlighted on "The Scene" in Detroit.
Top of pageBottom of page

michael r. lee shue (mikey)
6-Zenith
Username: mikey

Post Number: 1916
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 99.243.161.52
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008 - 12:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It wasn't a crossover record. All I know peeps in the hood ate it up.
Top of pageBottom of page

roger (roger)
6-Zenith
Username: roger

Post Number: 2198
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 217.40.169.129
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008 - 5:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello all ..

I don't think "Hold Onto Your Dreams" was ever issued officially in Britain, but I do recall it got some airplay on "specialist" Soul shows .. and I managed to get my hands on an import 7" when it was new .. and then I got my hands on the L.P. in the mid 80s .. strangely my copy of the L.P. is a "Demo" ..( I think I also have the 12" hidden away somewhere ).

Its a wonderful song and is probably better known than people posting on this thread realise .. particularly as THE STAPLE SINGERS did a version of it in the early '80s .. its the title track of their 20th Century L.P.

Check out their discography at soulfulkindamusic .. seems it was also released as a 45 by them ...

http://www.soulfulkindamusic.n et/staplesingers.htm

Inspired by this thread I've just played both versions back to back .. the STAPLES version is very good .. the WEE GEE version is awesome!!

Incidentally, the track "Remember the Love" on WEE GEE's L.P. used to get some airplay on London "rare-groove"/"pirate" stations in the early/mid '90s.

Roger
Top of pageBottom of page

JSmith (jsmith)
6-Zenith
Username: jsmith

Post Number: 3203
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 195.93.21.9
Posted on Thursday, December 25, 2008 - 2:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



Top of pageBottom of page

Marv (marv2)
2-Debutant
Username: marv2

Post Number: 29
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 72.240.154.169
Posted on Saturday, December 27, 2008 - 2:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you Jsmith for sharing that. Happy New Year!
Top of pageBottom of page

ms. stephanie (msstephanie55)
2-Debutant
Username: msstephanie55

Post Number: 14
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 75.119.1.231
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 11:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Please don't forget the anniversary of his death on Feb. 22,2009. It will be nine years.
Love always Mr William Franklin Howard
Top of pageBottom of page

ColtonThomas (soullegends)
5-Doyen
Username: soullegends

Post Number: 180
Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 68.118.72.44
Posted on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 7:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have the album Hold On To Your Dreams and I was playing it a few days ago and guess who's name I found on the Guitar credits!

none other than Soulful Detroit's own

Dennis Coffey!

(Message edited by SoulLegends on January 07, 2009)
Top of pageBottom of page

Marv (marv2)
3-Pundit
Username: marv2

Post Number: 45
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 69.117.127.85
Posted on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 8:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ColtonThomas I have the album too. I bought it when it was released in 1980 I believe. It's been in storage now for about 15 years. I should go check it out. Go Dennis!!!!
Top of pageBottom of page

Common (common)
6-Zenith
Username: common

Post Number: 441
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 64.12.116.18
Posted on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 9:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Marv,

Thank you for posting this song. I never heard this song before and now it has me as a new fan. Do you know what WeeGee Howard died of? May he RIP.
Top of pageBottom of page

ColtonThomas (soullegends)
5-Doyen
Username: soullegends

Post Number: 185
Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 68.118.72.44
Posted on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 9:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

he had a congestion in chest that caused a heart attack

he was only 49

(Message edited by SoulLegends on January 07, 2009)
Top of pageBottom of page

Common (common)
6-Zenith
Username: common

Post Number: 443
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 64.12.116.18
Posted on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 9:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks ColtonThomas. Wow! He was so young. :-(
Top of pageBottom of page

Marv (marv2)
3-Pundit
Username: marv2

Post Number: 48
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 69.117.127.85
Posted on Thursday, January 08, 2009 - 12:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, Common Wee Gee died here in New York of congestive heart failure in 2000. God Bless him and RIP.
Top of pageBottom of page

the classic master (the_classic_master)
6-Zenith
Username: the_classic_master

Post Number: 1244
Registered: 7-2006
Posted From: 173.68.45.63
Posted on Thursday, January 08, 2009 - 1:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

did wee gee do any recording in between the time he left the dramatics and children hold on? what took him so long to record his first solo album? did stax do any solo stuff with him after he left the group? why did he leave the group anyway?
Top of pageBottom of page

ColtonThomas (soullegends)
5-Doyen
Username: soullegends

Post Number: 193
Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 68.118.72.44
Posted on Thursday, January 08, 2009 - 2:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the classic master,
if you scroll up a bit you will see Jsmith's scan of the 45 single Wee Gee made in 1978 "You've Been A Part Of Me" which was released two years before his LP "Hold On To Your Dreams".

Currently there is not a website that has a complete Discography of Wee Gee but I can confirm that he never had a single as a solo artist on the Stax Label. As far as I know he only left The Dramatics to pursue a solo career.

(Message edited by SoulLegends on January 08, 2009)

(Message edited by SoulLegends on January 08, 2009)
Top of pageBottom of page

Heikki (heikki)
6-Zenith
Username: heikki

Post Number: 753
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 88.114.158.243
Posted on Thursday, January 08, 2009 - 3:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi!

Wee Gee became a part of the "splinter" Dramatics in 1974
http://www.soulexpress.net/dra matics_discography.htm
and after that group he launched his solo career, and then returned to the group after their hiatus in the 80s.

Best regards
Heikki
Top of pageBottom of page

ColtonThomas (soullegends)
5-Doyen
Username: soullegends

Post Number: 199
Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 68.118.72.44
Posted on Thursday, January 08, 2009 - 3:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Heikki thanks for that link!

here's another Dramatics Discography

http://www.soulfulkindamusic.n et/dramatics.htm

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.