Greetings all – I hope my friends & readers Stateside had an enjoyable Memorial Day yesterday and those based here in the U.K. had a great Bank Holiday. Any extra day off from work is to be welcomed even if it means getting stuck into some D.I.Y. or housekeeping!!
I spent part of yesterday tidying away some of my records and that was how I came across today’s little beauty. It’s easy to forget you have certain tracks in your collection and I’m sure some of you collectors out there have (like me) even ended up with duplicates of the same record. I’m fairly certain however that this is the only copy I own of said record.
I imagine anyone who has even a passing interest in soul/funk music will have heard The Five Stairstep’s huge hit single “Ooh Child”. There have been many cover versions to date and it has been featured in many tv shows and even made an appearance in one of the biggest selling video games of all time (I don’t need to tell you which one!!) and a few years ago was ranked No 392 in Rolling Stone magazines “Top 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time”
Whilst “Ooh Child” is probably the only track many people will be aware of (and they have in the past been rather unfortunately labelled under the “One Hit Wonder” title), the band actually released close to 20 singles during their career of which this one was a minor R&B hit in 1967.
The group’s name came from the fact that their mother thought the children all looked like steps when lined up beside each other according to their age. Their musical career began with an introduction to Fred Cash of The Impressions, which led the group to start working with the legendary Curtis Mayfield who immediately signed them to his Windy City label before moving on to Buddah Records after Windy City folded. The band were nicknamed “The First Family Of Soul” a title which was later to be bestowed upon the Jackson Five.
Clarence Burke Jr sadly passed away almost a year ago to the day with the cause of death unknown, however the group’s legacy still lives on to this day.