Ted Mills

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Singer/songwriter Ted Mills sang lead vocals for Blue Magic, who are best known for dreamy Philly Soul ballads, the million-selling "Sideshow" and "Three Ring Circus." He also wrote their favorites: "Spell,"…
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Singer/songwriter Ted Mills sang lead vocals for Blue Magic, who are best known for dreamy Philly Soul ballads, the million-selling "Sideshow" and "Three Ring Circus." He also wrote their favorites: "Spell," "What's Come Over Me," "Chasing Rainbows" and "Tear It Down." Mills and the other members of the group -- Keith Beaton, Richard Pratt and brothers Vernon and Wendell Sawyer -- came from the same neighborhood of North Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA though initially they all were members of different vocal groups. Mills performed with a group called The Topics. Randy Cain of The Delfonics, known best for "Didn't I Blow Your Mind," took Mills to the offices of WMOT Productions so he could become a staff songwriter. The Sawyer brothers, Pratt and Beaton were members of the vocal group Shades Of Love, who auditioned for WMOT. The production company decided to pair Mills with his neighborhood pals to form the group, Blue Magic. Teamed with MFSB guitarist/songwriter/producer Norman Harris and recording at Joe Tarsia's legendary Sigma Sound Studios, their first hit single was Mills' song "Spell" (#30 R&B, spring 1973). Besides Harris, other MFSB members on their sessions were drummer Earl Young, bassist Ron Baker, vibraphonist Vince Montana and orchestra leader Don Renaldo.

WMOT got a distribution deal with Atlantic Records' subsidiary, Atco Records. Their next single, "Stop To Start," a song written by Allan Felder and Jimmy Grant went to #14 R&B, #74 Pop in Early 1974. Written by MFSB guitarist Bobby Eli and Vinnie Barrett (aka Gwen Woolfolk), the bittersweet "Sideshow" went gold, going to #1 R&B, #8 Pop in spring 1974. This song was on their self-titled LP, Blue Magic, which also went gold, peaking at #4 R&B, #45 Pop in early 1974.