A silky New York group that never got their due despite a fair amount of support, Revelation was Philip Ballou, Benny Diggs, Arthur Freeman, and Arnold McCuller -- all longtime church friends. Hopes were high after they signed what seemed like a sweetheart deal with RSO Records in 1974 that resulted in five singles and an album, before ending around 1977 due to RSO's inability to get any of the releases rolling on the charts. "Sweet Talk and Melodies," "Get Ready for This," "What Good Am I Without You," and their remake of Real Things' "You to Me Are Everything" were solid recordings that failed to reach the masses. In 1978, they inked with RCA Records for an acclaimed album entitled Make Every Day Count accompanied by the New York Community Choir. They backed Vickie Sue Robinson (uncredited) in 1979 on her hit RCA single "Turn the Beat Around." RSO also experienced a few personnel changes; Freeman and McCuller were out, and Morris Gray and Kevin Owens in. A single from the album, "Move on Up" b/w "Get in Touch With My Feelings," released October 1979, fell by the wayside. Apparently fed up with majors, Revelation inked with a smaller entity called Handshake Records for three more singles from 1980 to 1981 but none of them -- "When I Fall in Love" b/w "Feel It," "Stand Up" b/w "Touch the Magic of Love," and "I'm Not Giving Up" b/w "Holding On" -- made a national impression and they disbanded. Freeman kept busy writing, often with Benny Diggs, but solo as well and later resolved into gospel music. McCuller continued singing and writing, and once toured as James Taylor's backup singer. Philip Ballou toured with Luther Vandross as backing singer before relinquishing the gig to Kevin Owens, who, with Ava Cherry and Lisa Fischer, took touring backup singers to a new level; Owens also replaced Harry Ray in Ray, Goodman, & Brown when Harry passed in the early '90s. Diggs remained active as a songwriter, producer, and touring musician.
by Andrew Hamilton