This hard-hitting soul group formed in Rochester, NY, consisting of the multi-talented Willie John Ellison, along with Lester Freeman, Vonell Benjamin, and Charles, Moses, Sam, and Harry Armstrong. (That's seven, but one of the Armstrong brothers' bounced early.) They debuted with "Stop Hurting Me" on Fine Records (1965) and another on Lyndell Records (1966) typo-credited to the Sold Brothers Six. A Philly DJ introduced them to Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records, and they had a small hit with "Some Kinda Wonderful" (written by Ellison) in 1967; it was their most successful record, making it into the Top 100 at number 91. The Fantastic Johnny C took it four slots higher the following year; and Grand Funk Railroad outdid 'em all by rocking it to number three pop in 1974. John Ellison, a coalminer's son, grew up in West Virginia. He learned ...
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