Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Happy Birthday Russell Thompkins, Jr, the Famed Falsetto Lead Singer of The Stylistics Turns 70 Today


I may have told Russell Thompkins, Jr this once, but back in 1972 I spotted the Stylistics tour bus parked near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Without thinking twice, I walked onto it and introduced myself. I’m sure whoever was there thought I was nuts.

I always loved the Stylistics from the moment I heard them. Today is Thompkins’ 70th birthday and I wouldn’t let it pass without a nod. That falsetto of his is its own musical instrument. In high school, the girls loved “Betcha By Golly Wow” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New.” They swooned to those songs.

I always liked “You Are Everything” and “People Make the World Go Round.” Thom Bell produced and wrote their hit songs, making them classics I still thrill to on SoulTown, Sirius XM. “Stone in Love with You” is pretty great, too. All the records depend on the Stylistics’ harmonies. But it’s Thompkins who carries the ball. He deserves all credit.

Happy birthday, Russell!

PS We all love Motown, but if I didn’t have the Stylistics, Spinners, Dramatics, O’Jays, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, it would be a bleak world!




Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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