Five Stairsteps and Cubie

Five Stairsteps & Cubie (Feat: Dennis) - Find Me
Five Stairsteps & Cubie - Our Family Portrait - Buddah BDS 5008 (1968)

Somethings Missing; Bad News; A Million To One; I Remember You; The New Dance Craze; Tell Me Who; Windows Of The World; Find Me; You Make Be So Mad; Under The Spell of Your Love; The Look Of Love

Produced by Clarence Burke Snr.,

Family groups came out of the mid-60's and were all the rage. Americans love to see child stars on TV and in cinema. I think it all must have started with Shirley Temple. Most were rubbish some like Jackson 5 went on to be mega stars. Others were quite underground in the UK in the late 60's. One such band were The Five Stairsteps & Cubie.

The group even on their 1969 album included Mum & Dad in the mix - nice. Dad was a Chicago detective (shown). He kept the family on the straight and narrow and they were known in black circles as the first family of soul. Today's track though features Dennis Burke on main vocal. "Find Me" is the one that bold me over from this their 2nd album, that had a gate fold sleeve with 17 family photos. I purchased the album from Dan Reddington's shop opposite Moor Street Station here in Birmingham. He was bringing over container loads of US music and sold import singles three for a £1.00 in 1970, this was my sort of price! Still I did have to go and fix his TV from time to time. He still sells music today but web only.

The Stairsteps though consisted of five brothers and one sister; Alohe, Clarence, James, Dennis, Kenneth and at this time 2 1/2 year-old Cubie. The group started out being introduced to Curtis Mayfield's Windy C label by Fred Cash (of The Impressions) in 1966 with "Don't Waste Your Time"/"You Waited Too Long" (R&B 16/Pop 94) written by Curtis Mayfild. Most other songs on their first album were written by Clarence Snr., (Pops)! Oldest member at that time was Alohe at 17, Dad played bass and Mom working on the vocal harmonies. Mayfield had set up the Windy C label for them with Cameo/Parkway distribution and all but one of the eight releases on the label were Stairsteps.

Cameo/Parkway folded in 1967 and Buddah was launched from the ruins and signed the group. The third album was on the newly launched Curtom (Cur=Curtis & Tom=Eddie Thomas) with mostly Mayfield songs, some old and some new, but the group harmonies blended to his sound perfectly. In the spring of 1970, the group released their biggest hit, "O-o-h Child" (written by Stan Vincent), which hit number 14 R&B and number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. This disc sold over one million copies, and received a gold disc awarded by the R.I.A.A.
Aloha left the group in 1971 and along with the 5 chart singles from the Windy C album this was their only success and the group folded after an album for George Harrison in 1976. He had be so impressed at them doing the Beatles song Dear Prudence and was introduced to them though Billy Preston. When the group folded Kenny Burke had a few releases and an album in the 1980's. Rising To The Top being his biggest track. He then did session guitar work for many big names also part of Invisible Man's Band (with Clarence & Dennis).

The Five Stairsteps & Cubie discography:

as The Five Stairsteps:
601 Don't Waste Your Time/You Waited Too Long (1966)
602 World Of Fantasy/Playgirls Love (1966)
603 Come Back/You Don't Love Me (1966)
604 Danger She's A Stranger/Behind The Curtains (1967)
605 I Ain't Gonna Rest(Til I Get You)/You Can't See (1967)
607 Ooh Baby Baby/The Girl I Love (1967)
608 Change Of Pace/The Touch Of You (1967)
LP WC 6000 'The 5 Stairsteps' (1967)

as The Five Stairsteps & Cubie:
020 Tell me who/Somethings missing (1968)
026 A million to one/Tell me who (1968)
035 The Shadow of your love/Bad news (1969)
LP bds 5008 'Our Family Portrait' (1968)
LP bds 5017 'Classmates' (various artists*) (1969)
*(above includes 4 tracks from Portrait LP)

1931 Don't Change Your Love / New Dance Craze (1968)
1933 Stay Close To Me / I Made A Mistake(1968)
1936 Baby Make Me Feel So Good / Little Young Lover (1969)
1944 Madame Mary / Little Boy Blue (1969)
1945 We Must Be In Love / Little Young Lover (1969)
LP CRS 8002 'Loves Happening' (1969)

(as Stairsteps:)
165 Who Do You Belong To/O-O-H Child (1970) Eric (1975)
188 Because I Love You/America Standing (1970)
213 Didn't It Look So Easy/Peace Is Gonna Come (1971)
222 Snow/Look Out (1971)
277 I Love You, Stop/I Feel A Song (In My Heart Again)(1972)
291 Hush Child/The Easy Way (1972)
320 Every Single Way/Two Week's Notice (1972)

LP bds 5061 'Stairsteps' (1970)
LP bds 5068 'Step by Step by Step' (1970)
LP bds 5079 'Stairsteps'' (1971)

DARK HORSE (owned by George Harrison)
ams 5505 From us to you/Time (1976)
ams 5507 Pasado/ (1976)
ams 10009 Tell Me Why/Salaam (1976)
LP sp 22?? Keni Burke 'self' (1977)
LP sp 22004 'the 2nd. Resurrection' (1976)

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