Listen to full 65 mins radio show from 1994. Please leave comments on interview. Interviewed in Detroit by Bill Randle for PCRL radio here in Birmingham, contains all the classics even "Inky Dinky!"
The Dramatics (formerly The Dynamics) were a American soul music vocal group, formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1967. First record was on a local Detroit label Wingate, "Inky Dinky Wang Dang Do/Bingo", followed after Motown brought out the label by a hit release this time on another local label, Sport records, that is very popular with Northern Soul collectors. The group are best known however for their 1970s hit songs, "In the Rain" and "Whatcha See is Whatcha Get" - both of which were #1 R&B and Top 10 Pop hits. Their first million selling disc "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" was awarded gold disc status by the R.I.A.A. in December 1971.
Their members at this time were Ron Banks (who died of a heart attack on March 4, 2010 at age 58), William "Wee Gee" Howard (who died of a heart attack on February 22, 2000 at age 49), Elbert Wilkins (who died of a heart attack on December 13, 1992 at age 45), Willie Ford, Larry Demps and keyboardist James Mack Brown (who died on November 28, 2008 at age 58). Shortly after the success of their first album, Howard and Wilkins left the group.
They were replaced by L.J. Reynolds and Leonard "Lenny" Mayes. Through the 1970s, the group appeared on Soul Train and continued to have hits, including the #1 R&B hit, "In the Rain", "Toast to the Fool", "Me and Mrs. Jones" (originally by Billy Paul), "I'm Going By The Stars In Your Eyes" and "Be My Girl." In the meantime, Howard and Wilkins formed a Dramatics splinter group, and came up with a minor R&B hit, "No Rebate on Love." To distinguish themselves from this group, the core group temporarily dubbed themselves 'Ron Banks and The Dramatics'. Howard eventually returned to the group for two albums, Somewhere in Time: A Dramatic Reunion and Positive State Of Mind, before departing again.
The Dramatics also were guests on the Snoop Doggy Dogg song, "Doggy Dogg World". The song appeared on Snoop's 1993 debut album, Doggystyle.
The group continues to tour and presently consists of Banks, Reynolds, Ford, Winzell Kelly and Michael Brock, who replaced Mayes (who died of lung cancer on November 8, 2004 at age 53).
The Dramatics were also mentioned in the novel The Algiers Motel Incident by John Hersey (ISBN 0-8018-5777-5). They were staying at the Algiers Motel, following a performance at Detroit's Fox Theatre, during an alleged murder by members of the Detroit Police Department, which was one of the incidents which sparked the Detroit Riots of 1967.
The Dramatics "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" appeared in the 2005 documentary Sunday Driver, as well as the movies, Wattstax and Darktown Strutters, and the 2007 Petey Greene biopic, Talk To Me.
Lead singer Ron Banks died at his Prest Street home in northwest Detroit on Thursday morning, March 4, 2010. Banks was born in on May 10, 1951, reportedly in the (then) all-white western suburb of Redford, Michigan. (citation needed - this is unlikely) It is believed that Banks died of a heart attack. wikipedia