Flavor - Don't Freeze Up - Bunky US/Ju-par US/Motown UK EU (1976)
I got married in 1974 and for the next 10 years I missed a lot of good soul music that came out due to family commitments, etc, and even now in 2010 I'm still coming across nice little things that passed me by.

They are like new releases to me when I find them. I ask a friend; "do you know such a track like this one" and they say "Oh yeah" (and then yawn!!), but finding these things is a whole new experience for me and for the reader also, I hope!

This track is very easy to obtain and is classed as a Modern soul tune and came out all over. Firstly on Bunky in 1976 and a few months later in 1977 when Motown pressed it up the Ju-par label. This copy is a German pressing with a picture sleeve and a early blue 'M' logo that I found last week for just few dollars. The other nice track on the first Ju-Par album (shown) is One Way Ticket.

Flavor was Stanton Scott Sheppard (Stan), Chauncey Matthews, and Fred Brown Jr. Sheppard's the son of producer/writer/singer/record label owner Bill "Bunky" Sheppard. The groups first and only release as Flavor "Don't Freeze Up," written by Sheppard and Roderick Rancifer .

When it started making a little noise, Bunky cut a deal with Ju-par Records in Detroit, which was being distributed by Motown Records, to give it some clout. Ju-par reissued the dancer February 1977 and followed with an album entitled In Good Taste three months later. No other track from the album was ever issued. Then, for reasons unknown, the group changed their name to Livin' Proof. (A possible reason is that after albums by the Ju-par Orchestra, Sly, Slick & Wicked, and Flavor, Motown ended its association with Ju-par's owner and snatched the rights to the name Flavor along with the three albums it distributed.)

Still on Ju-par, but not distributed by Motown, the same lineup released a Vernon Bullock tune and production entitled "You and I" in December 1977. The self-titled Livin' Proof came out in 1978, shadowed by a final single "Move Your Body," composed by Bullock and Sheppard. But Ju-par ran into all kind of problems and dissolved, causing Livin' Proof to dissipate like Flavor before it.

None of their product really caught on, despite a print media blitz, and the end was inevitable. Sheppard hooked up with the Rice Twins (Steve and Sterling) to form Triple S in 1979 and two years later began his longest group association as a member of Skool Boyz who recorded for Destiny, Crossroads, and Columbia Records. - Andrew Hamilton

Flavor/Livin' Proof Discography:

Don't Freeze Up Bunky (1976) Ju-Par/Motown (1977)
In Good Taste Ju-par LP (1977)
Livin' Proof
You And I (Part 1)/Part 2 Ju-Par 532 (1978)
Move Your Body/Disco Boogie Ju-Par 534 (1978)
Livin' Proof Ju-Par LP (1978)

1 comment:

  1. "Don't Freeze Up" is one of my favourite sides, and is one of those seemingly timeless Soul recordings. It actually got a UK 45 release in 1977, as did the album, which features an extended version of the above track. Interesting, but I prefer the tighter 45 mix I think.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.