The Friendly Seven

The Friendly Seven emerged out of the early 1960s choir rolls of Cleveland’s Greater Friendship Baptist Church. James Bullard often attended to Greater Friendship, to hear the choir as directed by his friend Randy Shipp. Phillip Brown formed the backbone of the Seven, which for much of its existence featured three strong female lead singers in Cherry Pack, Betty Thompson, and Virgie Bradford. Prior to recording for BOS, they recorded two earlier 45s for the J&W and Paxter’s labels. Phillip Brown’s “I Had A Talk,” with its strong, soulful lead by Cherry Pack, appeared in 1973. After theirlone 45 for BOS, the group went on to record an album for Thomas Boddie’s Bounty in 1975 and a 45 for Dee-Jay in 1980, with a drastically different lineup. The group split up soon after. Phillip Brown and Virgie Bradford still live in the Cleveland area, where Brown pastors a church and Bradford continues to sing.

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