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The Harmonics


The Harmonics' 1970 single was more of a hiccup than a pick-up for Way Out Records. Comprised of vocalists Paul Ware, Roosevelt Evans, and James McCants, the group had already cut two records for the Akron Musics studio imprint, Dupree, backed by numerous players from the McCants clan. Augmented by their well-publicized affiliation with Jim Brown, the Harmonics made the trek north to see what the Way Out Recording Company of Cleveland, Ohio could do for them. The Harmonics brought along a multi-track tape of finished compositions to gauge whether their pre-recorded material suited the label's tastes. Settling on “Which Way” and “Harmonics On A Warpath,” the mix produced by Johnson and Branch did not instill confidence in the trio, who decided not to renew their contract in the wake of their lone release. “I think everyone second-guesses themselves,” McCants said. “'Are they doing something we’re not doing?’ That one thing was just an experimental situation for us.” Victories for the Harmonics came easier once they forged a relationship with gold Plate Records in Buffalo. After a name change to the Chicago Gangsters, the Harmonics would create their most visible work. They had a distribution deal with Amherst Records in Buffalo and released their debut full-length, Blind Over You, which would find favor with a generation of hip-hop producers due to the knock-out cut “Gangster Boogie.”


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