Saturday To-Do: Frankie Beverly and Maze | Rock Candy

Friday, July 17, 2009

Saturday To-Do: Frankie Beverly and Maze

Posted By on Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 1:52 PM

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MAZE FEATURING FRANKIE BEVERLY
9 p.m., Riverfest Amphitheatre. $42-$85.

Let's consider three musicians influential in the development of Frankie Beverly. First, Frankie Lymon, from whom Beverly, born Howard Beverly, borrowed a name. It was Lymon's talent, too, that, apparently, made Beverly recognize he wanted to perform gospel music. Down the road, after Beverly recorded for more than a decade with the Butlers, a soul group that attracted little attention beyond its hometown Philadelphia, he broke away to form his own band, much like his Philly contemporary Daryl Hall, who split from a vocal group to front Hall and Oates. Who knows if Hall's later Yacht Rock inspired Beverly to create his own mid-tempo, cheeseball synth-filled Yacht jams? Last but not least: Marvin Gaye, whose buttery vocals and socially conscious lyrics provided a template for Beverly. Perhaps equally important was Gaye's direct help to Beverly and his new group Raw Soul. Gaye helped the group land a record deal on Capitol and suggested a name change. The rest, as they say, is history. Frankie Beverly and Maze became one of the most beloved R&B acts of the late '70s and '80s. The nostalgic will be out thick on Saturday night to see if they've still got it.

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