Russell Thompkins and the New Stylistics [Interview]
A video from YouTube of "The New Stylistics"
An Evening of Beautiful Music and ComedyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Now Thats Entertainment puts on an Explosive Review of Talent in New York at Thomasina's
Betcha By Golly, Wow, You're a Big Girl Now, You Make Me Feel Brand New, I'm Stone In Love With You are just a few of the explosive hits by Russell Thompkins and The Stylistics. During their performance this group sang one hit after another, causing one to become an aficionado of their music. This is one of the greatest musical groups over the past decades. Thompkins' high pitched voice along with the smooth sounds of Raymond, Jonathan, Maleek and the sensational orchestra, combines a perfect blend of harmony. It is understandable why this group sold more than 50 million records worldwide. "You Make Me Feel Brand New, was the group's biggest U.S. hit holding at #2 for two weeks in the spring of 1974, and was one of the five U.S. gold singles the Stylistics collected," stated Wikipedia. They have been in the top 10 of Billboard magazine's Easy Listening singles chart numerous times. Russell Thompkins expressed how he had been fortunate enough over the years to work with such musical greats as Dexter Wansel and Burt Bacharach. This compilation of talent along with others brought beautiful music for us over the years. These type of groups should remain unforgettable in our hearts and minds.
Interviews with the Award Winning Russell Thompkins and The New Stylistics
How has your music remained so successful through the generations?
Music is what I do. I try to keep it as pleasurable as possible. I just love to sing.
You have so many hits, what is your favorite song to perform?
Betcha By Golly, Wow is my favorite to perform. At the time, I felt that way about my wife before I recorded all these other hits. I still enjoy singing that song every night.
What advice do you have for new artists within the industry?
Learn your craft. You must learn how to read and play music. If you are a vocalist, I would recommend that you also become a musician. Also, learn how to count your own money. I started in the music business when I was about 18 or 19 years old. I knew that it was vital that whatever type of music performed, I had to understand the business aspects of this industry and know my craft. The new artist should also learn to appreciate and respect their fans. I often thank my fans during my performance for buying our records over the years because without them we would not have been so successful.
Your show appears to be on point, how do you maintain such precision?
Russell smiled and explained how it has taken a lot of practice and preparation. "I have been singing for over 42 years all over the world. Even when you make a mistake or when things go wrong during your performance and people are looking at you, never stop performing or give up. Once you stop, you end up looking bad. Just keep pushing forward regardless of the mistakes you might make.
Jonathan Buckson is also a singer within The New Stylistics. When asked about the perception of their group, he gave this comment?
Music keeps me going. I love performing and it has nothing to do with money. I enjoy what I do and I thank God for this opportunity. It is the Stylistics' tradition for style and stage presence. You have to stay in shape although we are 60 plus. We perform with extra energy because we do what we love and love what we are doing.
What advice do you have for up and coming artists?
Love the music. Don't do it for a profit. Love the music. If you focus on making a profit, it will take a toll on you. You will end up possibly getting the profit but you will neglect the music. We love music and that is why we have about 38 gold and platinum records. We even have hits that we performed in Europe that some people have never heard because we love music and enjoy performing for our fans.
Orchestra members of @The New Stylistics had these comments.
Tim Williams, who plays trombone stated, "I am just trying to work hard. This is a premier gig and I am playing with a person that I consider to be a star and it is a privilege to play with him," referring to Russell Thompkins. "This is one of the best R&B bands and one of the best artists I have ever played with. The New Stylistics are unique because these singers are musicians. Thompkins is a pianist. Ray is a guitarist and Mr. Buckson has a great understanding of theory and great music." Tim concluded his comments about Thompkins by stating, "It is a pleasure to play with a guy that is a legend that does not act like a legend. He is a genuine person as well as a vocalist."
Kenny Thompson is the musical director, he plays the piano, arrange and direct the shows as well as sings background. Kenny has been with The Stylistics and Russell for about 25 years. They have traveled to such major countries as Brazil, Australia, Morocco, Singapore. Guam, Hawaii, South Africa, the UK, and Anartica. Working with this group has been a wonderful experience for him." Kenny, went on to give this advice to new artists, "Study, study, study. When you go for it you will be discovered. Also, pay the tax man. This is where 90% of the musicians get in trouble with IRS." What a profound and useful statement made by Mr. Thompson. This is good advice for all entertainers in the industry.
Adrianne Garner is the only female in the orchestra of The New Stylistics. She plays keyboards and has been with this outstanding group for ten years. When asked if it bothers her to be in the midst of all these men, Adrianne responded vehemently, "It does not bother me to be with all these men. I had practice with five brothers. I stay true to who I am and do not allow the industry to change me." She then admitted, "I came up in a different time where people said you cannot do this and it made me more guarded. It is a blessing to be a part of something so great. I was determined to do this. Don't let anyone change you and foremost, just trust in God." Adrianne is a confident, talented and devoted young woman, who appears to have her head on straight.
Keith Rock, Sheila Coley and CP Lacey also Performed at Thomasina's
Now That's Entertainment in conjunction with Taste of Elegance, featured comedian Keith Rock at Thomasina's Catering Hall in St. Albans, New York. He revealed during a brief interview that his material is developed from life's experiences. His wife Lisa smiled when I asked Keith about a very intoxicated audience member who interrupted his performance. "I am not bothered by hecklers. You cannot allow them to stop your show. I tried to handle it professionally because I refuse to insult people although I was determined to go on with my show." Keith Rock also mentioned how he is compelled to keep his comedy acts clean and without cursing and filthy remarks. Keith believes that cleaner, family oriented comedians tend to last longer in the business. He concluded with this advice for others who might want to become comedians, "I try to change up my characters based on life experiences. I also try not to embarrass people within my audience because all comedians really do need their audience to be effective. Keith served as host for this event.
The extremely talented songbird, Sheila Coley also appeared on this show. She performed another outstanding show that consisted of Sheila's new CD, Boundless. This exactitude of pure talent once again left her audience in awe based on her powerful performance. The world's greatest impersonator CP Lacey also appeared. No matter how many times this entertainer is seen, his characters are always funny and impetuous. Once again Lacey keeps everything virtuous.
Cyrena, a vendor at the show, who sells beautiful handbags and other medicinal herbs that can aide with such problems as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and numerous other problems that exist. She summed up the entire show by stating, "they killed it." The performances were definitive and enthusiastic. Delicious food was served which consisted of fried fish and chicken, string beans red potatoes and iced tea. My husband Walker and our two daughters, left this event fully enriched not only by good food but also excellent entertainment that was in abundance. This was a family oriented show that was inspirational and it appealed to all generations. These performances made a family night out very successful.