There have seemingly been dozens of groups called "the Dynamics" or something similar.  But the most notable was the Detroit quintet consisting of Zeke Harris, George White, Fred Baker, Samuel Stevenson and Zerben Hicks.  Managed by Ted White (husband of Aretha Franklin), they stepped away from their Detroit home in 1969 to record on Cotillion Records with up and coming producers Chips Moman and Tommy Cogbill (Wilson Pickett, Elvis Presley).  With a sound that bore elements of both the Temptations and the Miracles, the Dynamics released First Landing, a marvelous album that landed the hit "Ice Cream Song," but which was, front-to-back, one of the best soul albums of that year, part gritty southern soul and part sweet falsetto ballads.

It was four years before the group’s follow-up album, What A Shame, was released on Black Gold Records.  It was more successful, with the title cut landing in the Soul Top 40.  The group again sounded superb, but unfortunately the album did not have sufficient success to allow them to record a third disc.

What A Shame was re-released in 1995 and First Landing received a much deserved second chance on Hacktone Records in 2007. For lovers of classic soul, it is a real find.

By Chris Rizik


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