William Powell of the O'Jay's

SoulfulDetroit.com FORUM: Archive - After July 12, 2003: William Powell of the O'Jay's
Top of pageBottom of page   By b.soul (205.188.209.109) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 08:32 am:

I've read somewhere that William Powell(while being terminally ill with cancer) was attacked and robbed in 1976/77 shortly after leaving the O'Jays, which only worsened his condition and caused his death. Is this true? and does anyone have any info about the Late William Powell?

Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B (138.238.41.215) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 10:06 am:

I REMEMBER SEEING THE O'JAYS IN 69 AND WILLIAM POWELL WAS STILL WITH THEM,I THINK THAT HE LEFT THEM AROUND 70 OR 71,I DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HIM BEING ATTACKED,THAT'S SAD.

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.229.29) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 10:57 am:

B. Soul, William Powell was walking home in the wee hours of the morning from an afterhour joint on Ansel Rd. (Hough area) in Cleveland to his aunt's house in the Central area when the attack and robbery occured. He had an apartment at the then named Park Center apartments in downtown Cleveland but may have given it up when he became sick. Prior to the O'Jays' success he always lived with this Aunt in the Central area.

Why was he walking the five or six miles? Your guess is as good as mine. But to speculate it may have been the substance he was addicted to that takes away any fear you might have and trick you into thinking you're invincible.

An artist/songwriter who was a friend of William and Williams' nephew Tracy Mitchell was at the aunts house when Powell arrived bloody and beaten. He is the one I first heard the account from.

Powell was with the O'Jays until about 1976/77 like you posted B. Soul. He didn't leave in 1970/71, R&B is confusing him up with Bobby Massey who left right before they signed with Philly International.

Powell's the only O'Jay who didn't buy a house in Cleveland when the money came in. I hear, however, he brought his people a house in the south where they originally came from. Also, when Ed and Walt brought foreign cars William brought a Caddy and was teased about his choice of transportation.

Al Green was assaulted and robbed in Cleveland in the seventies while sitting in a barber chair getting his hair cut. He had just came back from doing a show in Germany and one of his background singers was a Clevelander who lived on street that lie smack in between two of Cleveland's most notorious projects. Al didn't want to go to Memphis or Grand Rapids so he came to Cleveland to chill out for a few days with the lady in question. He wanted a haircut and decided to go (against everybody wishes) to a barbershop down the street on 55th and Short Scovil. Somebody told some thug that Al Green was inside and he went in and robbed Green. Snatched a gold chain from his neck--the scar is still there.

Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B (138.238.41.118) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 01:12 pm:

EXCUSE ME RD,BUT WASN'T SAMMY STRAIN IN THE GROUP WHEN THEY RECORDED[BACKSTABBERS]IN 72?

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.229.52) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 01:19 pm:

Excuse me R&B but William Powell was in the group at that time and later. Where are you getting this misinformation from? Sammy Strain joined much later when Powell became to sick to continue.

Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B (138.238.41.118) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 01:35 pm:

OPPS,I GOT UP ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE FORUM THIS MORNIN,YOU'RE RIGHT AS RAIN RD AND MY APOLOGIES[AS ALWAYS THERE'S SOMEONE TO CATCH ME ME WHEN I FALL,IT'S SLIPPERY OUT HERE IN CYBERSPACE]!

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (217.14.178.46) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 02:20 pm:

William Powell
was also a marvellous actor(haw haw)

Hey Mr RnB
it shows that your not an Anorak or a book-worm,
nobody knows it all
but some people think they do!

RD
Thanks for some great info regards the attack and robbery etc.
Also relating to Al Green as well.

Regards
Mel.

Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B (138.238.41.118) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 02:57 pm:

HEY MEL,THANKS FOR COMIN TO MY RESCUE OL BUDDY,SOMETIMES I STAY DOWN IN THE OL SOULMINES SO LONG I FORGET STUFF[GUMBLASTIT]!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME (81.174.192.249) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 05:32 pm:

Yep
I hear ya ol' buddy,
gits to me too!!
now
whats your name agin?

regards
Nappy Brown's mate.

Top of pageBottom of page   By doowopsvoice (198.81.26.170) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 02:49 pm:

RB / RD
In 1975 I was in the process of reforming my doowop group the Fandangos. There were four of us at the time and we only rehearsed three times but the first tenor was Sam Strain. After he left us and joined the O'Jays he said that William Powell still sang with them (in studio) Sammy sang on stage. Soon, thereafter, Powell had to stop altogether. Sammy left to go join the O'Jays in 1975.

The guy that sang second tenor with us was once with the Chambers Bros. (Alvin Walker) he said that he was coming to this forum to check it out soon. Look for his name.

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.229.64) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 02:53 pm:

Right dude, but R&B but was talking about 1971/72, Strain was not involved with the O'Jays at that time.

I failed to mention that William had a bad car accident in 1975 and was judge to be in fault by the party he hit. This is probably why he wasn't driving that night.

Top of pageBottom of page   By doowopsvoice (198.81.26.170) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 03:02 pm:

RD
Why do you always read things wrong, my point was that Sam and William were active in the group at the same time. Proving part of what YOU had said earlier and correcting your assumption that William left as soon as Sam joined, he did not. If you want to fight about things I will never respond to YOU anymore. That what you want???

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.229.64) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 03:03 pm:

Doowopsvoice in 1971 and 1972 the O'Jays were in Cleveland at Saru Records...I know...cause I was there too. You seem to toss out a lot of so call "facts" with any thing to substantiate what you're saying.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Doowopsvoice (198.81.26.170) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 03:23 pm:

My accounting proved that what you said about Sam not being with them in 1972 was true.

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.229.64) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 03:32 pm:

Your accounting proves nothing. Just like your assertion that Ron Isley took Charles McCormick place in Bloodstone means nothing. Back that one up. You shouldn't speak about things you know nothing about particular on this forum because there are people here that know better.

William Powell retired from the O'Jays in 1975. And I never said Sam joined as soon as he left. I said Sammy Strain was not in the group in 1971/72. The original assertion by someone else was that Strain was with them on the Backstabbers album. Can you read?

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (152.163.252.68) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 03:38 pm:

RD: If you were with Saru Records I'm thinking that I might know you. Were you in a group?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (152.163.252.68) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 03:43 pm:

William WAS on the Backstabbers album.
I was in the studio at the time, quite a bit.

In fact, when they were touring via the success of that song, I ran into them on the road various times and William was in the group.

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (152.163.252.68) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 03:47 pm:

If anyone doubts that William Powell was in the O'Jays at the time of the "Backstabber" album just look at the cover photograph!

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.229.64) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 03:51 pm:

no, was in the creative field though. Remember the picnic at Punderson where the O'Jays and the Ponderosa Twins Plus One performed? They even had a Saru Records review concert at one of the theaters in downtown Cleveland with all the acts appearing. Cynthia Woodard sang with a girl group call Ba-Roz and later with the Blossoms backing up Tom Jones for years. Calvin Simon of P-Funk was there. The late Lester "Jelly" McKenzie who sang with the Imperial Wonders was there when he was supposed to be with the Imperial Wonders...he was writing and producing. The Elements who went on to record under various names and had a hit in England as Moving Violation. The O'Jays (actually Bobby Massey) were like the A&R men and sang too. This was when Saru was on Miles, when the company first opened downtown on Payne Avenue Lou Ragland was the A&R guy. Dunn Pearson was the Ponderosa Twins Plus One keyboard player; he also played on sessions. David Peoples who did "Got To Get My Broom Out" was an Otis Redding clone vocally. Of course, there was also the talented Bobby Dukes who played keyboards in the O'Jays' band and contributed backing vocals.

Would love to see those tracks on a CD with a nice informative booklet but if it ever happens it would probably have to be a bootleg because the principals involved don't seem interested in making it happen.

Top of pageBottom of page   By SisDetroit (68.42.209.170) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 04:17 pm:

Intro on "Backstabber" is out of this world. It is still quite exciting.

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (152.163.252.68) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 04:37 pm:

RD: Back in those days I was still in retail working downtown in The Record Den. I knew most of the Imperial Wonders, Cynthia Woodard and Dunn Pearson, and had seen David Peoples and Bobby Dukes locally before he joined the O'Jays band.

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.229.64) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 05:13 pm:

I shopped for records mostly at McCroys, Record Rendevous and Woolworths downtown. I hung downtown in my teens. Would catch the bus and just hang all day in the summer. I remember the Record Den but can't remember where it was on Euclid unless it was situated in McCroys. Refresh my memory. I use to bump into the guy who worked at McCroys at Goodwills and Salvation Army stores looking for old records, like me, all the time.

Top of pageBottom of page   By FAYETTE (64.12.97.7) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 05:13 pm:

DID WILLIAM POWELL HAVE ANY CHILDREN

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.228.234) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 07:53 pm:

Fayette: William Powell never married but has a daughter by a woman he befriended in the Los Angeles area. His daughter always lived in L.A. with her mother.

Another account of the assault is that after leaving an after hour spot William's car wouldn't start and he was attacked while he had the hood up looking for the problem. One thing is sure: he was assaulted and robbed.

The late Cholly Atkins is responsible for telling the O'Jays about Sammy Strain and Strain did fill in for Powell before Powell retired but he didn't start doing this until 1975 the same year Will retired.

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (205.188.209.109) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 09:20 pm:

RD: I worked in Record Rendezvous from '69-71, Record Den in McCrory's '68, '71-'75.

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (205.188.209.109) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 10:08 pm:

RD: You could find me almost anywhere buying music. Whenever I go out of town I make it a point to find a store selling cds and/or vinyl. So yes you probably did run into me at Salvation Army or anywhere else there were records.

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.228.41) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 10:18 pm:

WaltB: I said McCroys but meant McCrory's. I thought that was a Record Den inside that five and dime cause its employees always seem detached from the other employees in the store. I called the guy I knew in there Moore. Don't know if that's his real name or not but he responded; never knew his first name. He's a light skin brother who sported an afro. Some of my friends says he went to school with us but I don't remember that. I vaguely remember another guy being in the store. I left Cleveland for a spell in 1973.

Which Record Rendezvous did you work at, the one on Prospect or the one on Euclid? I didn't like the little one on Euclid and only went in there a few times. But I couldn't pass the nut shop next to it without buying a bag of pepitos or cashews.

Do you remember Marty Martay who worked at WJMO as a DJ for a minute? He use to hangout at Community College's Metro Campus with us. I remember taking a record to the station for him to play one evening and he looked at me very seriously and said..."well, you're going to freeze my nose or something right?" I had no idea what he was talking about at the time but I do now. I considered him a friend. I didn't know I had to pay either in money or a substance to get the record played. Since I didn't have either he spun it on a turntable in the studio for about 15 seconds, said he didn't like it, and gave it back to me. I wonder what happened to him?

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (205.188.209.109) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 10:37 pm:

You're talking about James Moore better known as "Mo." I worked with him for a few years. I worked at the Record Rendezvous on Public Square. I know that at one time Marty Martay was in Buffalo at WUFO and some of my cohorts told me a story about him giving out "numbers" on the air there. I met him only once or twice while promoting records. After leaving downtown, I worked in Warrensville at The Sound Center '75-76 & opened a new Sound Center in Columbus, Ohio before leaving there to return to Cleveland as a promotion mgr. for Atlantic Records.

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.228.41) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 10:53 pm:

Yea Mo, That's the guy. That's what I called him, not Moore (it was a long time ago).

Marty was a trip. Did he ask you to freeze his nose? Good to hear he landed another gig in Buffalo. Never knew what became of him. He was here today and gone tomorrow.

The RR near Public Square was the little store on Euclid. I was spoiled by the big Record Rendezvous on Prospect.

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (205.188.209.109) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 10:58 pm:

I never had to promote any records to Marty. When I met him he was just another jock and didn't have to power to add music at that time I believe he was in Indianapolis.

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (152.163.252.68) on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 05:42 pm:

RD: I ran into "Mo" today!

Top of pageBottom of page   By JSmith (212.39.231.20) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 02:14 am:

The (current line-up) of the Imperial Wonders is now based out of California with Al Boyd acting as their leader. Dunn Pearson now works out of the NJ area (he's based near Newark).
I am also currently in touch with John Wilson (of Sly, Slick & Wicked) who is running Joe Jackson's
Super Star Entertainment Inc and Blue Diamond Records out of LA and Vegas. ALSO Mikki (ex lead singer with an old O'Jays managed femme group, Sugah). She has a new (jazzy) CD out at present and still gigs a lot.
Those old Cleveland artists will not fade away.
Whats David Peoples up to these days ??

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.229.198) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 06:22 am:

Walt, we talked him (Mo) up. I'll probably run into him in a Walgreen's now.

JSmith, David Peoples is singing in local clubs and probably has a 9 to 5. Haven't seen or talked to him in years. Last time I saw him we were both in Bedford Heights, Ohio's traffic court waiting for the baliff to call our names so we could pay our fines and get the &%$* out of there.

Al "Shakey Ground" Boyd is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He produced a new CD on the Imperial Wonders a year or so ago and work in social services in East Los Angeles. He gigs with a group but I don't think they're the Imperial Wonders because he doesn't talk about it as if he's a leader. They did some shows in Las Vegas last year. The Imperial Wonder's original bass singer(who's depicted on their new CD cover) Devaughn Wells stil lives in Cleveland and sell cars on Euclid near the old Leo's Casino.

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (152.163.252.68) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 10:32 am:

RD:You mean Avaughn Wells right? I didn't know what happened to Al Boyd. Didn't even know there was still an "Imperial Wonders" group either. And guess what? On the last issue of the Temptations cd which had "Shakey Ground" on it guess who's name is missing from the credits?

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.229.83) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 11:12 am:

Right Avaughn, Walt. It was early when I posted that. I don't know how much he sang on the CD but he's pictured on the cover. The other guys are all located in Southern Cal.

Not Al's, I hope. Whatever, he's still getting paid. Al has a very interesting account of how he came to write the lyrics for "Shakey Ground." I'll just say this, the job was first assigned to another Clevelander name Fred Butler (who was writing with Al at the time) but Jeffrey Bowen didn't like his contribution. Butler's still steaming over this and thought he should have received some credit. Fred wrote "Shattered Man" for the O'Jays. what CD that omitted Al's name are you talking about?

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (205.188.209.109) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:10 pm:

RD: Before I tried to answer you, I wanted to double-check. So I checked "A Song For You" and the credit was there. So I checked further and sure enough if you have "My Girl: The Very Best Of The Temptations" the credits in the booklet show Jeffrey Bowen, Eddie Hazel, and Angelo Bond.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:29 pm:

RD:
I used to shop for records in the McCrory's outlet in Rochester, NY (it was originally called Neisner's). They had their own record department and the staff was quite knowledgeable (sp). McCrory's/Neisner's also sold quite a few "cut-outs" and that's how I built my record collection.

Was there a Record Theatre in your area? It was based out of Buffalo and they had two outlets in Rochester (I shopped at the one in Midtown Plaza). There was also a small chain called Shamrock Records and they had an excellent selection of R&B and jazz.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (205.188.209.109) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:40 pm:

Kevgo: Record Theatre had at least three stores in the Cleveland area, I once worked for Trancontinetal Records which owned the stores. They also had Best & Gold Record Distributors(Buffalo), Northern One Stop(Cleveland), and still have Action Record Distributing in the Cleveland area.

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD (65.150.228.141) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 08:04 pm:

KevGo, I never shopped at the Record Theaters. In my teens it was strictly Record Rendezvous, Woolworths (for old stuff and bargains), McCrory's (Record Den) and sometimes W. T. Grants. When I got older I mainly went to the Record Exchange and Record Revolution on Coventry.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 08:53 pm:

WaltB:
So you worked for Leonard Silver. I didn't know he owned Action Distribution and Northern One Stop, too. I used to see quite a bit of Amherst Records product in Record Theatre when I was a kid, especially Spyro Gyra's first album.
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By WaltB (64.12.97.7) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 06:51 am:

Kevgo: Yes I worked at Northern One Stop around 73-75.

Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B (138.238.41.30) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 07:50 am:

I REMEMBER WOOLWORTH AND G.C.MURPHY CO.AND THE DOLLAR RACKS WITH ALL THOSE GOOD ALBUMS,I USED TO LOAD UP AND ANOTHER PLACE WAS THE LIQUOR STORE,BACK IN THE CORNER WAS THE DOLLOR SHELF FULL OF CLASSIC ALBUMS,I REMEMBER FINDING[CHUCK JACKSON AND THE SHIRELLS GREATEST HITS]BRAND NEW FOR A BUCK,WHAT A DEAL!!


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