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03/05/2010

Ron Banks and the Dramatics, with an L.A. twist

March 5, 2010 | 11:44 am


Ron Banks, the falsetto voice of the Dramatics, a Detroit stand-up vocal group that was an enduring act in R&B since the late 1960s, died Thursday. He was 58.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Banks died of an apparent heart attack at his home in Detroit.

As reporter Brian McCollum explains:

Banks’ sweet voice and smooth choreography helped distinguish the Dramatics, particularly on Detroit’s post-Motown scene of the 1970s, when the group enjoyed crossover pop success with songs such as "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" and "In the Rain."

The video is the opening of the 1973 documentary "Wattstax," about the 1972 music festival Stax Records put on in Watts, which uses "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get." Love the ladies' white hats!

-- Claire Noland

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