Russell Thompkins Jr., the original lead singer of harmony gurus The Stylistics,, possesses one of the most recognizable voices in all of popular music. His platinum-selling hits, couching the greatest of the Philly Sound, have been copied or covered by some of the finest crooners and songbirds of all time, including Johnny Mathis, Prince, and Phyllis Hyman. “Betcha By Golly Wow,” a monster of a smash for decades, is still selling everywhere, and “You “Make Me Feel Brand New” is still brand new to a completely new generation of music lovers — and the hits just keep on coming: “Stop, Look, Listen” and “You Are Everything” are two additional numbers that mesmerizes decades of listening audiences while “Break Up To Make Up” is still stirring the hearts of longtime couples. And don’t forget that “I’m Stone In Love With You” is the mouthpiece for lovelorn the world over. We can go all night and we would still be yacking about those song, those songs. Russell himself said of his nearly 50 years in show business: ” It’s been fun, and I never lost my love for music and the songs we made popular. I’m proud of the things we accomplished.” Though the original group of Stylistics have gone through staff changes, Russell Thompkins Jr. continues to carry the torch for the ensemble, and since their first album in 1971, his New Stylistics have not missed a step. Whether concerts or recordings, the sound of The Stylistics in 2018 is continuing to attract a growing number who long for the music that never fades.
By Phil Brown
Listen to Russell Thompkins Jr. as he is interviewed on WMBS 101.1 FM and 590 AM Classic Rock and R&B radio on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 1:15 pm Eastern Time.