The Stylistics

The Stylistics
Birthplace
Americia
Genres
Soul / R&B Musicians
Years active
1968

The group that defined a generation. Hits include “You are everything”, “Betcha by golly wow”, “Can’t give you anything but my love”, “You make me feel brand new”. 10 top UK hits in the 70s and still as relevant today as 30 years ago.

The Stylistics are a soul music vocal group, and were one of the best-known Philadelphia soul groups of the 1970s. They formed in 1968, and were composed of singers Russell Thompkins, Jr., Herb Murrell, Airrion Love, James Smith, and James Dunn. All of their US hits were ballads, graced by the soaring falsetto voice of Russell Thompkins, Jr. and the lush productions of Thom Bell, which helped make the Stylistics one of the most successful soul groups of the first half of the 1970s.” During the early 1970s, the group had twelve consecutive U.S. R&B top ten hits, including “Stop, Look, Listen“, “You Are Everything“, “Betcha by Golly, Wow“, “People Make the World Go Round“, “I’m Stone in Love with You“, “Break Up to Make Up“, and “You Make Me Feel Brand New“.

Early years

The Stylistics were created from two Philadelphia groups, The Percussions and The Monarchs. Russell Thompkins Jr., James Smith, and Airrion Love came from the Monarchs, and James Dunn and Herbie Murrell came from the Percussions. In 1970, the group recorded “You’re a Big Girl Now”, a song their road manager Marty Bryant co-wrote with Robert Douglas, a member of their backing band Slim and the Boys, and the single became a regional hit for Sebring Records. Producer Bill Perry spent $400 to record the number in the Virtue Studios in Philadelphia. The larger Avco Records soon signed the Stylistics, and the single eventually climbed to number seven on the US Billboard R&B chart in early 1971.