||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
|Birth name||Howard Beverly|
December 6, 1946 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Genres||R&B, soul, funk|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, record producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, Guitar, Piano|
|Associated acts||The Blenders, The Butlers, Maze|
Frankie Beverly (born Howard Beverly, December 6, 1946, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American singer, musician, songwriter, and producer, known primarily for his recordings with the soul and funk band, Maze.
Early life and career
Beverly started out singing gospel music in church as a schoolboy in Philadelphia. He has claimed that his first professional concert was a tour with The Silhouettes (famous for their 1958 hit single, "Get a Job") when he was only twelve years old. However, this is disputed by those associated with the group, whose members were never known to mention him while they were alive.
As a teenager he formed The Blenders, a short-lived a cappella, doo-wop group that were influenced by The Dells, The Moonglows, and The Del Vikings. After that outfit dissolved, he founded The Butlers, which would be the first group he recorded with in 1963. As time passed, they caught the attention of the record producer Kenny Gamble, who eventually released recordings by the group.
It turned out that music performed by The Butlers did not fit into the "Philly Sound", and after some heavy touring, the group relocated to California. The unit was re-christened as Raw Soul and caught the attention of a sister-in-law to Marvin Gaye. Gaye featured them as an opening act at his shows, and also convinced Beverly to change the band's name to Maze.
The group's popularity was enhanced considerably in the UK by DJ Greg Edwards in the late 1970s and early 1980s when they performed live at London's Lyceum Ballroom for broadcast on Capital Radio. They are best known there for their UK #57 hit single, "Joy and Pain". Their most popular song in the United States is "Before I Let Go."
Beverly's onstage attire (all-white custom designed and made, casual clothing, including slacks, long-sleeved shirt, and a baseball cap) has become his signature dress style over the years.
His son, Anthony, who has toured as a drummer with Maze, recently organized a tribute to his father, founding the record label Brantera as an homage to the work of Maze.
- MazeMuze biography
- Frankie Beverly at AllMusic
- NPR audio feature: Frankie Beverly, the Soul of Maze with Ed Gordon
- PBS audio feature: Frankie Beverly with Tavis Smiley
- 75 minute audio mix of Maze songs with dialogue from Frankie Beverly