THE NON-APPEARANCE of Blue Magic on the recent Ike & Tina Turner concert was a major disappointment for the many fans of the young Philadelphia group, who recently came so close to making the pop charts with their first record released in this country, "Look Me Up". The week preceding the concert, we spoke to a very dejected Richard Pratt who had stopped over in London for a day on his way back from Germany to America after the misunderstanding with Ike Turner that resulted in Blue Magic being 'taken off the tour.
"Well, we really don't know what it was all about," the disappointed young Blue Magic-ian began, "but it was some sort of misunderstanding with Ike Turner. We had been doing fairly well on the tour but right from the beginning of the tour — the first day in fact! — there was something in the air that wasn't quite right. Maybe we weren't the type of act that Ike wanted on the show with him. Maybe what he wanted was a folk sort of group or something in contrast to his whole show — and certainly not another black group.
"The whole thing blew up in Cologne, Germany. We had finished our part of the show and we had been given a lot of applause: Then on came Ike's band and it seems that the audience felt they had gone on for too long and they started getting booed. And the thing didn't change when Ike went on himself and it just stayed that way till Tina got on.
I have to say on behalf of the whole group that we thoroughly appreciated Tina's show — she was simply fantastic.
''Naturally, we are all very disappointed but the agency says we will be returning in February for a tour of our own. It's upsetting because it meant so much to us and though we feel pretty down now, maybe it will give us that extra incentive to do a little bit more next time.''
Blue Magic is a Philadelphia based quintet, all being born and raised in North Philly. Lead vocalist is Ted Mills with Vernon Sawyer, Windell Sawyer, Keith Beaton and Richard Pratt making up the five. Together, Blue Magic has been in existence for a year now but before that they were known as Shades Of Love, though Ted wasn't with them then.
To date, they have had two releases. The first was "Spell", penned by Ted Mills, and produced at the legendary Sigma Studio by Norman Harris, whose own reputation is growing by the day. Atlantic signed the group on the strength of that first record and released "Spell" on their Atco label.
Whilst it did fairly well, the follow up was the one to break the group. Entitled "Look Me Up", it is the Philly Sound personified and is another gem from the pens of Norman Harris and Alan Felder, who also wrote the recent Fist Choice smashes. "Look Me Up" was also a recent U.K. Soul Top 1 0 hit.
Now they look set to really establish tghemselves with their upcoming release, "Stop To Start". Let's hope that it took a 'stop' on their Ike & Tina Turner tour to 'start' their own career on a new oath.