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Ron Banks of the Dramatics Dies

     

RON BANKSWe're very sorry to inform SoulTrackers that Ron Banks, the legendary falsetto lead singer of the Dramatics, has died at age 58 of an apparent heart attack at his Detroit home.  A co-founder of the group, Banks was one of the most recognizable singers of the past 40 years, with his expressive falsetto driving much of the great hits of the Dramatics, from "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" to the great "Toast to the Fool." Banks and his bandmates were honored with SoulTracks' Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards.

While never reaching "supergroup" status in the public's eyes, the Dramatics have been one of the most prolific, consistently entertaining groups of the last three decades. Another of the great non-Motown Detroit groups formed in the late 60s, the Dramatics went through significant personnel changes over their early years as theThe Dramatics group struggled to find a hit. They ultimately found it on Stax/Volt Records with "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," a latin-tinged cut lyrically based on a comic phrase popularized by Flip Wilson. It was an instant hit on both the pop and soul charts, and began a string of great cuts for the group penned by Tony Hester. The follow-ups "In The Rain" and "Toast to the Fool" were even better, and have remained in active play on many stations for nearly 30 years.

While the group has had various compositions, once L.J. Reynolds replaced William Howard in 1973, the core of the group was set. With Reynolds' gruff baritone and Ron Banks' soaring falsetto, a unique group harmony was created that is still recognizable today....READ MORE

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS:

VIEWING
Thursday, March 11
Friday, March 12  
Swanson's Funeral Home
Northwest Chapel
14751 W. McNichols Rd.
Detroit Michigan, 48235
Phone: (313) 272-9000
   

Saturday, March 13 -- 10am Family Hour
Funeral Services -- 11am
  Greater Grace Temple
23500 W. 7 Mile Rd
Detroit, MI 48219
 

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Comments

Goodbye my friend you will

Goodbye my friend you will be missed. Ron Banks and the Dramatics have been part of the soundtrack of my life, I am devastated and overwhelmed. Rest in Peace.

I REMEMBER WHEN THE

I REMEMBER WHEN THE DRAMATICS CAME TO SWEET JIMMIES
IN OAKLAND CALIFORNIA AND SHOT A VIDEO. SOUND TRACK
LADY IN RED. HE ALSO PERFORMED AT THE RADISON HOTEL
IN SACRAMENTO. I GOT THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET TO KNOW
RON TO HIS FAMILY HANG IN THERE THAT WAS A VERY TALENT
MAN. MARGO ROSE-BRUNSON SACRAMENTO CALIFORNIA

I had the pleasure of

I had the pleasure of meeting Ron & found him to be quite friendly to his fans & like a neighbor that you'd chill at a BBQ with. Ron impressed me to be that kind of person.

One of the greatest falsettos in Soul Music history & in a fair world, his name would be on the lips of mainstream fans everywhere. Ron was to appear here Saturday at Westbury & it's not going to be the same without him being there.

I extend my condolences to his family, friends, fans & to The Dramatics, especially to Willie Ford who was there in the beginning & to L.J., who traded leads with Ron for more than 35 years. While Ron will definitely be missed, he'll never be forgotten.

Ron Banks, Job well done, Rest In Peace!

RON BANKS---R.I.P...A VERY

RON BANKS---R.I.P...A VERY TOUCHING AND BEAUTIFUL TRIBUTE BY CHRIS AND HIS STAFF AT SOULTRACKS TO YET ANOTHER LEGEND THAT WE HAVE NOW LOST...THANX TO CHRIS AND SOULTRACKS,THE LEGACY BY RON AND THE DRAMATICS WILL LIVE ON FOREVER AND A REMINDER TO US ALL THAT WE MUST HONOR AND RESPECT THESE CLASSIC SOUL GROUPS WHILE THEY ARE STILL AMONG US AND MAKE SURE THEY KNOW HOW MUCH WE LOVE THEM AND THEIR MUSIC THAT ENRICHES OUR LIVES FOREVER....MAY GOD BLESS RON AND THE DRAMATICS AND GRANT THEM THE STRENGTH TO CONTINUE ON IN HIS BELOVED MEMORY..WE MUST CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THESE CLASSIC SOUL GROUPS IN EVERY WAY WE CAN AND PEOPLE LIKE CHRIS AND SOULTRACKS DO JUST THAT EACH AND EVERY DAY....REST NOW MY FRIEND, YOUR WORK IS NOW DONE AND WE WILL NEVER FORGET...SGT. GARY.

Ron Banks will be missed. He

Ron Banks will be missed. He is truly one of the greatest ballad singers of our time. He had this unique voice and style that has never been matched. R.I.P.

One of the most missed leads

One of the most missed leads ever. At a time when vocal harmony, melodic soul and originality ruled the charts the Dramatics stood out...alone and untouchable. Groups like the Delfonics, The Moments and The Persuasions were just a radio dial away and were hot on the heels of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Chi Lites and countless other dream weavers of raw soul and beautiful music. But none (and I mean...none) reached that depth of "I know you, you know me" magic.
Of course, in the midst a subtle, and well composed musical phrase that tenor took it to the next level. Easily drifting through a riff and back to the melody, Ron's voice did not wait for the listener...it came and got him. The way he his notes came out of the harmony without ever leaving it behind was and will always be simply incredible. On "Me and Mrs. Jones" the word "Jones" became a musical symphony in itself, awesome.
I don't know of another group that simply created a niche and closed the door to all other comers.
At 60 years old one of me fondest memories will be of coming home to my new wife with a new Dramatics album, sitting together in the evening and sharing the experience together. They never really needed mass approval or crossover acceptance in my eyes, they needed nothing...they gave in ways no one else ever could...or will.

My husband and I were great

My husband and I were great fans of the Dramatics. Ron Banks with his great vocals will surely be missed. The group really never got their due. We saw them in person several times and were never disappointed. My condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed.

Having basiclly grew up with

Having basiclly grew up with the sound. I am really sad that my man Ron has gone. The Dramatics were my Greatest Group of All. I still have love for all the songs they sang. I turned 59 nine in Dec. and I use to always think I was Ron. I would sing the songs to the Girls, and Shaked it Well too. Man I don't know what else to say, but R.I.P. Ron, and ALL the guys that have left us with such trememdable songs and memories of things long passed.I love you all Man, and God Bless you.
Ray Hamilton
Logan High "68"

Ron Banks will be missed

Ron Banks will be missed although his voice can still be heard. The Dramatics was the first concert I ever attended. It was fantastic. My prayers are with the family. I pray the G-d swings the door open and lets him in.

We going to miss brother Ron

We going to miss brother Ron but his music shall endure a lifetime. You know, the Dramatics went to Memphis and Stax Records to record their music and if anyone really dig into the Stax roster during that time you would find that the Dramatics and the Madlads were equal to the Tempts and the Four Tops. I think they could had battled them brothers anytime, and I'm talking David Ruffin and Dennis Edwards versions of the Tempts. We going to miss Brother Ron but may he know that when we Toast him we are not toasting a fool.......

"Music is the healing force of the world"

Ashdaddy

The Commodores would like to

The Commodores would like to add their sincerest condolences on the passing on to glory of Mr.Ron Banks.. Thanks Ron for your amazing falsetto!!!! We had the pleasure of working on the same stage as The Dramatics in Detroit in 2009 and you guys were awesome!!!. May you rest in God's eternal peace on the Nightshift friend, and continued blessings to your fellow Dramatics. Love from The Commodores. WAK, Clyde and J.D.

So very sad to hear this

So very sad to hear this news. I am from England and the Dramatics were my favorite group as I grew up in the 70's, I was so excited to get a new vinyl album from them. Ron and LJ are the best. The Dramatics even introduced me to the amazing Michael Henderson when he wrote songs for them, 'Treat me like a man' still one of my favorite songs of all time. I will miss you, condolences to your family and friends.

First and foremost my

First and foremost my sincere condolences are extended to the family and Sandra on the loss of their husband,father,brother Ron. One of Detroit's greatest treasures has gone home. He leaves us to ride on an ocean of thoughts and dreams predicated on his beautiful tenor. I also wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the members of the group especially Willie Ford who held down the bottom while Ron took it to the top. I had the pleasure of meeting the group while working in radio in New York City and felt like a kid on cloud nine . Why? Because they were my favorite group along with another Detroit group known as Enchantment. No one came close to that sweet falsetto that Ron possessed and I tried my damndest to emulate that sound while romancing the ladies. Whenever I was backstage with these guys I always loved the rapport that Willie and Ron exhibited between them. Two true brothers. My tears truly fall like the rain a thousand shades of blue. Love you Ron and thanks for the memories. My mantle will always display the pictures that we took together with The Dramatics, my all time favorite group. God Bless.

That was really beautiful.

That was really beautiful. Thanks

my name is Len White and I

my name is Len White and I grew up in Detroit where harmonizing and trying to imitate such great groups like the dramatics was the thing to do. I still listen to them and enjoy music like that that I grew up on. Ron Banks will definetly be missed but it's great to know that his music lives on and I sure I will be listening to it for many more years to come until like him God calls me home. I'm sure that even though a lot of people can't reply I'm sure they feel the same way. God bless not only Mr. Ron Banks but the whole dramatics group.

I can't believe it. I've

I can't believe it. I've been an avid fan of the Dramatics for decades, and I just found out that my man Ron Banks has passed on (Jul 2010). I always try to catch the Dramatics whenever they're in town. I made it my business to get an autograph from one of the members at every show so much that Ron started to know me by my first name (LOL). For those who have never got a chance to catch Ron off stage, you would have known that he was a warm friendly person that really loved the fans as much as he loved his craft. I send belated condolences to his family and band members. Rest in peace my brother, May God bless.
SOULTRACKS, if you can, please post it here if the group ever decide to do another Las Vegas, NV show.
Mac W