The Futuretones (1)
The Futuretones (1) (Cleveland, Ohio)
Charles Hatcher (Edwin Starr) (Lead)
1957 - I Know / Roll On (Tress 1/2)
Edwin Starr was born in Nashville, as Charles Edwin Hatcher on 21 January in 1942. Edwin was educated at Cleveland's East Technical High School. Whilst a student at this school his interest in singing developed. Edwin became a member of a group formed at the school, his group adopting the name of the FutureTones. The group got it's name by adapting the name of an established local group, the Metrotones. The FutureTones consisted of Edwin, John Berry, Parnell Burks, Richard Isom and Roosevelt Harris. The group performed at school shows and set about increasing their profile locally after Edwin graduated from school in 1956. They became ground breakers on the Cleveland scene as they soon became the first local outfit to be fully self contained, having their own instrumentalists as members.
The musician members of the group were Russel Evans ( guitar ), Pinhead ( trumpet ), Julius Robertson ( bass ), Brownie ( drummer ) and Gus Hawkins ( sax ). The group would enter local talent contests such as those that were held at the Circle Ballroom. Eventually the FutureTones got to appear on a local TV show, the Gene Carroll Talent Show and not long afterwards they went professional. The first engagement they secured after this was at the Chatterbox Club, which was located on Woodland near 55th Street, as support act to Billie Holliday. Edwin was totally in awe of Billie and although he got the opportunity to visit her dressing room to speak with her he doesn't think that his attempts at conversation would have been too coherent. Further successful engagements followed and in 1959 the group secured a recording contract with Tress Records. A single, "I Know" b/w "Rolling On" was released and made a few waves locally. In 1960 Edwin was drafted into the Army, here his obvious talent as a singer was soon recognised and he got to perform for other servicemen at bases across the USA and Germany.
Edwin Starr The Futuretones
Upon his discharge in 1962 he returned to Cleveland and attemped to pick up the reigns with the group again. In his absence, one of his old friends Demon ( William Isom ) had joined the group but they hadn't been able to progress their career. With Edwin back in the fold they continued to perform locally but they had lost the impetus they had possessed a few years earlier. In 1963 Bill Doggett and his group swung through Cleveland and at the time Doggett was on the lookout for a new vocalist. Edwin caught his eye and so was offered the position. He accepted, quit the FutureTones and left town to tour with his new outfit. Bill Doggett had a great influence on Edwin, especially with regard to his professional attitude to the business. He didn't drink, always expected good discipline and insisted that those associated with him were accessible to the people they came in contact with.
I Know Roll On
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