This week’s Trunk of F.U.N.K. single is a little something for all the northern soulies out there…
Fantastic Four, a four-member harmony vocal group out of the Motor City, recorded a string of singles for Ric-Tic in the mid- to late sixties. Their first single, Girl Have Pity, released in 1966, did not chart as well as the group or label had hoped for. However, the singles that would follow in the coming years were quite successful. This week’s selection, Ain’t Love Wonderful, is actually the flip to their 1967 single, The Whole World is a Stage, which reached #63 on the pop charts and #6 on the R&B charts, and although The Whole World is a Stage is a great soul song, Ain’t Love Wonderful, is just the kind of solid northern soul mover that’s funky enough to get any dancefloor cooking.
The group followed up the release of The Whole World is a Stage with a handful of additional singles for Ric-Tic through 1968. After Motown bought out Ric-Tic in 1968 the group was signed to Motown’s Soul subsidiary where they recorded three singles before heading into semi-retirement in 1970. Later in the decade the group was convinced to sign with Eastbound, where they would release work on the Westbound label.
An interesting piece of trivia: Although artists like Edwin Starr and J.J. Barnes are commonly viewed as Ric-Tic’s shining stars, Fantastic Four was actually the biggest selling act on the label.
P.S. Remember to tune in to the inaugural Trunk of F.U.N.K. guest mix hitting the airwaves this Friday.