The Showstoppers - Eeny Meeny

Show Stoppers, How Easy Your Heart Forgets Me

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The Showstoppers (alternatively The Show Stoppers) was a four-piece African American vocal soul group formed in Philadelphia about 1967. They are best remembered for their 1967 hit, "Ain't Nothin' But a Houseparty", which was the debut release on three record labels: Showtime Records, Heritage Records, and Beacon Records.

The Showstoppers was formed about 1967 by brothers, Elec Edward "Alex" Burke (born 16 February 1948 in Philadelphia) and Vladimir H. "Laddie" Burke (born 31 July 1949 in Philadelphia), who were the two oldest of the five younger brothers of Atlantic Record's star Solomon Burke, who joined with fellow Germantown High School students, brothers Earl Smith (born 1949 in Massachusetts) and Timmy Smith (born 1950 in Massachusetts). The Burke brothers had been in show business since at least 1957 as part of a four-member group with two of their two younger brothers.

They recorded 'House Party' (which had been written by Del Sharh aka 'Carl Fisher' of the Vibrations who wrote 'Storm Warning' and 'It's Against the Laws of Love' for the Volcanos for the local Philly label Showtime, and it was subsequently picked up for national distribution by the Heritage label. The record didn't do much in the US, but became a Top 20 hit in the UK, where the group would tour to some success.

Ain't Nothing But A House Party - The Show Stoppers

They recorded two 45s for Heritage (their second 'How Easy Your Heart Forgets Me' is a lost classic) and one more for Showtime, 'Shake Your Mini' (also written by Sharh). This is where the story gets interesting... The US release of 'Shake Your Mini' (on Showtime) was backed with a Hammond instrumental version of the tune by Ronnie Dee (pretty cool too...).

The backing track to 'Shake Your Mini' also appeared on the Showtime label as the instrumental 'Funky Donkey' by the Illusions (with 'Shake Your Mini' by "the Illusions" on the flip)*. In the UK, 'Shake Your Mini' (and the groups other 45s) was released on the Beacon label with UK-only b-side 'Heartbreaker' (a cool Northern style track). 'Shake Your Mini' is by far the funkiest track the Show Stoppers ever laid down.

A shout out to the sisters in the crowd to move it on the dance floor, there are mentions of the Boogaloo, the Broadway, and the Shingaling. The beat is heavy, and the horn chart is all over the place, with the saxophones dropping in with flourishes here and there. The Show Stoppers continued to tour (and record, perhaps as late as 1971) in the UK. I've seen mention of at least one other 45 by the group on Beacon ('Reach In The Goody Bag' b/w 'Do You Need My Love'), and a 45 (also on Beacon) by their guitarist John Fitch called 'Stoned Out Of It' (which appeared on one of the Rubble comps).

The Show Stoppers tracks are available on a number of comps, and the Heritage 45s aren't too hard to track down at bargain prices. The Showtime 45s are a little harder to come by (especially 'Shake Your Mini'), and the Beacon stuff harder yet.

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Show Stoppers - Heartbreaker - 1968


Showstoppers What Can a Man Do

Showstoppers - Shake Your Mini

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