The Dramatics Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get on LP
In diversifying the A&R focus of Stax, Al Bell brought in Detroit producer Don Davis to work with core artists Carla Thomas and Johnnie Taylor. He brought with him a Motor City vocal group called the Dramatics. Davis turned to fellow Detroit producer and songwriter Tony Hestor to work with the group. Hestor wrote a great song with "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" and crafted an extraordinary arrangement as well.
Annotator Bowman writes, "The slight Latin feel fit the first wave of disco like a glove while the use of claves and congas combined with a fuzzed lead guitar line and seraphonous strings and horns." The chemistry of artist, song, and arrangement drove the record all the way to #3 R&B and #9 Pop in the summer of 1971 on the Volt label.
The Afro-Cuban number "Get Up and Get Down" followed and shot to the R&B Top 20 as did third single, "In the Rain," of which then-lead vocalist Ron Banks recalls, "We looked at each other and said, ‘Whoa, that's a smash.' And for once we were right." The song went to #5 Pop. All are featured on The Dramatics’ excellent 1971 album Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get which announced to the music world that there was another talented soul act on the scene!