From Doo Wop to Dramatic
The Dramatics Miniseries
FROM DOO-WOP TO DRAMATIC
A Comedy-Drama Written by: Dramatic Diva, Drama 7, and Drama Mill in November-December 1999 and January 2000
Revised in 2001 by Dramatic Diva
PART ONE (By Drama 7)
FROM DOO WOP TO DRAMATIC
The story begins in Detroit during the spring of 1964. (Our day will come by Ruby & the Romantics is blasting out of the radio) Opening scene: 13 year old Ronald Banks is spending an ernormous amount of time in the bathroom. His sister Judy needs to use the bathroom.
Judy: Mama, will you make Ronnie get out the bathroom? He's just singing in front of the mirror again.
(Ron uses a hairbrush as his mike,doing the best imitatation of Eddie Kendricks he can muster).
Ron singing:You made my life so rich...you know you could have been some money...
Mama Banks: Ronald...get your butt out of that bathroom right now before I do the Temptation walk all over you with my strap!
(Ron opens the door) .
Ron: I bet Eddie's mom never interrupted him before he finished his song!
Mama Banks: I bet Eddie chose another room to practice so his mama wouldn't have to stop him.
Ron: Ah Mama...I still love you anyway.
Mama Banks: You go on to school and be good, OK?
Ron: Yes Mudear :-).
(....Ron narrates as the music of the Impressions "Keep on pushing" fills the air.)
Ron (narrating): I just made 13 but always would hang out with cats older than me. Most of my friends were 16 & 17 years old. I sang in a group called the Temptones. We performed on a talent show. Most of the group members attended Pershing High school, but I was still in Jr. high. I was in the 7th grade at Cleveland Jr. High. We seemed to be in a different group every week. I started a group and after a couple of days members would quit. Despite the fact that I was the youngest,the group would look to me for leadership. I was influenced by Curtis Mayfield and Eddie Kendricks.
(The scene is on the tennis court at Pershing H.S.)
Ron: Hey, I'm Ron Banks. I saw all you guys at the talent show but you weren't in the same group. (The guys introduce themselves one by one)
Squirrel: I'm Larry Demps but my friends call me"Squirrel"
Elbert: I'm Elbert Wilkins.
Reed: Larry Reed
Duke: Robert Ellington,my friends call me "Duke"
Rod: and I'm Rod Davis.
Ron: Hey guys,do y'all know "Paradise"by the Temptations? (They all agreed, and start singing "Paradise" acapella)
Ron narrating: We harmonized really well together so this became the beginning of our group. A 6 man group was odd but I liked all the guys and didn't have the heart to let anyone go, so we kept it at 6. We called ourselves the Sensations. We had 2 bass singers in the group. Then, Robert "Duke"Ellington, bass, dropped out of the group to continue his studies. Now, we had a quintet which was more conventional. Its now 1965.
(The Sensations after a local talent show. A young lady approaches them.)
Linda Wingate: Hi,I'm Linda. You guys sounded great!
Linda: Look,my uncle is Ed Wingate.
Ron: You mean the man who owns Wingate records?
Linda: Yes. I can get you guys an audition.
Ron: Am I dreaming or what? (Narrating:)The group auditioned & were signed the next day. "Inky Dinky Wang Dan Doo"was the best song from the sessions but didn't really establish us as a force in the business.
Squirrel: Hey guys, maybe we need a name change.
Ron: OK , lets throw a few out.
Elbert: Well, Squirrel it was your idea.
Squirrel: Since you want to be so dramatic about it, how about The Dramatics?
Ron: Hey,I like it.
Rod: Way to go, Squirrel.
Ron: Dramatics, it is, then!
(IT'S now 1967,the Dramatics sign with SPORT RECORDS and score a moderate hit with "All because of you". Linda & Ron became romantically involved. "All Because Of You" fills the air as Ron and Linda are shown holding hands at the movies, hugging and kissing on Ron's couch, and hanging out together. But the relationship cooled after Ron caught her with lead singer Larry Reed in a deep passionate kiss.)
Ron: "What is this?
Linda: Ron, let me explain.
Ron: What's there to explain? I trusted you. And you! (pointing at Reed)
Reed: Hey man, it didn't mean anything.
Ron: I thought you were my friend,but you're a no good...(lunging at Reed. Ron is restrained by Elbert & Squirrel. Reed and Davis were very close & decided it was time to leave the group.)
Reed: I don't need this crap,I'm outta here.
Rod Davis: You guys can find 2 new singers because this group ain't going anywhere. Squirrel: Let 'em go, they weren't committed anyway.
Elbert: I know someone who would be perfect for us.
Ron: What's a "WeeGee"?
Elbert : He's only the best singer you've never heard of. William Howard is his real name.
Ron: OK, That's great but where are we gonna find another bass singer?
Squirrel: I heard this cat name Willie Ford is available. Let's try to find them.
(The next week after the 2 Drams quit)
Squirrel: Well,let me introduce you to Mr. Willie Ford.
Willie: How y'all doing? I'm happy to be here.
(Willie with a beautiful deep voice sang "This Guy's In Love With You")
Ron: I'm impressed. Welcome to the Dramatics, Willie.
Willie: Why, thank you, Ron. Who else is in this group?
(Just as he asks that, Elbert bursts through the door.)
Elbert: Gentlemen, I located WeeGee but he won't be able to get here until tomorrow. (The following day...)
Elbert: Hey guys,the last piece of the puzzle just walked into the room.
WeeGee: I'm William Howard but y'all can call me WeeGee.
Ron narrating: WeeGee auditioned and impressed everyone 100%. Its now 1969 and the Drams are still hit-less.
Ron: Hey man,we need a hit.
Willie: We've got to keep believing in us. Remember, the Temps struggled before they made it big.
Ron: We've got to find the right producer, writer, the whole 9 yards.
Squirrel: Maybe Wingate may be able to hook us up with the guy that used to work for him.
Ron: Yeah, I believe his name is Don Davis.
(The phone rings........)
Ron: Hello? Look Linda, you blew it. Go & find Reed. You & I are history. I don't need you or your cheating ways. (Click. Ron hangs up the phone.)
Elbert: Wait a minute Ron...Maybe she could hook us up with Don Davis.
Ron: Well Elbert, if that the way you want it, you go out with her. We don't need her to hook us up with anybody.
(The phone rings again)
Ron: Hello.....Yes, this is Ron Banks. You're Don Davis. Its a pleasure to meet you too.
Don Davis: I'm looking for a group to bring to Stax records.
Ron: Mr. Davis, you just found your group. We're ready.
Davis: Fine. Can you come to Memphis on the 1st thing smoking tomorrow?
Ron: We'll be there. (We hooked up with Stax the next day.)
Don Davis: Gentlemen,I would like you to meet Tony Hester, a great songwriter and producer who will take you guys to the top of the charts.
Tony: Hey guys, I've got a truckload of hits for you.
Ron (narrating): We immediately went into the studio and recorded "Whatcha see is whatcha get","In the Rain", "Fall in love,lady love", and "Thankful for your love". We released our 1st LP and the DJ's jumped on it.
(The guys were out at Bowl-a-Rama bowling alley when the music from "Whatcha see...."came on)
Ron: Hey y'all, listen up.
The DJ: This record is gonna be a monster hit. Remember the name of the group: The Dramatics.
Squirrel: Fellas, I think we're on our way.
(1971.....After a few weeks......"Whatcha see....hit on both the R&B and Pop chart top 10. It became a gold record. The Dramatics became the talk of the town in every city.) Elbert: Hey Ron, what's happening?
Ron: Don Davis said James Brown wants us on the bill with him at the Apollo.
WeeGee: I always wanted to sing at the Apollo.
Squirrel: Its a good feeling to know that all that hard work paid off.
Don Davis: (walking into the studio where the Drams are) I just got a call from both Dick Clark & Don Cornelius for their shows.
Ron: Did Linda have anything to do with you calling us?
Davis: No. I called you guys because I remember how talented you were. I haven't seen Linda or her uncle in quite some time.
Ron: I needed to hear that. (narrating:) Willie was the only one of us that ever played the Apollo before. He sang with the Capitols (Cool Jerk) before coming to us. We knocked the crowd out at the Apollo and did both American Bandstand & Soul Train on back to back Saturdays. WeeGee was the primary lead singer on most of our songs. His personality and voice blended well with us. He didn't have the ego our former lead singer Larry Reed had.
WeeGee: I'm so glad you guys gave me a shot in the group.
Ron: Brother,you deserve it. You're one of us now.
The Drams sign autographs at Disneyland right after their new hit "Get up & Get down" came out).
Ron: Who do you want me to make this out to?.....Shirley, ok.
Shirley: You're very handsome.
Ron: Thanks, I think you are beautiful too.
Shirley: You want to take my number so we can get together in the future?
Ron: No thanks. I get offers like this everyday. I'm sorry but I'm really too busy for any committments.
Shirley: I'm sorry that you feel that way. Bye.
Elbert: Hey Ron, that chick was fine as wine.
Ron: You think I'm gonna run after every woman that approaches me? Now that we are successful, you have to be careful.
Elbert: OK dude, you be careful but I'm nailing everyone that comes my way.
WeeGee: Ron's right man. A lot of these chicks wouldn't give us the time of day if we weren't successful.
Elbert: Well,that's more chicks for me. Hahahh!
Willie: Be selective guys. I want someone that's going to like me as a person, not as a celebrity.
Squirrel: My name is Squirrel, and its my world, if I can have a sista in every city, I'm going for it.
Ron narrating: Its now 1972. The Drams release the single "In the Rain"which became our biggest selling record to date. The Stylistics went on the road with us and we became good friends.
WeeGee: Hey Tony, you have some more of that magic that you put on our 1st. LP? Tony: Yeah man, I want to cut some serious stuff on you guys. WeeGee, see me in my office.
Ron: What's up Tony?
Tony: Ain't no happenings. I just need to talk to Wee about something. (The rest of the Drams leave the studio.)
Tony: Wee baby, you're the man!
WeeGee: What do you mean?
Tony: Hey man, this group was nothing until you started singing lead.
WeeGee: Oh no, this has always been a great group.
Tony: No man, your voice makes all the difference in the world. (Tony begins to snort cocaine off of his desk.)
WeeGee: Maybe you're right. You're the writer & producer. I am one the stars of this group.
Tony: You're the only star man.
WeeGee: Everybody needs to know who I am. I'm William Howard. How about this, The Dramatics featuring William Howard or WeeGee & the Dramatics. I'll let you decide which name to put on the new LP.
Tony: Hey man try some of this. (They both finish snorting the coke.)
Tony: We'll start cutting some new tracks on you and add them (Drams) later.
(The following day)
Tony: Hey Davis, I'm about to change the name of the group.
Don Davis: What????
Tony: Yeah, we're going to change it to the Dramatics featuring William Howard.
Davis: You better run that by Ron & the rest of the fellas.
Tony: OK, I'll tell them but I know they but I know they won't mind.
Tony: Hey Ron, I'm adding some spice to the group's name.
Ron: Tony, if you're talking about what I think you're talking about, you can forget it.
Tony: Hey man, its his voice that got you guys where you are today.
Elbert: He's right man, WeeGee is the reason we're as hot as we are.
Squirrel: Wait a minute...Why not call the group Squirrel & the Dramatics? I said that to show how ridiculous this is. It's the Dramatics and thats the way its gonna stay.
Willie: I can't believe you guys want to change the name of this group.
Ron: Tony, why would you & WeeGee try and mess everything up right now while everything is going so great?
WeeGee: If you want things to continue going great, you'll do like Tony says. He knows best.
Ron (narrating): Nothing was resolved that day but it was the beginning of major problems. WeeGee began showing up late for practices, gigs, meetings and sessions.
Part 1 ends with the credits running to the sound of "Toast to the Fool" the original version then merges into the new version featuring L.J. & Lenny.)
PART TWO (BY DRAMATIC RUFFIN and DRAMATIC DIVA)
(It's 7:00 PM. Ron Banks, Larry Demps, Willie Ford, and Elbert Wilkins are in the dressing room at the Apollo, getting ready to go onstage for a concert. William Wee Gee Howard has not yet shown up. Ron, who is on crutches, is starting to get annoyed.)
Ron: Allright, where is he???
(Everyone turns to Elbert.)
Elbert: What makes you think I know where he is? He said he'd be here.
Willie: Well, we only have ten minutes. If he isn't here in five minutes, we will have to either go on without him, or find someone to fill in for him.
Squirrel: It's not like him to be late like this.
Ron (checking his watch): I'm going to go get something to drink. I expect Wee Gee to be here when I get back. (Ron walks off toward the drink machine.)
(As Ron nears the drink machine, wobbling on his crutches, he spots a small guy in platforms and a sharp outfit, singing "My Whole World Ended" by David Ruffin. When he spots Ron, he stops singing.)
LJ: Aren't you Ron Banks from the Dramatics?
Ron: That's me.
LJ (flashing a bright smile): It's nice to meet you!! My name is L.J. Reynolds.
Ron: What brings you to the Apollo tonight L.J.?
LJ: I'm a singer!
Ron (skeptically): Oh, I've heard that one before. Allright singer, let me hear you sing something.
LJ: I said-a what-cha seeeeeeeee is whatcha get now baby, and the real, the real thing is the best thing yet.
Ron (impressed): You ARE a singer!!
LJ: I can't believe I'm standing here talking to one of the Dramatics! I just love your songs," Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get", "In the Rain", and "Gimme Some of that Good Soul Music". I just bought your "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" album, and every time I play it, I can't resist singing along.
Ron: Well, our concert starts in a couple of minutes, and it seems that Wee Gee, one of our lead singers, isn't going to show up tonight. How would you like to fill in for him?
LJ: You are asking ME to take Wee Gee's place tonight?? I'm speechless!
(Just then, Willie runs up to where Ron and LJ are standing.)
Willie: Ron, we go onstage in two minutes!!! And Wee Gee still isn't here! What are we going to do?
Ron: Willie, meet LJ Reynolds. He's filling in for Wee Gee tonight.
LJ: Hi! Are you the bass singer, Willie Ford?
Willie: Why yes! It's nice to meet you.
LJ: Am I going to need a costume for the night?
Ron: You can wear Wee Gee's. The sleeves and pants may be a little long, since he's a tall guy, but don't worry. It will work.
(Ron, Willie, and LJ join Elbert and Squirrel backstage.)
Ron: Guys, I want you to meet L.J. Reynolds, Wee Gee's substitute for the night. L.J., this is Larry Demps, whom we call Squirrel for two or more reasons and Elbert Wilkins. Squirrel: LJ, here are the songs we will be singing tonight. (He hands LJ a sheet.)
LJ: Ok, I know just about all of these songs, except for "Respect Yourself".
Ron: Don't worry, Squirrel and Elbert lead that one. All you have to do is sing the harmonies, which are pretty simple. (LJ sings a few notes of "In the Rain")
Elbert (whispers to Ron): Why did you pick him? He doesn't sound like Wee Gee!! The audience will be able to tell the difference!
Ron: Listen, Elbert, I know how tight you and Wee Gee are, but--
Elbert: This has nothing to do with our friendship! I just don't think this "LC" guy should fill in tonight. Why can't we just go onstage without a substitute?
Announcer: Please welcome....the Fantastic Dramatics!
(Despite the fact that Ron is on crutches, L.J. didn't have time to rehearse the songs, and Elbert is a little upset about Wee Gee's absence, the Dramatics do a wonderful job that night, opening with "Get Up And Get Down". The next day, the Dramatics show up at Stax to record a new song, "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain". This time, Wee Gee shows up.)
Ron: Where were you last night?
Wee Gee: I was sick.
Squirrel: You sure don't look sick to me!
Ron: Look, next time you are sick, have the decency to call us, OK? We had to do the concert without you!
Elbert: Calm down Ron! I know you are on crutches and everything, but you don't have to be so touchy!
Ron: Touchy??? How do you expect me to feel?
Willie: You sure got well fast, Wee Gee. A little too fast.
Wee Gee: You guys should be glad I am well and here! So, forget about last night, and let's go record, allright? Besides, I have the right to miss performances, rehearsals, and recording sessions when I feel the need to.
(The Dramatics go into the studio, where Tony Hester is waiting for them with the music to "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain!")
Tony: Ok, here's the setup for the song. Wee Gee opens up, singing "hey you! get off my mountain! Hey you! Get off my cloud! Hey you! Get off my mountain! You're just trying to..." then Ron starts of with "...bring me down." We're going to have Ron sing all the verses, and Wee Gee sing the chorus.
Wee Gee: Wait just one second! Are you trying to tell me that I don't get to lead this song? I'm the lead singer in this group!
Tony: Calm down Wee, I'm letting Ron lead this one song, since he doesn't get much of a chance to lead. You've been sick, so you need not strain your vocals at this session. But don't worry, I'm going to let you lead most of the songs on this album.
Wee Gee: Of course you will! I'm glad someone recognizes that I'm the most important member of this group.
Squirrel (whispers to Willie): In his mind, he's the most important member of this group! I'm not even sure I believe the story about him being sick.
Willie: I don't know if he's been sick, but now I'm sick. Sick of his attitude. (The guys record "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain! All throughout the recording session, Wee Gee is struggling to outsing Ron, and Ron is struggling to impede Wee Gee from getting what he wants.)
(The guys are getting ready for a soul train performance. Once again, Wee Gee is absent.)
Ron: This has got to STOP!
Elbert: Maybe he's still sick.
Willie: I don't even think he was sick to begin with.
Ron: If he isn't here by 8:15, I'm calling LJ!
Elbert: Don't!!! Wee Gee will be here! Give him time!
Ron: We don't have any time! (Dials LJ on a phone in the dressing room. LJ answers.) Ron: Hello....L.J.? We are about to go on Soul Train, but once again, Wee Gee is missing. Can you come down here? We need you to substitute for him again.
Ron (narrating): We recorded tons more songs for our new album, entitled "The Devil Is Dope", including a title song, "Toast To The Fool", "You Could Become The Very Heart Of Me", and the sensual "1,000 Kisses Ago", a song lead by me, which Wee Gee wasn't too happy about. As we were nearing completion of our album, Don Davis called us into his office for som serious news.
Don: Guys, I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. You see, there have been some legal problems, and the album "The Devil Is Dope" will not be able to be released on the date we had planned to release it. There will also be some changes made.
Ron: What kinds of changes?
Don: The name of the album, for one thing. The album will be reentitled "A Dramatic Experience", and I am afraid we will have to drop one the songs that we have planned to put on the album. I'm sorry to say, "Toast To The Fool" is the song we can't release. Elbert: "Toast To The Fool" is one of our finest works of art! Why can't we drop another song?
Don: Elbert, it has already been arranged. "Toast" isn't going on this album. (He leaves the room.)
Ron (narrating): About a week after that incident, Wee Gee calls us and tells us all to meet him at a small, intimate cafeteria in town.
Ron: Hey man, what's up?
Wee Gee: Listen, I have something very important to tell y'all.
Willie: I'm listening...is something wrong?
Wee Gee: Well, I don't know....you see, I don't know how to tell you this, but...I have decided to leave the Dramatics.
Elbert: What??? But why???
Ron: Aren't you going to finish the album first?
Wee Gee: Sorry Elbert, sorry guys. I'm leaving the group tonight.
Ron: I'd really appreciate it if you'd at least have the decency to finish this album. Elbert: How come you are quitting? I mean, we're successful and everything, you've never been denied anything in the group...I just don't understand!
Wee Gee: Many lead singers have quit their group to expand their career. Look at David Ruffin.
Squirrel: Well, you ain't no David Ruffin. And I don't see why you'd want to quit, it's not like you are going to go anywhere if you do.
Wee Gee: That just shows how much you know about the music business. (Turns to leave.) Oh yeah, one more thing. I don't expect to be replaced. (Exits)
Ron: Well, whatcha see is going to be whatcha get!
(Two days later, L.J. Reynolds, the singer who filled in for Wee Gee at the Apollo, is called to the recording studio.)
L.J.: Hi guys! Nice to see you all again! What's going on?
Ron: L.J., remember when you filled in for one of our lead singers, William Howard last year?
L.J.: Of course! How could I forget?
Ron: Well, we want you to do it again. But this time, it's going to be permanent.
L.J.: What do you mean?
Ron: Wee Gee has left the group. And you are going to replace him.
L.J.: You want me, little old me, to replace Wee Gee?
Elbert (whispers to Squirrel): Little is right. Old is an overstatement. He can't be more than twenty!
Willie: You are the best replacement for Wee Gee. You knocked out the crowd at the Apollo last year.
Ron: Willie's right. From this day forward, you are officially one of the Dramatics.
Ron (narrating): L.J. was a welcome addition to the group. At our first concert with L.J., we thought the audience wouldn't accept the fact that we had a new member. But we were wrong. The audience went WILD. We sang "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" and "Toast To the Fool". L.J.'s version of "Toast To The Fool" was outstanding. About a week later, we went into the studio to finish the new album. (Tony Hester is in the studio, waiting for the Dramatics.)
Tony: Guys, I'm sorry to inform you that Elbert has quit the group. He left me this note last night. (Tony hands Ron the note)
Ron: (reading aloud): I have decided to leave the group. It's not that I don't like singing anymore, because I do. But I don't feel happy in the group any longer. Wee Gee is my best friend, and I feel that I need to support him, since he is on his own now. Elbert V. Wilkins.
Squirrel: And right when our album was almost finished!!
Willie: What are we going to do?
L.J.: I think we should be looking for a replacement.
Ron: L.J., where are we going to find a replacement so soon?
(Knock on the door)
Don: Guys, do you have a moment?
Willie: Sure...is there a problem?
Don: No, no problem at all, it's just that there's a guy here who wants to speak to you all. He says Elbert sent him. Personally, I think he's a pretty good singer. I'm thinking about signing him to the Stax/Volt label.
Ron: Great. Send him on in. If he's as good as you say, we might let him sing backup for us. Better yet, since we're one member short, we can let him sing Elbert's lines on "Fell For You".
Don: Sounds good to me. I want you all to meet Leonard Mayes. (A tall, slim, young guy walks in.) Lenny, meet Ron Banks, Willie Ford, Larry "Squirrel" Demps, and L.J. Reynolds.
Squirrel: Lenny! What's up?
Lenny: It's a pleasure to meet all of you. I already know Squirrel though. We went to high school together. And Elbert. He's a good friend of mine, and he sent me here today. He said that he was leaving the group. I was at your concert last week. It was great!
Ron: We were allright, weren't we?
L.J.: We weren't allright, but we were COOL!
Lenny: One of my favorite Dramatics songs is the one that goes like this..."and you laugh in my face, make me feel like a clown. Baby I think I better put you in your place, that kind of action I don't need....that kind of heartache I can't use...that kind of loving I can do without. So go and play your games with someone new!"
Squirrel: You sure have got a VOICE!
Lenny: Thanks. Elbert said that since I am without a group now, that maybe I could sing backup or something, or maybe even sing some of his lines to help complete the album.
Ron: I've got a good idea. (Takes out a highlighter and starts marking lines on the sheet music to "Fell For You".) I want you to sing the lines I highlighted on this song we are going to record.
Ron (narrates as screen shots of the Dramatics recording fill the screen): We recorded "Fell For You", then a psychedelic-inspired song called "Jim! What's Wrong With Him?" After recording those two songs, we decided that Lenny was a perfect fit in the group. He became the newest Dramatic.
His voice blended in perfectly, and we recorded more songs with this new lineup. We recorded a new version of "Toast to the Fool","You Could Become The Very Heart of Me", and a couple of new songs, like "Beautiful People". We also did a new version of "1,000 Kisses Ago" and renamed it "Now You Got Me Loving You". Our album, Dramatic Experience, was finally ready for release. (Promotional ads for the new album fill the screen) But there was still one problem...
The problem was, what were we going to do with the two songs, "Hey You!" and "The Devil Is Dope"? Those two songs had been released with Wee Gee's voice, and the fans were expecting them to be on the album. So that's exactly what we did. Those two songs were released on our new album. "Dramatic Experience" did not have any pictures of us since there were 2 lineups on the album. Instead, Tony Hester chose to put some whacked-out cover art with beasts, demons, and skulls on our album. None of us particularly cared for it, but we couldn't argue with Stax.
Despite the warped looking cover art, "Dramatic Experience" was a guaranteed smash. It sold like crazy. We were booked for hundreds of concerts all over the U.S. (The Dramatics are shown performing.) Our fans eventually caught on to the fact that Wee Gee and Elbert were no longer a part of the group. But I can't say they were too disappointed.
(The scenes switch to Wee Gee and Elbert, in Wee Gee's living room. "Keep On Truckin'" by Eddie Kendricks blasts out from the radio. Elbert turns the dial on the radio, and the next radio station plays "Fell For You")
Elbert: I can't turn on the radio, open a magazine, or turn on the TV without hearing or seeing the Dramatics!! And we thought they'd be nothing without us!
Wee Gee: I didn't even think they'd replace me, but for once in my life, I was wrong. Elbert: We've got to do something. We can't just sit here and watch them rise to the top of the charts.
Wee Gee: Why don't we start our own group? You're as original a Dramatic as Ron. Who says he founded the group by himself?
Elbert: You have a point, as usual. I did help start the group. Let's round up a couple of guys and we'll show Ron and his boys who the REAL Dramatics are!
(Scene switches back to the real Dramatics, getting ready to go on stage for a concert). L.J.: Guys, look at this flyer. It says the opening act for this concert is the Dramatics featuring Wee Gee Howard?
Ron: Let me see that (looks at flyer)...WHAT??? I don't believe my eyes...
(All of a sudden, Wee Gee and Elbert appear backstage, next to the Dramatics.)
Wee Gee: Hey, Ron...hey boys.
Squirrel: William Howard, what is the meaning of THIS?? (Shows him flyer.)
Elbert: Oh you mean you guys didn't know?
Lenny: Didn't know WHAT?
WEE GEE: Can't you take a clue, you little fake Dramatic? The flyer says it all!
Ron: Now wait! You two LEFT the Dramatics. So you can't come in here and tell us that now YOU are the Dramatics.
Wee Gee: We are as much Dramatics as you are, Ronnie Boy.
Willie: But WE have the name. When the two of you left the group, you gave up the Dramatics name. You two ain't no Dramatics.
Squirrel: No, Willie, they are the Fanatics!
Elbert: I was in this group since the beginning, and was there when we picked this name. So we have a right to call ourselves the Dramatics, and are not giving up the name. Squirrel: In that case, we will see you in court!
(Scene switches to a courtroom. On one side, we have Ron, Willie, and their lawyer. The other Dramatics are sitting behind them. On the opposite side, we have Wee Gee and Elbert, and their lawyer. The judge is at her stand, and court is about to begin. The courtroom is buzzing with excitement. The judge pounds her gavel.)
Judge: Order in the court!
LJ: Yes, I'd like one cajun chicken burger, cheesesticks, and a medium soft drink.
(The whole coutroom laughs and shakes their heads.)
Squirrel: She said ORDER IN THE COURT, not MAY I TAKE YOUR ORDER IN THE COURT!
Judge: Allright, let's get on with business. This case is Ronald D. Banks vs. William F. Howard II. The issue seems to be that William and Elbert Wilkins left the group, the Dramatics, in which Ronald belongs to. Elbert and William have established their own group, also called the Dramatics. It seems that Mr. Banks refuses to let Howard and Wilkins use the name Dramatics, since he claims to be the founder of the group. However, Mr. Wilkins insists that he was there since the group started, and helped pick the name. So the guys are here today, fighting for the name of the group.
Ron: Your honor, they LEFT the group on their own will. And since they left, they can't take our name. Why can't they find a new name?
Lenny (under his breath): Like the Fanatics!
Ron's lawyer: It says in these files that an individual named Larry Demps chose the name "Dramatics", and Larry Demps is still in the group.
Elbert's lawyer: But Elbert helped him pick the name!!
Ron's lawyer: Elbert Vernell Wilkins and William Franklin Howard have illegally named themselves the Dramatics, when Ronald Banks, Willie Ford, Larry Reynolds, Leonard Mayes, and Larry Demps are recording under the name "Dramatics". William Howard and Elbert Wilkins left the group, so therefore, they do not have the right to call themselves the Dramatics.
Elbert's lawyer: Objection, your honor! Ronald Banks has no legal rights to the group name. So, legally, the group belongs to neither Mr. Banks nor Mr. Wilkins.
Ron's lawyer: But the question is, who SHOULD the group name belong to? (Murmuring is heard in the courtroom. The murmuring is interrupted when the Judge bangs the gavel on the stand.)
Judge: Court is adjorned for today! Come back tomorrow at 10:30!
(The scene switches to a full screen shot of the DRAMATICALLY YOURS LP. The song "HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN" plays in the background as RON narrates.)
RON NARRATING: Ron Banks and the Dramatics. That's what name we became to be known as, while Wee Gee's group continued to perform under the name "the Dramatics". (Screen switches to a shot of the Dramatics performing on stage.) It took a few years to actually settle the case in court. Needless to say, the name change didn't alter our success. But sometime during 1974, an awful thing happened. The Stax label folded, and we had to go in search for another label. We hooked up with ABC right in time for our collaboration with the Dells. We cut two songs with the Dells, "I'm In Love"and "Love Is Missing From Our Lives." ("I'm In Love" plays. During the middle of the song, the scene switches to the guys at Ron's house. It's now 1976. The Drams are sitting at the table, eating and talking happily.)
Willie: Our new album, the "Dramatic Jackpot" is still hot! I can't believe we are doing so good! It's as if we really did hit the jackpot.
Ron: What's next, guys? Diamond rings and wedding plans? A new car? A new house? (The phone rings.)Excuse me, I'll get that! (Ron goes into the living room to answer the phone. The others continue talking excitedly.)
Lenny: You won't believe what happened, guys. Yesterday, I went to the grocery store to get some potato chips, and all of a sudden, while I was in the chip aisle, here comes this hoarde of girls, screaming `Lenny! Lenny!' I turn around, and one of the girls practically shouts, `See, I TOLD you it was Lenny Mayes from the Dramatics!' It's unbelievable, the impact that we have made on people.
(Ron returns from the living room, a serious look on his face.)
Lenny: Banko! I was just telling the other guys this about this amazing thing that happened yesterday. See, I was at the grocery---
Ron (interrupting): Lenny, Willie, L.J., Squirrel, listen up. I just got a phone call from Wee Gee.
Lenny: Wee Gee Howard of the Fanatics fame?
Ron: Not anymore.
L.J.: Not anymore?
Ron: Elbert Wilkins is in the hospital, having surgery. According to Wee Gee, Elbert's back went out during one of their tours. Shortly after that, he was admitted into the hospital to have surgery. Just yesterday, he told Wee Gee that he isn't going to perform anymore. And without Elbert, the fake Dramatics don't exist. He's dissolving the group and going solo. So, from this day forth, we are no longer Ron Banks and the Dramatics. We are the Dramatics, the ONLY Dramatics.
Squirrel: Poor Elbert. We should pay him a visit in the hospital sometime soon. But I sure am glad that Wee Gee's Dramatics are disbanding.
Willie: So I guess that on our next album, we'll be known as the Dramatics, plain and simple.
L.J.: The Dramatics, plain and simple. Let's drink to that. (Raises his glass.) Let's give a toast…to…
Lenny: The FOOL! (The other Dramatics laugh.)
Ron: A toast to the current Dramatics, who will always be together. Let's not let what happened to the Temptations, to the Beatles, and to all the other big-name groups happen to us. (They clink their glasses together.)
ALL TOGETHER: To the Dramatics!
("Richest Man Alive" plays in the background, while there are pictures of the Dramatics enjoying success. Squirrel and his girlfriend at a fancy dinner; L.J. and his parents and sisters hanging out at the pool in their backyard; Lenny and Ron going for rides in Lenny's new car, and Willie trying on suits and top hats at an expensive clothing store. The Dramatics are just loving their career and the luxurious life that comes with it. "Richest Man" fades into the background…and wedding bells sound. The front of a fancy chapel is shown, then the camera rolls into the inside of the chapel. Squirrel and his soon-to-be-wife are at the altar. Squirrel's parents and sister are seated in the front pew. Willie, Ron, L.J., Lenny, Elbert, and Wee Gee are in the second pew, behind Squirrel's family.)
Minister: We are gathered here today in holy matrimony, to join two souls as they become one. Today, Larry Demps and Melanie Mills have come before God to make a commitment to each other, a bond that cannot be broken. Larry, do you take Melanie to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for rich or for poor, forever and ever?
Squirrel: I do.
Minister: Melanie, do you take Larry to be your lawfully wedded husband, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for rich or for poor, forever and ever?
Melanie: I do.
Minister: May I have the rings? (The ring bearer hands over the rings.) This ring is shaped like a broken circle, which symbolizes a bond that can never be broken.
(soft music plays as Squirrel and Melanie exchange rings, and say their vows, then kiss.)
Minister: By Mr. And Mrs. Demps' request, I would like to invite a group of young men up to the altar to sing for the newlyweds. These talented young men belong to a super recording group who have sold millions of records. Mr. Demps knows them personally, for he sings with them. Their names are Ron Banks, Lenny Mayes, Willie Ford, and L.J. Reynolds, but most people know them as…the Dramatics! They are going to sing a song from one of their previous albums, "I Dedicate My Life To You". (The four Drams take stage and start singing "I Dedicate My Life To You", a beautiful ballad. Wee Gee and Elbert watch from their seats, a sour look on their faces.)
Elbert: I don't like the look of this. How come Squirrel called them and not us?
Wee Gee: Man, he knows that we are just as good as Ronnie and that little shorty up there. We MADE the Dramatics, Al.
Elbert: Then what are we sitting here for? Let's get up and show those guys that we can blow just as good as they can!
(Wee Gee gets out of his seat and whispers something to the minister. The minister nods, and Wee Gee motions to Elbert, who in turn, rises from his pew. They make their way slowly and smoothly to the side of the stage. L.J. is just now singing "For you I laugh, and for you I cry." Before he can say the next line, Wee Gee subtly grabs the microphone out of L.J.s hand and sings, "Whooooa whoooooa….woo woo wah woo….Thank you baby…I just wanna take a little time out tooooo…thank you baby….thank you…..for your lo-ove." L.J. has this bewildered look on his face, just standing there as Wee Gee sings. Elbert is sandwiched between the other guys, harmonizing. Suddenly, L.J. grabs Wee Gee's microphone tightly, and belts out "But whiiiiiile I think you…I think the Lord above. For smiling down on me…)
Wee Gee (still holding onto the mic and singing): And BLESSING me! BLESSING me for your lo-ove!
L.J. (singing) Loneliness…was about to make me lose my mind…but you came along just in time and I want to…thank you baby…thank you for your love.
Wee Gee: (singing, but it seems as if he is secretly shouting at L.J. to let go of the microphone.) If you didn't hear me the first time I'm gonna say it again! Well, well, thank you baby…thank you…for your love.
(At the wedding reception…Ron and Wee Gee.)
Wee Gee: Hey, Ron. What did you think about the performance?
Ron: Wee Gee, I never thought I'd be saying this, but I kind of enjoyed it. I mean, you and L.J. were actually duetting up there.
Wee Gee (surprised): So you ain't mad?
Ron: To my astonishment, no. But I do wish you would have talked it over with us. It was so unexpected.
Wee Gee: Yeah, but that's how I wanted it. Impromptu. (He pauses.) Ron, I know we've had our differences, but I want you to know that I have no hard feelings for you. I was the one who left the group to start my own solo career. There's no reason why I should be bitter with you.
Ron: Coming from you, that means a lot to me. So are we friends?
Wee Gee: Friends. (He holds out his hand, and Ron shakes it.)
Ron: So, how is your solo career coming along?
Wee Gee: Not bad. But I'm trying for better promotion.
Ron (laughs): That's something that all singers need. I hope you get that promotion. You deserve it.
Wee Gee: So do the Dramatics. You guys are fantastic. I've been listening to some of your recordings lately. I hope you and the others continue to succeed.
Ron (narrates as the song "Just Shopping, Not Buying Anything plays in the background): Although Wee Gee never did receive the promotion he deserved, the Dramatics became known as an R&B vocal group who's vocal prowess was only comparable to that of the Temptations. We were going strong, and we weren't slowing down. (Dramatics recording, performing, writing, goofing off, and signing autographs fill the screen as Ron narrates.) L.J. and I were even starting to write and produce our own songs. In fact, L.J., Willie, Lenny, Squirrel, and I were so close, that we were almost one person. It was too good to be true.
(Ron is driving his car along the road. The Drams are supposed to be playing at the Greek theater in California. He parks his car in the parking lot, and stops to sign a few autographs for screaming, starstruck fans. He then greets the security guard standing at the back door to the dressing room, who opens the door for him, and goes inside, to get ready for the show. Willie is the only one who is there. But he is not wearing his uniform. Instead, he is wearing a camel-colored leather jacket and brown bell-bottoms. In other words, Willie is not dressed for the show.)
Ron: What's up, Will? Where is everybody? And why aren't you dressed?
Willie: I tried to call you, but there was no answer. I've been here for about ten minutes.
Ron: So you're, like, waiting for the last minute to get dressed?
Willie: The others can't make it tonight, Ron.
Ron: Say what?
Willie: Squirrel called me before I left. He called you first, but you weren't there. His wife's in the hospital, having a baby.
Ron: That's great! I guess the four of us will have to make it without him.
Willie: It's not only Squirrel. Ron, let me tell you, I stopped by L.J.'s house before coming here. He's sick, man. Very sick. He's too sick to even get out of bed, and he hasn't eaten a thing all day. The only time he has gotten out of bed all day was to go downstairs and answer the door when I came by. Said it made him dizzy. He's feeling terrible about missing the concert. It was all he could talk about.
Ron: Unbelievable! I feel pretty bad for him. What about Lenny?
Willie: As far as I know, Lenny's still in Detroit. He was supposed to catch a plane from Detroit to California, but it looks as if…(He shrugs his shoulders. The radio, which was playing "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer, all the while that Ron and Willie were talking, now switches to news.)
Radio: The 7:00 flight from Detroit, Michigan to San Franscisco, California, has been cancelled due to some minor weather problems. There is no further…
Ron (cuts off the radio): Mystery is solved as far as Lenny is concerned. I guess that means we have to cancel the show tonight. I don't think you and I could hold up the show by ourselves.
Ron (narrating): This was the first time that something like this had happened. The guys and I had a recording session for our new album, 10 1/2 a week later. This time, there was 100 % attendance.
(in the recording studio…Squirrel is talking to the other three guys as Ron walks in)
Squirrel: He was the most adorable baby in the hospital. Healthy and beautiful. I'm a father! The moment I saw my son marked a turning point in my life. I feel like a brand new person. More responsible.
Ron: Squirrel! Congratulations on the new baby!
Squirrel: Thanks, Ron. Sorry about the concert at the Greek Theatre last week. I told Willie that if I could be two places at the same time, I would have done that show. But Melanie really needed me there. Family comes first.
Ron: I understand. (L.J. catches his eye!) L! How are you feeling?
L.J.: Much better, thanks. I had the worst case of the flu. One minute I was fine, then the next, I wake up sick. I couldn't even bring myself to punch out your phone number on the telephone dialpad.
Ron: I'm just glad you are well is all. And Lenny, how long did you have to wait at the airport before connecting to another flight?
Lenny: Hours. I had no idea that Squirrel and L.J. were missing in action. All I could think about was the four of you doing the show, without me. It sure was some consolation to find out that the show was cancelled.
Ron: Well, now that we are back on track, check out this new song. It's called "Welcome Back Home". And I just KNOW it will be a hit.
L.J.: Who sings lead?
Ron: It's a classic Ron "Banko" Banks lead.
LJ: That's a good thing. My voice still isn't in top form.
Ron (checking the sheet music): Oh, wait. You do have one line.
LJ: I can handle one line.
Ron: Then let's get to work!
(The Dramatics at a press conference.They are being interviewed for SOUL magazine.)
Reporter: Dramatics, since I don't know any of you by name, would you guys care to tell me your names?
L.J.: I'm L.J. Reynolds. The other guys, their names are Ron Banks, Willie Ford, Larry Demps, and Lenny Mayes.
Reporter: Thank you, L.J. Are you the spokesperson for the group?
L.J. (with that big smile of his): I like to think I am. I play a big part in the group. Not only am I a singer, but I am a producer, songwriter, and arranger. I have played the guitar and the drums on some of the Dramatics' recordings.
Ron (slightly annoyed): I write and produce, too.
Reporter: Well! That just proves how talented the Dramatics are! All five of you are capable of leading any given song. Have any of you considered cutting a solo album?
Ron: No, we Dramatics are---
LJ (interrupting): I have been considering it. But as a side project. I don't want to leave the Dramatics.
(Wille, Lenny, Squirrel, and Ron look at each other, in astonishment.)
Reporter: I'm glad to hear that. You five are such a good lineup. I'd hate to see any one of you leave the group.
Ron: Don't worry, we don't plan on it.
(Later, the Dramatics are walking down the street, to the recording studio.)
Ron: L.J., how come you didn't tell us that you were considering doing a solo album?
L.J.: I hadn't made up my mind yet. I just realized that it's something that I want when the reporter asked us if we had been considering a solo project.
Lenny: But what for? You have the most leads in the group, anyway. Why would a solo project be any different?
L.J.: It just is.
Ron (narrating): The year 1980 ended with a couple of very surprising and very emotional events. I'll never forget New Year's Eve 1980. The Dramatics were spending the holiday together, along with our families.
("Me, Myself, and I" plays in the background as the guys state their New Year's Resolutions.)
Ron: My resolution for the year 1981 is to lose five pounds! (Laughs. The other guys join in.)
Willie: My resolution is to stop spending so much money on accessories.
L.J.: Why, Willie? We're singers, and we're being photographed constantly. You want all the ladies to say "Why is that Willie Ford always wearing the same hat and belt?" (More laughter.)
Willie: Yes, but I'm running out of room in my closet.
Lenny: This year, I plan to MAKE MUSIC!
Ron: Amen to that, Brotha! And you, L.J., what's your resolution?
L.J.: I resolve to do a solo project, and to at least write and produce some of the songs on it.
Lenny: Between the Dramatics and your solo project, looks like you won't have time for anything else.
Squirrel: Listen up, guys. I have some news to share. (He puts his arm around his wife, who has their baby sitting in her lap.) My New Year's Resolution is to spend more time with my family. Ever since I got married and had a child, I've had a hard time keeping my priorities straight. Melanie is pregnant, which means I will be a father again. And I want both of my children to grow up with a father in the household. But you see, my career is very demanding. We're always on the road. You can't have it both ways. You can't be a singer and a family man. I have to give something up. And I hate to say it, but it has to be my career. I'm leaving the Dramatics.
(About a week later, in the recording studio. Ron, Willie, and Lenny.)
Ron: I just can't believe Squirrel quit the group. He and I were in it from the beginning. He really loved the Dramatics.
Willie: You're right, Ron. He's the least person in this group that I expected to quit.
Ron: What do we do now? And where's L.J.?
Lenny: Our album, 10 1/2, is almost done. We can't get a replacement now. I guess we'll have to cut the remaining tracks without Squirrel.
(L.J. rushes in, out of breath.)
Ron: L.J.! Where were you?
L.J: Sorry I'm late! I was at recording sessions for my new album.
Ron: Well, you almost missed this recording session had you arrived five minutes later. We're recording one of the last songs for our album today, and you sing lead on it.
L.J.: Oh, "It Ain't Rainin' On Nobody's House But Mine". You're right. But Squirrel's gone and we don't have a fourth member? Can't we just wait until we find a replacement?
Ron: No we can't. We only have two more tracks to record, and it's too late to find someone else. We are going to finish the album as a quartet. So don't procrastinate.
L.J.: Procrastinate? Hey, I just came from another recording session! You call that procrastinating? L.J. don't procrastinate, never!
Ron: I'll tell you what L.J. does do. L.J. takes on too many responsibilities. Writing, producing, arranging, solo albums, choose one and stick with it, Mr. High and Mighty Reynolds!
L.J.: Ron Banks, is it just my imagination or are you actually mad at me?
Ron: Mad, no. Frustrated, yes. L.J., what do you want? Is this group not important to you anymore?
L.J.: Why of course it is important to me. The Dramatics have always been important to me.
Ron: Lately, it hasn't seemed that way. You missed one concert, then you--
L.J.: Ron, I was sick! That's the only concert I've ever missed, and I had a very good reason!
Ron: You aren't listening. I was not going to say that. What I was going to say was, you missed one concert, then all of a sudden you started taking on one too many tasks, and now those tasks are more important to you! My question to you is this: What is the most important thing to you at this point?
L.J.: Ronald Banks, just because you're older than me, it doesn't mean you can pick on me!
Willie: As the oldest member of the group since Squirrel left, can I say something? (Gently) L.J., Ron isn't picking on you. It might seem that way sometimes since you are the youngest member of the Dramatics, but it isn't that way at all. Ron started this group, and throughout the years, he has maintained it. That's why we haven't ended up like so many other groups. And right now, Ron just wants to make sure that you are willing to be 100 % devoted to the group, and the group only.
L.J. (with a sigh): Well. I really want to be 100 % devoted to the group. But I've already started working on my solo album. That's the complicated part. I don't have time for both. But I don't want to give up the solo project, and I don't want to leave the Dramatics!
Lenny: You could put one or the other on hold, couldn't you?
L.J.: That isn't a bad idea. Maybe I could take a temporary hiatus from the Dramatics, just until I finish my solo album?
Ron: We'd have to find a temporary replacement for you. Then what do we do with him when you come back? It would be unfair to him to say, "Hey, you're fired. L.J.'s back in the group.".
L.J.: When I leave, there will only be three Dramatics. The guy who comes in to replace me will be the fourth member. When I come back to the group, I'll be the fifth.
Willie: Not a bad idea. But the Dramatics won't be the same without you!
Ron: What about the song "It Ain't Raining On Nobody's House But Mine?"
L.J.: I'll finish cutting that song, then I will leave. I'm really going to miss you guys.
Lenny: Hey! We'll still be in touch, won't we?
L.J.: Of course!
Ron (narrating): No one ever thought L.J. would ever leave the group. But after we finished cutting "It Ain't Raining", he was gone, reducing the Dramatics to a trio. None of us really wanted to replace L.J. We knew he would come back. But once the media got hold of the news, we got dozens of calls from young hopefuls who wanted to replace L.J. We held an audition, and I hate to say it, but none of the singers were right for the group.
(The Dramatics are holding auditions. A couple of guys are lined up, waiting for their turn to audition.)
( A young gentleman steps forward.)
Bo: It's Barrington. But call me Bo. I'm a big Dramatics fan.
Willie: What's your favorite Dramatics song?
Bo: It's the one I've prepared to sing. (He sings "I Can't Get Over You.")
(Later, at Ron's house. Ron, Willie, and Lenny are seated in the living room.)
Willie: Honestly, I didn't like any of those guys. Except the last one.
Ron: You mean Bo?
Willie: He's got potential. He's no L.J. Reynolds, but he was the only one who actually had charisma.
Lenny: So he's in the group?
Ron: I guess. He's the only one I really cared for. I guess we'll give him a call. (Ron picks up phone and dials. Scene switches, and the guys are backstage at a concert.)
Bo: Thanks for giving me a chance, y'all.
Ron: You were the only one who auditioned that even came close to what we were looking for. The other guys just didn't fit our mold.
Willie (checking his watch): They're about to call us onstage!
(The announcer shouts "Please welcome the fantastic Dramatics!" The Drams take stage and start singing "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain" and "In The Rain". Bo leads both songs. The other Drams do not like his onstage singing style.)
Ron (to Lenny): What's he doin'?!
Lenny: I don't know, but I don't like it!
Ron: This just isn't our style! And I'm gonna let him know as soon as the show is over!
(After the show, backstage.)
Ron: Bo, what was all that stuff you did on stage, man? It wasn't part of our repertoire!
Bo: Hey, Ron, it's all cool. Just a little bit of improvisation.
Ron: But it's not our style! Never has been!
Lenny: Ron's right, Bo. We don't do that. L.J. wouldn't have done it either, if he was here.
Bo: You three haven't stopped talking about how great L.J. is since I joined this group! I thought you guys were gonna give me a chance, but naw, you just keep comparing me to him. Well, listen. I ain't L.J. and I don't wanna be! And if you are so in love with L.J. Reynolds, go find him! As for me, it don't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Dramatics are going through some personal problems right now. I don't wanna be caught up in all this. I'm outta here! (He walks away.)
Ron: How nice! What do we do now?
( "Key to the world" starts playing. We see L.J. driving a silver car down the road. He stops at a record company and walks in, says something to the receptionist, and when she nods, he starts down the hall and walks into an office. A very important looking man is sitting behind the desk. Apparently, he is L.J.'s producer.)
L.J.: You wanted to see me?
Producer: Yes, L.J., sit down. I want to talk to you about your new album.
L.J. (big smile): Don't tell me, you've selected a release date for my new single "Key To the World"?
Producer: Actually, I have been listening to a few of the songs that you've recorded. And I hate to say it, but most of them aren't ready to be released.
L.J. (smile fades): What? But why?
Producer: I'm sorry, L.J., but we can't released "Key To the World". It needs to be re-recorded.
L.J.: Re-recorded? What for? I put my best effort into that song.
Producer: But somehwere in the song, your voice cracked. And the background vocals are weak.
L.J.: That isn't right! You don't know what I've been through to record these songs! And now you tell me that you can't release them?
Producer: I want you to re-record four out of the six songs that you have recorded. Then, come see me in my office about a release date.
L.J. (close to tears): Listen. I have been waiting long enough to get these songs released. Now you tell me I have to re-record them? First you tell me that I can't write and produce anything on my first album, now you tell me that you won't release my songs? What do you have against me?
Producer: I don't know what you did when you were with the Dramatics, but you're on your own now. And maybe your little Drammie boys spoiled you and took good care of you, but with me, it isn't going to work. I'm not Ron Banks, and all the begging and pleading in the world won't change my mind. Make better songs or find yourself another record company.
Ron (narrating): L.J.'s solo career wasn't going the way he had planned. But I can't say that the Dramatics were doing much better. We had found a new singer, Craig Jones, and we'd almost completed an album entitled "New Dimensions". But still, something was missing.
Craig: Guys, I think we should incorporate some new sounds into our music. It's the 80s, and our fans are expecting us to go with the flow. We can't get stuck in the 70s.
Lenny: Craig, I don't exactly agree with you. The fans just loved our 70s music. We can't take that away from them. The music is taking a new direction, but we can still keep a little bit of the old school inspiration.
Craig: Lenny, we ain't no oldies act! Why do you think our new album is called "New Dimensions"?
Lenny: So what you're saying is that we should completely wipe out all the songs with an old school flavor?
Willie: If you ask my opinion, I don't like the new direction that our music is taking.
I want to go back to the way the group was when---
Craig (interrupting): When L.J. was in the group? Go on and say it, Willie. When L.J. was in the group. Well, he ain't a Dramatic no more, so get over it!
Willie: Don't insinuate, man! You didn't even let me finish what I was gonna say, and here you are jumping to conclusions!
Craig: Lay off of me, Willie!
(Willie starts forward, ready to hit Craig, but Ron steps between them.)
Ron: Guys, guys, cool it! I think we should just agree to disagree. Here's a compromise, to finish off the album, we'll cut a few old school tracks, and leave the rest of the modernized tracks on the album.
Craig (with a frown): Okay, fine. But if those tracks don't go anywhere, then I can't say I didn't warn ya.
Ron (narrating): We Dramatics didn't know it at the time, but the problems within the group were just beginning. Things took a turn for the worse after we released the album "The Dramatic Way".
(Ron, Willie, Lenny, and Craig are sitting together at a table, looking at "Billboard" and "Cash Box" magazines. They frantically scan the mags, but do not find their names in it. They are angry and frustrated.)
Lenny: I can't believe that none of our songs made it into the Top 100! Pop OR R&B!
Craig: I told y'all we shouldn't have done that old school stuff! But naw, y'all just didn't listen to me.
Willie: Then tell me, if you are so smart, how come none of those "modernized" tracks didn't go anywhere?
Ron: You guys, it's as if the Dramatics have lost their touch. Everything we release goes nowhere. I hate to say this, but if the people have lost interest in the Dramatics, then what's the point in making music anymore?
Craig: Ron, are you suggesting we retire?
Ron: No, but maybe we need to stop singing for awhile. That wouldn't be no problem for me. I can always write and produce songs for other acts.
Lenny: In other words, you think the Dramatics should disband?
Ron: I know it's been real and it's been fun, almost like a dream, in fact. But let's face it. Our career has reached a dead-end. It's time we try something else for awhile.
Craig: Maybe y'all are right. The Dramatics are old news, and the people are moving on. Lenny, Ron, Willie. It was nice knowing y'all. As for me, I guess I'll try a solo career. Peace. And take care. (Craig exits the room.)
Lenny: Well, I guess this is it. Too bad we couldn't cut a "goodbye" song for our fans, if we have any left, that is.
Ron: What's the use? No one would even buy it.
Lenny: I guess it's better this way. Bye Ron. Bye Willie. If our new careers aren't too demanding, maybe we can still stay in touch.
Willie: I hope so. Bye now. (Lenny is gone.)
Ron: Well, I guess it's just me and you.
Willie: I don't know what I'm going to do as far as a career goes, but I don't think a solo career is in the making for this man. Ron, may the Lord be with you. You have done a good job in keeping the group together, and it isn't your fault that the group fell apart. So I know that whatever you do, you will never fail. I'll miss you, but like Lenny said, if our careers aren't too demanding, I'll try to keep in touch. See you around, Ron.
Ron: See you, Willie. (Willie leaves, and Ron is standing alone in the room. He stares out the window as Craig's car disappears down the road, then Lenny's then Willie's. The song "In the Rain" plays as the credits roll.
END OF PART TWO
PART 3 (WRITTEN BY BAD A DRAMA a.k.a DRAMA MILL and DRAMATIC DIVA)
Ron narrating: It is now 1986. All of us had gone our separate ways. Some pursued solo careers, and others did their own music projects. But there was one thing we all knew for sure, none of this went very far. I don't know whether it was the material, or the promotion. I'd rather think it was the latter cause the songs were great. And hey, I know it was certainly not the singing. (laughs) The idea of a Dramatics reunion had been playing around in my head for quite sometime. I decided that I would act. I guess I had to prove to myself that I still had it, and that there was still a market for the Dramatics. The first step was to get the guys together. That wouldn't be easy cause everyone was out doing his own thing. But I was never one to let obstacles get in my way. But to be honest with yah, had I known then what I know now, that reunion idea had may have stayed tucked away safely in my mind where it originated. I called all of the guys together: Lenny, Squirrel, Willie, and LJ, to run the idea by them.
Ron: It is really good to see you guys again. Been a while huh?
Willie: Yeah Ron man. (patting Ron's stomach) You put on a few pounds haven't yah? Getting the old age spread. (laughter)
Lenny: I think they call that a spare tire, Willie. (more laughter)
Squirrel: So Ron, what's up?
Ron: Well, the reason I called you guys together is that I was thinking about a Dramatic Reunion. I wanted to run the idea by y'all to see if you are interested.
LJ: Man, I sure am. My solo career is just that (mimicking Willie bass voice)'so low'. So count me in.
Ron: Okay, that's LJ. What about the rest of you guys?
Squirrel: It sounds good to me Ron. I mean, people still love us. I think it would work. And I will support you guys, but I am not able to do a tour right now. My teaching career doesn't allow me to tour.
Ron: Okay Squirrel. I understand man. Lenny and Willie, what about it?
Lenny: I got nothing else to do. I'm game.
Willie: If I have to dig up on more phone line, I think I'll just lay right on down and croak. (laughter) I am all for it. When do we start?
Ron: Okay that's only four Dramatics.
Willie: Hey Ron, what about Wee Gee man?
LJ: (surprised) "Wee Gee"?
Willie: Yeah, since Squirrel can't rejoin us, maybe WeeGee would be willing to come back.
Ron: I hadn't thought about that. I can always call him.
LJ: I don't think we need WeeGee. We can do it with just the four of us.
Lenny: But LJ, WeeGee will give us the depth that we had with Squirrel, and man besides, some Dramatic fans liked WeeGee. So if we got him, we can pull his fans too.
Ron: Sounds like sound business to me.
LJ: (apparently not happy) I still say we don't need WeeGee. But okay, if the majority says okay, then I'll go along. (under his breath so no one could hear him) But not quietly!!
Ron narrating: Wee Gee agreed to come back to the group. Our lineup included LJ Reynolds, Lenny Mayes, WeeGee Howard, Willie Ford, and me, Ron Banks. Things started pretty smoothly at first with L.J. and Wee Gee sharing the leads. But somewhere along the line, things began to go downhill.
(The Drams are in the recording studio.)
Ron: Here's the setup for the new album, y'all. It's gonna be called "Somewhere In Time (A Dramatic Reunion). I get to lead five songs, Lenny --four, Willie--two, Wee Gee---four, and L.J.---five.
Wee Gee: L.J., five? Why does L.J. get five leads and I only get four?
L.J.: Because I'm a very good singer.
Wee Gee: You ain't as half as good as I am. Your songs didn't sell no two million copies, like mine. Hell, everyone who's anyone knows Wee Gee Howard. I'm right up there with the big wigs of music, like David Ruffin.
L.J.: You ain't no David Ruffin!
Willie: Okay, okay. That's enough.
Ron: Wee Gee, some of L.J.'s leads are shared. And the producers selected which of us would lead each song. I hope that answers your question.
(The Drams are getting ready to go onstage for a concert.)
Ron: Anyone knows where the hell WeeGee is?
L.J.: (very innocently) I don't know Ron. He must be back up to his old tricks again. Willie: The last time I saw him was about an hour ago. He seemed ready to go to me. Let me just go and check the dressing room. Maybe he is in there.
L.J.: (speaking up quickly) I'll go and check.
Lenny: Hurry up man, it is almost time to go on.
L.J.: (returning alone) No Wee Gee guys.
Ron: (sighing) Okay, LJ, I guess you have to sing WeeGee's songs tonight.
L.J:. (pretending to be concerned) If you say so Ron. I think I can swing it. (a smirk crosses his lips).
Ron narrating: So the four of us did the show that night. I had no idea that it wouldn't be the last one that four Dramatics would do.
Ron: (annoyed and shaking WeeGee) Wee Gee, man wake up. You just slept through a show. What the hell is wrong with you?
WeeGee: (groggy and surprised) I slept through the show? I don't know man. All I remember is drinking a glass of water. As a matter of fact, L.J.....(shoots a knowing look at L.J.)
Willie: (angrily) Let's go. I don't want to hear anymore of this crap. I'm tired.
Lenny: Man, you gotta sleep on your own time.
WeeGee: (grabbing L.J. by the arm, and says in a low tone) I know what you did.
L.J: You know what I did? Man, I don't know what the hell you are talking about.
Weegee: Like hell you don't know what I'm talking about. Let's just say, you won't get away with it.
L.J.: Man, you're crazy. I think that nap just went to your head. Or that afro has affected your brain.
WeeGee: Just know L.J., that it is on. And it's between me and you.
Ron narrating: We did a reunion album in 1986 for Fantasy Records. The album was entitled SOMEWHERE IN TIME(A DRAMATIC REUNION). There were some very good songs on it, and it did fair. ONE LOVE AGO, a song that Wee Gee and I lead, was the best song on the album, but WHEN LOVE IS OVER wasn't very far behind. I just knew that with L.J. and Wee Gee sharing the leads, nothing could go wrong. But I guess I was mistaken.
(The Drams are onstage, singing "I Can't Get Over You". All of a sudden, L.J.'s microphone stops working, mid-song. At that exact moment, Wee Gee steps in where L.J. left off. The other Drams are confused, but they continue singing the harmonies anyway. Now the screen switches to the Drams backstage, getting dressed for a show. Lenny and Willie are already dressed. Ron is putting on his shirt, L.J. is cleaning his contacts, and Wee Gee is combing his hair.)
Lenny: We're gonna knock em dead tonight, right guys?
Willie: Yeah! (Pumps his fist in the air.)
(At that moment, L.J. squirts his bottle of contact cleaner at Wee Gee, who is leaned up against the sink and not paying attention. The liquid hits Wee Gee directly on his tuxedo shirt, and makes a nasty wet spot.)
Wee Gee: What the---?
Willie: What's wrong, Wee?
Wee Gee: How did this wet spot get all over me, man? I thought the sink was turned off.
Ron: Oh man, that's a pretty ugly spot.
L.J.: Yeah, how are you gonna go onstage like that?
Wee Gee: Shoot! This theater sure does have bad plumming. And naw, I ain't gonna make a fool outta myself and go up onstage like this. I'm William Wee Gee Howard, y'all. I ain't no third-rate singer. I'm gonna change.
Ron: We don't have time! We go on next!
Wee Gee: Naw, I'll come in during the second set. It's allright.
(Scene changes. It is another night, and the Dramatics are getting ready for another show.)
L.J.: Allright now, this isn't funny.
Ron: What isn't funny?
L.J.: I can't find my contacts! Come on, one of you HAD to have seen them. (Shoots a look at Wee Gee.) Wee Gee, tell me you've seen them. They were sitting on the dressing table right next to your stage outfit.
Wee Gee: Whatcha talkin' about, man? I didn't even know you WEAR contacts!
Lenny: Can't you just go onstage without them?
L.J.: NO!! Everything is blurry! I might miss a step!
Ron: Take it easy, take it easy. Let's just search real hard here, turn this room inside out, and maybe we'll be able to find them.
(The Dramatics start to search the room, then they hear the Dramatic announcer call their name. Four of the Dramatics, minus L.J., rush out onstage. Wee Gee starts singing an L.J. lead, "Stop Your Weeping". Somewhere in the middle of the song, L.J. appears onstage, grabs his mic, and interrupts Wee Gee, finishing off the song like only he can. The audience thinks they planned it and cheers WILDLY. After the show, L.J. confronts Wee Gee.)
L.J.: That really wasn't funny, what you did.
Wee Gee: Say what?
L.J.: Hiding my lenses in your glasses case. That was low.
Wee Gee: It wasn't nearly as low as you squirting that blue liquid all ovah my outfit so I couldn't go onstage. I know what you're up to. And it ain't gonna work.
L.J.: You think you can play smart with me, dontcha? Well, I'm not gonna let you.
Wee Gee: Oh, and whatcha gonna do? Step on a chair and hit me?
L.J.: What are YOU gonna do? Get down on your knees and hit me?
(Lenny, Willie, and Ron are overhearing L.J. and Wee Gee's conversation.)
Ron: Man, I hate to eavesdrop, but I'm kind of glad we did.
Willie: Yeah, man. All this time, we thought all these "accidents" really were accidents.
Ron: Look, guys. We need to correct this situation before it completely ruins the rest of the tour. And before I have to kill one or both of them.
(later....the Dramatics are in their hotel room.)
Ron: Okay guys, we know what the two of you are doing.
L.J.: I don't know what you mean Ron.
WeeGee: Me neither.
Willie: Ah, come on guys, we have this all figured out.
Lenny: Yeah. All of the little accidents that have been going on. You two are doing it to each other.
Ron: And we ain't gonna put up with anymore of it. The next person that pulls some kind of trick on the other one, so he can get all of the leads is outta here. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I hope you guys are listening to me.
WeeGee: We hear you Ron.
Ron: (throwing a mean look at L.J.)
L.J.: Alright already. No more tricks. You have my word on that. (fingers crossed)
Ron: I had better, cause I ain't joking here.
Ron narrating: Things went smoothly for awhile. LJ and WeeGee were behaving, but you could tell that they didn't like it. It is now 1989, and our reunion has lasted for 3 years. We had initially planned an 18-month reunion, but seeing how much our fans loved us and wanted us to stay together, aside from the fact the the Dramatics still had that magic touch, we decided to stay together. Everything seemed to be back the way it used to be. Until one day. (The Drams are about to go onstage for a show.)
L.J.: (looking at Ron and pointing at his throat; speaking in a whispering tone) I can't sing.
Ron: Say what?
L.J.: (still in that whispering voice) I can't sing.
Willie: What's wrong with you man?
L.J.: It's my throat. My voice is gone. WeeGee gave me some water, and now I can't sing.
Ron: (very angry at an innocent WeeGee) That's it. I warned you guys about this trick stuff.
WeeGee: (really innnocent this time) I haven't done anything for 6 months.
Ron: Did you give L.J. a glass of water?
WeeGee: Yeah I did, but.....
Ron: I have had it with this kind of stuff. I told you what would happen if this happened again.
Wee Gee: Look Ron, I didn't do anything. But if you don't believe that, then I guess it is time that I go. I have had it up to here anyway with all this stuff. And I can't take L.J. another minute. Y'all don't have to fire me. I quit!!! (he storms out, but not before he takes a swing at L.J.)
Lenny: Well L.J., I guess it is all up to you now. But Ron, if L.J. can't sing tonight, and WeeGee just quit, what are we gonna do about a lead singer?
L.J.: It's a miracle. My voice is back. I can sing guys.
Ron: (looking at L.J. kinda suspiciously) Are you sure L.J.? We don't want to strain anything.
L.J.: I am positive. Let's get on that stage. Our fans are waiting."(a satisfied smile crosses his face.)
(After the show. The Drams are relaxing.)
Lenny: I am just beat. That show wiped all the energy out of me. I don't know about everyone else, but I'm going to bed pretty soon.
Ron: Shoot, I second that, Len. I can't even move.
Willie: Not only did we get the crowd on our feet, they got us on OUR feet.
Ron and Lenny: Yeah.
Willie: Hey, L.J., why you so quiet tonight?
Ron: Yeah, man, didja lose yo' voice again?
L.J. (absentmindedly): Lose my voice? What are you talking about?
Ron (suspiciously): What do you mean, what am I talking about? Didn't you lose your voice right before the show, when Wee Gee spiked your water?
L.J.: Oh! Ummmm....yeah! Of course!
Willie: That reminds me of something. Remember back in the 70s, when I lost my voice a couple of hours before we were supposed to do some show?
Lenny: How could I forget? We tried everything to try and get yo' voice back, man. Then remember how Squirrel made you some hot honey and lemon tea, and then slowly, slowly, it came back?
(L.J. starts getting nervous.)
Ron: But it took at least one hour AND some honey-lemon tea, didn't it, Willie? As for you, L.J....
L.J.: Excuse me, I'm going to go get something to drink! (He tries to run away, but Ron grabs him just in time.)
Ron: You ain't goin' nowhere. Something is up, and I wanna know what it is RIGHT NOW.
Lenny: You didn't lose your voice, did you?
L.J. (in a small voice, almost a whisper): No...
Willie (angrily): Then why the hell did you tell us that Wee Gee put something in your drink to make you lose your voice!
L.J.: Because I can't stand him! And he can't stand me either! He is the most impossible person to work with, and he wants to ruin my career! He's a mean old, spotlight hogging, prank pulling fool and I ain't gonna toast to that fool, NEVER!
Ron: Shut up! L.J., just shut up! Listen to yourself. You are thirty-six years old, but you are talking just like an immature little kid! And what you did today, I just can't believe you would pull something like this!
L.J.: That's easy for you to say. You and Wee Gee are friends. But he hasn't liked me from the start.
Ron: Well, that's just too bad. You and Wee Gee both are just gonna have to put your differences aside and co-operate. Because I'm asking Wee Gee to come back to this group.
Ron (narrating as the five Dramatics perform together onstage): I can't say that things were too great between L.J. and Wee Gee, in fact, there was still quite a lot of friction. But those two sure did put on a good act .
(It's early in the morning. The Dramatics are all in a shared hotel suite, a suite which has five beds. Everyone is asleep except for Wee Gee. He is sitting on his bed writing a note. As soon as he finishes writing it, he caps his pen, lies the note on his made bed, puts on his jacket and quietly leaves the hotel room. A moment later, Ron stirs in bed. He opens his eyes and looks around the room. He sees three sleeping Drams and smiles to himself. Then, the one empty bed catches his eye. He sits up in bed to get a closer look, and sees that the bed is made and that there is a piece of paper on top of it. He gets out of bed, and picks the piece of paper off of Wee Gee's bed and reads it outloud.)
Ron: Dear Dramatics. This reunion has been fun, but it's time for me to move on. Not only that, but I am finding it very difficult to work with L.J. It's gotten to the point where there is so much tension between us, that it makes being in the Dramatics unpleasant. I'm going to try something different for a change. Good luck, Weegee. (Ron jumps out of bed and starts shaking the other guys, one by one.) Lenny! Wake up! Hey! Willie! Get out of that bed! L.J.! This is important!
L.J. (sleepily): Huh? What?
(Lenny rolls over in bed, then sits up. Willie rubs his eyes and stares blankly at Ron.)
Ron: Weegee's gone!
L.J. (still half-asleep): Wee who?
Ron (practically shouting): Wee Gee Howard! He left this note!
Willie: Let me see that. (Grabs the note out of Ron's hand) And when did he find time to leave? He was fast asleep by the time I went to bed last night.
Lenny: He must have woke up early this morning, before us.
Ron: Did he mention anything to anyone of you guys last night?
Lenny and Willie (in unison): No.
L.J. (just now waking up): Hey, where's Wee Gee?
Ron (exasperated): L.J.! Where has your mind been for the last couple of minutes?
L.J.: I was trying to tune you all out so I could go back to sleep. Am I missing something?
Ron: Weegee's gone, L.J. He left a note. Did he mention anything about leaving last night?
L.J.: Wee Gee's never really liked me Ron. You know that. The letter explains it all.
Lenny: Well, at least he agreed to participate in our Dramatic Reunion, which was, by the way, Dramatic.
Willie: I agree. And I want it to stay this way.
Ron: Me too. We may not have Wee Gee, but we can find another guy. Life goes on, and so do the Dramatics.
(The Dramatics sing "Stop Your Weeping" onstage as Ron narrates. In place of Wee Gee is another guy.)
Ron narrating: Our fans are what have kept us together for so many years. We may have had a personnell change here and there, but we've never fired or foreced anoyone out of the group. Each of the guys have left on their own will. And now that the Dramatics are stronger than ever, we aren't afraid to try other projects on the side, because we know that nothing can break us apart. We've passed that stage.
(1992. Ron, Willie, L.J., Lenny, and Steve Barnett-Boyd, the guy who replaced Wee Gee, are hanging out at some park in Detroit.)
L.J.: My solo gospel project is almost finished. Just recorded one of the last tracks yesterday.
Lenny: I'm so glad that we can do our own things but still be part of the Dramatics, man.
L.J.: I know it. I'm never gonna leave the group, not even temporarily.
Steve Barnett: That's committment, if ya ask me. In fact, I'm thinking of doing a different style of music, it ain't for sure yet, but as soon as my contract for this year is up, I'll look into it.
Willie: It's too bad you don't wanna stay with the Dramatics, Steve.
Steve: I like you all, but I'm thinking of trying a different style of music is all.
L.J.: That's fine. If you reach a decision, we'll discuss it when the time comes. (The other guys murmur in agreement.)
Ron: We're supposed to appear on a Temptations tribute video tomorrow. Is everyone up for it?
L.J.: I am! I'll be there, and I'll be fashionably early. Whatcha gotta say to that?
Willie: Count me in for the project.
Ron: We'll be doing some Tempts songs on the video. Improvisations, if you please.
L.J.: Temptations songs the Dramatic way. Now there's nothing else like it, if ya ask me!
(The Drams all laugh and high-five each other.)
(The Dramatics are at some awards show. They are sitting at a table in the front row, facing the stage. Clapping is heard as one group receives their awards and walks offstage.)
Awards Announcer: This year, it is my honor to introduce a new award. This award is called the "Most Exciting R&B Vocal Group" award. I am happy to announce, that the winners of this new award are a five-man group from Detroit, Michigan. They call themselves....the Dramatics! (Clapping and cheering is heard as the Dramatics take stage. The awards announcer shake hands with them and present them with their plaques.)
Awards Announcer: Now I know you guys as the Dramatics, but it would be nice if I could have you individual names.(He holds the mic out to each guy as they say their names: Ron Banks. Winzell Kelly. L.J. Reynolds. WILLIE FORD. Lenny Mayes.)
Interesting bunch of guys. Now, Mr. Kelly, how long have you been apart of the group?
Winzell: Since 1994. I replaced Steve Barnett-Boyd. He left the group to try a new style of music. But, I'm happy to say, I'm not leaving the group. I'm a Dramatic for life!
Awards Announcer: All right. Way to go! Now would you guys like to make a speech before you sing for the audience?
Ron: I would just like to give thanks unto the Almighty Lord, first of all, for making everything possible. To my mother, to my father, and my siblings, to my wife and kids, to all the producers and songwriters, and to the other Dramatics. Also, to our Dramatic brothers, William Wee gee Howard and Elbert Wilkins, may they rest in peace. Last but not least, to our fans. Because of you, fans, the Dramatics are here to stay! (The audience cheers wildly)
Winzell: I would like to thank the Dramatics for inviting me to be part of their group. This group means everything to them, and now it means everything to me, too.
Lenny: We the Dramatics just want to say think you to everyone who has supported us. Willie: I would like to thank our musicians, the Dramatic Players, on behalf of myself and my soul brothers here.
L.J.: Thank you God, thank you Mother and Father, and thank you everyone who has encouraged us in our careers. And now that the preliminaries are over, we would like to sing a song.(Dramatic music to the song "Welcome Back Home" starts playing, then Ron takes center stage and leads.)
Ron (singing): We-e-lcome....back home...we-elcome...back home. We-el-come....back home. How long has it bee-een, since you've had a friend...who loves you. Who really, who really, who loves you. It's such a sad affair...when your lover doesn't ca-are...a-bout you. Not really, not really about you-ouuu. Wel-come......back....home. Where youuuuu....be-long. I'm the one that loves you (i'm your friend) who really, really loves you. (Who loves, who loves, you loves you.) Who loves you.
(At that moment, Larry "Squirrel" Demps jumps up onstage. The audience SCREAMS. The Dramatic Players start playing the music to "Shake It Well".)
Squirrel (singing): My name is Squirrel, the best shaker in the world. Shake it down, shake it down to the ground.
Ron (singing): You've got problems, I've got problems, I can tell. Here's a good recipe, it's such a good remedy, it's called shake it well.
Squirrel (singing): Shake it, shake it shake it shake it, aw baby don't you fake it. Shake it shake it shake it baby, aw baby shake it well, shake it shake it on down, shake it down the the ground.
Lenny: Mr. Squirrel Demps, y'all! Give it up for Mr. Larry Squirrel Demps! (Lenny starts singing)I wanna go outside....in the rain....(shouts) THIS ONE'S FOR BROTHER WEE GEE (sings)...it may sound crazy....but i wanna go outside! In the rain....cos I-I-I-I....I think I'm gonna cry....and I-whoa-I-I-I.....don't want you to see my cry....naw baby! Once the rain starts fallin.....on my face....you won't see....a single trace....of the tears I'm cryin....because of you I'm cryin....don't want you to see me cry...let me go let me go outside.....aw me in the rain, you in the rain, you're 'bout to drive me insane....ooh baby!
L.J.: Put your hands together for Mr. Lenny Mayes!!!
Lenny: Thank you, thank you. Mr. L.J. Reynolds!
L.J. (singing): Silly of meee...to think that I....could e-ver be your only guy...how I love you....silly ofme...to think that you....could ever really want me too...how I love you...You're just a love that's out to score....I know that I...should be looking for more....what could it be baby, what could it be? oh-oh-oh love, oh love, stop making a fool of me. Oh-oh-oh-love, oh love, stop making a fool of me.
Ron: Mr. L.J. Reynolds, y'all!
L.J.: Thank you, thank you! Here's Mr. Willie Ford!
Willie (sings): It's 2001...and you know girl...sometimes you make me want to SCREAM, and SCREAM, and SCREAM!! (announces) Mr. Winzell Kelly, everyone! Winzell Kelly!
Winzell (singing): All is not lost todaaaaay....your brown eyes....converted me....and LET me know....that you're the right giiiirl for me....You don't need two.....of the same love...I offer you. It would be a shaaame....to let someone else, take my place, take my, my place. Oh! You got me dreamin'....So stop this mistreatin me....I wanna stay, I wanna lay you, I wanna be yo man, be my girl.....be my girl!
Ron: Put your hands together for the Dramatics in the year 2001!
(This time, everyone in the audience screams, claps, and cheers.)
The credits roll as the song "Welcome Back Home" plays.
------------------------------END OF SCREENPLAY-------------------
Songs in the movie...
"Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics
"The Way You Do the Things You Do" Temptations (sung by Ron Banks)
"Paradise" the Temptations (sung by Ron Banks, Larry Reed, Larry Demps, Robert Ellington, Elbert Wilkins, and Rod Davis)
"All Because of You" the Dramatics
"Whatcha See is Whatcha Get" by the Dramatics
"Just Shopping, Not Buying Anything" the Dramatics
"Richest Man Alive" the Dramatics
"Toast to the Fool" the Dramatics
"Hey You! Get off My Mountain" the Dramatics (once sung acapella by Lenny Mayes)
"Keep on Truckin'" by Eddie Kendricks (played in Wee Gee Howard's living room)
"My Whole World Ended" by David Ruffin (sung by LJ Reynolds acapella)
"In The Rain" by the Dramatics
"Keep On Pushin" the Impressions
"Hot Stuff" Donna Summer
"I Dedicate My Life To You" the Dramatics
"Thank You For Your Love" the Dramatics
"Key To the World" L.J. Reynolds
"I Can't Get Over You" the Dramatics
"in the Rain" Dramatics
"Stop Your Weeping" the Dramatics
"Welcome Back Home"the Dramatics
"Don't Make Me No Promises" Dramatics
"Shake It Well" Dramatics
"Silly" L.J. Reynolds
You are hit number