The Artistics Biography

An R&B vocal group from Chicago, Illinois, USA, the Artistics combined sweet soul singing with horn-driven arrangements, representing the full flowering of the Chicago brand of uptown soul music during the 60s. The group came together in 1958 with original members Robert Dobyne, Larry Johnson, Jessie Bolian (8 June 1941, d. 24 August 1994), and Aaron Floyd. They were signed to OKeh Records in 1963 by producer Carl Davis, who first recorded them as an imitation Motown Records act, using Detroit composer Barrett Strong. The Artistics’ debut record, ‘I Need Your Love’ (1963), featured Dobyne as lead, but he was replaced by Marvin Smith, and the group then had minor hits with ‘Got To Get My Hands On Some Lovin’’ (a 1964 cover version of a Marvin Gaye album track) and ‘This Heart Of Mine’ (1965). Their one album for OKeh, Got To Get My Hands On Some Lovin’, is a classic. After moving to Brunswick Records in 1966, the Artistics had their biggest hits with two records firmly in the Chicago mode, ‘I’m Gonna Miss You’ (number 9 R&B, number 55 pop), with Smith as lead vocalist, and ‘Girl I Need You’ (number 26 R&B, number 69 pop), with Tommy Green as lead. Their first Brunswick album, I’m Gonna Miss You, collects both of these first hits and a selection of other solid cuts, and ranks as one of their best album collections. The group’s last chart record was ‘Make My Life Over’ (1971) with Fred Pettis as lead. The Artistics made their last recordings in 1973 and disbanded shortly thereafter.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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