Saturday Night Music, January 22, 2011: The Dramatics, “Whatcha See is Whatcha Get” 1971

This was the group’s first Top Ten hit and gold record, and the title may have even inspired the term, WYSIWYG, pronounced “wizzy-wig,” used to show that the contents of a computer screen would be the same as the printed output. Actually, it was comedian Flip Wilson, playing his alter-ego Geraldine on both Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In, and on his own show in the late Sixties and early Seventies, who coined the phrase. No doubt, the phrase’s national appeal led to the song, as well as the term.

Tony Hester, a songwriter, pianist and group member, penned their early Seventies hits, like this one and “In the Rain.” The other Dramatics were:

Their members at this time were Ron Banks (who died of a heart attack on March 4, 2010 at age 58), William “Wee Gee” Howard (who died of a heart attack on February 22, 2000 at age 49), Elbert Wilkins (who died of a heart attack on December 13, 1992 at age 45), Willie Ford, Larry Demps and keyboardist James Mack Brown (who died on November 28, 2008 at age 58). Shortly after the success of their first album, Howard and Wilkins left the group. They were replaced by L.J. Reynolds and Leonard “Lenny” Mayes. Through the 1970s, the group appeared on Soul Train and continued to have hits, including the #1 R & B hit, “In the Rain”, “Toast to the Fool”, “Me and Mrs. Jones” (originally by Billy Paul), “I’m Going By The Stars In Your Eyes” and “Be My Girl.” “In the Rain” also sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

The group were on the Stax/Volt label, and appeared at WattStax, the 1972 concert and later, the documentary movie that was filmed in the black community of Watts, in Los Angeles, some years after the famous inner-city riots. In fact, the opening credits of the film features this song.

It goes kinda like this:

Some people are made of plastic
You know some people are made of wood
Some people have hearts of stone
Some people are up to no good
Aaaaah, but baby, I’m for real
I’m as real as real can get
If what you’re looking for
Is real loving
Then what you see
Is what you get

Ha, whatcha see (whatcha see)
Is whatcha get (is whatcha get)
Whatcha see (whatcha see)
Is whatcha get (is whatcha get)
I said, what you see (whatcha see)
Is whatcha get, now baby (is whatcha get)
And the real thing is the best thing yet
(Is the best thing yet)

You know some people
Are made of lies
To bring you down
And shame your name
But baby, I have good intentions
(Good intentions)
‘Cause breaking hearts just ain’t my game
All I want to do is love you
And sugar I won’t pin you with regret
If what you’re looking for
Is real lovin’ (real lovin’)
Then what you see
Is what you get

I say again
Whatcha see (whatcha see)
Is whatcha get (is whatcha get)
Look at me
Whatcha see (whatcha see)
Is whatcha get (is whatcha get)
I mean, what you see (whatcha see)
Is whatcha get, now baby (is whatcha get)
And the real thing is the best thing yet
(Is the best thing yet)…

The Dramatics’ website is here.

~ by blksista on January 22, 2011.

 
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