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Creative Source

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The Los Angeles-based quintet Creative Source seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the early '70s to score with a funky disco rendition of Bill Withers' "Who Is He (And What Is He to You)." The group, comprised of Barbara Berryman, Barbara Lewis, Don Wyatt, Steve Ranagan, and Celeste Rose, was managed by Fifth Dimensions' Ron Townsend and two of the members were seasoned vets. Lewis sang with the Los Angeles Elgins on their Lummtone recordings, while Wyatt performed with a pair of late-'50s groups (the Fortunes and the Colts) and also sang in Nat "King" Cole's background group for a spell.

Mike Stokes produced their first and most successful album, 1974's Creative Source, released on Sussex Records (also Withers' label at the time). The Migration album followed later in 1974, but failed to spawn anything major despite Skip Scarborough's exquisite vocal arrangements. Creative Source's other significant singles were "You Can't Hide Love" (the Earth, Wind & Fire ditty), "You're Too Good to Be True," and "I Just Can't See Myself Without You."

Wrongly labeled by many as strictly disco and funk, Creative Source could mellow out with the best of them, such as Withers' "Let Me in Your Life," a floating beauty, and "You're Too Good to Be True," where the male lead sounds like a cross between Tyrone Davis and Jerry Butler. Polydor issued their final two albums (Pass the Feelin' On and Consider the Source), which were as compelling as the Sussex productions, but a lack of promotion and public indifference caused them both to fizzle. With little backing and no label after Polydor, Creative Source drifted back into basic Southern California nine-to-five living.


1972, Los Angeles, CA

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