Homer BanksView In iTunes
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Composer and producer Homer Banks was one of the unsung heroes behind the rise of Stax Records; though a fine soul singer in his own right, he never recorded for the label, instead teaming with Bettye Crutcher and Raymond Jackson as We Three, the songwriting troika responsible for a number of the company's classic singles. Born August 2, 1941, in Memphis, Banks co-founded the gospel group the Soul Consolidators before joining the office staff of the local Satellite Studios, later re-christened Stax. He dwelled in relative anonymity during his early years with the company, although co-workers Isaac Hayes and David Porter proved instrumental in landing him a session with the Genie label, resulting in the 1965 release of Banks' debut single "Sweetie Pie." The much-imitated and oft-covered "A Lot of Love" followed on the newly-revived Minit imprint in 1966, and over the next two years Banks issued four more singles for the label -- "60 Minutes of Your Love," "Lady of Stone," "Round the Clock Lover Man" and "(Who You Gonna Run To) Me or Your Mama?" -- all to little notice outside of the Memphis area. As his singing career floundered, he increasingly focused on writing, teaming with Crutcher and Jackson as We Three to author hits for Stax artists Johnnie Taylor ("Who's Making Love"), the Staple Singers ("Be What You Are," "If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)"), and Isaac Hayes ("[If Loving You Is Wrong] I Don't Want to Be Right"). In addition to producing sessions for the Soul Children and Albert King, Banks also wrote the Sam & Dave classic "I Can't Stand Up (For Falling Down)," later covered by Elvis Costello; his other hits include "Touch a Hand (Make a Friend)" and "Woman to Woman." In 1977, Banks cut the solo album Passport to Ecstasy, and following Stax's demise he worked for a number of labels, including TK and Malaco. ~ Jason Ankeny