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The Whatnauts: Introducing the Whatnauts

Album Notes

This Baltimore, MD quartet's skills are displayed on nine of the 11 selections, all exemplary sweet soul. The members were Garnett Jones, Billy Herndon, Gerald Pickney and Ray, who disappeared after this release. Confusion existed because two instrumentals are included: "Souling With the Whatnauts" and "Dance To the Music." The former became popular; it was featured on many '70s R&B radio programs as theme or intro music, causing many to think the Whatnauts were an instrumental group. "Souling" is driven by a deliberate lead guitar, jangling percussion, and a gruff, baritone sax that honks out the beat the entire track. Sly Stone's "Dance to the Music" has spirited horns and a scratching guitar. The Temptations provide the inspiration for "Just Can't Leave My Baby" and "Message to a Black Man"; A&I Records released the latter prior to the group's signing with Stang Records as being by the Whatnauts & the Whatnauts Band. Garnett's falsetto was the heart of the group; his leads on "Just Can't Lose Your Love," the painful "She's Gone to Another," and "I'll Erase Away Your Pain" are legendary. "I'll Erase" became their biggest hit, outdistancing sales and chart positions of previous efforts "Please Make the World Go Away," and "What's Left to Give." George Kerr, Sylvia Robinson, and Nate Edmonds handled productions, while Kerr did the lion's share of the writing. ~ Andrew Hamilton


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