Mostly lads from Oldham, the group played Soul Music performed by the likes of Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett etc.
The group managed through the Wigan based L.E. Agency, were performing regularly around West Lancashire, Wigan Casino being one such venue that The Harlems were regular visitors to. It was at that venue they opened the shows featuring Lulu, and the late Roy Orbison, before 'top billing' there themselves.
Such was the interest in the band that they were to record 2 singles and an album for the Phillips Fontana Label. The band broke up in the early 70s after backing Rufus Thomas on his British and European Tour.
Lead vocalist, Stuart Widdall, went on to record 2 singles as a solo artiste in the mid 70s, for the little known Mainspring Record label, although the names behind the label included Alan Parsons, Eric Wolfson (co-writer of the Alan Parsons Project Albums) and Andrew Powell (Orchestral Arranger on the APPA) and Bob Brittan a well respected A&R man.
Stuart can be seen still performing live today with the Manchester based soul band Stax of Soul, (who due to copyright on the name STAX will shortly be known as The Soul Brothers Band)
I saw Harlem Jonns Reshuffle at The Navada, Bolton in 1968. Best live band I had ever seen, including Four Tops, the Who, Drifters, Johnny Johnson and more, until I saw the Soul Brothers. Stuart Widdall still going strong with a live band to match the best.
He never got the stardom that came to many less talented, but music-wise, he can compete with anyone.
I just thought I'd let you know some more about Stuart Widdall.
Stax of Soul decided to call it a day at the end of 2011 after nearly 30 years together. Stuart wanted to keep playing, as did the keyboard player Don Parfitt and the guitarist Darren Roberts. So I (bass player) joined the three of them and we are now out playing classic soul, Stax, Northern Soul, etc. under the name of "SoulAmigos" and can be found at www.soulamigos.co.uk, www.facebook.com/soulamigos and www.twitter.com/soulamigos
We played (Emotion) at the same venues but never on the same bill I thought as a soul band they where the best from the area at the time I still have the LP they released and it's in good nick.
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I emailed you back in 2012 to let you know that Stuart Widdall had started playing with SoulAmigos after STAX of SOUL had split up. I'd just like to update you. We continue to play as SoulAmigos, but "STAX of SOUL" (the original band ... Read More
I emailed you back in 2012 to let you know that Stuart Widdall had started playing with SoulAmigos after STAX of SOUL had split up.I'd just like to update you.We continue to play as SoulAmigos, but "STAX of SOUL" (the original band from Manchester, not the band from Leicestershire with the same name) have also reformed, and we are playing as a 9 piece band again.www.staxofsoul.co.uk Stax of Soul on Facebook Stax of Soul on Twitter