June 6th, 2015

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Mike Theodore and I first met Lonette when she was 14 years old. She was a singer/writer who accompanied herself on piano. Her mom Dorothy drove her to the studio and she played and sang her original songs for us. We were impressed by her talent at such a young age. The first record we made on Lonette for M&S Records in the early sixties was called “Blue Jeans” written by Lonette. I played guitar on this record and some of the Funk Brothers played on it too.


The second record we made on Lonette was a song called “Mind Intruder” written by Mike Thedore, Dennis Coffey, and Gary Harvey on Dearborn Records. I also played guitar on this record along with some of the Funk Brothers.

When Mike and I moved to LA in 1973, we recorded an album on Lonette for Sussex Records entitled “Lonette”. It was released in 1974.
The musicians were as follows.
Bass – James Jamerson (Funk Brother) and Wilton Felder (The Crusaders)
Guitar – Larry Carlton, David T Walker, Ray Parker Jr., Dean Parks
Drums – Ollie Brown, James Gadson
Keyboards – Joe Sample (The Crusaders), Clarence McDonald, Reginald Burke
Congas and bongos – King Errisson,
Percussion – Emile Richards
Saxophone solos – Ernie Watts
Background vocals – Clydie King, Mary Clayton, Shirlie Matthews
You can see Lonette singing and performing “Save It” written by Dennis Coffey, Melvin Davis, and Clay McMurrey on Soul Train by clicking here.

Several years later, Lonette was launched to stardom with her critically acclaimed performance in the hit 1976 musical drama “Sparkle”.

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Dennis Coffey