Bloodstone (band)

Bloodstone is an American R&B, soul, and funk group, most popular in the 1970s and early 1980s. The band charted thirteen songs between 1973 and 1984.

OriginKansas City, Missouri, United States
GenresR&B, soul, funk
Years active1962–present
LabelsDecca, London, Motown, T-Neck/CBS
Associated actsIsley Brothers
MembersHarry Williams
Charles McCormick
Donald Brown
Past membersCharles Love
Willis Draffen
Roger Durham
Melvin Webb
Eddie Summers
Steve Ferrone
Ron Wilson
Ronald D. Bell


Formed in 1962, in Kansas City, Missouri, the group was a high school doo-wop group called the Sinceres. In 1967-68 the band was backed by and toured with a large Kansas City horn band known as the Smokin' Emeralds and performed its version of a Motown-style review, which drew large crowds at a venue called the Place in the Westport district of KC. By 1971, the band consisted of Melvin Webb on drums, Roger Durham (February 14, 1946–July 27, 1973) on percussion, Charles Love on guitar and vocals (born Charles Dee Love, Jr., April 18, 1945, Salina, Kansas; died March 6, 2014, Kansas City, Missouri),[1] Charles McCormick on bass, Harry Williams on percussion, and Willis Draffen on guitar.

After learning to play their respective musical instruments, they moved to Los Angeles, California, where they met their prospective managers George Braunstein and Ron Hamady. The band also replaced its drummer Melvin Webb with Eddie Summers, a resident of Los Angeles. The managers decided to change their name from the Sinceres to Bloodstone. Later the group traveled to London, England where they signed a recording contract with Decca Records. The original members were Charles McCormick, Willis Draffen Jr., Charles Love, Harry Williams, Roger Durham and Eddie Summers. The first album was titled Bloodstone, whereas there were two singles released simultaneously called "That's the Way We Make Our Music", and "Girl (You Look So Fine)", written and arranged by Eddie Summers, the newest member. Its second album, Natural High, reached the US R&B Top 10. The album was written by various members of the group Bloodstone, with the single "Natural High" reaching number 10 on the Pop chart. It received blanket airplay in Europe, particularly on Radio Luxembourg. It reached number 40 on the UK chart in August 1973 and was featured in the Decca "World Of Hits" series of compilation albums.

Bloodstone's other hits include "Never Let You Go", "Outside Woman" and "My Little Lady". Bloodstone was instrumental in the "black rock" and funk movement of the 1970s, and even had a hand in the brown-eyed soul movement with some Latin music-tinged hits. Bloodstone performed with Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Elton John, and The Impressions. Their 1973 album Natural High, produced by Mike Vernon, sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in July that year.[2] They achieved a moderate comeback in the early 1980s with McCormick replacement Ron Wilson. Their album We Go a Long Way Back (1982), whose title track reached the R&B chart Top 5, also produced a follow-up single "Go On and Cry" that reached number 18. The group continued to record into the mid 1980s. They continue to tour and perform to this day with original members Charles McCormick, Charles Love, Harry Williams and newer member Donald Brown. Bloodstone also starred in and wrote all the music for a film entitled Train Ride To Hollywood (1975).[3] Founding members Willis Draffen died on February 8, 2002, at the age of 56; Roger Durham died on July 27, 1973, at the age of 27 from being thrown off a horse; Charles Love on March 6, 2014, at the age of 68.[4] Love died from complications of pneumonia and had been battling emphysema for several years.[5]

In 2019, Bloodstone was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The National R&B Music Society[6] in Philadelphia, Pa.


Current members
  • Harry Williams – keyboards, vocals (1962–present)
  • Charles McCormick – bass, vocals (1962-1982, 1984–present)
  • Donald Brown – vocals, guitar (2002–present)
Former members
  • Charles Love – vocals, guitar (1962–2014; died 2014)
  • Willis Draffen – vocals, guitar (1962-2002; died 2002)
  • Roger Durham – percussion (1962-1973; died 1973)
  • Melvin Webb – drums (1962-1971; died 1982)
  • Eddie Summers – vocals, drums, keyboards, music director (1971-1975)
  • Steve Ferrone – drums (1975)
  • Ron Wilson – bass, vocals (1982-1984)
  • Ronald D. Bell – drums (1982)


Chart singlesEdit

Year Single Chart Positions
US Pop[7] US
1973 "Natural High" 10 4 40
"Never Let You Go" 43 7 -
1974 "Outside Woman" 34 2 -
"That's Not How It Goes" 82 22 -
1975 "My Little Lady" 57 4 -
"Give Me Your Heart" - 18 -
1976 "Do You Wanna Do a Thing" 101 19 -
"Just Like in the Movies" - 58 -
1979 "Just Want the Feel of It" - - -
1982 "We Go a Long Way Back" - 5 -
"Go On and Cry" - 18 -
"My Love Grows Stronger (Part 1)" - 44 -
1984 "Instant Love" - 42 -
"Bloodstone's Party" - 69 -


  • 1972: Bloodstone
  • 1973: Natural High
  • 1973: Unreal
  • 1974: I Need Time
  • 1974: Riddle of the Sphinx
  • 1976: Do You Wanna Do a Thing
  • 1976: Lullaby of Broadway
  • 1976: Train Ride to Hollywood
  • 1979: Don't Stop
  • 1982: We Go a Long Way Back
  • 1984: Party
  • 1985: Bloodstone’s Greatest Hits
  • 1999: Go on and Cry
  • 2004: Now! That's What I'm Talkin' About


  1. ^ "Obituary for Rev. Charles D. Love, Jr". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 325. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004)The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books. p. 68. ISBN 0-8230-7499-4.
  4. ^ "Charles Love of Bloodstone". Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  5. ^ Michelle Taylor. "Bloodstone singer passes away". Mass Appeal News. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 65. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-1995. Record Research. p. 36.
  9. ^ Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 87. ISBN 0-00-717931-6.

External linksEdit