Different Shades Of Brown


Springfield, 1968-75, 2000s

The Different Shades of Brown were one of the few Ohio groups - well Ohio groups not from Toledo - that recorded for Motown. The group was formed in 1968 by four high school students, Ron Logan,  Nate Newsome (tenor), Stevie Warfield (bass), and Marvin Sutton. Marvin Craig was in the group, breifly, probably at the beginning. The group started out peforming local clubs including some 'battle of the groups' events which they seem to have usually won, eventually reaching up to Detroit. In 1971 the group's show at Detroits 20 Grand club was caught by producer Clay McMurray who got them a contract with Motown. The group recorded their 1st of 2 45s with Ron Logan singing the lead. The 45 was released on Tamla. Just as the song "Label Me Love" was getting traction, Ron left the group to pursue the ministry. 

The group replaced Ron with Nate Alexander from Dayton, who had been the lead singer for the Jaguars of "The Metropolitan" fame. McMurray got them another shot, this time on the main Motown label. The 45 seems to have originally released with the ballad "You Want Hearts and Flowers" but replaced with the uptempo "When The Hurt's Put Back On You". Having two 45s on Motown gave the group opportunities to perform in various cities in the regional area. At some point McMurray had brought in Mike Harris, also from Springfield, to add some more depth to their sound. 

Unable to get any more records out, they disbanded in 1975. Newsome and Sutton joined the Lovemakers. However, in the early-mid 2000s some of the members, including Steve Warfield, Nate Newsome, and Nate Alexander, reconnected with Clay McMurray and recorded a CD worth of songs that was intended to recapture the group's original sound. 

Mike Harris is deceased. Ron Logan is Bishop at the Greater Grace Temple in Springfield.

Discography:
Label Me Love / Life's A Ball (While It Lasts) - Tamla 54219, 1972
You Want Hearts and Flowers / Sending Good Vibrations - Motown 1241, 1973
When The Hurt's Put Back On You / Sending Good Vibrations - Motown 1241, 1973 
"You Want Hearts.." seems to have been recalled and replaced with "When The Hurrts..."