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The gutsy soulfulness of Barbara Roy's vocals produced numerous hits during the early 70's.....yet the history of Barbara Roy (Barbara Gaskins) began in the late 60's as a charismatic duo with niece Brenda Gaskins known as Barbara & Brenda. Barbara Roy was the lead singer, and wrote most of their music. She was and continues to be an outstanding guitarist as well. Together they recorded several singles: Hurting Inside, Special Kind of Love and One More Chance under the Heidi Recording Label a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, then respectively with Dynamo Records, If I'm Hurt You'll Feel The Pain, Never Love A Robin, and Don't Wait Up For Me Mama.By the late 60's, Barbara, began playing guitar for other artists, such as Wilson Picket, Inez & Charlie Fox and performed with Otis Redding and other major artists. Soon she went solo and co-organized the group Ecstasy, Passion & Pain. The group consisted of four people, of which she was the lead singer, lead/rhythm guitarist and writer for the group. They played music as a team and their chemistry was compatible.
Then called Barbara Roy, she performed with and Ecstasy, Passion & Pain for venues all over the New York, New Jersey areas, Connecticut, Poconos Mountains, and The Catskill Mountains saturating the clubs, hotels and special events with her robust sound energizing the sound of the 70's. Barbara and EP&P made their recording debut on the Roulette Records Label and recorded these hits: Ask Me, Touch & Go, I Wouldn't Give You Up and Good Things Don't Last Forever, produced by Bobby Martin. Giving notoriety to the R&B Charts and to Barbara Roy as a songwriter of seven songs on the album, the success of the album led to national and international tours and notably, performances at the legendary Madison Square Gardens, The Apollo Theater, Three Arts Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa. Also, Cape Town and Swazi Land in South Africa. Barbara and EP&P toured for two and a half months enlighting the hearts and generating smiles on the faces of the South African People with their great music. Also the nation's hottest TV shows, Soul Train (twice performed), American Band Stand, and the Mike Douglas Show. During the 1980's, Barbara signed with the Roy B Records Label, where she became known as Barbara Roy & Ecstasy, Passion & Pain releasing the single, If You Want Me---keeping her in the lime light performing at many popular venues and touring across the US and the UK. Barbara later recorded two other chart hitting songs, Gotta See You Tonight, and With All My Love, produced by Paul Simpson on the RCA Record Label. Today, the resurgence of her music in Europe has the international community buzzing in preparation to have Barbara Roy return to the UK. Her present projects include radio show interviews, live show cases and even performing for the under privileged. Her most recent project was just completed on September, 2010, with Jay St. Records, an independent label spearheaded by Harry Henderson and producer Ron Foster. Barbara is also working on a new business venture, Barbara Roy Enterprises, which will include music production, songwriting and publishing. Once again, audiences the world over can enjoy the incomparable sounds of Ecstasy, Passion & Pain's former lead psalmist Miss Barbara Roy.
Constance "Connie" Leverett was born in Portsmouth, Virginia and grew up in northern New Jersey. She was always surrounded by her family of singers, finding additional inspiration in the church. Still more inspiration came early on from a new record player she received one Christmas; she wore out many of the family's 45s and LPs, soaking up the timeless vocal styles.As a teen in New Jersey, she continued singing at high school events and in her church choirs. Over the years, Connie has often been sought out to sing at family gathering, weddings, and funerals. She has even recorded vocals on a demo with her rapping twin sons. She is simply inspired to share her gift.Gospel and inspirational songs are her favorites. Among the artists she most admires and listens to are Fred Hammond, John P. Kee, Smokie Norful, Hezekiah Walker, Kim Burrell and Yolanda Adams, to name a few. She also grew up loving the soulful R&B sounds and smooth harmonies of the Whispers, Delfonics and Blue Magic.Today, Connie sings with the "Voices" of St. Luke's Baptist Church (Paterson, N.J.) In 2012, she was a member of the McDonald's Gospel Choir. She is also finding career opportunities as a solo artist. In 2010, Connie took home first prize at a contest held at Paterson, N.J. hotspot, Jacksonville.Connie's current music project came from being an active artist. She was a featured artist on a promotional Christmas CD recording produced by her employer, Well of Hope. The CD was recorded at Jay St Record's studios (Jay St Records.com.) Harry Henderson, the indie label's executive producer, heard something he liked and initiated a project to produce a couple EPs on Jay St's label, to further Connie's career and showcase her talent to a broader audience.The EP projects will include both inspirational and R & B tracks. The first release, a single, "Freeze the Feeling," will be released on ITunes and Amazon November, 2013.
Eller Weas Little is an active gospel singer, songwriter, gospel radio personality and MC. She continues to evolve from her 60s R&B beginnings, to embrace gospel today as a group member, solo artist and producer. Eller, born in North Carolina, has been a northern New Jersey resident since her teens.
Eller’s latest project is the recording of a single called A Deeper Love. Eller, on lead vocals, is joined by Voices 5, a group she regularly performs with. Members of the group are Mary McMillian, Omega Barnes, Alvin Williams and Jerry Kinchen. Eller wrote Deeper’s lyrics and arranged the Voices 5 background parts. The song is powerful, contemporary, and makes a strong statement about a higher love.
A Deeper Love comes on the heels of her initial release on Jay St Records, Get It Right. The EP’s first song, Get It Right, was released in July, 2014. Eller says, “this song reminds us to get our house in order, especially in these troubled times.”
She says of the second release, I’m Still Grateful, “I immediate took to the message and contemporary sounds and arrangement.” The other two tracks are Prayer Changes Things and Hem of His Garment, the Sam Cooke classic.
Eller is a soul survivor. While she began singing in church as a child, where her father was a deacon and her mother an usher, Eller’s first professional effort was singing R&B with a group called the “The Spellbinders.” The group signed with Columbia Records in the 60s and recorded an album, “The Magic of the Spellbinders.” This set up the opportunity to travel and perform --both here and abroad-- with some of best performers in the world, including Wilson Pickett, Jackie Wilson, Shep & The Limelites, Jerry Butler and Lou Rawls. She later joined “The Ad Libs” who many may recall their top 40 hit “The Boy From New York City.” Eller found herself performing with several of these groups, as they all shared resources and maintained close relationships.
Today, Eller has come full circle and back to her gospel roots. She hosts a weekly gospel show on AM radio, and continuously promotes her music online and via social media and guest appearances whenever and wherever opportunities exist.
Lynette Sheard is a gifted and versatile vocalist. She has a five-octave range and perfect pitch. She is also an actor, producer, director and vocal coach. Her latest recording project is a single for Jay St Records. The release is a single titled Last Night’s Champagne, a sensuous, mid-tempo tune with an extended sax solo by master musician Richard Reiter.
Richard, who Lynette performs regularly with in the New Jersey region, is also a regular studio musician for Jay St Records. Lynette was Richard’s recommendation to Jay St executive producer Harry Henderson, who was looking for a special voice for Last Night’s Champagne. Mr. Henderson got his wish, and more. After the initial session, Harry mentioned that “he was thrilled with her voice, style, performance and professionalism. He wants to extend their relationship to a four song EP.” So, stay tuned.
Lynette is an active singer and all-around entertainer. Her performances have been acknowledged in numerous publications including, NY Times, Broadway World, The Record and the Chronicle. The Star Ledger proclaims that “Her voice reaches deep into one’s soul and finds a soft spot” She performs Jazz, Blues, R&B, Gospel, Soul and Pop music. Theater credits include principal roles in: Dream Girls, Smokey Joe's Cafe Ragtime, Swing, Aida, For Colored Girls, A Raisin in the Sun and most recently Gary Coleman in Avenue Q in which Broadway World declared that “she is fabulous with a voice that shakes the rafters” Most recently Lynette has been featured in the “Encyclopedia of Newark Jazz.” She is also the unseated West Orange (N.J.) Idol.
Lynette is clearly on track to fulfill her music dreams. She’s on a mission. And it won’t be long before she can proudly say, mission accomplished.