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the Blade Family

Cleveland, 1971-8


L-R: (front) Karl, Geraldine (back) Danielle, Marty, Ella Mae, J.C.

"The family that plays together, stays together" was a slogan for the 'generation gap' of the 1960s and 1970s. Cleveland's Blade Family was a band that took that slogan literally, forming an all family band that stayed together for 7 to 10 years (depending on the published story).

The band were led by the parents, J.C. Blade (guitar) and Ella Mae Blade (tambourine, vocals). The Blade children were Marty (drums), Geraldine (electric piano, vocals), Danielle (bass), and Karl (congas). In 1974 their ages, respectively, were 38, 36, 17, 16, 12, and 10.


1973 pic, drum head says Zodiacs, another band on the bill.

The band performed often locally, including several appearances on the Gene Carroll (then hosted by Don Webster) TV show. Being a family band, they got a lot of gigs playing family oriented civic events and functions. They don'r seem to have played the local nightclub scene much if at all. 


In 1974 they recorded a 45 for King James records, a label run by James Bullard of BOS records. King James seemed to be seperate from the BOS parent label Way Out, with a Shaker Heights address. The group recorded two songs written by J.C.,  "Sweet Dream" and "My Baby's Gone". They were recorded at Cleveland Recording. Dan Groton, a staff arranger/producer for King James, added strings and horns overdubs to give the songs a comtemporary Philadelphia style soul sound.


The group split up in 1978. The older children were college age, they probably wanted to devote their time to studies. Note the article about their 45 from 1974 says they've been together for 3 years.


Sweet Dream / My Baby's Gone - King James 201, July 1974