LaFlavour / Blues Soul / Ragweed
LaFlavour scored a bit hit in 1980 with "Mandolay" which packed the dance floors during the twilight of the disco boom. It was a 14 year trip to overnight success for the band, which started out as a teen garage soul band called Blues Soul.
The band was formed in 1967 by twin brothers Pete and Steve Nervo. With Pete on guitar and Steve on drums, Craig DeBock played sax and guitar, while Gino Milckak played bass. All guys were students at Massilon HS. Massilon, like many cities in NE Ohio, hard a large blue collar workforce with a diverse racial makeup, and they liked soul and R&B for their nightlife. The Blues Soul played soul, covering Motown songs and more obscure dance songs.
For their 1st 45, they recorded the Bobby Patterson song "Sock Some Lovin' To Me" and a more ballady song written by a friend "Rain In My Eyes". This record sold a decent amount of copies locally. A few months later they made a follow up, a fantastic hard driving take of the TSU Toronadoes funk classic "Gettin' The Corners" which to the ears of many outshines the original. The flip side is a faster, rawer re-recording of "Sock Some Lovin". Both 45s were recorded at Akron Recording.
band continued to play the Ohio, western PA and western NY
circuit. In the early 1970s they changed name to Ragweed and
built up a stage act that included choreography and comedy skits. By
now the band had added a couple more members. When
the disco era hit in the mid 1970s, they became Flavour and their sound
moved between disco and commercial rock. The band was signed to Midwest
records, a label set up by Jules Belkin and Carl Maduri, who had hit it
big with Wild Cherry. The label was distributed by Mercury They put out
a couple unsuccessful 45s in 1978 and 1979. Belkin and Maduri decided
to restart their label as Sweet City and self distrubute the records.
La Flavour recorded the LP "Mandolay", with help
from WIld Cherry's Mark Asvec and Chris Wintrip who was in Brimstone.
The title song became a massive disco hit and the group released a
couple more 45s that included disco and more rock styled songs. MCA
records picked up their 3rd 45. Interestingly, the B side of
"Mandolay" was "Midnight Confessions", a song that former Clevelander
Lou Josie wrote and scored a bit hit with the Grass Roots.
In 1981 the band decided to record an LP that was straight rock and decided, with MCA, to rebrand the band as Fair Warning. A 45 and LP was issued but there was some problems that led to MCA yanking promotion and distribution of the LP. These were the last released recordings to date for La Flavour.
La Flavour continued to play during the
1980s, with a more elaborate stage show including puppets and comedy
routines. The band play all over the midwest and varuous other cities
in the US. Over time the band wound down their live shows but they have
continued to play up to the present, including fairly regularly in
Massilon where they get fans who have supported them since the Blues
Sock Some Lovin To Me / Rain In My Eyes - TTT Prinz
Sock Some Lovin To Me / Gettin' The Corner - Westwood 1009
As Time Goes By / Sticks - Mercury/Midwest 74029, 1978
When The Whistle Blows (Anything Goes) / As Time Goes By - Mercury/Midwest 74055, 1979
Mandolay / Midnight Confessions - Sweet City 7376, 1979
LP - Mandolay - Sweet City 7861, 1980
Only The Lonely (Have A Reason To Be Sad) / Can't Kill The Beat - Sweet City 7377, 1980
To The Boys In The Band / Can You Dance - Sweet City 7381, MCA 51081, 1980
She Don't Know Me / - MCA 51145 (as Fair Warning)
LP- S/T - MCA 5236 (as Fair Warning)