Throwback: Black Ivory-Mainline


Stuart Bascombe, Russell Patterson and Leroy Burgess became Black Ivory in the late ’60’s after original members Lawrence Newkirk, Vito Ramirez and Michael Harris left the group. The New Yorkers were signed quickly to Perception/Today Records where Patrick Adams was offered an A&R job after bringing the group to the label. Adams also wrote their first single, “Don’t Turn Around” and it was released in 1971. Their debut album of the same name came out later in the year and it had exceptional staying power because of “You and I,” “I’ll Find A Way” and “Find The One Who Loves You.” Black Ivory was among a number of soul groups known for slow love songs like Blue Magic,The Delfonics and The Stylistics. Baby Won’t You Change Your Mind was their sophomore album and it was heavily supported because of the songs “Spinning Around” and “Time Is Love.” When the Perception label had financial problems they signed to the Warner subsidiary Kwanzaa and released “What Goes Around (Comes Around).” Kwanzaa eventually folded and they were added to the roster at Buddah Records. Feel It was their first output for Buddah and it is noted for the track “Will We Ever Come Together.” There would be two more albums with Buddah before the group dissolved. Hangin’ Heavy was their last release for the company and 1979’s “Mainline” was a song that Leroy Burgess had left over from other projects. Burgess went on to become a king of dance music because of several endeavors including Phreek, The Aleem Twins, Fonda Rae, Narada Michael Walden, Rick James and others. He started performing with Black Ivory again in the 2000’s and the group self-released the album Continuum in December of 2011.