Five Flights Up – “Do What You Wanna Do”


Short introduction to Five Flights Up

Five Flights Up was an American R&B quintet, virtually coming down to history as a one-hit wonder although they had two charting singles in their short career. Their first single was “Do What You Wanna Do” which broke into the Top 40 in 1970. Another single followed “After The Feeling Is Gone” which also charted on the Hot 100 but significantly lower.

J.B. Bingham and his band, Five Flights Up

Five Flights Up was an American R&B five-person group consisted of Geneva Crawford, Blanton McFarlin, Carlnetta Kelly, Charles Ternell and J.B. Bingham. Bingham was born James Bingham Jr. in Chicago, Illinois on September 1, 1945.

In September 1969 Bingham was the one who formed Five Flights Up and also designated himself as the leader/lead singer.

In a stroke of luck, Bingham had been introduced by Friends of Distinction’s Harry Elston to the band’s producer John Florez. Florez, who had midwifed the The Friends of Distinctions’ recent hit at that time “Grazing in the Grass,” had just left RCA label by now to become an independent producer. Florez got to listen to Five Flights Up’s stuff, and liked it, and signed the band to T.A. label (whose distributor was Bell label).

The band’s biggest hit “Do What You Wanna Do”

The band’s first single was “Do What You Wanna Do” which was written by Bingham himself, and produced by Florez of course. The song’s arrangement was done by Ernie Freeman.

When the song was released in 1970, it first appeared on the Billboard charts in August that year. It became Top 40 pop hit, peaking at #37. It also reached #35 on the adult contemporary singles chart at #35 also in that same year.

Subsequent singles

The band’s second single was “After the Feeling Is Gone” written by Terry Woodford and George Soule. Its flip side was “Where Are You Going Girl.” The single was also released in T.A. label, and eventually peaked at #89 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. A third single by Five Flights, “Like Monday Follows Sunday” (b/w “California Girl”) didn’t duplicate the chart success of the previous two singles. The same went with the fourth single “Day Before Yesterday” (released on the independent Oak label).

The band was planning to release a full-length LP, which would be entitled After the Feeling Is Gone, but the project was reportedly shelved by Columbia Records. After Five Flights Up, Bingham went solo in 1974.

Despite a second minor hit for the band, Five Flights Up is still considered a one-hit wonder.

Five Flights Up songs

Here’s the list of songs that Five Flights Up released (may be impartial):

  • “Do What You Wanna Do”
  • “Black Cat”
  • “After the Feeling Is Gone”
  • “Where Are You Going, Girl”
  • “Like Monday Follows Sunday”
  • “California Girl”
  • “Day Before Yesterday”
  • “There’s Nothing Wrong (with Loving a Stranger)”
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