Introduction to the 1970s balladeers Enchantment


Who is Enchantment?

Enchantment are an R&B and soul vocal band, formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1967 Under the label, in 1976 Enchantment released their self-titled first album which yielded two Top 10 R&B singles “Gloria” and “Sunshine.” Their second album Once Upon a Dream spawned their first #1 R&B smash “It’s You That I Need” in 1978. With the dissolution of Roadshow in 1980, Enchantment signed with RCA Records where they released three albums that went unnoticed, mainly due to the rise of funk and the new genre then called rap music. But the group still persevered, and although they would perform intermittently, they continue to perform for their loyal fans and people who love ballads.

Formation of the group

Enchantment is a soul/R&B act formed at Pershing High School in Detroit, Michigan in 1967. This smooth and melodious group was an idea a by blind singer named Emmanuel “EJ” Johnson, who was of course the founder of the group. The initial lineup was then rounded off by Joe “Jobie” Thomas, Bobby Green, Edgar “Mickey” Clanton and David Banks. The group encountered producer Michael Stokes who then introduced the band to the head of Roadshow Records, Fred Frank, who was also behind the acts B.T. Express and Brass Construction.

The band’s peak years

The group’s first single was the disco-oriented “Come On and Ride” which had minor placements on both dance and R&B singles charts in 1976. After that they decided to shift their focus on ballads.

The following year the group released their first-ever self-titled LP, which contained a couple of charting singles: the top 40 pop hit “Gloria” (#25 pop, #5 R&B) as well as “Sunshine” (#45 pop, #3 R&B).

After their first album was released, Green left the band, but Enchantment still went on and released their second album Once Upon A Dream (1978) which yielded their only #1 R&B hit “It’s You That I Need” which also crept to the Billboard Top 40 at #33.

Attempting to endear themselves to the disco-loving audience, efforts done by the ballad-oriented group came with disastrous results despite one of the “fusion” singles “If You’re Ready (Here It Comes)” reaching the Top 20 R&B. In 1978 Roadshow ended their distribution deal with United Artists and entered another contract with new partner RCA Records. The group’s last album on Roadshow, Journey to the Land of… Enchantment, was issued in 1979. By the following year Roadshow had folded for good.

Decline and later years

The group’s declining popularity happened by the early 1980s, where all of their three albums — Soft Lights, Sweet Music (RCA, 1980) and two Columbia releasesEnchanted Lady (1982) and Utopia(1984) — failed to make dents on the charts. The group was left behind by the rise of funk and and another novelty genre called rap. Despite this, they have continued to perform regionally for fans and people who love listening to love songs and ballads. In 2003 they released a record “God Bless America” in honor of the American troops in Iraq. Thomas quit the original Enchantment and formed his own group, Enchantment featuring Jobie Thomas.

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