Facts of Life

Millie Jackson credits friends Keith Williams and Chuck Carter with teaching her how to sing at the outset of her music career. She met Jean Davis (Tyrone Davis' sister) on the road; Jean was opening for Tyrone and they became friends. When lack of time prevented Jackson from producing individual records on Williams, Carter, and Davis, she assembled them into a group called Facts of Life. They were similar to the Soul Children, but less dynamic than the Memphis group. Jackson produced them independently, but couldn't cut a deal with a major label and was about to give up when her producer, Brad Shapiro, offered Facts of Life a contract with his Kayvette label. Their first single was Homer Banks' and Carl Hampton's "Caught in the Middle," which did okay on Southern stations but never mainstreamed. However, the second release, a remake of the country hit "Sometimes," soared to number 31 on the pop chart in the spring of 1977. Kayvette hurried an album out, Millie was hot at the time, and had little time for the project. George Jackson and Raymond Moore contributed two songs, and they tried another country standard "Looks Like We Made It." Poor packaging, including typos, misspelled words, and a bad picture hurt the album's appeal. Despite the problems though, RCA Records plucked it for mass distribution. A second LP, A Matter of Time, spawned no hits. Overloaded, Millie Jackson concentrated more on her career, and other than mass mailings, little promotion took place. Williams, Carter, and Davis separated and never surfaced again. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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