For those who may have missed the original interview, we are delighted to present an encore conversation with the one and only Russell Thompkins Jr., the iconic singer and stylist behind the renowned R&B group, The Stylistics. With their unforgettable hits and timeless melodies, The Stylistics captivated audiences throughout the 1970s and continue to inspire new generations of music lovers. Recently, I had the privilege of speaking with Russell Thompkins Jr., who graciously took the time to share his insights and experiences with me. Join me as we delve into the life and wisdom of this legendary artist.
The Voice That Defined an Era:
When you think of The Stylistics, the first name that springs to mind is Russell Thompkins Jr. His mesmerizing falsetto and distinctive tenor vocals brought the group to the forefront of the music scene. With gold and platinum recordings like “Stop, Look, Listen, to Your Heart,” “People Make The World Go Round,” “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” “You Are Everything,” “Hurry Up This Way Again,” and the timeless classic “Betcha By Golly Wow,” Russell Thompkins Jr. solidified his place in music history. His voice became the trademark of The Stylistics, captivating audiences worldwide.
A Chat with Russell Thompkins Jr:
Amidst his busy schedule, Russell Thompkins Jr. graciously shared his insights with me, allowing a glimpse into the life and experiences of a true musical legend. From his Philadelphia home, he candidly discussed his journey in the music industry and the advice he would offer to aspiring musicians.
The Power of Education:
For Russell Thompkins Jr., the best advice he can give anyone pursuing a career in music is to “educate yourself.” He emphasized the importance of understanding the business side of the industry, honing one’s musical skills, and staying informed about the ever-evolving landscape. Education, he believes, provides a solid foundation for success and equips artists to navigate the challenges of the music business.
Reflecting on a Legendary Career:
During our conversation, Russell Thompkins Jr. fondly reminisced about the early days of The Stylistics and the impact they made on the music scene. He expressed gratitude for the unwavering support of their fans and the opportunity to create timeless music. Despite the passage of time, Russell’s passion for music remains as strong as ever, and he continues to captivate audiences with his soulful performances.
Legacy and Inspiration:
The influence of Russell Thompkins Jr. and The Stylistics extends far beyond their era. Their songs have become classics, and their music continues to inspire and resonate with listeners of all ages. Through his dedication to his craft and his unwavering commitment to excellence, Russell has left an indelible mark on the R&B genre and continues to be revered as one of the greatest vocalists of all time.
Russell Thompkins Jr.’s interview with BackBeat R&B has provided us with a deeper appreciation for the man behind the music. His legendary vocals, coupled with his invaluable advice for aspiring musicians, make him a true inspiration. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Russell for his time and for sharing his wisdom and experiences with us. As we celebrate the timeless music of The Stylistics, let us remember the powerful voice and immense talent of Russell Thompkins Jr., a true icon of R&B music.
Note: This blog post is an homage to Russell Thompkins Jr. and his interview with BackBeat R&B in 2017.