via Press Release
The formula was simple: marry bubblegum and soul to the absolute sincerity of an enthusiastic child, cross your fingers and pray for airplay. But while the youthful sums of that formula may have grown up and walked away from their illusions of stardom, their permanent records remain.
By 1973, Michael, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Jackie were as hip as kids could get — household names with lunchboxes, coloring books, a Saturday morning cartoon, and an Alpha-Bits cereal commercial pushing the J5 brand onto any kid with television reception.
Their impressive run of four consecutive number 1 singles playing on both pop and R&B stations cemented their appeal to both whites and blacks, prompting MGM to launch the Osmonds as the safer (read: white) alternative. And parents? Well, Michael had that wrapped up with his impossible-not-to-love mini-James Brown thing. Even the group’s song selection straddled both sides, with Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and ABC for kids, and contemporary standards Standing in the Shadows of Love and My Cherie Amour for the older crowd. This marketing and merchandising juggernaut created the kid soul explosion.
On September 16, 2016, Numero Group will release the compilation Afterschool Special: The 123Ss of Kid Soul. A decade removed from the label’s acclaimed Home Schooled compilation comes a fresh batch of talent-show titans. With enterprising parents, neighbors, and teachers turning play dates into recording dates, groups like Magical Connection, Little Man and the Inquires, and Five Ounces of Soul emulated the Jacksons, who’d made grade-school stardom appear easy as ABC. Afterschool Special: The 123s of Kid Soul contains 19 tiny tunes ranging from bilingual D.A.R.E. anthem, to James Brown bio, to young love and life beyond the playground.
- I'm A Special Kid - Bethlehem Children's Choir
- Runnin' Wild (Ain't Gonna Help You) - Scott Three
- Guessing Game - Jimi Hill
- You Got Me Believing (Dreamin' 'Bout You) - Leonard Kaigler
- I Love You Still - Cash
- Because I Love You - Brighter Side Of Darkness
- Everywhere You Go - Next Movement
- I Want A Little Girl - The Bennetts
- Simon Says - Future Kind
- I Am Free No Dope For Me - The Dynamics
- The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - Brother's Rap
- We Don't Dig No Busing (The Busing Song) - Greer Brothers
- Funky Breakdown - Little Man & The Inquires
- Love Got A Piece Of Your Mind - Five Ounces Of Soul
- Girl Why Do You Want To Take My Heart - Magical Connection
- It's Time For Love Soul - Emotions & Co.
- Losing My Girl - Brotherly Five
- The Other Guy - The Mighty Mustangs
- James Brown - Nancy Dupree