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The Friends Of Distinction

Known best for their pop smash "Grazing in the Grass," the Friends of Distinction were founded by Harry Elston and Floyd Butler, also including Jessica Cleaves and Barbara Jean Love (plus Charlene Gibson, who replaced Love during her pregnancy). Elston and Butler's involvement in music entailed several groups, including the Hi-Fi's, Ray Charles' backing band. When the group disbanded in 1966, Elston and Butler recruited Cleaves and Love for a new band; initially, Elston came up with the name Distinctive Friends, but Love suggested reversing the words to Friends of Distinction.

After polishing up their act for a few months during 1968, the group hit the local tour circuit in Los Angeles. With well-developed talent and the support of a well-known manager, former football great Jim Brown, the group signed with RCA Records. In 1969, the group released its first single, "Grazing in the Grass." Originally recorded by famed trumpeter Hugh Masekela (Elston wrote the lyrics to Masekela's trumpet lead), the song became a smash hit. It graced the R&B charts for 17 weeks, peaking at number five. Four months later, the second release, "Going in Circles," surpassed its predecessor. It climbed its way to number three after a prosperous 19 weeks.

Three more singles charted for the group -- "Love or Let Me Be Lonely," "Time Waits for No One," and "I Need You" -- though none was as rewarding as the group's first two hits. The group encountered some personnel changes following the two smash hits. Jessica Cleaves and Barbara Love both departed the group, with Cleaves joining other R&B acts (Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament, etc.). After the release of their fifth and final single, the decline of Friends of Distinction was on the horizon, but not by their own doing.

By the mid-'70s, the group's well had run dry. With more than five years elapsed since their first release, Elston and Butler called it quits. The two parted ways and didn't speak for several years. When they finally overcame their differences, however, Butler died of a heart attack -- in Elston's arms. In 1996 Elston ultimately accomplished what he and Butler had agreed to do: he re-formed the group with new members Pattie Brooks, Van Jewel, and Drake Frye. ~ Craig Lytle, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Mine and my daddy favorite miss you dad
This was my last song I played when I departed Germany (1966) with my buddy Andy who I left behind, because his tour of duty wasn't over: Grazing in the Grass! RQ/rlh
Send this to SOS wet wet
garciakristy l
I love this song♡♡♡♡
I use to sing these harmonies with my cousins :)
Now, that's Old School right there! Remember my parents playing this song and songs like this at their BBQ.....
marsha_barbe r 5 4
I love that group, I wish there was more group like such today
leeann1572
Great music still lives on....
Thank you pandora .
This Was One Of The Best Jams Of The 70,s Era:) Right On!
Truly classic old school!
I LOVE THIS group. RASHON IBN ALMUHYI. SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J.
"Going In Circles"You- G o t - M e $trung-Out
I-Gotta-Brea k - T h i $ - $ p e l l X-Men before it break me
LOVE+S Disciple*978 * 1 * ~ 7 m 1 4 y ~
Man this song is the s***
This is the s**t ladies
Diz da s**t!
Round n round i go....
:*Love this song :*
U got me goin in circles!! A..A.!!! Lol :)
salinas49erf a n 4
Bad a** song!!!!
Badd a** jam
There is no music like it
What am I to do?!
They had so many wonderful songs. "I really hope you do" has become my favorite.
This is for the Hipsters
"Working On A Groovy Thang"*978*4 m 1 4 y ~
Oh,My my my ....this the shht
Still spun 1 year and 23 dayz since you left us oh your a man of distinction we miss you.
millie_cintr o n
Best music of all times!!
he best song ever
Mid-‘60s, ‘70s, to mid- ‘80s, Los Angeles and surrounding counties, Asian-Americ a n oldies dance music.
joann.murray 1 0
This is the best music
Luv them oldies.
I sure Remember this song here dam shame we don't hear music like this today I miss this kind of music sooo much 2-15-2014.!! ! ! ! !
OLD SCHOOL MUSIC IS THE BEST.
U got me going in circles,oooo o o a r o u n d n around getting dizzy baby!
Brings me back to the days of good ole garage parties Los Ang..Compton style ..Yeahhh..
Takes me back! Going around in circles. when is the concert. I'm ready to go! The Friends of Distinction. Love this group!
Going In Circles....l o v e . . . l o v e . . . l o v e this song!!!
All these replies , can't be wrong , great music , unlike today's , never dies , this is real music
Can u dig it?
Great great sound love it today as yesterday
Back in the day people say this music is. I say its now because it never dies.
This was my last song before leaving Germany The Rock leaving my buddy Andy behind (1968)-If he hearing this song contact me. RQ/rxh
cjvann1951/t h i s is what music should sound like.
Wish I could relive those day's over when this song was out never really heard about any Violence neighborhood Peaceful wonderful good and peacful life very much different today thanks Pandora for letting me listen to this song !!!!!
Classic!!!!!
Love this Song especially Luther Vandross rendition.
Another one of my favs
This songs is fantastic
I like this song
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