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Peter Wright

Peter Wright, a major player in Chicago's popular music landscape in the '60s and '70s, has thrived with his company, Peter Wright and Associates, managing, hooking musicians up with road acts, administrating Edgewater Publishing, and assigning and selling rights to his vast library of masters. Wright's main gig, though, was freelance record promoting; his influence got many singles on play lists, in stores, and in jukeboxes. He was a noted record producer, producing masters and then getting master deals with major labels under the umbrella of Dominic Carone's Carone Productions and Artist/Management/Booking.

The Drew-Vels, the R&B group from Evanston, IL, were early clients, hitting with "Tell Him" and waxing other singles before disbanding, with lead Patti Drew embarking on a chart-making, but brief, solo career. Wright started Quill Records and the Drew-Vels were the first group signed (after switching them from Capitol before they disbanded); Wright switched the label's concept from R&B to pop/rock by signing the New Colony Six, the Exceptions, the Night Flight, the High Schoolers (a female group), the Skunks, the Riddles, and others. Under Quill Productions, Wright handled other acts and leased their recordings to other labels. These acts include the Fabulous Flippers (Cameo), the Reasons for Being (Fontana), the Commons (Mod), the Delights (Smash), Rush Hour (Philips), and many more. Quill's final release was by the Skunks in 1967.

After dissolving Quill, Wright started a new baby, Twilight Records, which became Twinight Records after five releases. Syl Johnson was the label's star, but left in 1971 to sign with Hi Records in Memphis, TN, after scoring on Twinight with "Sock It to Me," "Am I Black Enough for You," "Dresses Too Short," "Concrete Reservation," and the Because I'm Black LP on Twinight. Twinight's impressive roster included: the Guys and Dolls, the Kaldirons, Dynamic Tints, Harrison and the Majestic Kind, Pieces of Peace, the Radiants, the Notations, Buster Benton, the Perfections, Annette Poindexter, Josephine Taylor, Johnny Williams, Renaldo Domingo, and George McGregor and the Bronzettes. Despite ample clout, the only significant hits the label produced were the Notations' "I'm Still Here" and the Syl Johnson singles; the rest of Twinight's impressive output -- which can be found on Twinight's Soul Heaven 1967-1972 on Kent Records -- got only spot play here and there, never the saturated, steady rotation needed to produce a hit.

Peter Cetera, a member of the Exceptions, later joined the Chicago Transit Authority, who became Chicago. Marty Gregg, another ex-Exception, joined the Buckinghams, then formed the Fabulous Rhinestones. While not often mentioned in discussions of Chi-town's recording honchos, Peter Wright played as big a part, if not bigger, than some more-discussed luminaries of Chicago's historical music history. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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