The Nite-Liters

The Nite-Liters were an American funk band that released five albums on RCA Victor between 1970 and 1973. The band concurrently participated in the soul-funk collective New Birth with members of The Now Sound and The Mint Juleps.

Members: Harvey Fuqua, Tony Churchill, Austin Lander, James Baker, Robert Jackson, Leroy Taylor, and Robin Russell, Ben Boxtel, Roger Voice, James Hall


The Nite-Liters were formed in 1963 Louisville by veteran producer and arranger Harvey Fuque and saxophonist Tony Churchill. During the 1950s, Fuque recorded with doo-wopsters The Moonglows and The Marquees, the latter featuring a young Marvin Gaye. The other original Nite-Liters included saxist Austin Lander, trumpeter Robert Jackson, bassist Leroy Taylor, drummer Robin Russell, and keyboardist James Baker. In 1966, they cut the soul-pop single “Coffee House Rendezvous” (b/w “Sounds of the Coffee House“) for small-press Liza Records.

In 1969, Fuque merged The Nite-Liters with a male vocal quartet, The Now Sound, and members of a female vocal group, The Mint Juleps. The collective entity became New Birth, which debuted that year with the single “It’s You or No One” (b/w “Pretty Words Don’t Mean a Thing (Lie to Me)”) on RCA. In 1970, The Nite-Liters cut their first of five albums and also partook in the first of 12 albums by New Birth.


“Con-Funk-Shun”: Trumpet into…soon doubled by clickety hi-hat… throbbing, bobbing bassline… encircled with sax… all converge over a brassy melodic arc amid chromatic descending bass notes… Drop out around 3:00… forboding bassline and clickety hi-hat resume… trombone add descendingnotes…. Theme redoubles full ensemble… Inspired name of

“The Heckler”: Gm… mid-tempo wah funk with pianointerspersed with full-on horns… The chorus: open cadence, rising brassy them amid descending bass notes…. Verses: closed cadence funky patterns… Climax: modulated brassy theme, ever intense…. Outro: funky stop/start pattern in Aflat, theme recapitulates at fadeout

“Snap Your Twig”: ‘60s swinging Stax groove. Fluid sax underscored with wah-wah rhythmic licks….interspersed with clipped guitar breaks, … wiggly basslines amid thin, snaly guitar lines… aggressive, rapidfire sax notes filled with blaring brass sustains… Interjected with grunting rhythmic stop/starts


Discography:

  • The Nite-Liters (1970)
  • Morning, Noon & the Nite-Liters (1971)
  • Different Strokes (1972)
  • Instrumental Directions (1972)
  • A-Nal-Y-Sis (1973)

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