Tribute and Variety
Shows are super successful. The buyer gets more bang for the buck, spending the same amount on
4 to 6 names.
The audience gets to hear a variety of artists. Win Win!
FRIENDS OF DISTINCTION
They are called "The Friends of
Distinction" and for much of the last two decades, this
talented four member, sophisticated jazz, R&B styled vocal
group has distinguished itself in major entertainment arenas
across the US. and Europe.
The original Friends of Distinction was formed in 1968 by Floyd
Butler and Harry Elston, both alumni of a group known as the
HiFi's, that for several years opened for Ray Charles. That
group also included Marilyn McCoo and LaMonte McLemore of The
5th Dimension, in addition two other members. The Hi-Fi's
With encouragement and some financial assistance from football
great, turned actor, Jim Brown, Floyd and Harry put together a
four-member group that rehearsed for nearly a year to polish
their act. When they were ready, Brown was totally impressed
with what he saw. He put together a group of associates to form
a management company called BBC and signed The Friends to a
In late 1969, The Friends showcased at The Daisy (then the
hottest disco in Beverly Hills). The result of that showcase was
a recording contract with RCA Records.
Their first two singles on RCA Records, "Grazin
in the Grass" and "Going
in Circles", both from their Grazin album
soared over the million seller mark, earning them two coveted
gold records. "Love or Let Me Be
Lonely" released from their third album, Real
Friends brought them yet another million seller and top 10
While signed to RCA, The Friends were chosen by Record World as
that year's Best New R&B Group. The following year, they
tied with Sly and the Family Stone as the Top Vocal Combination
in that magazine's annual R&B Awards.
From that point on, the rest was history. The group headlined in
such prestigious clubs as Ceasar's Palace and The Flamingo
Hilton on the Las Vegas Strip, Harrah's in Lake Tahoe, Reno and
Atlantic City, also the world famous Copa Cabana in New York
The group toured over 40 weeks a year , and by mid-70s, fatigue
had dimmed the excitement of the road. The Friends decided to
slow the pace and stop touring so extensively. Eventually, they
stopped completely to devote all of their time to songwriting
During The Friends' history, its members have changed. The
Friends not only looked for superior talent and a common musical
rapport, but human beings who cared about the social and
spiritual needs of all people. The vocal concept created by its
co-founders Harry and Floyd is still influencing their music
On Sunday, April 29th 1990, Floyd Butler passed away after
suffering a massive heart attack, with his friend Harry by his
side. Ironically that day, Floyd and Harry had agreed to revive
The Friends. Years have elapsed since that memorable day, and
The Friends have now re-entered the music scene.
While working on TV show and movie sets, Ghee Browne constantly
urged Harry to revamp the group, and definitely include him.
With a fresh new perspective, Harry decided to add in addition
to Ghee, two lovely and talented ladies, Pattie Brooks, Van
Jewell and Drake Frye, who just happened to be longtime friends
and had worked with The Friends before.
The Friends are now Harry J. Elston,
original co-founder, producer, songwriter and arranger. Harry
wrote the lyrics and sang lead on the first hit "Grazin
In The Grass." He has co-produced such artists
as The Emotions, Linda Clifford, J.W. Wade, and co-wrote for Ray
Charles w/Billy Osborne of LTD Fame.
Pattie Brooks, is a vocalist,
songwriter and arranger, with a long list of credits including
the No. 1 disco hit "After Dark" on Casablanca
Records. She has written and performed in the hit movie.
"Dr. Detroit". She has also performed and toured with
Donna Summer, Ann Margaret, Helen Reddy, Rick James and Teena
Drake Frye is a noted composer,
producer, musician and performer. He has worked with top
entertainers such as The Jackson's. James Brown, Natalie Cole,
among others. An artist who also released several single on Bell
records, Drake talents as vocal arranger enhance and maintain
the style and sound that made the Friends legendary.
Boce Robinson Mitchell is the
newest member of the Friends. She started her career in
radio and television. A multi-talented vocalist, she also
produces, directs and acts. She has appeared in Family
Matters, General Hospital and Just Shoot Me, to name
The Friends of Distinction are back, with consummate
musicianship, style, fun and excitement; plus top notch artistic
support to the delight of their friends and fans everywhere; and
to recreate one of the most exciting vocal sounds in the