Even though the group managed to stay together, the ensuing years were unproductive for chart action and sales. Between 1967 and 1971, the Dramatics made very little noise on the national scene. By the end of 1971, Davis summoned the group to the studio to record producer/songwriter Tony Hester
's "Watcha See Is Watcha Get." The single was the Dramatics' first major national hit, peaking at number three on the R&B charts, and sustaining chart action for 15 weeks. That single was followed by the R&B Top Ten single "Get Up and Get Down."
The following year the Dramatics released "In the Rain," which was also penned by Hester
. The single torpedoed its way to the number one spot on the R&B charts, maintaining that position for four consecutive weeks; the single also peaked at number five on the pop charts. Ironically, in spite of the national attention the group was receiving, another personnel shuffle was simmering.
Larry "L.J." Reynolds
, who had been a member of Chocolate Syrup
and was pursuing a solo career during this time, met Dramatics member Banks
at the Apollo following a performance by the group. It just so happened that Howard was absent that night. Reynolds
auditioned for Banks
backstage; it was not too long afterwards that Reynolds
, who was also signed to Don Davis' production company, began to occasionally sit in with the Dramatics during Howard's absences.
In 1973, Howard's decision to leave the group opened the door for Reynolds
' entrance; Reynolds
' vocal presence and permanent entry into the group was manifested with the release of the R&B Top Ten single "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain." And while Reynolds
was replacing Howard, Lenny Mayes was replacing Wilkens, which spelled out identity problems for the remainder of the group. Wilkens formed his own version of the Dramatics and began touring. During this time and pending legal procedures, the name of the group was changed to Ron Banks & the Dramatics.
The Dramatics' success continued with mainly R&B Top 20 hits during the heyday of disco, cracking the R&B Top Ten just once more with "Welcome Back Home" in 1980. In 1981, Reynolds
went solo; the group disband after Banks
went solo in 1983. The group managed to stay active, reuniting to record new material every three or four years since the early '80s. They occasionally reunite for concert events. ~ Craig Lytle, Rovi