The Dynamic Superiors – 3 Albums

Joining forces in Washington, DC, in 1963, Tony Washington, George Spann, George Wesley Peterbank Jnr., Michael McCalpin and Maurice Washington had to wait a decade to win a recording contract. Motown Records president Ewart Abner saw them performing at a talent show in Atlanta, Georgia, and signed them to the label in 1974. They were teamed with the Ashford And Simpson writing and production team, and their debut album was a collection of romantic soul ballads that produced two hits, “Shoe Shoe Shine” and “Leave It Alone’. Their second album, Pure Pleasure, added a disco feel to the Superiors” sound, and spawned two further chart entries. In 1977, the group enjoyed some success with a disco rearrangement of the Martha And The Vandellas’ hit, “Nowhere To Run”, but they subsequently left Motown, and attempts to secure a major label recording contract elsewhere proved unsuccessful.

The Dynamic Superiors – 1975 – The Dynamic Superiors

Michael McCalpin, George Wesley Peterbark Jr., George Spann and brothers Maurice and Toni Washington grew up in the same Washington, D.C. housing project.  The five went to school together, singing on street corners and playing in various talent contests along the way.  By the time they were in high school they’d formed The Superiors and were lying about their ages in order to play D.C. niteclubs.

Signed by the Sue label, they made their recording debut with an instantly obscure 1969 single:
– ‘Heavenly Angel’ b/w ‘I’d rather Die’ (Sue catalog number 12)

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Motown LP including covers.

A1 Shoe Shoe Shine 3:45
A2 Soon 3:44
A3 Leave It Alone 3:40
A4 Don’t Send Nobody Else 3:39
A5 Romeo 3:45
B1 Star Of My Life 3:44
B2 Cry When You Want To 4:17
B3 I Got Away 2:18
B4 One-Nighter 4:00
B5 Release Me 3:28


Two years later they got their big break when they were discovered Motown executive Ewart Abner at a 1972 dj convention in Atlanta and signed to the label.  It apparently took Motown management awhile to figure out how to deal with the group, eventually teaming them with the writing and production team of Nikolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson.  To Motown’s credit the label made no attempt to hide lead singer Tony Washington’s openly gay lifestyle – a fact underscored by one quick look at “The Dynamic Superiors” cover art.  Not that it mattered …  Washington may have worn false eye lashes, rouge, lipstick, and occasionally performed in drag, but he had a killer voice.  On tracks like ‘Shoe Shine Shine’ and ‘Star of My Life’ he was more than capable of hitting high notes a-la Russell Tompkins Jr..  At the other end of the spectrum Washington’s falsetto was nicely offset by tenors Peterbark Jr and Spann. With Ashford and Simpson bringing their top-shelf material to the recording sessions (they were responsible for nine of the ten songs), this was simply one of the best old school vocal group LPs I’ve ever heard.   With the exception of the overly sensitive ‘Cry When You Want To’ virtually every one of these songs would have made a dandy single and was worth hearing.  With so many standout tracks highlights were hard to pick up, but included ‘Leave It Alone’, the blazing ‘Don’t Send Nobody Else’ and ‘I Got Awat’.  Elsewhere Motown tapped the album for a pair of singles:

- 1974’s ‘Shoe Shine Shine’ b/w ‘Release Me’ (Motown catalog number M 1324F) # 6 pop; # 16 R&B
– 1975’s ‘Leave It Alone’ b/w ‘One-Nighter’ (Motown catalog number M 1342F) # 102 pop; # 13 R&B

Download link



The Dynamic Superiors – 1975 – Pure Pleasure

A sweet set of vocal group tunes from the Dynamic Superiors — arranged with a bit more of a high stepping groove than some of the other Motown work of the time. Backings are handled by a range of talents that includes Paul Riser, William Eaton, Al Gorgoni, and Horace Ott — but the real charm is the way the group’s innocent harmony style puts over the lyrics, all of which are very strong tunes written by the team of Ashford & Simpson.

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Motown LP including covers.

A1 Deception 4:49
A2 Pleasure 3:19
A3 Nobody’s Gonna Change Me 5:30
A4 Feeling Mellow 4:13
B1 Face the Music 3:08
B2 Hit And Run Lovers 4:06
B3 A Better Way 3:38
B4 Don’t Give Up On Me Baby 3:03
B5 Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing 4.13

1975’s “Pure Pleasure” found The Dynamic Superiors continuing their collaboration with producers/writers Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson.  Like the debut, Ashford and Simpson wrote nine of the ten songs which meant the group was 100% dependent on the quality of the material being brought to them.  In most cases that spells bad news for non-writing acts and the first couple of times I listened to this set I felt it was very good, but a shade below the debut.  Pulling it out for the first time in a couple of years I’ll tell you I was just plain wrong and their sophomore album was every bit as good as the debut.  Side one was near perfect.  Four great songs with great arrangements, courtesy of Horace Ott, Al Gorgonia and William Eaton, and a series of great performances.

Motown also tapped the album for a pair of singles: –

1975’s ‘Nobody’s Gonna Change Me’ b/w ‘I Got Away’ (Motown catalog number M 1359F)

- 1975’s ‘Deception’ b/w ‘One-Nighter’ (Motown catalog number M 1365F

Download link



The Dynamic Superiors – 1977 – Give and Take

Though it lacked the hit singles of their early work, the disco-oriented Give and Take was the best work the Dynamic Superiors ever did for Motown. 1977’s Give & Take, produced by Brian Holland for Holland-Dozier-Holland Productions, included spirited material along with covers of “Nowhere To Run” and Stevie wonder’s “All In Love Is Fair.”

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original LP including covers

A1 Happy Song 6:07
A2 Give It All Up 3:51
A3 Nowhere To Run 9:07
B1 You’re What I Need 4:47
B2 All In Love Is Fair 4:31
B3 All You Can Do With Love 3:33
B4 Here Comes That Feeling Again 4:22
B5 Once Is Just Not Enough 5:03

I decided to search more of The Dynamic Superiors when i heard the beautiful cover of “All In Love Is Fair”, last Sunday morning, on my ipod.  I had those 3 albums in my collection for years and I immediately started ripping them. I think every Soul/Funk lover should have them. They’ve never been released on CD.

So enjoy and tell us your opinion about the group and the albums.

Download link


Buy their albums

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  1. Pegasi55 says:

    Wow! I used to have this album. Played it to death. I worked in a record store in Newark, New Jersey when this album came out. I would rave about the album to potential buyers, But I remember guys, who would have no problem buying, say, a Stylistics album (isn’t Russell Tompkins Jr. gay too?), being turned off by the cover of the Dynamic Superiors. To Motown’s credit they didn’t shy away from the lead singer’s flamboyant gayness, but they might have sold more albums if they had. I was surprise to learn that “Shoe Shoe Shine” actually made a better showing on the pop charts than on the R&B charts. I never heard the song on a pop station in the Northeast.

    Thanks for the share.

    Keep on Keeping on!


  2. Elton says:

    I’ve always thought “Shoe Shoe Shine” was a great sound on the Dynamic Superiors album. I hate that they didn’t really get a chance. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lafayette says:

    DAMN! This is a BIG post, friends! :¬)
    Thank you!


  4. Thomas says:

    One of my favorite Washington, D.C. soul groups.

  5. rich says:

    whoa what a great post nikos wonderful music in all these albums many thanx

  6. hooch says:

    excellent post nikos – thank you!

  7. MAX says:


  8. MAX says:


  9. ThankYou says:

    What more can I say but Thank you for this post and the info that accompanies it – as usual. This is just superb – I can honestly tell you that there are 1000`s of people dreaming about getting their hands on this stuff and I`m happy to be one of the 1st – thanks to you guys. Much appreciated. Peace

  10. Xavie says:

    Simply Beautiful Nikos! Great Group.

  11. Laurene says:

    Thanks, looks cool

  12. soulbrotha says:

    Thanks for this post, Nikos. It inspired me to do some digging. I just read a couple of articles about this group and I am amazed at what a gay pioneer Tony Washington was. He refused to hide his sexuality and the crowds (most times) loved them. Would you believe that the entire group actually made a pact not to get married so that the unity of the group would remain intact???!! And they kept that pact for at least 16 years! Simply amazing! No wonder they recorded that song Nobody’s Gonna Change Me. That should have been the album title!

  13. nikos1109 says:

    Soulbrotha, that’s why i choose the clip of “Nobody’s Gonna Change Me”. Thanks for the info, i didn’t knew about the 16 years. Indeed it’s amazing.

  14. Soulfan says:

    Sounds great, I’ve been diggin’ their albums recently, so many thanks!

  15. Kuo says:

    straight fire !!!!!!!! once again, thank you

  16. Dimitris says:

    Dope post, thanks! I should know them.

  17. Marlon says:

    Such a great group. I enjoyed all those 3 records. Thank u.

  18. phatrapper says:

    Thanks Nikos! Didn’t have any of these!

  19. Anonymous says:

    irrestible post….thanks nikos jean paris.

  20. Vera says:

    Much love from Chile! Fantastic blog!

  21. Raphy says:

    Big Group>>>>>>Thanks a million!!

    Big Up!@!

  22. Face Down Productionz says:


  23. Bell says:

    thank you love this music

  24. Gea says:

    always grateful, nikos

  25. Andre says:

    thanks a lot nikos i been lookin for 2 of these for a minute. much appreciated!

  26. Diego says:

    Such a great group! Thanx.

  27. Trakbuv says:

    WHAT A POST !!! Nikos – you do too much for us !! A band that are finally getting the credit they never really attained in their day – which was almost definitely hindered by Tony’s colourful gayness – only a few years before it would become a selling point for other acts. And that cover of their first LP – I think the analogy of Russell Thompkins ‘singing like a girl’ suddenly came to haunt prospective buyers. But Motown certainly stood by the band in more ways than one, especially their first 2 LPs which were veritable gems, albeit hard to come by even on release – classic class. Thanks for the additional notes from Soulbrotha – the background to these guys must be totally engrossing.

    Many thanks for the bumper effort, Nikos

  28. Rob says:

    I have one nighter a=on 7 inch and it has remained a firm fave. So thanks for allowing me the pleasure of getting to know this great band in more depth. Cheers Rob

  29. pedro says:

    Thanks nickos i remember buying the 45,s of shoe shine and nowhere to run great version i wonder if they are still around and still you keep turning up these great old classics keep it up and thanks again

  30. Bob says:

    such a great band. thank you.

  31. Ernesto Nemesio says:

    Thanks for these three amazing albums!!

  32. Genius Jack says:

    Great job for mastering Vinyl “GIVE ME TH LINK” PLease

  33. Genius Jack says:

    i create a new library ! Please this albums are very good

  34. Dan says:

    Thanks for these three fantastic albums.

  35. Dan says:

    Thanks so much! (for these AND for all you’ve shared)

  36. pageonederful says:

    Before Sylvester, there was Tony Washington. Although Sylvester got the superstardom praise (and record sales), it was Tony who actually “opened” the doors for others to “flaunt” their vocal skills (Boy George, RuPaul, just to name a few).

  37. jdaman says:

    Great music here. I have these LPs & just want to say that they are great.

    Basically, I wanted to address Pegasi, for the following remark:

    “But I remember guys, who would have no problem buying, say, a Stylistics album (isn’t Russell Tompkins Jr. gay too?)”

    NO Pegasi, Russell Thompkins Jr. is not gay & just celebrated about 30 years of marraige to his wife. If you don’t really know what you’re talking about, then you shouldn’t toss out remarks about people whom you don’t know.

    Hopefully, this answers your question.

  38. bernard says:

    Was my favorite group got a chance to see them live on many times in atlanta. I was sad to hear Tony passed away. He was a great showman. The group was very polished, great dance steps and an outstanding stage show. I understand there’s another dynamic superior group out there, I hope they come to Atlanta soon. Thanks

  39. visuals says:

    A VERY special thanks for this post. I first heard of The Dynamic Superors about 13 years ago through an ex co-worker of mine who would always bring their name up when we discussed the soulful voices of high-pitched – falsetto styled male singers. We would marvel over the vocals of Bloodstone’s Harry Williams, Russell Thompkins, The Delfonics, Blue Magic and so on but he almost ALWAYS countered all of those greats with Tony Washington of The Dynamic Superiors. Within the last 5 years, I finally was able to behold some of the groups material and after hearing the 1st & 2nd albums I too regard them as a great outfit that was underrated and definatly deserving of it’s propers. In the past yrs, I have managed to only obtain poor quality vinyl rips of about 4 of their albums (all of which you include here) and another one titled “You Name It”. Throw in the expensive lackluster P-Vine Japanese import cd titled “The Dynamic Superiors – Sky’s The Limit” and that completes their section in my collection. It will be great to hear these albums in decent quality as they have never been available on CD to the best of my knowledge.

    Again, I say thanks for sharing them.

  40. Kiwi says:

    I’ve searched and came up empty. I used to see them nearly every weekend in late 60’a in dc clubs. Any idea where I can find info on Tony’s death?

  41. Lou says:

    I had or still have their first album – My records have been boxed and garaged for years now. Since, I haven’t been digging for at least ten years, I have always wondered whether these had other releases.

    I really liked the first album and so I look forward to listening the other two… Thanks!



  42. Helna says:

    But Russell looks like a gay, look at him, he act and sings like a woman

  43. Helna says:

    But Russell looks like a gay, look at him, he acts and sings like a woman

  44. Gail says:

    To: Helna,
    That is not Russell, that is Tony Washington singing. If
    you will try reading again, you will see that they were
    comparing Tony’s singing to that of Russell Thompkins, Jr., former lead singer of the ‘Stylistics’. However, Tony does have a different sexual preference than some others, but what does that have to do with the excellent performer that he is??? I am very proud to have known him and been acquinted with him during his groups era of performing. His group is from my hometown of Wash.,DC and they quite frequently performed at places where I worked. Tony was then and I’m sure still is a beautiful person inside and out. Please don’t judge a person, less you be judged.

  45. Gail Hunter says:

    Correction to the above post:
    To: Helena, not Helna…
    Also,in going back and doing a little more reading
    myself as I had suggested that you do, I was saddened by finding out that Tony is now deceased. I also read some comments that were made by some others in regards to Russell’s sexuality, so I’m not sure now if you were speaking of Tony or Russell. Tony made no bones about who he was and paved the way for a lot of others to accept themselves for who they were. Russell is a personal friend of mine of many years, however, it’s been many years since I have seen him. However, we were
    once very close and I have never seen any inclinations of him being gay, on or off stage, not that it really matters. People do not understand that a falsetto is just that, a false high that tenors often use to pro-
    duce those ultimately high ranges. So yes a lot of men can hit a lot higher notes than females, but that doesn’t make them any less of men. You know what, I can’t really believe that I’m up at almost 5:00am my
    time, trying to even explain or justify anything to judgemental people who are only going to continue to be just that and not see the beauty of life and living.
    I want to thank you, Nikos, for the great job that you
    did. I had actually forgotten about the group, since it had been so many years since I had seen them or heard anything of them. I was on You Tube, looking at videos for a project that I’m working on for ‘Blue Magic’ and I came across the “Shoe Shoe Shine” video quite by accident and immediately watched it and then started doing some research and this is where it landed me. Again, thank you so much for a job well done and for bringing back memories of some old friends that hadn’t actually been forgotten, but just misplaced in my memory bank.

  46. DoubleR says:

    Tony Washington was my uncle – I miss him so dearly.

  47. hamnegger says:


  48. Kendra says:

    I knew this group well. My late man used to play the dr ums for them. he was know as gregory greatest! They were fantastic.

  49. Creeper says:

    I had heard them in college especially Give and take and pure pleasure. Excellent to find these true gems.

    Thank you

  50. JERRY L. WRIGHT says:

    I have been trying to contact this group for so long. I am a percussionist from Youngstown,Ohio and i met the group group when we performed together at the GOLDEN COCKTAIL LOUNGE in Cleveland,Ohio.I was blessed to play percussion with the group in 1974 at a club in Biloxi,Miss.and it was an unforgettable experience.If anyone can help me contact the group, i would greatly appreciate it.I just want to say hello.

  51. Anonymous says:

    “LEAVE IT ALONE” what a great song. That sold the album for me…..many years ago

  52. E.Thrower Jr. says:

    What wsa the cause of Tony Washingtons’ death?
    By-the-wayhe was a great Enterainer.Back in 1968 when I
    was in the Army I saw The Dynamic Superiors in a D C
    night club.What happend to Tony?

  53. vbeaz says:

    Where are they now? Ihave always loved this group.

  54. PETUNIABABI says:

    how old was Tony when he died? are the others still singing? shoe shoe shine was one my sister and i played all of the time.Tony had a beautiful voice and they had great footwork also.

  55. chris says:

    can someone please email me the lyrics to happy song?

  56. Jay says:

    Great voices! Sadly Tony died of AIDS I forget what year. He had an awesome voice RIP

  57. rosemary says:

    In 1976 I played this shoe shoe shine so much that I bought two albums, and tony washington was awesome. I enjoyed seeing the soul train video it brought back so many great memories

  58. marknorthwest says:

    I am thrilled to see a British CD compilation release of the Dynamic Superiors first two Motown vinyl releases finally available. I have been luck to have found all their Motown recordings and a 12 inch version of Nowhere To Run. Hopefully this band will be held in greater esteem for their vastly superior musical output!

  59. Charles says:

    Thanks for the tribute. Tony and Maurice are my uncles and their music lives on.

  60. Tanya says:

    Thank you!!!

  61. rvs says:

    Great Post. It’s nice to be able to hear the full album instead of some “best Of” compilation. The enjoyment of hearing album cuts is unparalleled and brings me back to over 30 years ago when I was a young teenager in high school.

  62. Bill C says:

    I have to wonder why I never heard these guys on the radio in the 70s. Tony Washington’s falsetto vocals were incredible and he should have been huge, surrounded by gold records.

    I challenge today’s acts to sound this clear, this raw, this edgy, and this earthy, and to sound on a par to this without relying on an auto-tune or a vocoder. This is pure, unrelenting, rabid talent. Motown didn’t know how to promote them? Yeah, right. Sylvester came on the heals of this group only a few years later with the disco era. Theirs was arguably the grander talent even if not as flamboyant.

    Thanks to your blog I’ve discovered a new “old favorite” group. I’m just sorry that I didn’t hear them on the radio in 1975 when their albums were in stores.

  63. John says:

    You people have me in stitches with speculation about Russell. Someone here cited his wife of 30 years. He’s about my age. I always had suspicions but I’ll take the someone’s word. It makes very little difference which it is, actually. He’s a homeboy (I’m Philadelphian). Funny about his songs – they’re either: very good, or, very bad.

    Stop, Look, Listen is a masterpiece.
    You Made Me Feel Brand New is a dog dropping.

    Anyway, to whomever above, thanks for clearing the air about Russell’s sexualogy. (I still can’t stop laughing.)

  64. John says:

    To J. Daman: It is to you I am grateful for the advisory above. Thank you Jay.
    In the sixties, I would see the Delfonics and I knew that lead singer was NOT gay. Again, it hardly matters. The speculation about it all is just funny.

  65. BigMyke says:

    This is Amazing! Thanks for you uploading this and allowing all of us to enjoy the Greatness of these Albums

  66. Livingdeco says:

    Thanks a lot for posting a load of detailed information about
    this group. Found a mint copy of the album PURE PLEASURE at the local flea market this morning here in stuttgart, Germany.
    Great music !!!

  67. Erica (winky) 16th St S.E. says:

    I remember the Dynamic Superiors when I use to live on 16TH and D St. S.E. and they live on D St S.E..We use to enjoy listening to they sing . Tony had an amazing voice. It was fun have a group that u could hear and did have to go no where but around the corner to hear.I wonder where is everyone . I know Tony is with our heavenly father, but where are rest pof the crew.
    That what u call good music

  68. Brother says:

    Maurice and Tony (William) were my brothers. William was Tony’s real name. They were a wonder group who worked very hard to get to where they got in the music business. Thanks for all your great comments about them. They are all still alive except Tony. Maurice was the backbone of the group, making them practice everyday until they got it right. Tony was blessed with a voice that could hit notes people couldn’t believe he could hit. You can’t teach that. The guys always stayed grounded throughout their success. I spent many hours over their house watching them practice for a show. Then they would sneak me in the club to watch them because I was to young to get in. I know they appreciate all the wonderful comments you’ve posted and all the great memories they gave you all. We all miss them.

  69. Cora says:

    I live in the mid west, and my favorite Dynamic Superior song is Leave it alone. I finally found the song and play it on my itunes all the time. I have the album cover and somewhere through the years the record had stolen or broken. I love this group and their music. Will their music be put on CD someday? Have the group ever thought about singing again?

  70. jdaman says:

    @John, personally I believe that the specualtion & desire to attach crap to people based upon one’s personal preference or mere speculation sucks. I’m a photographer who knows just about all of the groups from Philly & beyond & find all of this laughable.

    I know of a whole lot of brothers who sing falsetto & I also know more than a few whom would absolutely knock the hell out of anyone so foolish as to try to label them something that they aren’t. Just because a brother sings in a falsetto doesn’t automatically make him gay & this tendency to mislabel people without a shred of proof is highly annoying to me. Especially when many people like Russell are personal friends of mine.

  71. jdaman says:

    I have to second a few of the remarks which I’ve read here as regards Tony Washington.

    I was 15 when The Dynamic Superiors hit with “Shoe Shoe Shine” & I definitely remember the response of many in the neighborhood when they appeared on Soul Train. I never met Tony but man, that brother had some serious vocal skills. That initial hit was written by Ashford & Simpson (Nick Ashford – R.I.P.)& indeed, Tony’s voice sounded like a more muscular version of Nick’s.

    I was checking out the “Unsung” episode on Sylvester & it occurred to me that Tony Washington was the ORIGINAL Sylvester. They both had those powerful voices that could sweep to the heavens in an instant, as well as that serious Gospel vibe in their voices.

    The primary difference which separates the two is called “TIMING”. When Tony hit the consciousness of the public, the public simply wasn’t ready to accept a Tony Washington & truthfully, very few in my community were either. It’s just the way that things were. And looking at it critically, whereas Tony was being marketed to the Soul audience on a legendary Black label named Motown, Sylvester began his career on Blue Thumb & was marketed to more of a Rock audience.

    In actuality, it took Sylvester about 4 years to truly find a mainstream audience away from San Francisco & the biggest key to his success is that Disco had blown-up, many of the DJs & producers were Gay & Sylvester belonged to them.

    Had Tony came along a few years later, ho knows how his career would’ve been? I believe that he’d have found more acceptance in the dance arena, than he did being marketed to the Soul audience. It kind of irks me to constantly read suggestions that only gays can appreciate the music of a Tony Washington or a Sylvester.

    I’m not gay, but damned if I can’t appreciate talent when I hear it. And if there’s anyone who can listen to the voice of Tony Washington & can’t feel that soul, then they may think about getting their heart(s)checked.

    Tony Washington was the truth & one hell of a talent. A few of my Facebook friends were personal friends of Tony’s & they all speak highly of him & if you check facebook, you’ll see that the last 2 weeks have featured some very lively discussions about Tony & The Dynamic Superiors. So from that perspective, Tony Washington still lives.

    The Dynamic Superiors have risen from the ashes & a new formation is singing today. I’ll be seeing them perform on Saturday & thankfully, they’re true to the sound & spirit of the original group, but definitely without Tony’s flair & dynamic voice. But they are definitely a very good group whom borders on exellent.

  72. Hightower says:

    We are going to miss Tony Washington, he was the lead singer who made the group.

  73. ASTRONGII says:

    A a teenager, I was fortunate enough to attend a Dynamic Superiors Concert! I will never forget their professionalism & creativity… I rate them amongst groups like the Temptations & the Dramatics in terms of choreography. I never gave it a second thought that the lead singer was openly gay because I was engulfed in their Music, Lyrics, & “Steps”! I truly feel they deserve more respect & recognition in the History of Black Music!!! ~ALSII

  74. stephphs says:

    many thanks, this place is heaven !

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