Formed in Detroit in 1965 by:
'Sweet' James Epps (a.k.a James Hanson, b. 30th March 1947, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 8th September 2000, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.)
Wallace Toby Childs (d. September 1979, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.)
Ralph Pruitt (b. Ralph Pruitt, 4th May 1940, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 3rd June 2014, Sinai Grace Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.)
Joseph Pruitt (d. U.S.A.)
Originally from Detroit, the Fantastic Four were formed in 1965.
'Sweet' James Epps, Ralph and Joseph Pruitt, and Wallace Toby Childs instigated the quartet, with Wallace Childs and Ralph Pruitt later leaving the line-up.
Wallace Toby Childs passed away in September 1979.
They were replaced by Cleveland Horne (d. 13th April 2000) and Ernest Newsome (ex. The Volumes).
the whole world is a stage b/w ain't love wonderful - 1965 / (i'm gonna) live up to what she thinks b/w girl have pity - 1966
Their first single on the Ric-Tic imprint, 'The Whole World Is a Stage,' proved to be the groups only hit song.
The melody reached number 6 on the R & B charts in 1967.
The follow-up, 'You Gave Me Something (And Everything's Alright)', did make number 12 later the same year.
Other releases included 'Girl Have Pity' b/w (I'm Gonna) Live Up To What She Thinks (in 1966), 'Can't Stop Looking For My Baby' b/w 'Just The Lonely' (in 1967), 'Ain't Love Wonderful' b/w 'The Whole World Is A Stage' (in 1967), 'As Long As I Live' b/w 'To Share Your Love' (in 1967), 'As Long As The Feeling Is There' b/w 'Goddess Of Love' (in 1967), 'Man In Love' b/w 'No Love Like Your Love (in 1968), and 'I've Got To Have You' b/w 'Win Or Lose (I've Got To Have You)' (in 1968).
When Motown purchased Ric-Tic, they had another Top 20 R & B hit with 'I Love You Madly' b/w 'I Love You Madly instr.', a song reissued from the Ric Tic recordings.
the fantastic four - 1969 / the birth and death of a gangster - 1975
The song was released in 1968 and was also issued on the Soul imprint, who also released 'Best Of The Fantastic Four' in 1969.
They enjoyed a renaissance during the disco era with a few singles on Westbound Records, amongst them were the songs 'Alvin Stone (The Birth & Death of a Gangster)' and 'I Got to Have Your Love.'
An album entitled 'Alvin Stone (The Birth & Death of a Gangster)' was released in 1975.
night people - 1976 / got to have your love - 1977 / b.y.o.f. bring your own funk - 1978 / back in circulation - 1992
1976 saw the release of 'Night People' on the Westbound Records imprint.
Dennis Coffey produced 'B.Y.O.F. (Bring Your Own Funk)' for the same label in 1978.
The Fantastic Four have remained active, and released 'Working on a Building of Love' in 1990 for Ian Levine's U.K. based Motorcity label.
In 2000, the Fantastic Four lost one of its long-time members, Cleveland Horne, who suffered a heart attack and died on the 13th April 2000.
Fantastic Four (Motown Records 1969)
Alvin Stone (The Life And Death Of A Gangster) (Westbound Records 1975)
Night People (Westbound Records 1976)
Got To Have Your Love (Westbound Records 1977)
BYOF (Bring Your Own Funk) (Westbound Records 1978)
Back In Circulation (Motorcity Records 1992)