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Bail Out for Fun : The Story of Maxayn PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 29 December 2009 19:02

 Bail Out For Fun: The Story of Maxayn!

 

          The story of the band Maxayn originated in Boston and Miami. The core members of the group came from Nebraska and Oklahoma. The Buddy Miles Express contained some of the core members of Maxayn as well. The 1970 albums "A Message To The People" and "Them Changes" contained both Andre Lewis and Marlo Henderson. Hank Redd saxphonist who played on The Buddy Miles Express album "A Message To The People" and "The Buddy Miles Express Live" also was present on the first Maxayn album and Mandre I. The first Maxayn self titled album was recorded in 1971. The original members of Maxayn were Andre Lewis, Maxayn Lewis, Marlo Henderson, Emiry Thomas. Andre & Marlo were still with The Buddy Miles Express. Some of the highlights from this album were the Rolling Stones classics Gimme Shelter, and You Can't Always Get What You Want. Gimme Shelter was released as their first single in 1972. It was produced by Andre Lewis. The band was unique at the time. They were a solid funk band with a female lead singer and pre dated Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. Their second album release was entitled Mindful in 1973. It contained the single Check Out Your Mind which was written by Curtis Mayfield and first done by The Impressions. The single from the album was produced by Andre Lewis. That same year the band appeared on Soul Train performing Check Out Your Mind. The album opened up with a funky track that features Andre Lewis keyboard riffs on Moan To The Music. The final album was released in 1974 entitled Bail Out For Fun! 


            Maxayn Lewis (Paulette Parker) is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and was the lead singer of Maxayn which was named after her. She joined the Ike & Tina Turner Review as an Ikette about 1967. Early in her career she sang with Bobby Blue Bland. In 1969 she recorded a 45 on Bobby Bland’s label Duke Records entitled (Gimmie Back) My Love / Should I Let Him Go. A second Duke release occurred in 1970 named Driving Wheel / I Pity The Fool. Maxayn and Andre first met through Ernie Fields, Jr. who was Bobby Blue Bland's Band Leader. Ernie Fields, Jr. was the son of bandleader Ernie Fields Sr. who had an international hit in 1959 which was an R&B version of Glen Miller's "In The Mood". Ernie Fields, Sr. and Andre Lewis's father had played together in a band many years prior to this. Maxayn (Paulette Parker) was in a recording contract with Don Robbie the owner of Duke – Peacock Records. Andre approached Robbie to release Maxayn from his contract, but he refused. Eventually, Don Robbie let her go and he put out a rumor that Andre was with Miles Davis. He was actually with Buddy Miles at the time. The couple moved to Boston and that is where song writer and producer Luther Dixon introduced them to Sam Moore of Sam and Dave. During this period Andre Lewis was still a member of The Buddy Miles Express and he let Luther Dixon know that he was trying to market a demo tape of his personal band. Luther Dixon sponsored the production of the project resulting in the first Maxayn album. Mario Medious then made the arrangements for Andre to meet with the Capricorn Records. With only $10 in his wallet and a $5 parking ticket in his pocket, he was able to get a recording contract awarded to him immediately that day. The new act Maxayn were now in contract with Capricorn Records.     

    After the third Maxayn LP, Andre would record under his new name Mandre which included some of the Maxayn core members like Marlo Henderson and Maxayn Lewis. Other important highlights in Andre’s career was time with Frank Zappa’s band and also with Johnnie Guitar Watson. He also was a band member with The Ike & Tina Turner Review. In 1972 a self titled album was recorded called "High Voltage" on the CBS label. This project included Maxayn Lewis on background vocals, Andre Lewis on the organ, Marlo Henderson on guitar, Fred Allen from The Buddy Miles Express on drums, The bassist was Bobby Watson and other guitarist and vocalist was Tony Maiden. The two of them would leave High Voltage and joining Rufus featuring Chaka Khan making history. Lalomie Washburn was the vocalist for the group.

             Andre Lewis and Marlo Henderson not only played together in Maxayn and Mandre but also with Labelle. They can both be heard on the song Moonshadow which is taken from a album of the same name. After Maxayn, Marlo Henderson would play and record with Syretta, The Emotions, Minnie Ripperton, DJ Rogers, Bloodstone, Tata Vega, Patrice Rushen, Michael Jackson (Off The Wall album), Earth Wind & Fire, The Gap Band, The Pointer Sisters, Norman Conners, Billy Preston and others. The veterans of The Buddy Miles Express regrouped as The Mighty Rhythm Tribe in 1993. They were Buddy Miles; André Lewis; Billy Rich; Marlo Henderson; and Harold Hunter.

            Maxayn Lewis was also present on the Labelle Moonshadow album playing the piano. Her vocal tracks can also be heard on recordings by Mary McCreary, High Voltage, Johnny Guitar Watson, Bonnie Raitt, Tata Vega, Billy Preston, Rufus, plus others. 

Maxayn: (L- R) Emry Thomas, Maxayn Lewis, Marlo Henderson, Andre Lewis

Maxayn: (L- R) Emry Thomas, Maxayn Lewis, Marlo Henderson, Andre Lewis

           Andre Lewis, Maxayn Lewis and Marlo Henderson have been guests of Howard Burchette on the Funk Show more than once.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 January 2010 16:16