1970 The Flaming Ember – The Westbound Number 9

1970 The Flaming Ember – The Westbound Number 9 

Six musicians formed a group in Detroit in 1964. They called themselves The Flaming Embers based on the name of a local restaurant. The band focused on playing blue-eyed soul. They recorded for a few small labels in the mid-sixties without gaining much notice.

In 1969, the group moved to the Hot Wax label. Ron Dunbar is listed as co-writer and producer for their single Mind, Body, and Soul. The record peaked at #26 on the Hot 100 in 1970 and also reached the top twenty on the R&B chart.

The band’s next single barely got to #88, but their third single returned them to radio playlists. Westbound Number 9 reached #24 on the Hot 100 and #15 on the R&B chart in 1970. Their label once again listed Ron as a co-writer on that single.

The band managed to reach the top forty one last time later that year with a single that peaked at only 34. When they were unable to return to the Hot 100, the band settled down and played in clubs in the Detroit area. Changing their name to Mind, Body, and Soul might have helped keep their identity tied to their first hit record, but by the end of the seventies, the group disbanded.

The band reunited briefly in 2004 to appear in a show and also recorded a new CD.

Ron? It turns out that he was an employee of Holland-Dozier-Holland, who used his name as a co-writer on several songs when they could not use their own names due to contracts with Jobete. Ron insists he supplied lyrics for several of the songs he is listed on and also went on to co-write Patches for Clarence Carter.


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