Electrified People, and Red Lite Records discography

Jimmy Peterson Mercury promo photo

Jimmy Peterson & the Chicagoans Mercury promo photo“Electrified People” is a funky instrumental with a rhythm that kind of follows “Who Do You Love” while an anonymous guitarist throws in repetitive fills with shameless use of the wah pedal. “One Thousand Dimension in Blue” has a more conventional blues structure, the guitar isn’t as wild and there’s a cheesy echo effect placed on the snare drum.

The 45 was mastered at Bell Sound, and issued on Red Lite Records 113. David Gordon commented below “definitely 1971, issued approx. June / July – the label was based in New York and was connected to DeLite (Kool & the Gang, etc).”

I don’t know anything about the group that recorded this, likely assembled in the studio for this session. The Jimmy Peterson credited on both sides seems to be the same Chicago-based songwriter, producer and singer who cut 45s on Limelight (“Half the Time” / “Kathy My Darling” both co-written with Joe DeFrancesco) and Chess (another collaboration with DeFrancesco, “Inside of Me”, b/w “Maria”, arranged by Gary Beisbier of the Mob.)

Electrified People Red Lite 45 Electrified PeopleSometimes listed as Jim B. Peterson or James Peterson, he wrote or co-wrote many songs, including “Beatle Time” and “This Is the Night” for the Livers (aka the Chicagoans) on Constellation, and as James Butler he did some production work for USA and wrote still more songs, including for the Daughters of Eve (“Symphony of My Soul” and “Social Tragedy”), the Lincoln Park Tragedy, and “Don’t Let It Slip Away” for Ral Donner on StarFire.

James Holvay wrote on Spectropop:

Jimmy Peterson was a singer, entertainer, songwriter and a pretty creative guy in general. He formed the group The Chicagoans along with Gary Beisbier, myself, Bobby Ruffino, Chuck Russell and Larry McCabe. I was the guitar player in the group. We were living in New York in ’63 and performing at various clubs in the city (i.e. Peppermint Lounge, Metropole, etc.)

Peterson being the salesman that he was, convinced Ed Cody/Stereo Sonic Recording in Chicago, into giving us free studio time. In exchange, we would provide the musicians, artists, songs, etc. and become our own Motown and split 50/50 with Ed. We recorded a lot of tracks, most of which I wrote or co-wrote with Peterson.

Electrified People Red Lite 45 One Thousand Dimension in BlueUnfortunately, depending on Peterson’s greedy mood, the 45’s would come out by “whomever” and sometimes I got credit and sometimes I didn’t. I, along with all the other guys in the band, eventually got fed up and kicked him out of the band, after a 2 week engagement, backing up JoAnn Cambell at a club called the Hollyoak in Indianapolis. The Taylor Brothers were named after Taylor Street (Italian neighborhood) in Chicago. He loved Jerry Butler and that’s why he took his last name. We were also The Livers/”Beatletime”, which I believe Clark Weber (DJ/WLS) came up with, after he heard the acetate. The Kane & Abel singles were produced, after we had severed our relationship with Peterson.

Joe Defrancesco, a local promoter in Chicago, would find a lot of the acts that The Chicagoans produced, even though Peterson would have his name all over the label. Joe found an R&B group in Milwaukee called Little Artie and The Pharoahs. Artie and his brother Al Herrera were Kane & Abel and were the original lead singers when The Mob was formed. Artie got drafted at the peak of the Vietnam war and Al became “Big Al”, the lead singer for The Mob.

Joe Pytel, Jr. sent me many photos and much info on Jim Peterson:

The Mob [had] several personal changes bringing in Jimmy Ford and Mike Sistak from Jimmy Ford & The Executives. Joe DeFrancesco was a promoter & money-man for the Mob as well some other Chicago area bands. He tragically died in a basement fire while still fairly a young man.

According to Carl Bonafede (original manager of The Daughters of Eve), Jimmy Peterson did write under the aliases James Butler and James Dawg as well.

Dan Ferone sent me scans and clips of a 45 by the Invaders on the United label, “With a Tear” (written by Peter Polzak” / “A Song for Squirrel” (by James Butler). Both sides say “orch. arranged and conducted by James Butler” and recorded in Chicago. “With a Tear” lists Butler as producer and credits Polzak with vocal arrangements. It is likely this is Jimmy Peterson under the James Butler pseudonym.

The Electrified People 45 postdates Peterson’s association with James Holvay and Joe DeFrancesco. The closest association I can find is that Jimmy Peterson wrote and produced two 45s for Yvonne Daniels, “I Got to Get Close to You” / “Spread the Word” on De-Lite DE-451 and “Super Soul Music” “I Got to Get Close to You” on Red Lite 117. This is the only other De-Lite or Red Lite 45 that I can find Jimmy’s name on, but my discography is incomplete.

Incomplete Red Lite discography:
Any help with this would be appreciated

Red Lite RL 102 – Crystal Ship – Mary Jane Fletcher (Michael Berardi and Richard Berardi) / Lovin’ Stuff (Richard Berardi) (Produced by Bob Yorey)

Red Lite RL 111 – Johnny Desmond with Candullo-Val Blues Band – Red Lips / Jim Webb – Didn’t We (with PS)

Red Lite RL 113 – Electrified People – Electrified People / One Thousand Dimension in Blue
Red Lite RL 114 – Dennis Robinson – Hard to Handle / Unchained Melody (prod. by Larry Philips, arranged by Barry Alley)
Red Lite RL 115 – Piccolino Pop Strings – Clown Town / Vous Etes Beau (both written by Gladys Shelley)
Red Lite RL 116 – Sammy Taylor (and Hot as Hell) – Something the Devil’s Never Done / Send Her Back (Sammy Taylor) Produced by Melting Pots)
Red Lite RL 117 – Yvonne Daniels – Super Soul Music / I Got to Get Close to You
Red Lite RL 118 – Underground Lite Bulb Co. – Evil Ways (L. Zack) / Happy People (P. Martone) produced by Vince Castellano and Bob Yorey
Red Lite RL 119 – Jean Battle – Love Making / When a Woman Loves a Man (both songs written and produced by Sam Dees)

12 thoughts on “Electrified People, and Red Lite Records discography”

  1. Definitely 1971, issued approx. June / July – the label was based in New York
    and was connected to DeLite (Kool and The gang, etc)

  2. Per this brief item from the 7-24-71 issue of Billboard, Red Lite (misspelled in the article) was owned by Harry Finfer, best known for his Jamie label. What’s odd about the ’71 date for the Piccolino Pop Strings release is that it was cut in ’67, and released late in that year on Gladys Shelley’s own Spiral Records. What Harry was up to reissuing this failed three-and-a-half-year old disc is anybody’s guess, but then again the entire Red Lite discography looks like a free-for-all of leftovers and hand-me-downs.

  3. the guy on the pic isn’t the same guy that wrote super soul music, spread the word and etc…the guy is my father jimmy peterson who is black living in atlanta georgia, if you want to know more about him email me nulovar@yahoo.com

  4. I just found the 45 in my stash of old records and decided to listen to it (never remembered where it came from, but it does have a ‘promo copy, not for sale’ on the label…I did work at a radio station as a DJ at U.of New Hampshire, from ’70-’72 while stationed there with the Army ROTC, after I came back from ‘Nam, so maybe that’s where I got it from. 60s and 70s were interesting times, to say the least. I wonder if the 45 is worth anything? The songs are nothing special, but the history behind it is. Thanks to all who chimed in.

  5. My name is paul peterson and my father was jimmy peterson or james butler and sometimes james peterson. Thank you for posting this information about him on here because he didnt get the credit he deserves for what he did in the music buisness while alive. I loved my father and he was a truly talented man. He may have went for himself from time to time but he had talent. Its hard to see this james holvay make remarks about him like he still holds a grudge all these years later or something. I actually still listen to my fathers cds he made later by himself when solo and i listened to this james holvay guys music too and i can honestly say james peterson my father had way more musical range and talent then this holvay guy lol. “Kind of drag” your best thing you done man. Go thing the greedy salesman pushed you guys into some stuff in new york or maybe nothing woulda happened holvay. It takes all the experiences and memories to put us where we are. But otherwise thx for this posting site it was cool to find out some stuff about my dad i didnt know.

        1. Yes he was my grandpa. I was named after him. Im james butler petersons (jimmy peteson) youngest son. My grandmas name was fern cline before becoming fern peterson after marrying paul henry peterson. I never met him he passed away before i was ever born.

  6. For whatever interest it may be, the Invaders on United were from Green Bay. “Squirrel” was kb man Mark Polzak. Other members: Dave Dobry, Pete Polzak, Jim Sawyer & John Sawyer. They had 4 (maybe 5) additional 45s on other labels. (More info in my WI books).

  7. Yes he was. I never met him he passed away before i was ever born. He was married to my grandma fern. I think her name was fern cline before peterson. Im actually named after him. Im the youngest son of jim butler peterson(jimmy peterson)

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