from Lady Bianca
Biography - Stanley Lippitt (Little Stanley)
Stanley was born blind in Macon Georgia Feb 06, 1945 and moved to Oakland, CA at the age of eight. He thankfully gained partial sight after a series of operations.
He went to school in the Oakland School system - Harbor Homes Elementary School, Roosevelt, Jr. High and Oakland High School and graduated in 1961.
He began his song writing career when he was just fourteen , but with little experience of the music business was soon cheated out of his first two songs by other artists who he played them to , one ending up as a well known hit in the R 'n' B charts of the time.
He went to work in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Golden Gate Box and Warehouse Company and soon hooked up with a local studio owner Dick Vance of Dick Vance Studios. Stanley decided to take up voice lessons and in 1961 aged 16 made his first recording for the Vance label as Little Stanley titled "Hey Little Girl" (the same song as Dee Clark on Abner).
Stanley chose the name Little Stanley not just because he was little over 5ft, but everybody seemed to be putting little in front of their name e.g. Little Milton , Little Richard , Little Esther etc.
He was approached by Five Star Entertainment to go on the road with Sam Cooke (Stanley toured with Sam for 4 years) alongside Little Esther , Johnny Thunder , Jerry Butler , The Upsetters Band, The Crystals and many more (Stanley was always one of the plus others).
They also supported The Temptations, Shorty Long, Aaron Neville, The Marvelettes etc.
When he returned to the Bay Area in 1963 he started his own band The Five Brooks (whom Stanley met at a local talent show) with Carl Green (sax), Richard Green (lead guitar), Bob Deance (Bass) , Billy March (drums - now deceased) and Paul Yearby (rhythm guitar). They worked around the Bay Area and regionally were known as one the hottest funk and blues bands of the time.
Throughout this time still recording tracks for the Vance label including "Out of Sight Loving" and "The Stran", these now being highly sought after by the underground Northern Soul scene.
After working with the Five Brooks for four years Stanley met Marvin Holmes and joined his band Marvin Holmes and the Uptights and was lead vocalist on Marvin's "Ooh Ooh The Dragon" released on the Uni label.
While working with Marvin, Dick Vance introduced him to Willie Hoskins. This meeting yielded a writing and production team for Wilhos Productions and Boola Boola Records. This label featured many well known local artists including The Natural Four, The Pacesetters, Eugene Blacknell and Marvin Holmes among others. Stanley wrote and arranged many of the releases on the label and this relationship lasted throughout the seventies.
During the 60's and 70's he also recorded backing vocals for many artists including such hits as The Whispers "A Great Day" on the Soul Clock label.
In 1974 The Master Plan released on De-Lite Records with success two of Stanley's recordings "Clinton Park (a song written about Marvin Holmes young daughter) and "Frying Pan". These were also later released on Warren Foster and Ronnie Bell's Fos-Glo label who Stanley was an A & R man for.
In 1976 Stanley released "My Enchanting Lady" backed with "20-20 Vision (And Still Be Blind)" on the Fos-Glo label followed by "Freakish Part 1 & 2" in 1978.
Towards the end of the 70's Stanley took several years off to research the entertainment business.
In 1982 he formed his own publishing company and record label - Magic-O Records and StayFree Music Publishing with the first release being "Switch Your Toosh" sung by Stanley himself.
It was at this time that Stanley Lippitt had heard Lady Bianca on the local radio singing "Willow Weep For Me" with the Marvin Holmes band. It was a late-night radio broadcast from Ivey's, a popular Oakland club. Stanley was so impressed that he rushed the club that night but unfortunately the club had by this time closed for the night.
In 1984 Stanley finally got to meet who was later to become the true love of his life Lady Bianca.
They formed a partnership in both the record label, publishing and production company. Stanley wrote the lyrics and Lady Bianca the music.
They produced their first record together entitled 'Daylight Melody' in 1988 followed by "Passion" backed with "Made Up My Mind".
During the mid to late 80's Lady Bianca joined several other Bay Area musicians and recorded several releases for Tom Stern's Suspex label as part of the Usual Suspects series. These included "Sweet Home Chicago" and "Fool's Paradise" on the Faraway Places LP (1985), "Let's Make Plans Together" backed with "It's Just A Matter Of Time" on the Reunions LP (1986), these were also released as a single "In The Middle Of The Night" backed with "I Can't Stop Dreaming" on the Dreams LP (1987) , also released as a 12" single and "They Played Our Song Today" on the Music About Music LP (1988). These were nearly all song-writing collaborations by Lady Bianca and Stanley Lippitt.
In 1994 they put the record company on hold and went into a deal with Telarc Records. Telarc released a CD entitled "Best Kept Secret" Lady Bianca and Stanley wrote and arrange all the songs on this CD.
In 2000 they met Jim O'Neal and he brought them to Rooster Blues Records. Where Lady Bianca cut her second CD in 2002 entitled "Rollin" once again they wrote, arranged and produced the entire album and this received a nomination for a Grammy in both the Blues and R&B Fields - "Daddy Blues was a witness" in the Blues category and "Little Drop of Water" in the R&B category.
The Mayor, and the city of Oakland also recognizing her contribution to the Arts, gave Bianca the "Key to the City" Award in 2002.
The Oakland Blues Society awarded her "Best Dressed Female vocalist" and "Best R & B Female Vocalist of the year" 2002.
Also in 2002 Stanley and Bianca stopped their busy schedule of writing , recording , touring and teaching as Bianca works with up and coming Blues artist's in and around the Oakland Bay area to celebrate their love for each other and got married !
Stanley Lippitt and Lady Bianca have created what is now known as the "Mighty Oakland Sound". A sound that is indigenous to the Bay Area.
In 2004 Lady Bianca released 'All By Myself' on their own label Magic-O Records, followed by "Let Love Have Its Way" and now March 2007 the new release "Through A Woman's Eyes".
It is great to report that on March 10th 2007 Little Stanley and the Five Brooks were inducted in to the Oakland Blues Society Hall of Fame alongside "Terrible Tom" Bowden, The Fuller Brothers, The Stovall Sisters, The Whispers, The Young Hearts, Ike & Tina Turner, Lenny Williams and many other notable artists.
Up to now they have participated in many Blues Festivals including the San Francisco, San Jose' , Monterey, Sarasota, Morrow Bay, Poconos, Ojai, Shasta CA, Russion River, Boise Blues Festival Boise Idaho, Utah Blues and Jazz at Snowbird, Marine County, Hayward, Rutherford Hill Winery, Santa Rosa, Two Rivers in Carrolton KY, Kansas City, Blues and Brews at Mammoth Lake, Absolute ALA Carte ALA Park, The Alameda County Fairgrounds at Pleasanton, CA, and the San Francisco's Jazz and Blues Cruise (see www.ladybianca.com for the current tour schedule).
Hopefully we may see Stanley back recording in his own right in the near future.