Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Alabama soul belters the Controllers began as the Epics in 1965. They became the Soul Controllers in 1970, and finally the Controllers. Reginald and Larry McArthur, Lenard Brown, and Ricky Lewis formed the lineup, and were especially effective on heartache ballads, though they also did competent up-tempo dance numbers. They relocated to Miami in the late '70s and began recording for Juana. Frederick Knight produced some of their material, including the 1977 debut LP Somebody's Gotta Win, Somebody's Gotta Lose. They enjoyed moderate success with other Juana singles and LPs, though both "Heaven Is Only One Step Away" and "We Don't" were outstanding performances. They moved to MCA in 1984. Stevie Wonder made a guest appearance on harmonica for their first MCA single, "Crushed," which reached number 30 on the R&B charts. Their biggest MCA hit was "Stay," which peaked at number 12 in 1986. They moved to Capitol in 1988, issuing Just in Time that year.