We're working on a new version of PRX. Want a sneak peek?

Caption: The Five Stairsteps (Alohe J. Burke - far right), Credit: Curtom & Buddah Records 1969
Image by: Curtom & Buddah Records 1969  
The Five Stairsteps (Alohe J. Burke - far right) 

STAIRSTEPS Stories! VOL. 2 (Alohe Burke): The Untold Story of the Five Stairsteps

From: Howard Burchette
Series: The Funk Show
Length: 54:31

Embed_button
This is the story of THE FIVE STAIRSTEPS from the only female member of the group. ALOHE BURKE who now goes by RAMI is the only sister of this famous Chicago family pop act. She tells her story and discusses her life in a rare interview.

Stairsteps_4_track_small

STAIRSTEPS Stories! VOL. 2 (Part A):

The Untold Story of the Five Stairsteps with Rami

The second part of a three part series of interviews and discussion on the history of the “First Family of Soul ” known as the Five Stairsteps . The group was started by Betty and Clarence Burke Sr. of Chicago in the early 1960s to raise money for their children’s school library. The original line-up was their children Alohe (Rami) Burke , Clarence Burke Jr., James Burke III, Dennis Burke and Kenneth Burke . The children were enrolled in local talent shows which they never lost.   They came to the attention of Fred Cash and Curtis Mayfield of the Impressions and soon they were under contact with Mayfield to record for him. The hits began to flow between 1966 and 1967. By 1968 the youngest sibling Cubie Burke was added to the group and the “Five Stairsteps & Cubie ” continued to record and tour as a family in 1968 and in 1969. By 1970 they released their signature hit “Ooh Child” and by 1971 their stage show changed from pure R&B to black rock and funk. The last recording as the Stairsteps occurred on Buddah Records in 1972 with Rami leaving show business to pursue her own career and furthering her education. The four oldest brothers reunited in 1976 to record their last album to date called “Second Resurrection” . During this hour Rami tells her story and the story of her family “The First Family of SoulTHE FIVE STAIRSTEPS .


SEGMENT ONE : Rami discuss her early family life in Chicago and the introduction of Latin music to her family from her aunt from Puerto Rico.

SEGMENT TWO:   In this segment Rami talks about Curtis Mayfield , the Regal Theater, the Five Stairsteps early hits, the Otis Redding bus tours, The Bar-kays , the Impressions , her song "The Look of Love", their big hit "Ooh Child ", days at the Apollo Theatre, with The Jackson Five at the Apollo theatre, the Sylvers , what happened after she left show business in 1972, and discussions on Star Trek, the Space Shuttle, and archeology.

SEGMENT THREE: Rami talks about her early song writing, a Stairsteps reunion at a recent family birthday party, the changing fashions of the group (in the 1970's), the "walk-on-bye" choreography, her trumpet playing, she mentions that there is a lot to ask of young kids to perform in show business,  reminiscing on my meeting the Stairsteps at Tads Streak House (NYC) in 1970 and her closing remarks.


Click on this link to get to Clarence Burke, Jr.' s official WEB page:
www.clarenceburkejr.com

 

Piece Description

STAIRSTEPS Stories! VOL. 2 (Part A):

The Untold Story of the Five Stairsteps with Rami

The second part of a three part series of interviews and discussion on the history of the “First Family of Soul ” known as the Five Stairsteps . The group was started by Betty and Clarence Burke Sr. of Chicago in the early 1960s to raise money for their children’s school library. The original line-up was their children Alohe (Rami) Burke , Clarence Burke Jr., James Burke III, Dennis Burke and Kenneth Burke . The children were enrolled in local talent shows which they never lost.   They came to the attention of Fred Cash and Curtis Mayfield of the Impressions and soon they were under contact with Mayfield to record for him. The hits began to flow between 1966 and 1967. By 1968 the youngest sibling Cubie Burke was added to the group and the “Five Stairsteps & Cubie ” continued to record and tour as a family in 1968 and in 1969. By 1970 they released their signature hit “Ooh Child” and by 1971 their stage show changed from pure R&B to black rock and funk. The last recording as the Stairsteps occurred on Buddah Records in 1972 with Rami leaving show business to pursue her own career and furthering her education. The four oldest brothers reunited in 1976 to record their last album to date called “Second Resurrection” . During this hour Rami tells her story and the story of her family “The First Family of SoulTHE FIVE STAIRSTEPS .


SEGMENT ONE : Rami discuss her early family life in Chicago and the introduction of Latin music to her family from her aunt from Puerto Rico.

SEGMENT TWO:   In this segment Rami talks about Curtis Mayfield , the Regal Theater, the Five Stairsteps early hits, the Otis Redding bus tours, The Bar-kays , the Impressions , her song "The Look of Love", their big hit "Ooh Child ", days at the Apollo Theatre, with The Jackson Five at the Apollo theatre, the Sylvers , what happened after she left show business in 1972, and discussions on Star Trek, the Space Shuttle, and archeology.

SEGMENT THREE: Rami talks about her early song writing, a Stairsteps reunion at a recent family birthday party, the changing fashions of the group (in the 1970's), the "walk-on-bye" choreography, her trumpet playing, she mentions that there is a lot to ask of young kids to perform in show business,  reminiscing on my meeting the Stairsteps at Tads Streak House (NYC) in 1970 and her closing remarks.


Click on this link to get to Clarence Burke, Jr.' s official WEB page:
www.clarenceburkejr.com

 

Broadcast History

2011

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Ooh Child The Five Stairsteps The First Family of Soul: The Best of The Five Stairsteps. Buddha Records 2001 03:17
Hong Kong Mambo Tito Puente And His Orchestra Dance Mania (Legacy Edition). Sony Music Latin 2009 03:46
You Waited Too Long The Five Stairsteps The First Family of Soul: The Best of The Five Stairsteps. Buddha Records 2001 02:55
Look of Love Aloha Burke with The Five Stairsteps / The Burke Family 45 RPM / Side 1 . Cobblestone 1968 03:00
Don’t Waist Your Time The Five Stairsteps The First Family of Soul: The Best of The Five Stairsteps. Buddha Records 2001 02:19
World of Fantasy The Five Stairsteps The First Family of Soul: The Best of The Five Stairsteps. Buddha Records 2001 03:04
I’ve Been Loving You For Too Long Otis Redding Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul [Collector's Edition]. Rhino Atlantic 2008 03:01
I’m So Proud The Impressions 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best Of Curtis Mayfield And The Impressions. Geffen 2000 02:49
Didn’t It Look So Easy The Stairsteps Ooh Child. Unidisc 1999 03:00
I Want You Back The Jackson 5 Ultimate Collection. Motown 1006 03:00
Fool's Paradise The Sylvers Boogie Fever: Best of. Razor & Tie 1995 03:00
I Love You - Stop The Stairsteps Ooh Child. Unidisc 1999 03:00
Under the Spell of Your Love The Five Stairsteps & Cubie Greatest Hits:Step By Step By Stairstep. Action Music 1994 03:00
You Don't Love Me The Five Stairsteps The First Family of Soul: The Best of The Five Stairsteps. Buddha Records 2001 02:32
Its Getting Better The Five Stairsteps Stairsteps . Buddha Records 1970 03:00
Snow The Stairsteps Greatest Hits:Step By Step By Stairstep. Action Music 1994 03:00
I Feel A Song (In My Heart Again) The Stairsteps Ooh Child. Unidisc 1999 03:00
America Standing The Five Stairsteps 45 RPM / Side 1. Buddha Records 1970 03:00
Don’t Change Your Love The Five Stairsteps & Cubie The First Family of Soul: The Best of The Five Stairsteps. Buddha Records 2001 02:48
Little Boy Blue The Five Stairsteps & Cubie Love's Happening. Collector's Choice 2010 03:00
From Us To You Stairsteps 2nd Resurrection. Dark Horse 1976 03:40

Related Website

thefunkshow.com