Larry Savoy Buford | "One More Time"

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Urban/R&B: Motown Blues: Rhythm & Blues Moods: Solo Male Artist
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"One More Time"

by Larry Savoy Buford

A wonderful compilation of songs written over the years. A former Motown writer influenced by the songwriting of Sam Cooke and later, Smokey Robinson. His singing was mostly influenced by Ray Charles and David Ruffin. He's energized!
Genre: Urban/R&B: Motown
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. One More Time
3:16 album only
2. I Found Out
3:31 album only
3. Down Behind the Front (Know You Better)
3:25 album only
4. Ray of Sun (Tribute to Ray Charles)
3:26 album only
5. Sometimes
5:12 album only
6. Soul Man (A Song for David)
4:48 album only
7. Things Are Gettin' Outta Hand
4:25 album only
8. Umbrella Man
3:15 album only
9. (Our) Love Will Last Forever
4:13 album only
10. I'm so Tired of Waiting
3:13 album only
11. There's Been a Change
3:57 album only
12. One More Time (With Sax Solo)
3:12 album only
13. Keep My Courage Up
4:05 album only
14. Save a Life (Voice for the Fetus)
4:01 album only
15. Service Is the Rent
4:13 album only
16. I'm Comin' Home
3:10 album only
17. Don't Know Why
4:41 album only


Album Notes
Detroit native Larry Savoy Buford – a naturally-inclined writer – has been writing stories and listening intently to music since he was a child. He loves to read and interact with others to get new ideas to write about. In seventh grade his creative writing homework was rejected by a teacher who thought surly he had plagiarized. His mother and a former teacher vouched for his ability. Over the years whether at home, at school or on the job, Larry was often called upon for writing assistance.
Larry also has a keen ear for music. Though he had no real formal training, he would listen attentively to all the inner workings of a recording, and point out things in the arrangement that ordinarily went unnoticed by other listeners. At age 18 he bought a classic Marshall Wendell Baby Grand piano and taught himself to play the songs he heard in his head. He also bought a 1963 Akai (sound-on-sound) reel-to-reel recorder. Professional musicians were amazed at how well he could put songs together. Larry’s musician uncle, Alvin Porties, wrote the music notation for his song "December Love" which was published on sheet music in 1977. He was so proud when in 1978 local music producer Ken Sands recorded one of his songs "Believe In Me" on a rock group called The Buzztones. At the time Larry was also writing children’s stories, but after he heard the song and saw the group perform it live onstage; people getting up on the dance floor – he decided he wanted to go all out just writing songs.
In 1981 Larry started his own Watchman record label and DerShawn Music publishing company there in Detroit. The first song he produced on the label was a gospel recording of his family’s choir of which he was a member. It got considerable local airplay particularly from the late Martha Jean "The Queen" on radio station WJLB. Larry also sang in an R&B group and produced shows at different venues around the city.
Although Motown Records had already moved its headquarters to California, Larry viewed Motown music as a unique, distinct Detroit genre – like Country to Nashville and Zydeco to New Orleans – and styled his songs accordingly. Fortunately, the late David Ruffin whom he first met in 1969 was still residing in Detroit and they became good friends. One of Larry’s proudest moments was when Ruffin introduced him from the stage as an ‘up and coming songwriter.’ Throughout the years Larry pitched some of his songs to Ruffin, Eddie Kendrick and others, but getting them recorded was not in the cards.
One day a friend got him in touch with Motown founder Berry Gordy’s sister, Gwen Gordy Fuqua. He sent her some of his songs, and soon after during a phone call she told him how excited she was about one of them. Since Larry had recently been laid off from his job at Detroit’s unemployment office (true story), he made a plan to move to Los Angeles. Once there he contacted Ms. Fuqua and was soon offered an exclusive songwriters contract. He signed up with Motown on April 2, 1984 – the day after Marvin Gaye passed away. It was a bitter sweet occasion. As time went on Larry got to work with some of the top writers and producers. Some of the artists like Louis Price (former member of The Temptations) and Michael Jeffries even recorded his songs, but none were ever released. In 1986 he performed and recorded "I Think I’m Gonna Be Blue" on his own label. The following year his request for a release from his contract was granted.
During that same period, in 1985 Larry received a call from none other than the great Ray Charles who was interested in his songs. He was told later through sources that Mr. Charles actually recorded some of the songs, but to date none have surfaced. Mr. Charles did however send him a recording singing "Happy Birthday Ms. Martha" for his grandmother Martha Porties’ 90th birthday celebration that took place in Detroit.
In 1995 Larry was fortunate enough to get Scherrie Payne (formerly of The Supremes) to record several of his songs. In 2001 two of the songs "(Going) Back To Motown," and "(Let’s) Make Time For Love" were released on Larry’s label and shipped to Detroit in time for Detroit’s 300th birthday celebration.
Paralleling his music career, Larry also maintained a successful 25-year career in various office management positions where he honed his business writing skills. His earnings allowed him the freedom to continue to professionally record many songs that are controlled by his publishing company – the latest being a 2014 recording of a tribute song to commemorate the 10th year anniversary of Ray Charles’ passing titled "Ray Of Sun." Another is "Can’t Quiet My Soul" which is dedicated to those who’ve lost loved ones to senseless gun violence.
Today Larry continues to write commentaries, press releases, and profiles for various newspapers and online publications like the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Michigan Chronicle, the San Francisco Bay View, Kalamazoo's Community Voices, The Compton Bulletin, The Compton Herald, Lee Bailey’s, and His self-published Book/CD "Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand" is on He’s also delving into fictional short stories and script writing. A diligent researcher, one of Larry’s favorite mottos is: "Next to knowing is knowing where to find out." Larry is putting the final touches on a second book.
In 2012 Larry appeared in TV-One’s ‘Unsung’ episode of David Ruffin.

Soul Tracks Review

Larry Savoy Buford - One More Time

Larry Savoy Buford is first and foremost a writer. And as with anyone who is a very good writer, Buford loves to read. You can’t be good at the former without doing a lot of the latter. The native Detroiter had a refined writing style at a very young age, and that aroused the suspicions of a seventh grade teacher who believed one of Buford’s papers was a bit too well refined and rejected a writing assignment, believing it had been plagiarized until Buford’s mother vouched for him.

Buford eventually became a writer for a variety of print and on-line publications, as well working as a publicist, writing press releases for a host of individuals and causes. Buford developed a keen ear for music, and, despite the fact that he had no musical training, Buford could provide insight about a song that would make friends hear things that they hadn’t noticed. There are plenty of people with untrained music ears who read liner notes, listen intently and can bring a level of knowledge to musical conversation that belies their lack of technical expertise. However, Buford decided to go beyond being a hard core music fan by purchasing a piano and teaching himself to play and using his writing skills to compose songs.

While in Detroit, Buford became friends with David Ruffin and pitched songs to the former Temptations lead singer. He also connected with Gwen Gordy Fuqua, the sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy, who was impressed enough by Buford’s songwriting chops to offer him a songwriting contract shortly after he relocated to LA. Buford wrote songs, but none were released, and he eventually requested and received his release from his Motown contract.

While Buford continued to write, he realized that he would have to take total control if his tunes would ever be released, and the end result of those efforts is the album One More Time. The 17-track record features songs written by Buford, and has him pulling one more arrow from his quiver. Buford showcases a youthful first tenor voice that falls somewhere along the lines of a Richard “Dimples” Fields. Buford is also a refined and mature songwriter who can claim influences both by Motown and the southern soul camp. Tracks such as “Umbrella Man,” reveal that Buford spent time studying at the Smokey Robinson school of metaphor. In this case, the umbrella is a metaphor for a risk averse man: “It’s raining he don’t want to get wet/And sunshine seems to make him upset/so keepin' sheltered/From the rain and shine/Protecting feelings that’s held deep inside/He’s doing the best he can/He’s the umbrella man.”

Although Buford is a Detroiter and believes that Motown placed the kind of imprint on the city’s musical DNA that country music placed on Nashville’s, his songwriting and musical arrangements have a strong southern soul component. His penchant for telling stories shows on cuts such as “I Found Out,” a song with a cast of characters that have a host of motives and intentions that reveal themselves to the singer in three connected stories would fit nicely on a Memphis based label such as Goldwax Records.

His “let the good times roll” sense of fun comes out in the album’s title track, a rollicking number with a big bass line and electric organs that beckon his date to live a little just once more. If the track’s backing vocals remind listeners of the Raylettes, that is intentional. Legend has it that Ray Charles recorded but never released Buford songs, and Buford includes his overly sentimental ballad “Ray of Sun,” written as a tribute to Charles, on One More Time. The album also includes “Soul Man,” a hard rocking and far more entertaining tribute to Buford’s friend Ruffin.

Buford’s story is one of perseverance and love for music. With his feet planted firmly in Hitsville and Soulsville, Buford brought all that he learned to these tracks that he recorded over a period of years. I don’t know if he has other songs packed away, but hopefully One More Time will not be the last time that we hear from this singer/songwriter. This is a long vaulted project that has finally received the unearthing that it deserved. Solidly Recommended

By Howard Dukes



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