The Petersons

Side A - Just What I’ve Been Looking For

Side B - What’s It Gonna Be

Catalogue # SJ550

Posted in: Release Listings

The Petersons - Just What I’ve Been Looking For

Release Date: Monday April 24th 2023

‘The Petersons’ were a vocal trio from Waycross, GA, their performing name came from their founder, lead vocalist and drummer Kenneth Peterson, along with Keyboard player Salem Chatman and vocalist/bassist Johnny Members. The trio regularly performed shows along America’s East Coast, and it was while working in Philadelphia during early 1973 that the group answered an advertisement in Billboard Magazine quote “Masters Turned Down? We Are Looking for New Acts to Sign, Contact Omega Sound Productions, Philadelphia, PA”.

Omega Sound was a fledgling independent Recording Company formed by Frank Fioravanti a budding songwriter and former Encyclopedia Britannica Salesman for the initial purpose of find some extra work for the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra who were looking to earn some side money. As a result of answering the Billboard advertisement ‘The Petersons’ found themselves booked into Frank Virtue’s recording studio to record two Fioravanti and the late Alan Felder penned songs, the up-tempo “What’s It Gonna Be” backed by the melodic “Just What I’ve Been Looking For” Mel Omega (1833). With the release failing to make much noise, The Petersons returned to their native Georgia where they continuing to perform and record but under the group name of ‘Toll Darkness’. Fast forward circa 30 years and a couple of copies of this obscure Mel Omega 45 was introduced into the UK by Soul Bowl’s John Anderson where they gained belated recognition initially at the Soul Essence Weekenders through resident DJ Steve Guarnori with “Just What I’ve Been Looking For” being his chosen side. These initial copies had a paper sticker on them crediting the Artist as ‘Toll Darkness’ but the subsequent find of further copies with no sticker coverings, revealed the real artist to be ‘The Petersons’, intriguing? The reason behind the differing artist names is reputedly assumed to be that Ken Peterson took some copies of the Mel Omega 45 back to Georgia and pasted the ‘Toll Darkness’ group name stickers over the Petersons label credits to enable him to sell them at shows with his other ‘Toll Darkness’ 45 “Party/Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things on Alpha Records. The up-tempo backing track of The Peterson’s “What’s It Gonna Be” was a Frank Virtue arrangement that he had great faith in, hence it’s usage on plethora of other Philly artists recordings, i.e. Fred Mark, Liza Mae, Michael Christian, Cody Michaels etc over different record labels, Melomega, Concept, Fox Century Plaza and Merben.

Frank Fioravanti also founded the Sound Gems label which brought us the timeless classic “Your My Main Squeeze” recorded on the New Beford, MA group ‘Crystal Motion’. Omega Sound’s most notable achievement would be William DeVaughn’s 1974 hit “Be Thankful For What You Got”.

Words by: David Welding.

The Petersons - What’s It Gonna Be
Toll Darkness - Just What I've Been Looking For
The Petersons - Just What I've Been Looking For