- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The members of H.A.L.O., an R&B group formed in 1992, lost one of their longtime members in the spring.
Lead singer Ivan “Frog” Williams of Washington, D.C., died in April after an illness, and members of the vocal group, which stands for Heaven Allows Love Only, say they will pay a musical tribute to him when they return to Harmony Hall Regional Center in Fort Washington on Jan. 19.
“He was known and loved by everybody in the industry,” said group cofounder John “Bo” Sharpe.
Sharpe recently retired from the U.S. Postal Service.
“I retired this year, and I did the singing thing the entire time,” he says about performing since he was a teenager. Sharpe knew Williams when they were both growing up in Southeast Washington, D.C.
They started singing early, each performing with different groups like Black Raven, Experience Unlimited and an earlier version of H.A.L.O. called HALO, before singing together again as they did when they were teenagers.
“I saw him at the Stone Soul Picnic in 1991 after not seeing him for a few years — one conversation led to another, and the next day he was at rehearsal with H.A.L.O.” Sharpe said.
Williams was known for his rendition of “Cry Together” by the O’Jays and for his ability to imitate people.
“He was very humorous, and he really made people laugh,” Sharpe said.
The vocal group, which has sung with more than 150 acts including the Temptations, currently includes Sharpe, Curtis “Blow” Warren, Antwan “Silky” Drayton and Dean Cavanaugh. Sharpe, Warren and Cavanaugh, who took Williams’ place when he became ill, also sing with the Intruders, but typically not as lead singers. With H.A.L.O. they can showcase individual voices, Sharpe said.
“We’re known for our harmonies and our lead singers,” he said. “We’re all individuals, and we get to cut up on that.”
In addition to performing songs that Williams co-wrote and sang, H.A.L.O. also will sing some nostalgic songs by artists such as Teddy Pendergrass, as well as songs from the group’s fifth and latest album, “Songs to Remember.”
“We were working on it when Ivan passed,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe said the group has a big fan base and that he’s looking forward to getting back to Harmony Hall to perform after a five-year absence.
“That place will be rockin,’” he said.