Legendary R&B Soul Artist Rufus Wonder
Born in Bossier City, Louisiana, Rufus lived with his father Rufus Harris and mother Louise (Breckenridge) Harris, until he was three months old. Rufus, was born Arthur Lee Harris or Mathew Breckenridge, depending on what side of the family you were on.
In high school Rufus sang in his senior choir, and was a high jumper on the varsity track team. He performed in the West Coast Relays, the California Invitational, he was also in the high school Cadets. Rufus attended Edison Junior & Senior High school in Fresno, before transferring to Theodore Roosevelt high.
Rufus joined the Army Reserves when he was in the eleventh grade. After graduating from Theodore Roosevelt high school he moved to Los Angeles where he lived and worked for six months before he decided to transfer from the US Army reserves to go active duty in to the US Navy.
In the Navy he formed a singing group called the “Blenders”. The members of the group were Aaron Fusilier, Vernon Mallett, Willie Davis, and Mathew R. Breckenridge (aka Rufus Wonder).
The Blenders performed in the special services in the military. They performed Overseas in Japan in places like Yokuska, Okinawa. In Tai Pae, Keylong, Fomosa, and in different places around in the South Pacific also in the Bekini Atolls, where they performed for the Atomic Energy Commission where there were Admirals, Generals, and the president of the United States were present.
There were about 1,000 ships to 150,000 civilians and military personnel in the area. In Hawaii - at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu - and on many ships, especially on the Bedoing Straite Aircraft carrier CVE 116, is where Rufus and a friend had a 15 minute television show once a week aboard ship that they televised to other ships at sea.
After the military he joined another group called “The Ripps”, members were Leonard Dykes, Al Sheppard, Bill Norris, and Mathew R. Breckenridge (aka Rufus Wonder). Bill Norris, was also an excellent drummer, producer and vocalist. He was a member of the “Earl Grant’s team” at that time.
He performed at many clubs around Los Angeles in the Hollywood circuit, until the group dismantled. Rufus decided to move to San Francisco where he performed in many nightclubs around the San Francisco bay area. At about 6:30 AM, one Saturday morning, Rufus was performing on stage at Club 47,- and after hours club on Mason street in San Francisco he was singing Little Willie John’s song, “Fever”, when all of a sudden Little Willie John walked through the door. Little Willie John came over to Rufus and shook his hand, thanking him for singing his song.
When Rufus left San Francisco for Chicago he worked the club circuit there in Chicago for awhile, then on to Detroit, Michigan where he recorded his first (45) single “Under The Moon”, and “So Upset”, which is now a Northern Soul Classic around the world ... thanks to Kev Roberts in the UK and all of the British of the Northern Soul Fever ... where the British are keeping Soul and R&B music alive around the world where a lot of artist and some people in the USA have forgotten about their own music. Until the British came on tour for the Soul Trip USA in Los Angeles: Hollywood: Las Vegas 2004: New York: New Jersey: Philadelphia 2006: Chicago: Detroit 2009, and the Soul Trip re-union in ORLANDO, Florida Spring 2011.
This have brought a lot of artist that had stop performing and recording back to the fold. Now a lot of artist and entertainers are recording as Independent artist forming their own record labels, and now staying active doing their own thing.
R&B Soul Singer’ Rufus Wonder has performed with many well known artist around the United States and abroad. He wrote “Under the Moon”, and “So Upset” before signing with Lando records. He recorded as “Rufus Wonder & the Additions” on the Lando Record Label in Detroit. The members of the group were Horace Parker, Lionel Brown, Carl Johnson, and Kenneth Wright. The group changed their names from the Editions’, to the Additions, after hooking up with Rufus Wonder. It was here that Rufus was signed and recorded by the famous child star, Frank I. (Sugar Chile) Robinson, and Clifton Dickerson, the owners of Lando records, and Autocap Publishing.
Rufus has performed onstage with such artists as “Bay Area Rapper Keldamuzik of Diva TV”, “Rapper Shavone Pickett”, “Rapper President L. Davis”, “Rapper D’ Labre”, “Rapper and Spoken Word Artist’ Keith Thompson”, “Spoken Word Artist’ Paradise”, and interviewed on “Oakland’s TV Show” own by Jimmy Guy, with Vocalist’ Ronda, Benin, and The Sounds Of Urban Life Soldiers,
Other artist “The “Fabulous Counts”, “Little Milton”, the famous dancers “Oscar Hucklebee”, & “Caldonia Young”, “Ed Henry”, “Steve Mancha”, “100 Proof Aged in Soul”, “The DuKays”, ”The Dells”, “James (Zeek) Brown” - who formerly sang with the “Calvays”, “Accents”, the “Blenders”, “The Redd Saunders Band in Chicago”, “Harvey Scales & the Seven Sounds”, Dennis Edwards, “Carl Carlton”, also was known as “Little Carl Carlton”,
This list goes on: “Sugar Pie Desanto”, “The Mar Keys”, “William Bell”, “The Temptations”, “Billy Preston”, “Betty Everette”, “Alberta Adams”, “Christine Katrell”, “the “O’ town Passions”, “The Cleveland Jones Temptation Revue”, “Danny A. Thomas”, a former member of Con Funk Shun Stardom., “Just Rick”, who was the former base singer for “The Exclusives”, “The Elusives”, the “Tint of Darkness”, “The Boys on The Block”, and “The O’Town Passions”.
Rufus has shared the stage with “Lee Williams”, “God’s New Creations”, “The Oakland Heirs”, “Joe Williams”, and “Inez Jones”, The famous actress, “Colostine [Kuki] Boatwright” who is in the movie Cooley High, and “Cynthia Joy” , actress & model from Great Neck, New York, to name a few.
He has been booked through Rodgers & Rodgers theatrical Enterprises out of Detroit, Michigan, The Jimmy Daniel’s Revue, of the Shaw artist agency out of New York, Dale Warren Agency, out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The little theater group, which was run by Mr. Mosley, and Mr. Adams of the Negro Charities of America out of Chicago, Illinois, whose first names is unknown.
Rufus Wonder has worked with famous Photographers and Productions people, such as Ray Mc Cullough, MC Collins, and Walter Jenkins. Ray Mc Cullough, and Walter Jenkins, of Round About L A, TV shows, Video unlimited productions, and AAMEN TV Los Angeles where he worked as second cameraman, also lay-out & design artist for The L A TV Journal, which was owned by Ray Mc Cullough.
Also MC Collins, Photographer, Lighting Tech., Video, DVD producer, and Actor. The inventor of the African American Time Piece Watch, and Lighting Tech for the Hollywood’s Motion Picture Studios, such as Universal, Paramount, MGM, 20Centurey Fox, and Etc.
he has done similar work with M C Collins, with designs and photography. Rufus was a magazine distributor for the Music Connections Magazine, Editor & publishers: Michael Dolan & Eric Bateli out of Hollywood. The Happenings magazine Editor & publisher, Dr. Lee of the Sacramento Observer Newspaper, out of Sacramento, CA. He was the sole distributor for the Happenings magazine in the Southern California area. The Happenings magazine office was located across the street from the Grauman’s Chinese theater, in the Max Factor building in Hollywood where the famous writer Suzanne Vickstrom was the Hollywood editor.
Famous Clubs, and places where Rufus has performed:
The 20 Grand, Phelps Lounge, Mr. Kelly’s, Bens Peter Pan, & Ben’s High Chaparrals, The Local 212 for the Brewster Old Timers, Detroit, Michigan, The Motor City Employees Club, Flint, Michigan, The Shadowland Ballroom, Benton Harbor, Saint Joseph, Michigan. The Pinwheel Lounge, Continental Lounge The El Patio, Cleveland, Ohio. The Fort Wayne Auditorium, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, The Muncie National Guard Armory, Muncie, Indiana. The Fort Wayne Auditorium Fort Wayne, Indiana The Decatur Hotel, Decatur, Illinois.
The C & C Lounge, The Robert’s Show Lounge, The Rum Boogie, The Trianon Ballroom, The Pre-Game show for the Chicago White Sox Baseball Game, Chicago, Illinois. The Moberly Auditorium, Moberly, Missouri, The Boonville Lounge, Boonville, Missouri. The St. Francis Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Tail Spin, Hollywood, The California Club, The Oasis, The Total Experience, Mr. Woodleys, The Proud Bird, The Page 4, The Cover Girl Lounge, Marla Gibbs Memory Lane, UCLA Music Center, The Name of the Game Jr., Disco 9000, and The Wilshire Grand Hotel, Los Angeles, California.
The list goes on: The Showcase, Oakland, California - Bluesville, Oakland, California - Kimbals Corner, Oakland, California - The First Stop, Oakland, California - Jeffery’s, Oakland, California - The California Ballroom, Oakland, California - The Continental Lounge, Oakland, California - On Broadway - The Ghetto Lounge - The Rickshaw - Basin Street West and Club 181, San Francisco, California and many more.