Although LITTLE BUSTER never made the national R&B charts, or evolved into the mainstream as a fashionable soul artist, he sure knocked out some pretty decent deep soul in his lifetime. For the best part of four decades he was continually in demand, working the bars and clubs in North America, where his straight from the church gravelled horsed fractured throaty emotional vocals captivated all in its path.††
Edward James Spivey Forehand was born 28 September 1942 in Hertford, North Carolina, the fourth of eleven children. At an early age he was diagnosed with glaucoma. His vision slowly deteriorated so at the age of nine he moved to Philadelphia with his father to undergo medical treatment. When this failed he was sent to the special North Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, which he attended until he was sixteen.†
During this turbulent period of his life his musical ability was coming to the forefront with his local Baptist congregation, mastering several musical instruments, including the piano, guitar, and saxophone.
In 1959 Forehand along with childhood friend, drummer Melvin Taylor, bravely took off for Philadelphia on the pretence of a record deal, which never materialised.
He finally settled with his sister in Westbury, Long Island, where he began playing the local black clubs, mainly covering the soul hits of the day. Within a year he was working in the back up band for Alan Freed's RockíníRoll extravaganzas at the Brooklyn Paramount.
Edward 'Buster' Forehand started his own group, The Heartbrtbreakers, which in 1964 went on to win an amateur contest at the famed Apollo theatre in Harlem, New York. He was approached with various offers to record, but it was with Steve Blaine and Jubilee records that he made his vinyl debut with the haunting, 'Lookin For A Home'. Although the record failed to break out of the New York area it sold enough to justify further releases for the label. The follow up was what was to become a deep soul classic, 'I'm So Lonely'. Jubilee and its subsidiary Josie would release six more singles on him throughout the sixties. Notably an incredible grasping deep version of Doc Pomus 'Young Boy Blues'. In 1969 Jubilee became insolvent which left Forehead without a recording outlet, although he did have one more single release on the Minit label, 'Cry Mr A River'/'City Of The Blues'.
Now renamed Little Buster and the Soul Brothers he had advanced into the more prestigious and larger clubs, as he ploddingly progressed to dominate the Long Island, Big Apple, soul bar band circuit. He began playing Manny's Car Wash in New York where he came to the attention of Bullseye Blues records, which results in 1995 the brilliant RIGHT ON TIME album, which not only showcases the brilliant guitarist that he was but his prodigious soulful vocals. In 2000 he released another excellent album WORK YOUR SHOW.
He suffered a stroke in 2001 from which he never fully recovered. He passed away on the 11th May 2006 from complications of acute diabetes and a series of strokes.