Blue Magic, an R&B vocal quintet whose members were Ted "Wizard" Mills, Vernon Sawyer, Wendell Sawyer, Keith Beaton, and Richard Pratt, formed in Philadelphia and signed to Atco in 1973.
The group specialized in dreamy ballads and choreographed stage moves. They hit the Top 40 of the R&B singles chart with their first three 45s before breaking through and crossing over with "Sideshow." Released in April 1974, it went gold, topped the R&B chart, and became a Top Ten pop hit. "Three Ring Circus," their next single, made the R&B Top Ten and the pop Top 40. Blue Magic had two more R&B chart singles in 1975 and four in 1976 before suffering a commercial slump, but they returned with R&B chart singles in 1981 and 1983. A comeback album, From Out of the Blue, was released on Def Jam subsidiary OBR in 1989. Multiple versions of the group, including one trade marked by Sawyer and Beaton, toured into the following decades. ~ William Ruhlmann