W.Va. native to perform, share story at WVU-P

PARKERSBURG – Musician and native West Virginian John Ellison- best known for writing the song “Some Kind of Wonderful” – will perform and share his inspirational story at 6:30 p.m. Monday at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, in the College Activities Center.

The event is free and open to the public. He will visit the college’s Jackson County Center earlier in the day. The event is sponsored by the WVU-P Social Justice Committee in observance of Black History Month.

Ellison was born in Montgomery, W.Va., and grew up in a small, poverty-stricken coal mining village near Welch before moving to Rochester, N.Y., at age 18. He sang soul and styled hair before hooking up with four brothers named Armstrong (Sam, Charles, Harry and Moses) and bassist Vonell Benjamin and forming The Soul Brothers Six.

In 1967, Ellison wrote the smash hit “Some Kind of Wonderful,” putting the group on the map. The song has since been recorded by 62 artists, making it one of the most recorded songs in music history.

In June 2012, Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) presented Ellison with a Million-Air certificate, recognizing more than four million performances of “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

Remaining true to his music, Ellison continues to record original songs and has released three solo albums, “Welcome Back” (1993), “Missing You” (2000) and “Back” (2008). He continues to play live at music festivals. In addition, he shares his passion for delicious Southern style food through his Some Kind of Wonderful Food Company.

Ellison enjoys sharing his story and road to success. In a 2011 WV South magazine article, Ellison said, “There will always be someone who wants to put you down, tell you that you can’t do the thing you want to do. I want people to be inspired by my story to work hard and follow their dreams.”