The Controllers were founded in Fairfield, Alabama, in 1965. Originally known as the Epics, the vocal group initially performed gospel music. As high schoolers they met with Ramsey Lewis Trio bassist Cleveland Eaton, who wrote their first single, Right On, Brother—Right On, which they recorded and released as the Soul Controllers. The song became a regional hit, and following high school the four core members—brothers Larry and Reginald McArthur, LeNard Brown and Ricky Lewis—shortened their name to the Controllers.
The Controllers went on to enjoy further success with recordings on various labels and appeared on programs such as Soul Train. After a hiatus from the studio and the road, they signed with Malaco Records in 1997. Clear View was released later that year, and on songs such as When I’m Away and a new version of Somebody’s Gotta Win, Somebody’s Gotta Lose, they revamped their yearning, lush ballad style with modern production values. The album also featured a spirited, hip-hop imbued cover of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.
Currently, LeNard Brown hosts a weekly radio show, Inside the Juke Joint, on 98.7 Kiss FM in Birmingham, Alabama.