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Showing posts with label Funk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Funk. Show all posts

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Eddie Hazel


 
Edward Earl "Eddie" Hazel (April 10, 1950 – December 23, 1992) was a guitarist in early funk music in the United States who played lead guitar with Parliament-Funkadelic. Hazel was a posthumous inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. Hazel was one of the original Parliament / Funkadelic members in the beginning of the 70’s. 

In 1967, The Parliaments, a Plainfield-based doo wop band headed by George Clinton, had a hit record with "(I Wanna) Testify." Clinton recruited a backing band for a tour, hiring Nelson as bassist, who in turn recommended Hazel as guitarist. Hazel was in Newark, New Jersey, working with George Blackwell and could not be reached. After Nelson returned from the tour, he tried to recruit Hazel. His mother at first vetoed the idea, since Hazel was only seventeen, but Clinton and Nelson worked together to change her mind. In late 1967, The Parliaments went on tour with both Nelson and Hazel. In Philadelphia Hazel met and befriended Tiki Fulwood, who quickly replaced The Parliaments' drummer. Nelson, Hazel and Fulwood became the backbone of Funkadelic, which was originally the backup band for The Parliaments, only to later become an independent touring group when legal difficulties forced Clinton to temporarily abandon the name "Parliaments".

With great solos like on the legendary "Maggot brain," it is obvious that Eddie Hazel is one of the biggest funk guitar-heros and his influence on other funk guitarists is undeniable. 

Eddie Hazel & Michael Hampton of Funkadelic - Maggot Brain (1983)

 His involvement with the George Clinton posse became less preeminent in the 80’s when P.Funk turned more electro-funk oriented and after some drug problems. Eddie Hazel died on December 23, 1992 at the age of 42. 


Axiom Funk with Eddie Hazel - Pray My Soul (1995)
Posthumous release


Discography

Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs (1977), Warner Bros.
Jams From the Heart (1994), JDC - EP
Rest in P (1994), P-Vine
At Home (With Family) (2006), Eddie Hazel


Sources: Wikipedia; Discogs

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band



Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band is a pioneering American soul and funk band. Formed in the early 1960s, they had the most visibility from 1967 to 1973 when the band had 9 singles reach Billboard's pop and/or rhythm and blues Hot 100 lists, such as "Do Your Thing" (#11 Pop, #12 R&B), "Till You Get Enough" (#12 R&B, #67 Pop), and "Love Land" (R&B #23, Pop #16). They are best known for their biggest hit on Warner Bros. Records, 1970's "Express Yourself" (#3 R&B, #12 Pop) that is often sampled by rappers, such as N.W.A.

Charles Wright was born in 1940 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, before moving to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, playing guitar and singing in several doo-wop groups including the Turks, the Twilighters, the Shields and the Gallahads. He also briefly worked as an [[A&R]] for In 1962, he formed his own band Charles Wright & the Wright Sounds . Over the course of the next six years, Wright would add more players to his group and these were the players who would eventually become known as the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, at least by 1968.

Band members:

* Charles Wright - guitar, piano
* Al McKay - guitar
* Benorce Blackmon - guitar (replaced Al McKay)
* Gabe Flemings - piano, trumpet
* Melvin Dunlap - bass
* James Gadson - drums
* Big John Rayford - saxophone
* Bill Cannon - saxophone
* Ray Jackson - trombone

Albums:

(As The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band)

* Hot Heat & Sweet Groove. Warner Bros. Records 1741 (1967)
* Together. Warner Bros. Records 1761 (1968)
* In The Jungle, Babe. Warner Bros. Records 1801

(As Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band)

* Express Yourself. Warner Bros. Records 1864 (1970)
* You’re So Beautiful. Warner Bros. Records 1904 (1971



(As Charles Wright)

* Rhythm & Poetry. Warner Bros. Records BS-2620 (1972)
* Doin What Comes Naturally. ABC/Dunhill DSD-50162 (1973)

* Ninety Day Cycle People. ABC/Dunhill DSD-50187 (1974)

* Lil' Encouragement. ABC/Dunhill (1975)

The legendary Charles Wright of the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band creator of the world famous Express Yourself and Loveland has a new single "Looking For An Ugly Woman" (cause pretty women think they slick). The single is from the upcoming album "Be Careful What You Look For".




Sunday, December 23, 2012

Willie "Little Beaver" Hale


William Hale, 15 August 1945, Forest City, Arkansas, USA. Little Beaver, a singer and guitarist, made his mark on the tail-end of the soul era in the early 70s, with a typical southern-style body of work that included both blues and soul traditions. Little Beaver grew up in Arkansas, but as a teenager moved to Florida. He recorded some local hits for various labels, with a Bobby Bland-style gospel-blues voice. He then joined Henry Stone’s TK complex of labels in 1971, and penned some hits for Betty Wright as well as playing on innumerable sessions. By the time Little Beaver first recorded on his own for TK’s Cat subsidiary in 1972, he had found his own voice and style and had a national hit with ‘Joey’ (number 48 R&B). His biggest hit was ‘Party Down’ (number 2 R&B) from 1974. His deep southern sound was not all that compatible with the emerging disco and funk trends and Beaver had his last chart record in 1976.







Discography

  • Joey (Cat 1972)
  • Black Rhapsody (Cat 1974)
  • Party Down (Cat 1975)
  • When Was The Last Time (Cat 1976)
  • Beaver Fever (Cat 1980)
  • Katie Pearl (Henry Stone Music,2006)-Singles of 70x

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bernard "Pretty" Purdie


Bernard Lee "Pretty" Purdie (born June 11, 1939) is an American session drummer, and is considered an influential and innovative exponent of funk. He is known for his strict musical time keeping and "The Purdie Shuffle".
Purdie recorded Soul Drums (1968) as a band leader and although he went on to record Alexander's Ragtime Band, the album remained unreleased until Soul Drums was reissued on CD in 2009 with the Alexander's Ragtime Band sessions. Other solo albums include Purdie Good (1971),Soul Is...Pretty Purdie (1972) and the soundtrack for the Blaxploitation film Lialeh (1973).

Purdie was credited on the sound track album for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) and more recently he was the drummer for the 2009 Broadway revival of Hair and appeared on the associated Broadway cast recording. In 2010, he had his portrait painted by Jane Moorhouse, an artist based in London.

At an early age Purdie began hitting cans with sticks and learned the elements of drumming techniques from overhearing lessons being given by Leonard Heywood. He later took lessons from Heywood and played in Heywood's big band. Purdie's other influences at that time were Papa Jo Jones, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Joe Marshall and Art Blakey.

In 1961 he moved from his home town of Elkton, Maryland, to New York. There he played sessions with Mickey and Sylvia and regularly visited the Turf Club on 50th and Broadway, where musicians, agents, and promoters met and touted for business. It was during this period that he played for the saxophonist Buddy Lucas, who nicknamed him 'Mississippi Bigfoot'. Eventually Barney Richmond contracted him to play session work. In the same year original Beatles drummer Pete Best and guitarist Tony Sheridan recorded tracks in Hamburg with the Beatles. Later Bernard Purdie added drum overdubs to tracks from these sessions, including "Ain't She Sweet", "Take Out Some Insurance on Me Baby" and "Sweet Georgia Brown". The main reason for this was to give them a punchier sound for the US market. These tracks were eventually released on January 31, 1964 by Polydor. Ringo Starr's physical approach to drumming was probably influenced by Purdie's Motown style.

Purdie was contracted by arranger Sammy Lowe to play a session with James Brown in 1965 and recording session records also show that Purdie played on "Ain't That A Groove" at the same session. This was one of several sessions he played with Brown and the track "Kansas City" from Brown's album Cold Sweat (1967), displays one of the most sophisticated and driving shuffles recorded for Brown's catalogue. Purdie is also credited on the albums Say It Loud-I'm Black and I'm Proud (1969) and Get on the Good Foot (1972) on which "Ain't That A Groove" appeared.

Purdie started working with Aretha Franklin as musical director in 1970 and held that position for five years, as well as drumming for Franklin's opening act, King Curtis and The King Pins. In 1970 he performed with both bands at the Fillmore West; the resulting live recordings were released as Aretha Live at the Fillmore West (1971) and King Curtis's Live at Fillmore West (1971). His best known track with Franklin was "Rock Steady", on which he played what he described as "a funky and low down beat". Of his time with Franklin he once commented that "backing her was like floating in seventh heaven".

In 1973 Purdie founded Encounter Records and released five albums

EN 3000: Seldon Powell - Messin' With
EN 3001: Sands of Time - Profile (with Jimmy Owens, Garnett Brown)
EN 3002: East Coast - East Coast (with Larry Blackmon, Gwen Guthrie)
EN 3003: Frank Owens - Brown N Serve (with Hugh McCracken)
EN 3004: Harold Vick as "Sir Edward" - The Power of Feeling


Discography:

Albums
  • Soul Drums -Direction (1968)
  • Stand By Me-Mega (1971)
  • Purdie Good -Prestige (1971)
  • Soul Is ... Pretty Purdie" -Flying Dutchman (1972)
  • Lialeh - Bryan (1973)
  • Shaft - Prestige (1974)
  • Delights of the Garden- Celluloid (1975)
  • Purdie As a Picture - Kilarnock (1993)
  • Tokyo Jazz Groove Sessions - Lexington (1993)
  • Coolin' 'n' Groovin' - Lexington/West 47th 1993 (1993)
  • After Hours with The 3B's - 3B's (1993)
  • The Hudson River Rats - 3B's (1994)
  • Kick N Jazz Drum Beat- Blocks (1996)
  • Soul to Jazz I -Act(1997)
  • In the Pocket- P Vine (1997)
  • Soul to Jazz II- Act (1998)
  • Get It While You Can- 3B's (1999)
  • Purdie Good Cookin' Own Label (2003)
  • The Godfathers of Groove(2008)
  • The Godfathers of Groove _vol 3 (2010)  

Contributions

  • Gabor Szabo - Jazz Raga (1966)
  • James Brown - Cold Sweat (1967)
  • King Curtis and his Kingpins - Instant Soul (1967)
  • The Soul Finders - Sweet Soul Music (1968)
  • Albert Ayler - New Grass (1968)
  • James Brown - Say It Loud-I'm Black & I'm Proud (1969)
  • Al Kooper - You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (1969)
  • Gary Burton - Good Vibes (Atlantic, 1969)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Cornucopia (Solid State, 1969)
  • Aretha Franklin - Young, Gifted and Black (1972)
  • James Brown - Get On the Good Foot (1972)
  • Larry Coryell - Coryell (1969)
  • BB King - Completely Well (1970)
  • Robert Palmer's Insect Trust - Hoboken Saturday Night (1970)
  • Eddie Palmieri - Harlem River Drive (1970)
  • Aretha Franklin - Aretha Live at Fillmore West (1971)
  • King Curtis - Live at Fillmore West (1971)
  • Larry Coryell - Fairyland (1971)
  • Herbie Mann - Push, Push (1971)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Real Thing (1971)
  • Hubert Laws - Wild Flower (Atlantic, 1972)
  • Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace (1972)
  • Esther Phillips - Alone Again Naturally (1972)
  • Miles Davis - Get Up with It (1972)
  • Ronnie Foster - Sweet Revival (1972)
  • BB King - Guess Who (1973)
  • Cat Stevens - Foreigner (1973)
  • Hall & Oates - Abandoned Luncheonette (1973)
  • Jimmy McGriff - Come Together (1974)
  • Joe Cocker - I Can Stand a Little Rain (1974)
  • Bama The Village Poet - Ghettos Of The Mind (1974)
  • Cornell Dupree - Teasin' (1975)
  • Todd Rundgren - Initiation (1975)
  • Jorge Dalto - Chevere (1976)
  • Hummingbird - We Can't Go On Meeting Like This (1976)
  • Steely Dan - The Royal Scam (1976)
  • Steely Dan - Aja (1977)
  • Hummingbird - Diamond Nights (1977)
  • Pee Wee Ellis - Home in the Country (1977)
  • Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson - You Can't Make Love Alone (1977)
  • Joe Cocker - Luxury You Can Afford (1978)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Digital at Montreux, 1980 (Pablo, 1980)
  • Steely Dan - Gaucho (1980)
  • Jimmy McGriff - Blue to the Bone (1988)
  • Elliott Randall - Still Reelin (2006)
  • Hair - Broadway Cast Recording (2009)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Heatwave


Heatwave was an international funk/disco musical band featuring Americans Johnnie Wilder, Jr. and Keith Wilder (vocals) of Dayton, Ohio, Englishman Rod Temperton (keyboards), Swiss Mario Mantese (bass), Czech or slovak ??? Ernest "Bilbo" Berger (drums), Jamaican Eric Johns (guitar) and Briton Roy Carter (guitar).
They were known for their successful songs "Boogie Nights" and "Always and Forever" (from their 1976 debut album, Too Hot to Handle), and "The Groove Line" (from their 1978 follow-up album, Central Heating).
Founder member Johnnie Wilder was an American serviceman based in West Germany when he first began performing, upon his discharge from the U.S. Army, he stayed in Germany. He sang in nightclubs and taverns with an assortment of bands while still enlisted. By mid-year, he decided to relocate to the United Kingdom and through an ad placed in a local paper he linked up with songwriter/keyboardist Rod Temperton.
Touring the London nightclub circuit billed as Chicago's Heatwave during the mid-1970s allowed them to refine their sound, adding a funk groove to disco beats. In search of a fuller sound vocally, Johnnie Wilder called upon his brother Keith Wilder (who was performing in a local band in Dayton, Ohio) to join the band on vocals. The group signed to GTO Records in 1976 (Epic Records would handle GTO's releases in the states). They were paired in the studio with GTO house producer/session guitarist Barry Blue and rhythm guitarist Jesse Whitten. Rhythm guitarist Roy Carter replaced Whitten after Whitten was killed in a stabbing incident. They began creating their first album Too Hot to Handle in the fall of 1976.
Their third single, "Boogie Nights" from their debut album, in 1977 reached on the British popular music charts in January and in America in November. The group's debut album, Too Hot to Handle, was released in the spring of 1977, giving Heatwave a on the Hot 200 and on the R&B charts, while the next single, the soul ballad "Always and Forever", reached on the Hot 100 in April 1978 and #2 on the R&B charts.
Continuing to use Barry Blue's production skills, Heatwave released their second album Central Heating in April 1978. Lead single "The Groove Line," reached on the Hot 100 in July 1978.
During the late 1970s the band changed. At first Eric Johns quit the band and Billy Jones was his replacement as guitarist. Then Rod Temperton quit the band. Although Temperton would continue writing new songs for Heatwave, he soon became better-known for his songwriting for other artists, penning award-winning songs for some of funk's biggest names, including Rufus and The Brothers Johnson. He also wrote for Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones, but his most famous partnership remains the one forged with Michael Jackson, writing three songs for his 1979 Epic debut Off The Wall - "Rock With You," "Off The Wall" and "Burn This Disco Out", and three songs for the 1982 Thriller LP, including the title track.
Despite these changes Heatwave were about to return to the studio, when Mantese attended a party at Elton John's house in London. He was with his girlfriend, who decided to go home early from the party, reason unknown. When Mantese arrived home, she was furious with him, perhaps from an incident that happened at the party and stabbed him. The knife hit him in the heart and for several minutes, he was clinically dead. When, after several months, he awoke from coma, he was blind, mute and paralysed in his entire body. To date, he has no memory of this tragic event. He decided not to press charges against his girlfriend, and moved in with her after leaving the hospital. Mantese was replaced by bassist Derek Bramble. Adding keyboardist Calvin Duke to the group, and now working with new producer Phil Ramone, Heatwave cut Hot Property, released in May 1979.
During the spring of 1979, Johnnie Wilder, Jr., suffered injuries in an auto accident while visiting family and friends in Dayton, Ohio. Although he survived, the accident left him paralyzed from the neck down and unable to continue performing with the group. After the accident, Johnnie remained a co-producer of the group, along with Blue.
Determined to continue working with the band he had nurtured since the very beginning, Wilder participated with studio work and, during 1980, Heatwave recorded the Candles LP, with Temperton again providing the songs, except stand out track "All I Am", written by Blue's former writing partner Lynsey de Paul. The group recruited James Dean "J.D." Nicholas, who later became a member of the Commodores, to handle vocals in concert.
Heatwave's popularity was on the wane, though, as the November single "Gangsters of the Groove" proved to be their last popular music success, scoring number twenty-one in the U.S., and number twenty in the United Kingdom early in the New Year. But the album peaked at a mere number seventy-one in the United States in December 1980.
Heatwave's 1982 LP, Current, marked yet another new era for the band, as they returned to producer Blue. The album managed only number 156 on the U.S. Billboard 200, although it scored the band a number twenty-one success on the R&B charts, where Heatwave continued to be a strong presence. A Rod Temperton penned single, "Lettin' It Loose," proved a minor success during August.
Derek Bramble quit the band at the end of 1982, like Roy Carter, for a career in production (he would go on to work with David Bowie on 1984s Tonight LP, and later masterminded Jaki Graham's breakthrough). J.D. Nicholas left to replace Lionel Richie as the lead singer of the Commodores. After this long series of departures, the remaining members of Heatwave effectively disbanded.
Silent since early 1983, Heatwave reconvened in a new line-up to record and release the album The Fire in 1988. However, Keith Wilder was the only original member of the band present in this incarnation (although Billy Jones, who had joined the band in the late 1970s returned as well). Meanwhile, that same year, Johnnie Wilder released a solo spiritual album My Goals on Light. The Wilder brothers once again teamed up the following year for the gospel album, Sound of Soul. None of these late 1980s albums sold well, but Heatwave's recognition was revitalized in 1991, when a remix version of their "Mind Blowing Decisions" charted in the UK. By the middle of the 1990s, Keith Wilder had again reformed the band. Joined by bassist Dave Williamson, keyboardists Kevin Sutherland and Byron Byrd, guitarist Bill Jones[disambiguation needed ], and original drummer Ernest Berger, the reborn Heatwave launched an American tour with a live album recorded at the Greek Theater in Hollywood, arriving in 1997.
Heatwave released an extended club remix of "Boogie Nights" in 2002. Keith Wilder is the lead singer of the current line-up (and the only remaining original member). The current touring line-up includes a host of lesser known musicians, including New Orleans keyboardist Jeremy Crump.
Johnnie Wilder died in his sleep at his home in Dayton, Ohio in May 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Discography:

1976-Too Hot to Handle
1977-Central Heating
1979-Hot Property
1980-Candles
1982-Current
1988-The Fire 

Compilations & Mix:
1990-Gangsters Of The Groove (Hits In The 90's Mix)
1996-Always Forever (The Best Of)




Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chuck Brown



Chuck Brown (born August 22, 1936 - May 16, 2012) is a guitarist and singer who is affectionately called "The Godfather of Go-go". Go-go is a subgenre of funk music developed in and around Washington, D.C. in the mid- and late 1970s. While its musical classification, influences, and origins are debated, Brown is regarded as the fundamental force behind the creation of go-go music.

Brown's musical career began in the 1960s playing guitar with Jerry Butler and The Earls of Rhythm, joining Los Latinos in 1965. He still performs music today and is commonly known in the Washington, DC area. Brown's early hits include "I Need Some Money" and "Bustin' Loose". "Bustin' Loose" has been adopted by the Washington Nationals baseball team as its home run celebration song, and was interpolated by Nelly for his 2002 number one hit "Hot in Herre." Brown also recorded go-go covers of early jazz and blues songs, such as "Go-Go Swing" Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing If Ain't Got That Swing", "Moody's Mood for Love", Johnny Mercer's "Midnight Sun", Louis Jordan's "Run Joe", and T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday".

He has influenced other go-go bands such as Big G and The Backyard Band, Rare Essence, Experience Unlimited (EU), Little Benny and the Masters, and Trouble Funk. The song "Ashley's Roachclip" from the Soul Searchers' 1974 album Salt of the Earth contains a famous drum break, sampled countless times in various other tracks.
In the mid-1990s, he performed the theme music of Fox's sitcom The Sinbad Show which later aired on The Family Channel and Disney Channel.

Brown is considered a local legend in Washington, D.C., and has appeared in television advertisements for the Washington Post and other area companies. The D.C. Lottery's "Rolling Cash 5" ad campaign features Chuck Brown singing his 2007 song "The Party Roll" in front of various D.C. city landmarks such as Ben's Chili Bowl.

Brown resides in Waldorf, Maryland. His son, Nekos, was a defensive end/linebacker for the Virginia Tech football team. While his son was in college, Brown scheduled concerts and other appearances around the Hokies home schedule to ensure that he would never miss a game, and became a fixture at Lane Stadium. Following the Virginia Tech massacre, Brown stated in an interview that he was "absolutely devastated" by the tragedy, and cried every day for two weeks. In shows that followed, Brown would pause for a moment in prayer for the victims and their families before beginning his performance, and dedicated several shows to their memory.

Brown was the subject of the cover article in The Washington Post Magazine on October 4, 2009, entitled Chuck Brown's Long Dance. He received his first Grammy Award nomination in 2010 for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for "Love" (with Jill Scott and Marcus Miller), from the album We Got This.

Since the early 1970s, Brown has exclusively played a blonde Gibson ES-335, which is affectionately referred to as his "Blondie."

On September 4, 2011, Brown was honored by the National Symphony Orchestra, as the NSO paid tribute to Legends of Washington Music Labor Day concert - honoring Brown's music, as well as Duke Ellington and John Philip Sousa - with a free concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol. Brown and his band performed capped the evening with a performance.

****************************************************************

Discography:

  • 1972: We the People
  • 1974: Salt of the Earth
  • 1978: Bustin' Loose
  • 1980: Funk Express
  • 1984: We Need Some Money
  • 1986: Go Go Swing Live [Future Sounds Production]
  • 1987: Any Other Way to Go?
  • 1987: Live '87 - D.C. Bumpin' Y'all [live; double album]
  • 1989: Trust Me: Live Pa Tape, Vol. 2 [Future Records & Tapes]
  • 1990: Wind Me up Chuck, Vol. 3 [Raw Venture Records & Tapes]
  • 1991: 90's Goin' Hard
  • 1993: This Is a Journey into Time [live]
  • 1995: Hah Man
  • 1995: The Other Side - with Eva Cassidy (recorded in 1992 )
  • 1997: Live Pa Tape
  • 1998: Timeless
  • 1999: The Spirit of Christmas
  • 2001: Your Game...Live at the 9:30 Club
  • 2002: Put Your Hands Up!
  • 2005: Best of Chuck Brown (remastered)
  • 2007: We are About The Business (Raw Venture Records)
  • 2010: We Got This (Raw Venture Records)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Brick




Brick is a former American band that created a successful merger of funk and jazz in the 1970s. Their most popular single was "Dazz", (#3 U.S. Pop, #1 U.S. R&B, #36 UK Singles Chart) which was released in 1976.

Brick was formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972 from members of two bands - one disco and the other jazz. They coined their own term for disco-jazz, "dazz". They released their first single "Music Matic" on Main Street Records in 1976, before signing to the independently distributed Bang Records. Their next single, "Dazz", (#3 Pop, #1 R&B) was released in 1976. The band continued to record for Bang records until 1982. Other hits followed: "That's What It's All About" (R&B #48) and "Dusic" (#18 Pop, #2 R&B) in 1977, and "Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody" (#92 Pop, #7 R&B) in 1978. Their last Top Ten R&B hit was "Sweat (Til You Get Wet)" in 1981.

Members:

Jimmy Brown - lead vocals, saxophone, flute
Regi Hargis Hickman - guitar, bass, vocals
Eddie Irons - lead vocals, drums, keyboards
Donald Nevins - keyboards, vocals
Ray Ransom - vocals, bass, keyboards, percussion

Discography:
  • 1976 -Good High , Bang
  • 1977-Brick , Bang
  • 1979-Stoneheart , Bang
  • 1980-Waiting on You , Bang
  • 1981-Summer Heat , Bang
  • 1982-After 5 , Bang
  • 1988-Too Tuff , Magic City
  • 1995-The Best of Brick , Epic/Bang 
  • 2000-Super Hits , Sony

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Jazz Crusaders (a.k.a. The Crusaders)



The Crusaders were formed in 1960 in Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

The group comprised of:

Joe Sample (b. Joseph Leslie 'Joe' Sample, 1st February 1939, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - keyboards)
Wilton Felder (b. Wilton Lewis Felder, 31st August 1940, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - tenor sax)
Stix Hooper (b. Nesbert 'Stix' Hooper, 15th August 1938, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - drums)
Robert 'Pops' Popwell (b. Robert Popwell, 29th December 1950, Daytona, Florida, U.S.A. - bass guitar)
Wayne Henderson (b. 24th September 1939, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - trombone)

The Crusaders hail from Houston in Texas. Since 1961, the group (under various names) have released more than forty albums, 19 of which were recorded under the name 'The Jazz Crusaders' (in betweeen 1961 and 1970). In 1954, keyboards player, Joe Sample teamed up with high-school friends, tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and drummer Stix Hooper to, originally, form the Swingsters. The group first played together in high school before relocating to Los Angeles in the early '60's. As the Swingsters, they were joined by trombonist Wayne Henderson, flautist Hubert Laws, and bassist Henry Wilson and the group became the Modern Jazz Sextet. The group then changed their name to the Jazz Crusaders.

The Jazz Crusaders signed with the Pacific Jazz label, where they remained for a decade, before simplifying their name to the Crusaders in 1971. Their Early Pacific Jazz albums included 'Freedom Sound', 'Lookin Ahead', 'At The Lighthouse' and 'Tough Talk'. The Crusaders first album was entitled 'Pass The Plate' for the Chisa imprint, which was followed by a label change, to Blue Thumb/ABC, and a second album release, confusingly entitled 'Crusaders 1'. In 1972, they released '2nd Crusade', followed by 'Hollywood' (in 1973), 'Unsung Heroes' (in 1973) and 'Scratch' (in 1974). By 1974, they had incorporated the electric bass and electric guitar into their music. Bass guitarist 'Pops' Popwell and guitarist Larry Carlton joined the band, and featured on the group's albums throughout the latter part of the 1970's. They developed a more crossover, jazz-funk style of appeal, and the group's recordings started to appear on the Billboard pop charts.

Joe Sample performed various extra curricular performances for many Soul artists, along with some soft Rock artists including Joni Mitchell ('Free Man In Paris'). Further albums, 'Southern Comfort' (in 1974), 'Chain Reaction' (in 1975, including 'I Felt The Love'), and 'Those Southern Knights' (in 1976, including 'Spiral' and 'Keep That Same Old Feeling') were released before Wayne Henderson left the group to pursue solo recordings and production activities. The Crusaders recorded two more ABC albums, 'Free As The Wind' (1977) and 'Images' (1978) before the label merged with MCA. Pops Powell then left the group, and the Crusaders began to introduce vocals into their recordings.

The height of the group's commercial success came with 1979's 'Street Life', which peaked at number 18 on the pop album charts, and the title track from the album made the Top 10 on the R & B chart and number 36 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. The song featured the vocals of Randy Crawford, whose album 'Now We May Begin' the group produced and played on in 1980. Also in 1980 they employed the vocal skills of Bill Withers on 'Soul Shadows' for their new album 'Rhapsody & Blues'. In 1981, 'I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today' featuring the vocals of Joe Cocker, reached the U.K. Top 75. In 1982 the Crusaders produced 'Don't Take Your Love To Hollywood' for Kelly Marie. Another founding member, Stix Hooper, left the group in 1983 and three more albums were recorded in the mid-1980's. Stix Hoopper was replaced with drummer Ndugu, and returned with the album 'Ghetto Blaster' in 1984, (including 'Night Ladies' - U.K. Top 75).

In the meantime Will and Joe both recorded solo albums. Ndugu performed on a final Crusaders album for MCA, 'The Good And Bad Times', which was released in 1986, and included 'The Way It Goes' featuring Nancy Wilson. In 1988, the group released 'Life In THe Modern World', that featured vocal and writing contributions from Ivan Lins ('Life In The Modern World' and 'Some People Never Learn') and Lamont Dozier ('Let Me Prove Myself Tonight'). In the 1990's, the group, for the most part, had disbanded. Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder did, however, have a reunion as the Crusaders. In 2003, founding members Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Stix Hooper revived The Crusaders and released 'Rural Renewal'. Ray Parker Jr. and Eric Clapton played guitar on the album. Also in 2003, a Wayne Henderson-led Jazz Crusaders released 'Soul Axess'. The Jazz Crusaders have released six albums since 1995. Joe Sample is still pursuing a successful solo career, and is recording again with Randy Crawford (two albums in 2006 and 2008 respectively).

Discography

as the Jazz Crusaders:


as the Crusaders:
Compilations:

The Vocal Album (1987)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Legendary Lyn Collins




Biography

Nicknamed the "Female Preacher," Lyn Collins was discovered in the early '70s along with her relatives Bootsy and Catfish Collins by James Brown, who was making the transition to the hardest funk phase of his career. Lyn Collins was born June 12, 1948, in Abilene, TX, where she grew up; she began singing in her teens, waxing a tune called "Unlucky in Love" at age 14, and married a man who served both as her manager and as the local promoter for the James Brown Revue. Collins sent Brown a demo tape and he responded by essentially putting her on standby in 1970, when Marva Whitney left the Revue. Former vocalist Vicki Anderson elected to rejoin, however, so Brown instead invited Collins to come to Georgia for a recording session in early 1971, which produced the single "Wheel of Life." By the end of that year, Anderson was ready to leave again, and Collins officially joined the James Brown Revue. In 1972, Brown's People Records label released Collins' self-penned single "Think (About It)"; produced by Brown, it became her first and biggest hit, made her the most commercially successful female singer in Brown's camp, and was later sampled for the main vocal hook in the party rap classic "It Takes Two" by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock. Collins' first full-length album, also titled Think (About It), was released later in the year. Collins continued to record singles for Brown through 1973, also fulfilling her heavy touring commitments as a member of the Revue. Collins' second album, Check It Out if You Don't Know Me by Now, was released in 1975. She eventually became a backup session vocalist, also appearing on the soundtracks of the film Dr. Detroit and the TV series Fame. Around the late '80s/early '90s, Collins attempted a comeback as a dance-club diva, recording the house single "Shout" for Belgium's ARS label, and a self-penned track called "Break Your Heart" for an Italian label. In 1993, Collins' profile was given a boost by female dancehall reggae singer Patra, who invited Collins to perform on her hit remake of "Think (About It)"; partly due to the resulting interest, her two official albums were reissued in England and Holland. In addition, Collins' work has appeared on Polydor compilations like James Brown's Funky People and James Brown's Original Funky Divas, as well as the bootleg singles comp Female Preacher; she continued to tour and perform, most notably at the European Jazz/Funk Festival (in both 1998 and 1999) and the Montreux Jazz Festival. Shortly after returning from a European tour in February of 2005, Lyn Collins passed away on March 13 at the age of 56.

Discography
1972 - Think (About It)
1973 - Female Preacher
1975 - Check Me Out If You Don't Know Me By Now
2005 - Mama Feelgood

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Legendary Betty Davis




Biographyby

A wildly flamboyant funk diva with few equals even three decades after her debut, Betty Davis combined the gritty emotional realism of Tina Turner, the futurist fashion sense of David Bowie, and the trendsetting flair of Miles Davis, her husband for a year. It's easy to imagine the snickers when a 23-year-old model married a famous musician twice her age, but Davis was no gold digger; she turned Miles on to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone (providing the spark that led to his musical reinvention on In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew), then proved her own talents with a trio of sizzling mid-'70s solo LPs.

Born Betty Mabry in North Carolina, Davis grew up in Pittsburgh and had decamped to New York by the early '60s, where she gained entrance into hipster musical circles courtesy of the clubs she frequented -- and one she worked at, the Cellar. She first recorded around that time, and also put out a 1964 single for Don Costa's DCP imprint. Her first major writing credit, "Uptown" by the Chambers Brothers, came in 1967, before she'd turned 20. One year later, she met Miles Davis in New York, and they were married by the end of summer 1968. Though their marriage didn't survive the end of the decade, Betty Davis was tremendously influential to Miles, introducing him to psychedelic rock and even influencing his wardrobe. Miles' 1968 LP Filles de Kilimanjaro featured her on the cover, and he wrote the final track ("Mademoiselle Mabry") for her.

Miles divorced her in 1969, explaining later in his autobiography that she was "too young and wild" for him. (He also suspected her of an affair with Jimi Hendrix, an allegation she denies.) By the beginning of the '70s, Betty Davis began work on a set of songs and tapped a host of great musicians to bring them to fruition: Greg Errico and Larry Graham from Sly Stone's band, Michael Carabello from Santana, the Pointer Sisters, and members of the Tower of Power horn section. Her self-titled debut album finally appeared in 1973, and though it made no commercial impact at all, it was an innovative collection with plenty of blistering songs. Even more so than a soul shouter like Tina Turner, Davis was a singer for the feminist era, a take-no-prisoners sexual predator who screamed, yelled, grunted, purred, and cooed her way through extroverted material like "Anti Love Song," "Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him," and "He Was a Big Freak." Religious groups protested many of her concert appearances (several were canceled), and radio outlets understandably refused to play her extreme work.

Davis hardly let up with her second and third albums, 1974's They Say I'm Different and 1975's Nasty Gal, but they too made little impact. Though she would have made an excellent disco diva, Betty Davis largely disappeared from the music scene afterward. An aborted 1979 session has been released on multiple occasions, once as Crashin' from Passion and also as Hangin' Out in Hollywood. Early in the 21st century, Light in the Attic Records reissued Davis' three released studio albums, and also issued for the first time her 1976 unreleased recording, Crashin' from Passion, as Is It Love or Desire?

Discography

  • 1973 Betty Davis
  • 1974 They Say I'm Different
  • 1975 Nasty Gal
  • 1976 - Is It Love Or Desire
  • 1995 Hangin' Out in Hollywood
  • 1996 Crashin' from Passion
  • 2003 - This Is It (Compillation)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Legendary Esther Phillips




Esther Phillips (December 23, 1935 – August 7, 1984) was an American singer. Phillips was known for her R&B vocals,[1] but she was a versatile singer, also performing pop, country, jazz, blues and soul music.

Biography
Early life
Born Esther Mae Jones in Galveston, Texas, when she was an adolescent, her parents divorced, and she was forced to divide her time between her father in Houston and her mother in the Watts area of Los Angeles. Because she was brought up singing in church, she was hesitant to enter a talent contest at a local blues club, but her sister insisted and she complied. A mature singer at age fourteen, she won the amateur talent contest in 1949 at the Barrelhouse Club owned by Johnny Otis. Otis was so impressed that he recorded her for Modern Records and added her to his traveling revue, the California Rhythm and Blues Caravan, billed as 'Little Esther Phillips' (she reportedly took the surname from a gas station sign).

Early career
Her first hit record was "Double Crossing Blues", recorded in 1950 for Savoy Records. After several hit records with Savoy, including her duet with Mel Walker on "Mistrusting Blues", which went to number one that year, as did "Cupid Boogie". Other Phillips records that made it onto the U.S. Billboard R&B chart in 1950 include "Misery" (number 9), "Deceivin' Blues" (number 4), "Wedding Boogie" (number 6), and "Faraway Blues" (number 6). Few female artists, R&B or otherwise, had ever enjoyed such success in their debut year. Phillips left Otis and the Savoy label at the end of 1950 and signed with Federal Records.

But just as quickly as the hits had started, they stopped. Although she recorded more than thirty sides for Federal, only one, "Ring-a-Ding-Doo", charted; the song made it to number 8 in 1952. Not working with Otis was part of her problem; the other part was her drug usage. By the middle of the decade Phillips was chronically addicted to drugs.

In 1954, she returned to Houston to live with her father to recuperate. Short on money, she worked in small nightclubs around the South, punctuated by periodic hospital stays in Lexington, Kentucky, stemming from her addiction. In 1962, Kenny Rogers re-discovered her while singing at a Houston club and got her signed to his brother Lelan’s Lenox label.

Comeback
Phillips ultimately got well enough to launch a comeback in 1962. Now billed as Esther Phillips instead of Little Esther, she recorded a country tune, "Release Me," with producer Bob Gans. This went to number 1 R&B and number 8 on the pop listings. After several other minor R&B hits on Lenox, she was signed by Atlantic Records. Her cover of The Beatles' song "And I Love Him" nearly made the R&B Top Ten in 1965 and the Beatles flew her to the UK for her first overseas performances.]

She had other hits in the 1960s on the label, but no more chart toppers, and she waged a battle with heroin dependency. With her addiction worsening, Phillips checked into a rehab facility. While undergoing treatment, she cut some sides for Roulette in 1969, mostly produced by Lelan Rogers. On her release, she moved back to Los Angeles and re-signed with the Atlantic label. A late 1969 gig at Freddie Jett's Pied Piper club produced the album Burnin'. She performed with the Johnny Otis Show at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1970.

The 1970s
One of her biggest post-1950s triumphs was in 1972 with her first album for Kudu Records. The song penned by Gil Scott-Heron, "Home Is Where the Hatred Is," - an account of drug use — was lead track on From a Whisper to a Scream which went on to be nominated for a Grammy Award. When Phillips lost to Aretha Franklin, the latter presented the trophy to Phillips, saying she should have won it instead.

Taylor continued to cut albums with her until in 1975, she scored her biggest hit single since "Release Me" with a disco-style update of Dinah Washington's "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes". It reached a high of a Top 20 chart appearance in the U.S., and Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart. On November 8, 1975 she performed the song on an episode of NBC's Saturday Night hosted by Candice Bergen. The accompanying album of the same name became her biggest seller yet, with arranger Joe Beck on guitar, Michael Brecker on tenor sax, David Sanborn on alto sax, and Randy Brecker on trumpet to Steve Khan on guitar and Don Grolnick on keyboards.

She continued to record and perform throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, completing a total of seven albums on Kudu and four with Mercury Records, for whom she signed in 1977. In 1983, she charted for the final time on a tiny independent label, Winning with "Turn Me Out," which reached #85 R&B. She completed recording her final album a few months before her death, but it was not until 1986 that the label (Muse) released the record.

Death
Phillips died at UCLA Medical Center in Carson, California in 1984, at the age of 48 from liver and kidney failure due to drug use. Her funeral services were conducted by Johnny Otis

1951 Hollerin' and Screaming
1963 Release Me
1965 And I Love Him!
1966 Esther Phillips Sings
1966 The Country Side of Esther
1970 Burnin' [live]
1972 From A Whisper To A Scream
1972 Alone Again (Naturally)
1973 Black-Eyed Blues
1974 Performance
1975 What a Diff'rence a Day Makes
1976 Capricorn Princess
1976 Confessin' the Blues
1976 For All We Know
1976 Gold Blues
1977 Live At The Rising Sun Club
1977 You've Come a Long Way, Baby
1978 All About Esther
1978 Esther Phillips
1979 Here's Esther Are You Ready
1981 Good Black Is Hard to Crack
1990 Better Beware
1992 A Way to Say Goodbye

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Legend: Idris Muhammad



Idris Muhammad (born November 13, 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana; is a jazz drummer. He was born Leo Morris on November 13, 1939 before changing his name in the 1960s upon his conversion to Islam. He is known for his funky playing style. He has released a number of albums as leader, and has played with a number of jazz legends including Lou Donaldson, Johnny Griffin, Pharoah Sanders and Grover Washington, Jr. He has been touring and recording with pianist Ahmad Jamal since 1995. At 15 years-old, one of Muhammad's earliest recorded sessions as a drummer was on Fats Domino's 1956 smash hit Blueberry Hill.

In 1966, he married Dolores "LaLa" Brooks (former member of the Crystals; she converted to Islam with him and went for a time under the name Sakinah Muhammad). They separated in 1999. Together, they have two sons and two daughters. Muhammad is an endorser of Istanbul Agop Cymbals who issued a 22" Idris Muhammad Signature Ride in at the 2008 NAMM show in Anaheim, CA.

Discography:

As leader
  • 1970: Black Rhythm Revolution (Prestige Records) Flac
  • 1971: Peace & Rhythm (Prestige) Flac
  • 1974: Power of Soul
  • 1976: House of the Rising Sun
  • 1977: Turn This Mutha Out
  • 1978: Boogie to the Top
  • 1978: You Ain't No Friend of Mine 
  • 1979: Fox Huntin'
  • 1980: Kabsha
  • 1980: Make It Count
  • 1992: My Turn
  • 1996:Legends of Acid Jazz
  • 1998: Right Now
As sideman
  • With Pharoah Sanders
  • Jewels of Thought(1969)
  • Journey to the One (1980)
  • Shukuru (1981)
  • Heart Is a Melody(1982)
  • Africa(1987)
  • With Nat Adderley
  • * Calling Out Loud (CTI, 1968)
  • With Lou Donaldson
  • * Fried Buzzard (Cadet, 1965)
  • * Blowing in the Wind (Cadet, 1966)
  • * Lou Donaldson At His Best (Cadet, 1966)
  • * Alligator Bogaloo (Blue Note, 1967)
  • * Mr. Shing-A-Ling (Blue Note, 1967)
  • * Midnight Creeper (Blue Note, 1968)
  • * Say It Loud! (Blue Note, 1968)
  • * Hot Dog (Blue Note, 1969)
  • * Everything I Play is Funky (Blue Note, 1970)
  • * Pretty Things (Blue Note, 1970)
  • * The Scorpion (Blue Note, 1970)
  • * Cosmos (Blue Note 1971)
  • * Sweet Poppa Lou (Muse, 1981)
  • With Grant Green
  • * Sookie Sookie (Blue Breakbeats 1998)
  • With Freddie Hubbard
  • * New Colors (Hip Bop Essence 2001) \ FLAC
  • With Ahmad Jamal
  • * The Essence of Ahmad Jamal, Pt 1 (1994) pass = yuforum\ FLAC
  • * Big Byrd: The Essence, Pt. 2 (Dreyfus, 1997) pass = yuforum
  • * Nature: The Essence, Part III (Dreyfus, 1998)pass = yuforum
  • * Picture Perfect (2000)
  • * Ahmad Jamal 70th Birthday (2000)
  • * In Search of Momentum (Dreyfus, 2002)
  • * After Fajr (Dreyfus, 2005) \ Flac
  • * It's Magic (Dreyfus, 2008)
  • With Rodney Jones
  • * Soul Manifesto (1991)
  • With Ernest Ranglin
  • * Below the Bassline (Island Records, 1998)
  • With John Scofield
  • * Groove Elation (1995)
  • With Leon Spencer
  • * Sneak Preview (Prestige Records, 1970)
  • * Louisiana Slim (Prestige, 1971)
  • With Stanley Turrentine
  • Common Touch(1968)
  • Sugar Man(1975)
  • With Andrew Hill
  • Grass Roots!(1968)
  • With Charles Earland
  • Black Talk!(1969)
  • With Reuben Wilson
  • Love Bug (1969)
  • With Lonnie Smith
  • Turning Point(1969)
  • With Sonny Stitt
  • Goin' Down Slow (1971)
  • With Gene Ammons
  • My Way (1970)
  • With Bob James
  • 1965: Explosions
  • 2003 - The Legendary Albums
  • With Roberta Flack
  • Feel Like Makin' Love (1975)
  • Blue Lights in the Basement(1977)
  • With Merry Clayton
  • Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow (1975)
  • With Gabor Szabo
  • Macho(1975)
  • With Allspice
  • Allspice(1977)
  • With Richard "Groove" Holmes
  • Groove's Groove(1977)
  • Good Vibrations (1977)
  • With David "Fathead" Newman
  • Back to Basics (1977)
  • Concrete Jungle(1977)
  • Keep the Dream Alive(1977)
  • With Dexter Wansel
  • What the World Is Coming To(1977)
  • With Wilbert Longmire
  • Champagne(1979)
  • With Johnny Lytle
  • Fast Hands(1980)
  • Good Vibes(1981)
  • With Ximo Tebar
  • The Champs(2004)
  • With Horace Silver
  • That Healin' Feelin(1970)
  • With Bobbi Humphrey
  • Flute In (1971)
  • With Rusty Bryant
  • Soul Liberation(1970)
  • Fire Eater (1971)
  • With Melvin Sparks
  • Akilah(1973)
  • With Willis "Gator" Jackson,
  • Bar Wars(1977) \ APE
  • Single Action(1978)
  • With Etta Jones
  • My Mother's Eyes(1977)
  • With Randy Weston
  • Portraits of Thelonious Monk(1990,Verve)






Sunday, March 14, 2010

Legendary Group:Wild Cherry


Rob Parissi (lead vocals & guitar) was raised in the steel mill town of Mingo Junction, Ohio . Parissi graduated from Mingo High School in 1968. Rob formed his first band in 1970 in Steubenville, Ohio, one mile north of Mingo Junction along the Ohio River. The band's name "Wild Cherry" was taken from a box of cough drops while Rob was recouperating from a brief hospital stay. The band played the Ohio Valley region, Wheeling, West Virginia and the rest of the Northern West Virginia panhandle, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The original lineup included: Ben DiFabbio - Drums, Lead and background vocals - from Mingo Junction, Ohio, Louie Osso - Guitar, Lead and background vocals- from Steubenville, Ohio, Larry Brown - Bass, Lead and background vocals - from Weirton, West Virginia, Larry Mader - Keyboards, Lead and background vocals - from East Springfield, Ohio, and of course Rob Parissi - Lead vocals and Guitar.After the original members broke up, there were other members who also played before the big hit, such as Rob's cousin, Coogie Stoddart - guitar, Lead and background vocals and Joe Buchmelter on Bass.

Several other records were released under their own label, including You Can Be High (But Lay Low), date unknown, and Something Special On Your Mind, 1971. The music at this stage was pure rock music, not funk. Wild Cherry eventually gained a record contract with Brown Bag Records. Several demos and singles were produced including Get Down, 1973 (re-release of earlier self labeled demo); and Show Me Your Badge, 1973.

The band broke up when a disillusioned Parissi left the music scene to become the manager of a local steakhouse. Rob quickly realized that the steakhouse gig was not going to cut it. As his enthusiasm for the music eventually returned, Rob decided to give the business one last shot.

Parissi re-formed the band with new musicians. The new lineup consisted of Bryan Bassett (guitar/vocals) and Ronald Beitle (drums/percussion/vocals), both from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Allen Wentz (bass guitar/synthesizer/vocals), who hailed from Detroit, Michigan. As the hard rockin' quartet began to perform non-stop and build a huge, devoted following in the Pittsburgh area, they were repeatedly asked by listeners to play more dance music. Disco was beginning its rule on the radio and the dance floor. At the 2001 Club in Pittsburgh, a table full of black fans kept coming to the stage and teasing: "Are you white boys gonna play some funky music?" One night during a break between sets, drummer Ron Beitle, in a group meeting in the dressing room, uttered the magic phrase that eventually was to be heard around the world: "Play That Funky Music, White Boy". On the way back to the stage to play the next set, Rob Parissi was immediately inspired to write the song that will live on forever, on a drink order pad with a pen borrowed from the bartender. The song took a total of 5 minutes to write. When the band went into the studio to record the song, studio engineer Ken Hamann was blown away by the potential hit and brought the band to the attention of Sweet City Records, which then immediately signed the group. Parissi had intended to record the song as the B-side to a cover version of the Commodores' "I Feel Sanctified", but the label suggested recording it as an A-side. Epic Records then picked it up for major world-wide distribution. During the recording of the first album, Mark Avsec was hired as a session keyboardist on two of the album's tracks, "Nowhere To Run" and "The Lady Wants Your Money", and was asked to join the band after the album was released and the group was about to embark on its first tour.

"Play That Funky Music" became a huge hit when released in 1976, peaking at number one on both the Billboard R&B and pop charts. Both the single and Wild Cherry's self-titled debut album went platinum. Play That Funky Music was #1 on the Billboard charts for 3 weeks. The band was named Best Pop Group of the Year by Billboard, and received an American Music Award for Top R&B Single of the Year, as well as a pair of Grammy nominations for Best New Vocal Group and Best R&B Performance by a Group or Duo that year, adding to their success.

Their 1977 album, Electrified Funk and 1978 album I Love My Music did not produce any top 20 hits, While their 1979 album Only the Wild Survive didn't produce a top 100 single.

U.S. billboard chart placements for singles from their 3 other albums:

* Baby Don't You Know (1977; peaked at #43)
* Hot To Trot (1977; peaked at #95)
* Hold On (1977; peaked at #61)
* I Love My Music (1978; peaked at #69).

"Hot to Trot" was a minor followup hit in some non U.S. markets.

Although it was never a chart hit, the song "1 2 3 Kind Of Love" had the right feel for the beach music clubs along the North and South Carolina coasts; it continues to be popular there today, and the song is included in the beach music anthology series by Ripete Records.

One musician who played with the band was guitarist/vocalist Donnie Iris (ex-The Jaggerz). Donnie was credited on their fourth and final album. Mark Avsec partnered up with Donnie following the demise of Wild Cherry to form The Cruisers, and also released a solo project under the moniker Cellarful of Noise in 1985.

Coogie Stoddart returned to perform with Wild Cherry beginning with the tour to support Electrified Funk. Coogie recorded the third album, I Love my Music, with the band. On that album is recorded one of Coogie's original songs, If You Want My Love, on which Coogie shares lead vocals with Rob Parissi. (The album jacket for I Love My Music incorrectly states that all songs were written by Rob Parissi; the album's label is correct.) Coogie Stoddart toured with the group in support of I Love My Music, but left before Only the Wild Survive was recorded.

Allen Wentz moved to NYC after leaving the band, and became a session synthesist playing on many records and jingles. He has produced a number of indie projects over the years, scored a few indie films, and has had some song placements. He still composes and records under different aliases, as well as under his own name. Over the years he has worked with artists ranging from Luther Vandross and Roberta Flack, to Cyndi Lauper.

Guitarist Bryan Bassett went on to a successful producing/engineering career, working with many great blues artists. And his guitar playing easily earned him a spot in the 90's with Foghat and Molly Hatchet. He continues to tour with Foghat and work in his studio.

Parissi later became a disk jockey in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Play That Funky Music was covered by the rock group ROXANNE in 1988 and was sampled by Vanilla Ice in 1990 (for which Parissi was not credited; he later won $500,000 in a copyright infringement lawsuit), and it continues to be a hit in dance clubs to this day. Play that Funky Music is regularly included on funk and disco compilations, and has been included in numerous movies, television shows and was the theme song for Craig Kilborn's late-night TV show. Taylor Hicks sang Play That Funky Music on American Idol a week before he won. On March 31, 2009, Adam Lambert sang this song on the American Idol television show.

In 2009 Rob Parissi was involved with members of 70's group LAW in recording a song for Ohio State University called 'GO BUCKS. It was released in August that year.


Discography

Studio albums

* Wild Cherry (1976)
* Electrified Funk (1977)
* I Love My Music (1978)
* Only the Wild Survive (1979)


Compilation albums

* Play the Funk (2000)
* Super Hits (2004)

Singles

  • "Show Me Your Badge/Bring Back the Fire" (1973)
  • "Play That Funky Music" (1976) \alternate
  • "I Feel Sanctified" (1976)
  • "Baby Don't You Know" (1977)
  • "Hold On (With Strings)" (1977)
  • "Hot to Trot" (1977) - also released as part of a double A-side with "Play That Funky Music" in 1977
  • "123 Kind of Love" (1978)
  • "This Old Heart of Mine" (1978)
  • "Try a Piece of My Love" (1979)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Legendary Group: SUN



Another of the many Dayton funk bands that emerged in the '70s, Sun didn't enjoy as much success as their counterparts. The band recorded prolifically for Capitol from 1976 to 1984, but just couldn't score a major hit. The closest they came was "Sun Is Here," which made it to number 18 on the R&B charts in 1978. They made one last try with Air City in 1984, but it flopped.

Discography

  • 1976 Live On, Dream On
  • 1976 Wanna Make Love
  • 1977 Sun Power
  • 1978 Sunburn
  • 1978 Dance (Do What You Wanna Do)
  • 1979 Destination: Sun
  • 1980 Sun Over the Universe
  • 1981 Force of Nature
  • 1982 Let There Be Sun
  • 1984 Eclipse

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