Monday, February 27, 2017

Kool and the Gang


In 1964, thirteen-year-old Robert Bell, his brother Ronald, and five high-school friends in Jersey City, New Jersey, formed an instrumental band called the Jazziacs. They changed their name to Kool & the Flames in 1967, then Kool & the Gang in 1969 and were signed by Gene Redd to his new record label De-Lite Records in 1969. Their main genre of music is American Funk and rhythm and blues.


The Bell brothers' father Bobby and uncle Tommy were boxers. They moved to New York to train and lived in the same apartment building as Thelonious Monk, who became Robert's godfather when he was born. Miles Davis would drop by because he wanted to be a boxer. They were childhood friends with McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, and Leon Thomas.

The band's debut album, Kool and the Gang (1969), produced three hit singles on the pop and R&B charts of Billboard magazine. Wild and Peaceful (1973) gave the band three more hits: "Funky Stuff" in the Top 40 pop chart and "Jungle Boogie" and "Hollywood Swinging" in the Top 10. The latter two songs sold over one million copies and were certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The band remained productive, with albums coming out in 1974 (Light of Worlds) and 1975 (Spirit of the Boogie).

In 1979, James "J.T." Taylor joined as lead singer. Kool and the Gang starting working with Brazilian fusion musician Eumir Deodato as producer, and they moved away from funk and closer to rhythm & blues and pop music. The songs "Ladies' Night" and "Too Hot" were hits and the album was certified platinum by the RIAA. Even more successful was the album Celebration (1980), also produced by Deodato, also certified platinum, giving Kool and the Gang its first number one hit ("Celebration"), which Robert Bell called "an international anthem".

More international hits followed in the early 1980s, including "Big Fun", "Get Down on It", and "Joanna". The album Emergency (1984) yielded four Top 20 pop hits, including "Fresh" and "Cherish".

In 1988, Taylor left the group to pursue a solo career. He was replaced by three vocalists: Skip Martin, Odeen Mays, and Gary Brown. He returned for State of Affairs (1996).


Celebration



Cherish



Ladies Night



Too Hot



Be sure to check these and others out on the playlist.




Will you be joining us for 2017 AtoZ Challenge?

Be sure to visit http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ 
for all of the details

I've got a fun theme planned for this year, and I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with!






7 comments:

  1. Found you on the Grow Your Blog "click through" but you might want to check out the Tunes Tuesday link up on Janelle's blog Run With No Regrets! www.runwithnoregrets.com

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    1. Thanks, Wendy! I'll be sure to take a look. Appreciate you stopping by. Come back to enjoy the music anytime :)

      ~Mary

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  2. One of my favorite groups. I have one of their "Best Of" albums that I pull out on occasion, and all of these are on it.

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    1. They sure are a lot of fun to listen to, John. This was a fun post for me as well.

      ~Mary

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  3. Have always loved Kool and the Gang! And just love reading about the famous
    connections of certain folks as they grew up. Can you imagine MILes Davis as a family friend?!

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    1. I know, right? Talk about musical influence! I'd love to have these guys as family friends.

      ~Mary

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