History  New Birth

The history of the group began with the instrumental outfit, The Nite-Liters, which was originally formed in 1963 in Louisville, Kentucky by Tony Churchill and Harvey Fuqua. In its heyday, besides Churchill on tenor sax and vibes, the band featured Charlie Hearndon on guitar, James Baker on keyboards, Robin Russell on drums, Robert "Lurch" Jackson on trumpet, Austin Lander on baritone sax, Leroy Taylor on bass, and, later, Carl McDaniel on guitar. Earlier members included Johnny Graham, later of Earth, Wind & Fire  and Jerry Bell. Some sources identify The Nite-Liters as the band that played as "The Crawlers" with Chicago artist Alvin Cash on his R&B #1 1964 hit, "Twine Time".


The Nite-Liters had a few hits before the formation of New Birth proper, including "K-Jee" (#17 R&B, #39 pop, 1971). In 1969, Vernon Bullock had thought of creating an ensemble of groups for a touring company and Harvey Fuqua and Tony Churchill soon took an interest. After discovering a male vocal group, The Now Sound, which featured Bobby Downs, Ron Coleman, Gary Young and George "Slim" House and also a female vocal group, known as Mint Julep, which featured Londee Loren, Tanita Gaines, Janice Carter and Pam Swent, they brought them together with The Nite-Liters plus additional vocalist, Alan Frye, calling the newly formed ensemble, New Birth. The band came together in 1970 with their self-titled debut on RCA. Their second album, Ain't No Big Thing, But It's Growing, yielded a minor hit with their cover of Perry Como's "It's Impossible", in 1971.


Later that year, Bullock discovered a group from Detroit, Michigan called Love, Peace & Happiness, which featured former Marvelettes singer Ann Bogan and brothers Leslie and Melvin Wilson. Finding that they had the spark that was missing from the New Birth ensemble, he paired them with the Nite-Liters and original members of New Birth, Londee Loren, Bobby Downs and Alan Frye.


In 1972, the reorganized group (as a 17-piece ensemble) reached the Billboard R&B top 10 (#4 R&B, #35 pop) with their cover of Bobby Womack and


The Valentinos' "I Can Understand It", which paved the way for the band's future success. By the time the song hit the stores, however, Ann had left to devote time to her family, leaving Londee Loren as the only female member. When Fuqua reportedly could not get the performance he wanted out of Londee on their next hit, "Until It's Time for You to Go", it featured, instead of the group members, future Supremes member Susaye Greene as lead vocalist, with Fuqua and Carolyn Willis of Honey Cone doing the spoken intro. However, Londee more than met the challenge in live performances and her voice matured on future releases.


In 1974, the group issued their album, It's Been a Long Time, which featured hits including the title track (#9 R&B) and their cover of the Skylark song "Wildflower". After the release of their sixth RCA album, Comin' From All Ends, the group split from RCA, Fuqua and their management company and signed with Buddah.


New Birth's Buddah debut, Blind Baby, featured the group's only number-one R&B single, a cover of the Jerry Butler classic, "Dream Merchant". By this time, the Nite-Liters had so merged with the New Birth that the instrumental cut that opened the album was solely credited to New Birth. A move to Warner Bros. Records produced several minor hits and the release of the 1977 album, Behold The Mighty Army, the Wilson brothers left following disagreements in the group.


The group including Baker, Churchill and Lander returned on Ariola in 1979 with Jerry Bell as their lead vocalist on Platinum City and in 1982 with the I'm Back album. Leslie Wilson had left the group to replace Jeffrey Osborne in L.T.D. whilst Jerry Bell departed in 1981 to become lead vocalist for Motown's Dazz Band.


The Wilsons toured with a new ensemble as New Birth in 1994, and released a few albums under the new name in the decade since. Drummer Robin Russell released a solo CD entitled Drum Beats in 2004.

New Birth, particularly lead vocalist Leslie Wilson was a chief influence on soul artist Reggie Sears and Temptations lead singer Ali "Ollie" Woodson.

James Baker died in 1993, Leroy Taylor died on January 17, 2012 and producer Vernon Bullock died March 18, 2015 at the age of 70 years.




















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As The Nite-Liters

As Love, Peace & Happiness

  • Love Is Stronger (RCA LSP-4535, 1971)

  • Here 'Tis (RCA LSP-4721, 1972)

As New Birth

  • The New Birth (RCA LSP-4450, 1971)

  • Ain't No Big Thing, But It's Growing (RCA LSP-4526, 1971) US #189, US Black Albums #50

  • Coming Together (RCA LSP-4697, 1972) US Black Albums #40

  • Birth Day (RCA LSP-4797, 1972) US #31, US Black Albums #1

  • It's Been a Long Time (RCA APL1-0285, 1973) US #50, US Black Albums #7

  • Comin' from All Ends (RCA APL1-0494, 1974) US #56, US Black Albums #20

  • Blind Baby (Buddah BDS-5636, 1975) US #57, US Black Albums #17

  • Love Potion (Warner Bros. BS-2953, 1976) US #168, US Black Albums #22

  • Behold the Mighty Army (Warner Bros. BS-3071, 1977) US #164, US Black Albums #28

  • The New Birth Disco (RCA APL1-1535, 1977)

  • Reincarnation (RCA APL1-1801, 1977)

  • Platinum City (Ariola SW-50062, 1979)

  • I'm Back (RCA AFL1-4411, 1982)

  • God's Children (PNEC Records, 1998)

  • Lifetime (Orpheus Records, 2005)


YearTitleChart Positions

U.S. Pop SinglesU.S. Black Singles

1971"It's Impossible"5212


1972"(We've Got to) Pull Together"-27


"I Don't Want to Do Wrong"-41

1973"I Can Understand It"354

"Until It's Time for You to Go"9721

1974"I Wash My Hands of the Whole Damn Deal, Part I"8846

"It's Been a Long Time"669


1975"Comin' From All Ends"-76

"Dream Merchant"361

"Grandaddy (Part I)"9528

1976"The Long and Winding Road"-91

1978"The Mighty Army"-49

History Dazz Band

The Dazz Band grew out of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1976 stemming from the jazz fusion band Bell Telefunk. Founded by Michael Calhoun, The Dazz Band has performed since 1976 and continues to perform today. Original Kinsman Dazz/ Dazz Band members included Bobby Harris (saxophonist, vocalist), Kenny Pettus (lead vocalist, percussions), Isaac "Ike" Wiley, Jr. (drums), his brother Michael Wiley (bassist), and Michael Calhoun (songwriter/guitarist). The group was originally named Kinsman Dazz at the suggestion of Ray Calabrese, who would later become the band's manager along with Sonny Jones, owner of The Kinsman Grill, located near the street where the band worked as a house band.


Kinsman Dazz was signed to 20th Century Records in 1977 and the group expanded from the original quintet consisting of Harris, Calhoun, Pettus, and the Wiley brothers and added newcomers Ed Meyers (trombone), Wayne Preston (saxophonist), and Les Thaler (trumpet). In 1977, the group went to Los Angeles to record with producer Marvin Gaye. Due to illness, Gaye was unable to complete the project. Leader Michael Calhoun requested and got Philip Bailey, the vocalist of Earth, Wind & Fire, to produce the group's first album Kinsman Dazz They released their first single, "I Might as Well Forget About Loving You" in 1978. Philip Bailey made significant contributions to the group's vocal arrangements and overall sound. He went on to co-produce the second album, Dazz in 1979 when the band achieved their second charting hit "Catchin' Up On Love".


In 1980, The Kinsman Dazz changed its name to The Dazz Band after being signed to Motown Records which simultaneously included a re-organization of members. Wayne Preston and Les Thaler were no longer with the group, and Sennie "Skip" Martin, (trumpet, vocalist) Pierre DeMudd (trumpet, vocalist) and Kevin Kendricks (keyboards) were added. In 1981 guitarist Eric Fearman, Jerry Bell.


The Dazz Band's first album for Motown was Invitation to Love(1980). The bands title track began a string of hits starting in March, 1981. The group's next album, Let The Music Play (1981), featured the hit single "Knock! Knock!", reaching the Top 50. The Dazz Band's breakthrough came with the hit "Let It Whip" written and produced by Reggie Andrews off of the Keep It Live (1982) album ."Let It Whip" reached No. 1 on the R&B charts, and achieved a Grammy Award and continues in recurring radio and Sirius XM rotation. Members of the Grammy Award Winning Dazz Band.


The Dazz Band continued to score R&B hits with the songs such as "Party Right Here" (1983), "On the One For Fun" (1983) "Joystick" (1983), and "Let It All Blow" (also their biggest UK hit single, peaking at #12) (1984).

Reggie Andrews produced five Dazz Band albums including: Let The Music Play (1981), Keep It Live (1982), On the One (1983), Joystick (1983), Jukebox (1984) under the Motown label.  The Dazz Band is known for its high energy live performances, often proving more popular than the headlining act. After winning the Grammy in 1982, Keith Harrison (1983)(vocalist, keyboards) was added to the group. In 1985 Eric Fearman and Sennie "Skip" Martin (trumpet, vocalist) left the group and were replaced by guitarist Marlon McClain; and the search began for additional vocalists that would match The Dazz Band sound. In 1984, The Dazz Band recorded Wild & Free (1986) which featured Jerry Bell as lead vocalist."Geffen Records.


The Dazz Band signed with RCA records in 1988 and released the album Rock the Room which charted with the single Anticipation featuring vocals from Juan Lively (vocalist). From 1994-2001 Terry Stanton (vocalist) contributed on the following albums including: Funkology (1994), and Under the Streetlights (1995) Lucky Records. After serving as lead vocalist with Kool & The Gang for many years, Sennie "Skip" Martin returned to performing and recording with The Dazz Band in 1997 and recorded on Double Exposure (1997) live in Seattle Washington, and shared lead vocals with Jerry Bell and Terry Stanton on Time Traveler (2001). But do to a lawsuit between Bell and Harris over the name of the Dazz Band, Jerry Bell left the group in 2010 to sign with Universal Bungalo Records as a solo artist.


















YearTitlePeak chart positionsLabel

US 200US R&B

1980Invitation to Love--Motown

1981Let the Music Play15436Motown

1982Keep It Live141Motown

1982On the One5912Motown



1984Greatest Hits--Motown

1985Hot Spot11424Motown

1986Wild & Free17837Geffen

1988Rock the Room-91RCA

1996Under the Streetlights-42Lucky

1997Double Exposure--Intersound

1998Here We Go Again-99Intersound

2001Time Traveler--Major Hits Records


YearTitleChart positionsAlbum

US Hot 100US R&BUS Dance

1980"Shake It Up"-6575Invitation to Love

1981"Invitation to Love"10951-Invitation to Love

1981"Knock Knock"-44-Let the Music Play

1982"Let It Whip"512Keep It Live

1982"Keep It Live (On the K.I.L.)"-20-Keep It Live

1983"On the One for Fun"-952On the One

1983"Cheek to Cheek"-76-On the One

1983"Party Right Here"-63-On the One


1984"Swoop (I'm Yours)"-12-Joystick

1984"Let It All Blow"8493Jukebox


1985"Hot Spot"-2133Hot Spot

1986"L.O.V.E. M.I.A."-48-Wild & Free

1986"Wild and Free"-44-Wild & Free

1988"Anticipation"-38-Rock the Room

1988"Single Girls"-1938Rock the Room

1988"Open Sesame"-83-Rock the Room

1998"Ain't Nuthin' but a Jam Y'all"-58-Time Traveler

1998"Girl Got Body"-81-Here We Go Again



Jerry Bell is a stylist in all facets of life, whether it's singing, martial arts, or acting. His passion for music emanates from early vocal training while growing up in Philadelphia in a musical family which has produced gold and platinum albums for two decades. One of his brothers is Archie Bell of Archie Bell & The Drells, which has the hits; "Tighten Up," "Showdown," "I Can't Stop Dancing," "Let's Groove," and many more. Also starting with his own group while still in high school, known as The Delusions. Jerry's vocal skills came from his mother, who was a church singer, also his vocal training came from a Miami Florida well known recording artist by the name of Jimmy "Bo" Horne who used to take Bell on the road and tours with him and his band the Miami Ocean Liners, who later became KC & The Sunshine Band. As life would have it, he would go back to Philadelphia and join forces with his best friends McFadden & Whitehead who were the top writers for Philadelphia International Records, recording such hits as "Ain't No Stopping Us Now," "Bad Luck," "Back Stabbers," "Cowboys to Girls," "For The Love Of Money," and many more.

Jerry would later move to California were he would become friends with
Marvin Gaye and learned many vocal and stage techniques as well as singing background vocals for Marvin Gaye. Later he would team up with more of his friends such as James Baker, Austin Lander and Tony Churchill and began to sing lead and backup vocals for New Birth. After leaving The New Birth in 1979, he then would join up again with other friends  Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson, Reggie Andrews, Marlon McClain and become one of the lead vocalist for Motown recording artist Dazz Band. He has also recorded as a solo artist in 1980 on MCA Records, releasing his solo LP "Winter Love Affair".

Prior to signing with Motown,
The Dazz Band was formerly known as Kinsman Dazz and includes the merging of Bell. In 1981, Jerry Bell was invited into the group as one of the vocalists by  Reggie Andrews. Jerry had a solo LP on MCA at that time, called "Winter Love Affair," but joined the group as well.

New Birth, originally called the
The Nite-Liters, was formed by Tony Churchill and Harvey Fuqua. In 1975, Tony Churchill, James Baker, and Austin Lander asked Jerry Bell to join the group. Jerry sang until New Birth until 1979.

Jerry Bell has performed with the following: Archie Bell & The Drells, Roy Ayers, Bar-Kays, William Bell, George Benson, Frankie Beverley, Bloodstone, Blue Magic, James Brown, Jerry Butler, Cameo, Carl Carlton, Jean Carn, Chic, Chi-Lites, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Lyn Collins, Commodores, Norman Connors, Dazz Band, Delfonics The Dells, Detroit Emeralds, Earth, Wind & Fire, El DeBarge, Emotions, Enchantment, Fat Larry's Band, Roberta Flack, Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Harvey Fuqua, gap band, Marvin Gaye, Frankie Gaye, Gladys Knight And The Pips, Al Green, Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes, Major Harris, Donny Hathaway, Isaac Hayes, Heatwave, Michael Henderson, Jimmy "Bo" Horne, Miki Howard, Phyllis Hyman, Isley Brothers The J.B.'s, Millie Jackson, Michael Jackson, Jacksons, Rick James, Al Jarreau, Brothers Johnson, KC & The Sunshine Band, Eddie Kendricks, Gladys Knight, Kool & The Gang, L.T.D., Pattie Labelle, Lakeside, Last Poets, MFSB, Main Ingredient The Manhattans, Teena Marie, Mary Jane Girls, Curtis Mayfield, George McCrae, McFadden & Whitehead, Buddy Miles, Moments, New Birth, O'Jays, The ohio players, Jeffrey Osborne, Maceo Parker, Ray Parker Jr., Parliament, Billy Paul, Freda Payne, Teddy Pendergrass, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Rufus, Patrice Rushen, Sam & Dave, Gil Scott-Heron, Bunny Sigler, Sister Sledge, Spinners, Edwin Starr, Sly Stone, Johnnie Taylor, Temprees The Temptations, Joe Tex, Leon Ware, Dionne Warwick, Fred Wesley, Whispers, Barry White, Vesta Williams, Bobby Womack, Stevie Wonder, Betty Wright, Val Young, Zapp & Roger.

Mother Mattie Bell, older brother Archie Bell, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, David Porter, John Whitehead, Kenny Gamble, Larry Graham, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Theodore Life, Al Jarreau, Bobby Womack, The Delfonics, The Moments, The Temprees, Bobby Harris, Reggie Andrews, Tony Churchill, Austin Lander, James Baker, Jimmy Bo Horn, The Miami Oceanliners.

Sounds Like
The Delfonics, Will Downing, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, The Unifics, The Dazz Band, The Gap Band, Marvin Gaye, New Birth, The Temprees, The Moments.









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The Inaugural Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held on August 17, 2013 at the Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University in Cleveland. The first class of inductees included recording acts The Supremes, The Temptations, The Marvelettes, The O'Jays, Martha & The Vandellas (Martha Reeves, Rosalind Holmes, and Annette Helton), The Dramatics, Ruby & The Romantics, and The Dazz Band Featuring  Jerry Bell and Little Jimmy Scott; historic venue Leo's Casino; international journalist Larry Cotton; and radio hosts Tom Joyner and Tim Marshall. On December 20, 2017, 18 names were added to the list of inductees as 20th Century Early Music Influences such as Sammy Davis, Jr, Ruth Brown, Bill Haley, Louis Armstrong and others. On February 17, 2018 the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame founder Lamont "ShowBoat" Robinson lifelong Temptations fan and collector give a tribute concert for the late great Dennis Edwards, called The Dennis Edwards Tribute to honor him for all his musical work and for his family and fans in Detroit, MI at Bert's Entertainment Complex to a pack house. Edwards was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2013 with the Temptations and in 2015 with his own group The Temptations Review feat Dennis Edwards.

Members of Hall of Fame

Name ContributionYear inducted

Freddie Arrington Master of Ceremonies, Leo's Casino Night Club 2013

James Brown Musician, singer, dancer 2013

Call and Post Publication 2013

The Chi-Lites Vocal group 2013

The Clovers Vocal group 2013

Sam Cooke Singer, songwriter, record label executive 2013

Larry Cotton Journalist 2013

Dazz Band 2013

The DramaticsVocal group 2013

The Dynamic SuperiorsVocal group 2013

Enchantment Vocal group 2013

The Four Tops Vocal group 2013

The Hesitations Vocal group 2013

Little Willie John Singer 2013

Jerry Bell Singer 2013

Leo's Casino Historic Venue (Cleveland, Ohio) 2013

Gerald Levert Singer 2013

Little Jimmy Scott Jazz artist 2013

Tim Marshall Radio host, educator 2013

The Marvelettes Vocal group 2013

The Ohio Players Band 2013

The O'JaysVocal group 2013

Otis Redding Singer 2013

Ruby & The Romantics Vocal group 2013

David Ruffin Singer 2013

Sly, Slick & Wicked Vocal group 2013

Sounds of Unity and Love (S.O.U.L.)Band 2013

Edwin Starr Singer 2013

The SupremesVocal group 2013

The TemptationsVocal group 2013

Upbeat (TV series)TV Show 2013

Martha and the VandellasVocal group 2013

Kim Weston Singer 2013

Jackie Wilson Singer 2013

The AndantesVocal group 2014

Gene Chandler Singer 2014

Chubby Checker Singer 2014

The Delfonics Vocal group 2014

The Fantastic Four Vocal group 2014

The Funk Brothers Musicians 2014

Marvin Gaye Singer 2014

Macy GraySinger 2014

Whitney Houston Singer 2014

Joe JacksonPromoter, manager 2014

Michael Jackson Singer 2014

B.B. King Singer 2014

Norm N. Nite Author, Radio Host 2014

Sweet InspirationsVocal group 2014

The Whispers Vocal group 2014

Jazzi Anderson Radio Host 2015*

The Bar-Kays Band 2015*

Al Bell Songwriter 2015*

Millie Jackson Singer 2015*

Denise LaSalle Singer 2015*

Little Richard Singer 2015*

The Mad LadsVocal Group 2015*

Dorothy Moore Singer 2015*

Little Junior Parker Singer 2015*

Elvis PresleySinger 2015*

Bobby RushSinger 2015*

Stax RecordsRecord Company 2015*

Ike Turner Singer/Songwriter/Musician 2015*

Muddy WatersSinger/Musician 2015*

WDIARadio Station 2015*

Hank Ballard & The MidnightersVocal group 2015**

JJ BarnesSinger 2015**

Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly Singer 2015**

Janie Bradford Songwriter 2015**

Jay ButlerRadio Host 2015**

Jerry ButlerSinger/songwriter 2015**

Ray Charles Musician, band leader 2015**

Tony Clarke Singer 2015**

L.C. Cooke Singer  2015**

Sam Cooke Songwriter 2015**

The Contours Vocal Group 2015**

Melvin Davis Singer 2015**

Detroit Emeralds Vocal Group 2015**

The Fabulous Peps Vocal group 2015**

Aretha Franklin Singer2015**

Chuck Jackson Singer2015**

Laura LeeSinger2015**

Pat Lewis Singer2015**

Johnnie Mae Mathews Singer, songwriter, producer2015**

The Miracles Vocal group 2015**

Melba Moore Singer2015**

Martha Reeves Singer 2015**

Jimmy Ruffin Singer 2015**

Shades Of Blue Vocal Group 2015**

Donnie Simpson Radio Host, TV music host 2015**

The Spinners Vocal group 2015**

Johnnie Taylor Singer 2015**

Temptations Review Featuring Dennis Edwards Vocal Group 2015**

Spyder TurnerSinger 2015**

The 20 Grand Night club, concert venue 2015**

Henry Tyler Radio Host 2015**

The Undisputed Truth Vocal Group 2015**

RJ Watkins Radio Host 2015**

Gino Washington Singer 2015**

Al Abrams (publicist)Public Relations 2016

Robert Bateman Song Producer 2016

Bootsy Collins Funk Legend 2016

Fats Domino Singer & Songwriter 2016

The Falcons Vocal Group 2016

Eddie Floyd Singer & Songwriter 2016

Jimi Hendrix Rock Legend2016

Eddie Holman Singer & Songwriter 2016

Cathy HughesEntertainment Mogul 2016

International Sweethearts Of Rhythm Band 2016

Little Willie John Songwriter 2016

Herb KentRadio Legend 2016

Bettye LaVette Singer & Songwriter 2016

Miller London Sales & Marketing Mogul 2016

Wilson Pickett Singer & Songwriter 2016

PrinceSinger & Songwriter 2016

Sir Mack Rice Singer & Producer 2016

Smokey Robinson Singer & Songwriter 2016

Sugar Chile Robinson Child Prodigy 2016

The Royal Jokers Vocal Group 2016

Rena Scott Singer & Songwriter 2016

Mickey Stevenson A&R Director 2016

The Velvelettes Vocal Group 2016

Dionne Warwick Singer & Songwriter 2016

Barbara Acklin Singer & Songwriter 2017

Bert's Warehouse Entertainment Complex 2017

Wade Briggs (Butterball Jr.) Radio Personality 2017

Carl Carlton Singer 2017

Dennis Coffey Studio Musician 2017

Carolyn Crawford Singer2017

Bert Dearing Nite Club Owner 2017

FoodyRadio Personality 2017

Fred GoreeRadio Personality 2017

Isaac Hayes & Hot Butter Soul Singer & Group 2017

The ImpressionsVocal Group 2017

Jeff & The Atlantics Band 2017

Gladys Knight & The PipsVocal Group 2017

Skip Mahoney & The Casuals Vocal Group 2017

The Manhattans Vocal Group 2017

Sylvia Moy Songwriter & Producer 2017

Freda Payne Singer 2017

Michael J. Powell Producer & Musician 2017

Mitch Ryder Singer 2017

The Valadiers Vocal Group 2017

Mary Wells Singer 2017

Louis Armstrong Musician, Band Leader 2017***

Al BensonRadio Host, Promoter, Civil Rights Activist 2017***

Ruth Brown Singer 2017***

Sammy Davis Jr. Singer 2017***

Bo Diddley Singer 2017***

Ernie Durham Radio Host 2017***

Ahmet Ertegun Record Label Executive 2017***

Charles Evers Civil Rights Activist, politician 2017***

Alan FreedRadio Host 2017***

Bill Haley Singer, Band Leader 2017***

Billie Holiday Singer 2017***

Robert Johnson Singer 2017***

Louis Jordan Bandleader, musician, Singer 2017***

Johnny Otis Bandleader, musician, Singer 2017***

Della ReeseSinger, actress2017***

Martha Jean "The Queen" Steinberg Radio Host, Minister 2017***

Jerry Wexler Record Label Executive 2017***

Nat D. WilliamsRadio Host 2017***

Marcus BelgraveMusician 2018

Ken Bell (Radio Personality)Radio Personality2 018

The DriftersVocal Group 2018

The ElginsVocal Group 2018

Brenda HollowaySinger 2018

Ivy Jo Hunter Songwriter & Producer 2018

Little Anthony & The ImperialsVocal Group 2018

Clay McMurrayProducer & Engineer 2018

Motown RecordsRecord Company 2018

Peaches & HerbVocal Group 2018

Sam & DaveVocal Group 2018

Henry Washington (Promoter)Promoter 2018

Richard "Popcorn" Wylie Producer, songwriter, Singer 2018

1960s–1970s HISTORY OF R&B MUSIC


Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke's number five hit "Chain Gang" is indicative of R&B in 1960, as is pop rocker Chubby Checker's number five hit "The Twist". By the early 1960s, the music industry category previously known as rhythm and blues was being called soul music, and similar music by white artists was labeled blue eyed soul. Motown Records had its first million-selling single in 1960 with the Miracles' "Shop Around", and in 1961, Stax Records had its first hit with Carla Thomas' "Gee Whiz! (Look at His Eyes)". Stax's next major hit, The Mar-Keys' instrumental "Last Night" (also released in 1961) introduced the rawer Memphis soul sound for which Stax became known. In Jamaica, R&B influenced the development of ska. In 1969 black culture and rhythm and blues reached another great achievement when the Grammys first added the Rhythm and Blues category, giving academic recognition to the category.[citation needed]

By the 1970s, the term "rhythm and blues" was being used as a blanket term for soul, funk, and disco. Around the same time, mods band influenced by R&B. The Who played Motown hit "Heat Wave". In 70s Philadelphia International The O'Jays, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Jerry Bell, Archie Bell & The Drells, Billy Paul and Hi Records Al Green, O. V. Wright, Ann Peebles.

Rhythm and blues, commonly abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular. In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.

The term "rhythm and blues" has undergone a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s, it was frequently applied to blues records. Starting in the mid-1950s, after this style of music contributed to the development of rock and roll, the term "R&B" became used to refer to music styles that developed from and incorporated electric blues, as well as gospel and soul music. In the 1960s, several British rock bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Animals were referred to and promoted as being R&B bands; posters for the Who's residency at the Marquee Club in 1964 contained the slogan, "Maximum R&B". Their mix of rock and roll and R&B is now known as "British rhythm and blues". By the 1970s, the term "rhythm and blues" changed again and was used as a blanket term for soul and funk. In the 1980s, a newer style of R&B developed, becoming known as "contemporary R&B". It combines elements of rhythm and blues, pop, soul, funk, hip hop, and electronic music. Popular R&B vocalists at the end of the 20th century included Prince, R. Kelly, Stevie Wonder,[6] Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston,[6][7][8] and Mariah Carey.

The migration of African Americans to the urban industrial centers of Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Los Angeles and elsewhere in the 1920s and 1930s created a new market for jazz, blues, and related genres of music. These genres of music were often performed by full-time musicians, either working alone or in small groups. The precursors of rhythm and blues came from jazz and blues, which overlapped in the late-1920s and 1930s through the work of musicians such as the Harlem Hamfats, with their 1936 hit "Oh Red", as well as Lonnie Johnson, Leroy Carr, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, and T-Bone Walker. There was also increasing emphasis on the electric guitar as a lead instrument, as well as the piano and saxophone.

Late 1940s

In 1948, RCA Victor was marketing black music under the name "Blues and Rhythm". In that year, Louis Jordan dominated the top five listings of the R&B charts with three songs, and two of the top five songs were based on the boogie-woogie rhythms that had come to prominence during the 1940s. Jordan's band, the Tympany Five (formed in 1938), consisted of him on saxophone and vocals, along with musicians on trumpet, tenor saxophone, piano, bass and drums. Lawrence Cohn described the music as "grittier than his boogie-era jazz-tinged blues"173 Robert Palmer described it as "urbane, rocking, jazz-based music with a heavy, insistent beat". Jordan's music, along with that of Big Joe Turner, Roy Brown, Billy Wright, and Wynonie Harris, is now also referred to as jump blues. Already Paul Gayten, Roy Brown, and others had had hits in the style now referred to as rhythm and blues. In 1948, Wynonie Harris' remake of Brown's 1947 recording "Good Rockin' Tonight" reached number two on the charts, following band leader Sonny Thompson's "Long Gone" at number one.

In 1949, the term "Rhythm and Blues" replaced the Billboard category Harlem Hit Parade. Also in that year, "The Huckle-Buck", recorded by band leader and saxophonist Paul Williams, was the number one R&B tune, remaining on top of the charts for nearly the entire year. Written by musician and arranger Andy Gibson, the song was described as a "dirty boogie" because it was risque and raunchy. Paul Williams and His Hucklebuckers' concerts were sweaty riotous affairs that got shut down on more than one occasion. Their lyrics, by Roy Alfred (who later co-wrote the 1955 hit "(The) Rock and Roll Waltz"), were mildly sexually suggestive, and one teenager from Philadelphia said "That Hucklebuck was a very nasty dance". Also in 1949, a new version of a 1920s blues song, "Ain't Nobody's Business" was a number four hit for Jimmy  Witherspoon, and Louis Jordan and the Tympany Five once again made the top five with "Saturday Night Fish Fry". Many of these hit records were issued on new independent record labels, such as Savoy (founded 1942), King (founded 1943), Imperial (founded 1945), Specialty (founded 1946), Chess (founded 1947), and Atlantic (founded 1948).

Evolving out of jump blues in the late '40s, R&B laid the groundwork for rock & roll. R&B kept the tempo and the drive of jump blues, but its instrumentation was sparer and the emphasis was on the song, not improvisation. It was blues chord changes played with an insistent backbeat. During the '50s, R&B was dominated by vocalists like Ray Charles and Ruth Brown, as well as vocal groups like the Drifters and the Coasters. Eventually, R&B metamorphosed into soul, which was funkier and looser than the pile-driving rhythms of R&B. Soul came to describe a number of R&B-based music styles. From the bouncy, catchy acts at Motown to the horn-driven, gritty soul of Stax/Volt, there was an immense amount of diversity within soul. During the first part of the '60s, soul music remained close to its R&B roots. However, musicians pushed the music in different directions; usually, different regions of America produced different kinds of soul. In urban centers like New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, the music concentrated on vocal interplay and smooth productions. In Detroit, Motown concentrated on creating a pop-oriented sound that was informed equally by gospel, R&B, and rock & roll. In the South, the music became harder and tougher, relying on syncopated rhythms, raw vocals, and blaring horns. All of these styles formed soul, which ruled the black music charts throughout the '60s and also frequently crossed over into the pop charts. During the '60s and '70s, soul began to splinter apart -- artists like James Brown and Sly Stone developed funk; Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff initiated Philly soul with the O'Jays and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes; and later in the decade, danceable R&B became a mass phenomenon with the brief disco fad. During the '80s and '90s, the polished, less earthy sound of urban and quiet storm ruled the airwaves, but even then, R&B began adding stylistic components of hip-hop until -- by the end of the millennium -- there were hundreds of artists who featured both rapping and singing on their records.










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The Dazz Band, formed in 1976, grew out of the Cleveland, Ohio, jazz fusion band Bell Telefunk, composed of foundres Michael Calhoun and Sonny Jones lead guitarist/songwriter Michael Calhoun, percussionist Kenny Pettus, drummer Isaac "Ike" Wiley, Jr., and his brother bassist Michael Wiley, and the band Mother Braintree.


The group became known as Kinsman Dazz, named after both the street and the lounge where they worked as the house band: Sonny Jones' Kinsman Grill Lounge. The group adopted its name before the song "Dazz" became an R&B hit for Atlanta's Brick in 1976.

Kinsman Dazz was signed to 20th Century Records by Joe Lewis[disambiguation needed] in 1978. The group went to Los Angeles to record for producer Marvin Gaye. Due to illness, Gaye had to back out of the duties. Calhoun requested and got Philip Bailey, the vocalist of Earth, Wind & Fire, to produce the group's first album, Kinsman Dazz. Bailey would co-produce the second album, Dazz, and had a major input into the group's vocal arrangements. They released their first single, "I Might as Well Forget About Loving You", in late 1978. "Catchin' Up on You" followed in 1979.

The Kinsman Dazz became the Dazz Band in 1980. The 20th Century Records label was closed, and the Dazz Band was signed to Motown Records. The group expanded from the original quintet - Calhoun, Harris, Pettus, and the Wiley brothers and added newcomers Kevin Kendrick, Eric Fearman, Pierre DeMudd, Sennie
"Skip" Martin, Jerry Bell, & Terry Stanten. After the death of manger Sonny Jones, leadership of the group was claimed under Bobby Harris, sax player of the group. Unfortunately under Harris’s miss management of funds and poor leadership would lead two deaths in the group. One being the original bass player Michael Wiley in 1987 and then in 2005 vocalist Terry Stanten.


The new Dazz Band featuring Jerry Bell is now back to its original founding member Michael Calhoun as leader along with Jerry Bell. Now under this new leadership they have gained there place as inductees in the R&B HALL OF FAME on August 17, 2013 and they have been honored by the United States Postal Service with the issue of a commemorative stamp also on January 23, of 2013. There are still little shoots of the Harris ensemble popping up here and there but nothing as outstanding as the original sounds of Calhoun and Bell.

Dazz's first album for Motown was Invitation to Love (1980), a self-produced set, whose title track, the ballad "Invitation to Love", began a string of hits for the band starting in March 1981. The group's next album, Let The Music Play (1981), featured the minor hit single "Knock! Knock!", reaching the Top 50. The group's biggest breakthrough came with the album Keep It Live (1982), containing the hit "Let It Whip" — which reached No. 1 on the R&B charts and won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. They would go on to score R&B hits with the songs "Party Right Here" (1983), "Joystick" (1984), and "Let It All Blow" (which was also their biggest UK hit single, peaking at #12) (1984).

After Keep It Live, the band recorded the albums On the One, Joystick, Jukebox and Hot Spot, all for Motown. The band was known for its live performances, often proving more popular than the headlining act. In 1985, Fearman left the group and was replaced by Marlon McClain and Keith Harrison. In 1986, Dazz Band recorded Wild & Free for Geffen Records, and moved to RCA Records.