THE OHIO PLAYERS

ALEX

Originally known as the Ohio Untouchables, the Ohio Players formed in 1959 as an instrumental R&B group. Upon the Untouchables breakup, two of the members grouped together and formed a new group, the Ohio Players.

The Ohio Players came into musical prominence in the 1970's as pioneers of 'street funk,' drawing their influences from James Brown, Miles Davis, George Benson and Sly and the Family Stone. Basing their appeal on heavy, insistent, hypnotic rhythms, rather than melody, this style was continued by The Fatback Band, Kool & The Gang and Rick James.

 

From 1972 through 1977, the Ohio Players landed three consecutive platinum albums ("Skin Tight," "Fire" and "Honey"), three gold albums ("Contradiction," "Pain" and "Ohio Players Gold"), two number one singles ("Fire" and "Love Rollercoaster") and five number one R&B singles including "Funky Worm," "Fire," "Sweet Sticky Thing," "Love Rollercoaster" and "Who'd She Coo."

In 1979, the band decided to take a break and work on individual projects. By 1984, the Ohio Players were back together again. In 1988, they recorded their


But it was another Casey/Finch original, "Rock Your Baby," that R&B artist George McCrae scored a hit with in 1974 as KC & the Sunshine Band began issuing further albums and singles, quickly scoring big hits on their own. The group then began an impressive run of disco hits: 1977's "Shake Shake Shake (Shake Your Booty)," "I'm Your Boogieman," "Keep It Comin' Love," "Boogie Shoes" (the latter included on the monster-selling soundtrack to the hit John Travolta disco movie, Saturday Night Fever), 1979's "Do You Wanna Go Party," and 1980's "Please Don't Go." Despite earning nine Grammy nominations (receiving three awards) and selling millions of records, KC & the Sunshine Band were still susceptible to the backlash that disco bands felt by the dawn of the '80s, eventually leading to dwindling sales and the group's split by the early '80s (although KC scored a moderate solo hit in 1983 with "Give It Up"). Come the '90s, an appreciation of everything '70s swept across the U.S., which led to a renewed interest bands from the era, prompting KC & the Sunshine Band to re-form for concert performances. That decade saw the release of countless KC "hits" collections and even an episode of VH1's popular Behind the Music series that studied the group's ups and downs

 

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