Tag: Great Soul Performances

Saturday 9/19/2020 7pm ET: Great Soul Performances with Bobby Jay

On “Great Soul Performances” this evening, we will once again pay tribute to artists we just recently lost. We’ll salute Edna Wright; Darlene Love’s younger sister and lead singer of the Honey Cone, D.J. Rogers, Frederick “Toots” Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals and Charles Patrick of the Monotones.

We’ll also be playing: Bobby Womack, the Temprees, Johnny Ace, the O’Jays, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, the Four Tops, Billy Preston, the Joe Cube Sextet, Otis Redding and more. We’ll begin at 7PM ET, 6PM CT, 5PM MT and 4PM PT.

“Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s” comes along at 9PM ET, 8PM CT, 7PM MT & 6PM PT, where you’ll hear: The Main Ingredient, Eddie Murphy, Quincy Jones & James Ingram, the New Kids on The Block, Barbra Streisand & Donna Summer, Johnny Mathis, Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, the Dells, Chaka Khan, the Whispers, Aaron Neville, Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole and several others. Encore time tomorrow Sunday is 7PM Eastern. I hope you’ll join me later this evening for great music and our tributes on the “Home of the Hits” RadioMaxMusic.Com.

 

Saturday 9/19/2020 6pm ET: Tina Turner Collection

From 1974, rereleased in 2005 – Tina Turners Keeps On Rockin’

Friday 9/18/2020 12am ET: Feature LP: Stevie Wonder – Hotter Than July (1980)

Hotter than July is the nineteenth studio album by American singer, songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder, originally released on Motown’s Tamla label on September 29, 1980. The recording sessions were primarily done at Wonderland Studios, which Wonder had recently acquired, in Los Angeles where he became responsible for writing, producing and arranging his own material for the new album.

Following the commercial and critical disappointment of Wonder’s Journey through the Secret Life of Plants, Wonder felt struggle at the turn of the new decade. He insisted to the media that Journey through the Secret Life of Plants was not as critically acclaimed as his albums during his “classic period” because of Motown’s weak promotion for the album.

Hotter than July peaked at number three on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 3, 1981. It was Wonder’s most successful album in the UK, peaking at number two on the UK Albums Chart and producing four top ten singles there. The first, third and fourth single were released with music videos.

Hotter than July was nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Album at the 1982 American Music Awards. Writing for The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), J. D. Considine found the album “buoyantly tuneful” and said fans viewed it as a return to form after the commercial disappointment of Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants.

“Did I Hear You Say You Love Me” – 4:07
“All I Do” – 5:06
“Rocket Love” – 4:39
“I Ain’t Gonna Stand for It” – 4:39
“As If You Read My Mind” – 3:37
“Master Blaster (Jammin’)” – 5:07
“Do Like You” – 4:25
“Cash in Your Face” – 3:59
“Lately” – 4:05
“Happy Birthday” – 5:57

Stevie Wonder – vocals, synthesizer, drums, Fender Rhodes, bass guitar, clavinet, background vocals, ARP, vocoder, piano, harpsichord, celeste, keyboards, harmonica, cabasa, percussion, bells, handclaps, flute
Nathan Watts – bass guitar, background vocals
Benjamin Bridges – guitar, background vocals
Dennis Davis – drums on “Did I Hear You Say You Love Me,” “As If You Read My Mind” and “Master Blaster (Jammin’)”
Earl DeRouen – percussion, background vocals
Isaiah Sanders – keyboards, piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, background vocals
Hank Redd – saxophone, handclaps
Robert Malach – saxophone
Larry Gittens, Nolan A. Smith Jr. – trumpet
Paul Riser – string arrangement
Hank DeVito – steel guitar
Rick Zunigar – guitar
Angela Winbush, Mary Lee Whitney Evans, Susaye Greene Brown, Alexandra Brown Evans, Shirley Brewer, Eddie “Bongo” Brown, Charlie Collins, Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, Michael Jackson, Jamil Raheem, Betty Wright, Ronnie J. Wilson, Charles K. Wilson, Syreeta Wright, Marva Holcolm, Melody McCulley, Delores Barnes – background vocals
Stephanie Andrews, Bill Wolfer, Trevor Lawrence, Dennis Morrison, Kimberly Jackson – handclaps

 

Thursday 9/17/2020 2pm ET: Tina Turner Collection

Another installment of the Tina Turner Collection

What’s Love Got to Do with It is the eighth solo studio album by Tina Turner, released on Parlophone in 1993. It was the soundtrack album for the 1993 Tina Turner biographical film of the same name, which was released by Touchstone Pictures the same year.

1. “I Don’t Wanna Fight” 6:06
2. “Rock Me Baby” (1993 version) 3:57
3. “Disco Inferno” 4:03
4. “Why Must We Wait Until Tonight” 5:53
5. “Nutbush City Limits” (1993 version) 3:19
6. “(Darlin’) You Know I Love You” (1993 version) 4:27
7. “Proud Mary” (1993 version) 5:25
8. “A Fool in Love” (1993 version) 2:54
9. “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” (1993 version) 2:49
10. “Stay Awhile” 4:50
11. “I Might Have Been Queen” (1993 version) 4:20
12. “What’s Love Got to Do with It” 3:49

 

 

Wednesday 9/16/2020 4pm ET: Tina Turner Collection (Twenty Four Seven)

Twenty Four Seven is the tenth and final solo studio album by Tina Turner, released on Parlophone/Virgin on October 28, 1999. It is Turner’s last studio album before her retirement from recording.

The album was produced by Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling, the team behind Cher’s Believe, Johnny Douglas (Kylie Minogue, George Michael, All Saints etc.), Terry Britten and Absolute, best known for their work with British pop acts like Lisa Stansfield, Will Young, Atomic Kitten, Gareth Gates, and S Club 7. Bryan Adams guests on both the title track and “Without You”.

In 2000 the album was released as a limited edition special pack with a bonus disc including live recordings from Turner’s 60th birthday celebration in London in November 1999 as well as the promo videos for “When the Heartache Is Over” and “Whatever You Need”.

Twenty Four Seven is Turner’s last full-length studio album before her retirement from recording.

1. “Whatever You Need” 4:49
2. “All the Woman” 4:03
3. “When the Heartache Is Over” 3:44
4. “Absolutely Nothing’s Changed” 3:43
5. “Talk to My Heart” 5:08
6. “Don’t Leave Me This Way” 4:19
7. “Go Ahead” 4:20
8. “Without You” 4:06
9. “Falling” 4:21
10. “I Will Be There” 4:37
11. “Twenty Four Seven” 3:47

Tina Turner – lead vocals
Background vocals – Tracy Ackerman, Bryan Adams, Terry Britten
Acoustic guitar – Pete Lincoln
Bass guitar – Pino Palladino
Guitar – Terry Britten, Phil Hudson, Milton McDonald, Phil Palmer, Adam Phililps, Alan Ross
Harmonica – Peter Hope-Evans
Horns – Duncan Mackay, Mike Stevens, Nichol Thompson
Other instrumentation – Absolute, Marcus Brown, Dave Clews, Johnny Douglas, Graham Stack, Mark Taylor
Keyboards – Mark Taylor
Programming – Bruno Bridges
Strings – The London Musicians Orchestra
Trumpet – Steve Sidwell

Wednesday 9/16/2020 2pm ET: Feature Artist – Righteous Brothers

The Righteous Brothers were originally an American musical duo of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield. They began performing together in 1962 in the Los Angeles area as part of a five-member group called the Paramours,[1] but adopted the name “The Righteous Brothers” when they embarked on their recording career as a duo. Their most active recording period was in the 1960s and 70s, and although the duo was inactive for some years, Hatfield and Medley reunited in 1981 and continued to perform until Hatfield’s death in 2003. The music they performed is sometimes dubbed “blue-eyed soul”.

Hatfield and Medley had contrasting vocal ranges, which helped them to create a distinctive sound as a duet, but also strong vocal talent individually that allowed them to perform as soloists. Medley sang the low parts with his bass-baritone voice, with Hatfield taking the higher register vocals with his tenor voice.

They had their first major hit with the 1964 song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”, produced by Phil Spector and often considered one of his finest works. Other notable hits include “Ebb Tide”, “Soul and Inspiration”, “Rock and Roll Heaven”, and in particular, their version of “Unchained Melody”. Both Hatfield and Medley also had for a time their own solo careers. In 2016, Medley re-formed The Righteous Brothers with Bucky Heard and they continue to perform as a duo.

The Righteous Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Rolling Stone ranked them No. 16 on its list of the 20 Greatest Duos of All Time.

Hatfield died at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan on November 5, 2003. He was found by Bill Medley and the Righteous Brothers’ road manager Dusty Hanvey. A security guard let them into Hatfield’s room after he had failed to show up at the concert venue when expected. He apparently died in his sleep, hours before a scheduled Righteous Brothers concert. In January 2004, a toxicology report concluded that cocaine use had precipitated a fatal heart attack. The initial autopsy found that Hatfield had advanced coronary disease. The medical examiner stated that “in this case, there was already a significant amount of blockage in the coronary arteries.”

 

Tuesday 9/15/2020 4pm ET: Tina Turner Collection (Foreign Affair / Wildest Dreams)

Foreign Affair is the seventh solo studio album by Tina Turner, released on Capitol Records September 13, 1989. It was Turner’s third album release after her massively successful global comeback five years earlier, and although the album was not a major success in Turner’s native United States, it was a huge international success in Europe. The album reached number one on the UK Albums Chart, her first number one album there. The album includes the single “The Best” which has gone on to become one of Turner’s best-known songs.

1. “Steamy Windows” 4:03
2. “The Best” 5:30
3. “You Know Who (Is Doing You Know What)” 3:45
4. “Undercover Agent for the Blues” 5:20
5. “Look Me in the Heart” 3:46
6. “Be Tender with Me Baby” 4:18
7. “You Can’t Stop Me Loving You” 4:00
8. “Ask Me How I Feel” 4:46
9. “Falling Like Rain” 4:03
10. “I Don’t Wanna Lose You” 4:20
11. “Not Enough Romance” 4:04
12. “Foreign Affair” 4:27

Wildest Dreams is the ninth solo studio album by Tina Turner, released on Parlophone/Virgin on April 22, 1996 earning double platinum certifications in the United Kingdom and in Europe.

1. “Do What You Do” 4:23
2. “Whatever You Want” 4:52
3. “Missing You” 4:36
4. “On Silent Wings” 6:12
5. “Thief of Hearts” 4:05
6. “In Your Wildest Dreams” 5:33
7. “GoldenEye” (Single edit) 3:27
8. “Confidential” 4:39
9. “Something Beautiful Remains” 4:20
10. “All Kinds of People” 4:43
11. “Unfinished Sympathy” 4:30
12. “Dancing in My Dreams/Something Beautiful Remains 6:09

 

 

Monday 9/14/2020 2pm ET: Tina Turner Collection (Private Dancer)

Private Dancer is the fifth solo studio album by Tina Turner. It was released by Capitol Records in May 1984, and was her first album released through the label. Recording sessions for the album took place at several studios in England and was overseen by four different production teams, including Rupert Hine, and Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh of Heaven 17. A radical departure from the rhythm and blues sound Turner had performed with her former husband and performing partner Ike Turner, the tracks in the album are a mixture of uptempos and ballads, inspired by pop and rock genres; it also features elements of smooth jazz and R&B.

After several challenging years of going solo after divorcing Ike, Private Dancer propelled Turner into becoming a viable solo star, as well as one of the most marketable crossover singers in the recording industry. It became a worldwide commercial success, earning multi-platinum certifications in Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. To date, it remains her best-selling album in North America. Private Dancer produced seven singles, including “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, “Better Be Good to Me”, “Private Dancer”, and “Let’s Stay Together”. Positively received by critics on release for Turner’s ability to give energy and raw emotion to slickly-produced professional pop/rock songs; its long term legacy is that the softening of her raw Southern soul style produced a “landmark” in the “evolution of pop-soul music”. The album was promoted throughout 1985 in a 177-date worldwide tour entitled the Private Dancer Tour.

In 2020, the album was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

1. “I Might Have Been Queen” 4:10
2. “What’s Love Got to Do with It” 3:48
3. “Show Some Respect” 3:18
4. “I Can’t Stand the Rain” 3:41
5. “Private Dancer” 7:11
6. “Let’s Stay Together” 5:16
7. “Better Be Good to Me” 5:11
8. “Steel Claw” 3:48
9. “Help!” 4:30
10. “1984” 3:09

2015 30th Anniversary Edition bonus disc
1. “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)” (with B.E.F.)
2. “I Wrote a Letter” (“Let’s Stay Together” B-side)
3. “Rock ‘n Roll Widow” (“Help” B-side)
4. “Don’t Rush the Good Things” (“What’s Love Got to Do with It” B-side)
5. “When I Was Young” (“Better Be Good to Me” B-side)
6. “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby” (“Private Dancer” B-side)
7. “Tonight” (Live with David Bowie) (Live at The NEC, Birmingham)
8. “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” (Live)
9. “What’s Love Got to Do with It” (Extended 12″ Remix)
10. “Better Be Good to Me” (Extended 12″ Remix) (edit)
11. “I Can’t Stand the Rain” (Extended 12″ Remix)
12. “Show Some Respect” (Extended Mix)
13. “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” (Single Edit)
14. “One of the Living” (Single Remix)
15. “It’s Only Love” (with Bryan Adams)

Tina Turner – lead vocals (all tracks), background vocals (1, 7, 8)
Gary Barnacle – saxophone (6)
Jeff Beck – guitar (5, 8)
Terry Britten – guitar (2, 3, 4), background vocals (2, 3)
Graham Broad – drums (4)
Alex Brown – background vocals (9)
John Carter – percussion (5)
Leon “Ndugu” Chancler – drums (9)
Alan Clark – keyboards (5, 8), percussion (5)
Mel Collins – saxophone (5)
David Cullen – string arrangements (10)
Cy Curnin – background vocals (1, 7)
Jullian Diggle – percussion (5)
David Ervin – synthesizer, programming (9)
Gwen Evans – background vocals (9)
Charles Fearing – guitar (9)
Wilton Felder – bass guitar (9), saxophone (9)
Nick Glennie-Smith – keyboards (2, 3, 4)
Glenn Gregory – background vocals (6, 10)
Rupert Hine – bass guitar (1, 7), keyboards (1, 7), percussion, programming (1, 7), background vocals (1, 7)
Graham Jarvis – Oberheim DX (2, 3)
John Illsley – bass guitar (5, 8)
Hal Lindes – guitar (5, 8)
Billy Livsey – keyboards (2, 3)
Trevor Morais – drums (1, 7)
Simon Morton – percussion (2)
Tessa Niles – background vocals (2, 3)
Frank Ricotti – percussion (6)
Ray Russell – guitar (6)
Joe Sample – synthesizer (9), piano (9)
David T. Walker – guitar (9)
Martyn Ware – programming, electronic drums (6, 10), arrangements (6, 10), background vocals (6, 10)
Greg Walsh – programming (6, 10), arrangements (6, 10)
Jamie West-Oram – guitar (1, 7)
Jessica Williams – background vocals (9)
Terry Williams – drums (5, 8)
Nick Plytas – piano, synthesizer (6, 10)
Richie Zito – guitar (8)

Monday 9/14/2020 12pm ET: Feature Artist – Sister Sledge

Sister Sledge is an American musical vocal group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formed in 1971, the group consisted of sisters Debbie, Joni, Kim, and Kathy Sledge. The siblings achieved international success at the height of the disco era. In 1979, they released their breakthrough album We Are Family, which peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and included the 1979 US top-10 singles “He’s the Greatest Dancer” and “We Are Family”. A third single, “Lost in Music”, reached the US top 40. “We Are Family” earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Their other US singles include a 1982 remake of Mary Wells’ 1964 hit “My Guy”, “Mama Never Told Me” (1973), and “Thinking of You” (1984), before reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart with the song “Frankie” in 1985. Remixed versions of three of their singles in 1993 returned them to the UK Top 20. Although Kathy undertook a solo career in 1989, she continued to tour with the group (with Kathy occasionally rejoining for one-off performances and several releases in the 1990s). In 2015, Sister Sledge performed for Pope Francis at the World Festival of Families in Philadelphia.

 

Saturday / Sunday 7pm ET: Great Soul Performances with Bobby Jay

When we get together this evening for “Great Soul Performances” we are going to pay tribute to the co-founder of Kool & the Gang, Ronald Bell who passed away on Wednesday September 9th. You’ll hear all the big hits by Jersey City, New Jersey’s own. We’ll also be playing songs by: The Manhattans, Dionne Warwick, the Coasters, the Sylvers, Aretha Franklin, David Ruffin, LaBelle, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, the Artistics, Big Joe Turner and more. It begins at 7PM ET, 6PM CT, 5PM MT and 4PM PT.

On “Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s” immediately following, you’ll hear: Donna Summer, Marvin Gaye, the Jacksons, Steve Winwood, the Blues Brothers, Teri DeSario & KC, the Dells, the Mary Jane Girls, the O’Jays, Rick James, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Whitney Houston and others. It starts at 9PM ET, 8PM CT, 7PM MT & 6PM PT. Encore time as usual, is tomorrow Sunday at 7PM eastern Time. Don’t forget to join me later this evening for our tribute to Ronald Bell and Kool & the Gang on “Great Soul Performances” and “Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s,” all for you on RadioMaxMusic.Com.

 

Saturday 9/12/2020 6pm ET: Tina Turner Collection

Break Every Rule is the sixth solo studio album by Tina Turner, released through Capitol Records in 1986. It was the follow-up to Turner’s globally successful comeback album, Private Dancer, released two years earlier.

1. “Typical Male” 4:18
2. “What You Get Is What You See” 4:31
3. “Two People” 4:11
4. “Till the Right Man Comes Along” 4:11
5. “Afterglow” 4:30
6. “Girls” 4:56
7. “Back Where You Started” 4:27
8. “Break Every Rule” 4:02
9. “Overnight Sensation” 4:40
10. “Paradise Is Here” 5:35
11. “I’ll Be Thunder” 5:21

Tina Turner – lead vocals, backing vocals (8, 11)
Nick Glennie-Smith – keyboards (1–6), string arrangements (4)
Billy Livsey – keyboards (3)
Steve Winwood – synthesizer solo (5)
Bryan Adams – acoustic piano (7), guitar (7), backing vocals (7)
Tommy Mandel – Hammond organ (7)
Rupert Hine – all instruments (8, 11), arrangements (8, 11), backing vocals (8, 11)
Guy Fletcher – keyboards (9, 10)
Albert Boekholt – programming (9, 10)
Terry Britten – guitar (1–6), bass guitar (1–6), backing vocals (1, 3, 4), programming (2, 4, 5)
Graham Lyle – mandolin (2)
Keith Scott – lead guitar (7)
Jamie West-Oram – guitar (8, 11)
Mark Knopfler – guitar (9, 10)
Dave Taylor – bass guitar (7)
Eric Clapton – guitars (2)
Micky Feat – bass guitar (9)
Phil Collins – drums (1, 6)
Jack Bruno – drums (3, 5)
Mickey Curry – drums (7)
Jamie Lane – drums (9)
Garry Katell – percussion (6)
Jim Vallance – percussion (7)
Frank Ricotti – percussion (9, 10)
Tim Cappello – saxophone solo (1)
Branford Marsalis – soprano saxophone (10)
Tessa Niles – backing vocals (1, 4, 5)
Samantha Brown – backing vocals (10)
Margo Buchanan – backing vocals (10)
Jimmy Chambers – backing vocals (10)
George Chandler – backing vocals (10)

Terry Britten – producer (1–6)
Bryan Adams – producer (7)
Bob Clearmountain – producer (7), engineer (7), mixing (7)
Rupert Hine – producer (8, 11)
Mark Knopfler – producer (9, 10)
Neil Dorfsman – producer (9, 10), engineer (9, 10)
Richard Elen – sound designer (1–6)
John Hudson – engineer (1–6), mixing (1–6)
Stephen W. Tayler – engineer (8, 11), mixing (8, 11)
Mike Ging – assistant engineer (1–6)
Paul Hamilton – assistant engineer (7)
Mark McKenna – assistant engineer (7)
Richard Moakes – assistant engineer (7, 9, 10)
Steve Rinkoff – assistant engineer (7)
Andrew Scarth – assistant engineer (8, 11)
Stephen Marcussen – mastering at Precision Lacquer (Hollywood, California).
Stylorouge – design
Herb Ritts – photography
Jenni Bolton – stylist, personal assistant
Phyllis Cohen – make-up
Roger Davies – director, management
Keith Dean – management
Lindsey Scott – management

Thursday 9/10/2020 10pm ET: Feature LP 2020: Billy Ocean – One World (2020)

1 We Gotta Find Love 4:46
2 Love You More 4:27
3 Feel the Love 4:40
4 One World 4:10
5 When I Saw You 4:53
6 Mystery 4:57
7 Missing You Everyday 4:57
8 Can’t Stand the Pain 4:54
9 Betcha Don’t Know 4:55
10 All Over the World 4:56
11 Daylight 5:09
12 Nothing Will Stand in Our Way 4:04

Thursday 9/10/2020 2pm ET: Tina Turner Collection

Love Explosion is Tina Turner’s fourth solo studio album, released late 1979 on the EMI label in the Europe, Ariola Records in West Germany and United Artists Records in the UK. Italy and South Africa followed in early 1980. The album was not released in the United States. It was her second solo album released after she left husband Ike Turner and the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Love Explosion failed to chart, so Turner lost her recording contract. It would be her last album until the critically acclaimed Private Dancer in 1984.

1. “Love Explosion” 5:55
2. “Fool For Your Love” 3:24
3. “Sunset on Sunset” 3:35
4. “Music Keeps Me Dancin'” 3:49
5. “I See Home” 5:19
6. “Backstabbers” 3:34
7. “Just a Little Lovin'” 3:12
8. “You Got What I’m Gonna Get” 3:08
9. “On the Radio” 3:49

Tina Turner – vocals
Jean-Claude Chavanat – guitar
Tony Bonfils – bass guitar
Bernard Arcadio – keyboards
André Ceccarelli – drums
Emmanuel “Manu” Roche – percussion
George Young, Lawrence Feldman, Michael Brecker – tenor saxophone
Lew Del Gatto – baritone saxophone
Barry Rogers, David Taylor, Tom Malone, Wayne Andre – trombone
Alan Rubin, Randy Brecker – trumpet
George Marge – oboe
Arthur Simms, Stephanie de Sykes, Stevie Lange, Vicki Brown – background vocals
The Pat Halling String Ensemble – strings
Georges Rodi – synthesizer, programming

Thursday 9/10/2020 12pm ET: Feature Artist: Kool and The Gang

Kool & the Gang is an American band formed in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1964 by brothers Robert “Kool” Bell and Ronald Bell, with Dennis “D.T.” Thomas, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown, and Ricky West. They have undergone numerous changes in personnel and have explored many musical styles throughout their history, including jazz, soul, funk, rock, and pop music. After settling on their name following several changes, the group signed to De-Lite Records and released their debut album, Kool and the Gang (1970).

The band’s first taste of success came with their fourth album Wild and Peaceful (1973), which contained the US top ten singles “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging”. Kool & the Gang subsequently entered a period of decline before they reached a second commercial peak between 1979 and 1986 following their partnership with Brazilian musician/producer Eumir Deodato and the addition of singer James “J.T.” Taylor to the line-up. Their most successful albums of this period include Ladies’ Night (1979), Celebrate! (1980), and Emergency (1984), their highest selling album with two million copies sold in the US, and the hit singles “Ladies’ Night”, the US number one “Celebration”, “Get Down on It”, “Joanna”, and “Cherish”. The band continue to perform worldwide, including as support for Van Halen in 2012 and their fiftieth anniversary tour in 2014.

Kool & the Gang have won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, and, in 2006, a Music Business Association Chairman’s Award for artistic achievement. In 2018, the Bells, Brown, and Taylor were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Their discography includes 23 studio albums and almost 70 singles. They have sold 7.5 million and 4.5 million RIAA-certified albums and singles, respectively, in the US.

In Memoriam: Ronald Nathan Bell (1951 – 2020)


Ronald Nathan Bell, also known as Khalis Bayyan (November 1, 1951 – September 9, 2020), was an American composer, singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, and co-founding member of Kool & the Gang.

Bell was born in Youngstown, Ohio, United States, in November 1951 to Aminah Bayyan (1932–2014) and Robert “Bobby” Bell (1929–1985), a professional boxer and Golden Gloves amateur boxing winner who traveled extensively on the boxing circuit throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In the segregated South, black musical acts and boxers on tour would often find themselves in the same accommodations, town after town, and Bell’s father would often bring home his jazz friends’ recordings. It was during those years on the road that his father became friends with Miles Davis and a roommate to Thelonious Monk.

“It was those albums that my dad brought home that drew me to jazz,” says Khalis. “As I child, I was influenced by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Cannonball Adderley. I taught myself how to play saxophone by copying records by Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, and Wayne Shorter.”

The family moved to Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1960. In 1964, the young Ronald Bell and his brother, Robert “Kool” Bell, joined neighborhood friends Spike Mickens, Dennis Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown, and Charles Smith to create a distinctive musical blend of jazz, soul, and funk. At first calling themselves “The Jazziacs”, the band went through various name changes – the New Dimensions, the Soul Town Band, and Kool & the Flames before settling on Kool & the Gang launched in 1969.

Bell composed, arranged, produced and performed some of the most popular music. A self-taught musician, his signature sound can be heard on the band’s horn lines, bass, synthesizer and vocals. He wrote and produced many of the band’s songs including “Celebration”, “Cherish”, “Jungle Boogie”, “Summer Madness”, and “Open Sesame”.

Bell was Muslim, and was given the name Khalis Bayyan by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed. He was also the father of singer Rachid “Rasalus” Bell, who often performs under the stage name Ra.

Bell died at his home in the United States Virgin Islands on September 9, 2020, at age 68. No cause was given, but the death was described as sudden.