Tag: Kool and The Gang

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.

 

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.

Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s with Bobby Jay 7pm ET

GSP2This week Ron Kovacs fills in for Bobby Jay on Great Soul Performances.  We’ll feature music from Simply Red, Pointer Sisters, Four Tops, Ben E. King, Kool and The Gang, Eartha Kitt, Diana Ross, Earth Wind and Fire, Tyrone Davis, Bobby Brown, Sister Sledge and more!  It all starts 7pm ET Live on RadioMaxMusic.