Con Funk Shun - Too Tight
In 1969 Vallejo, California high school students Michael Cooper and Louis McCall formed a band and called themselves Project Soul. By 1971 they were joined by five others, and the group started to unofficially call itself Con Funk Shun - inspired by the title of a song by The Nite-liters. In 1973 the group packed up and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and before long they were hired by Stax Records to back up vocal group The Soul Children. That same year they were signed to Fretone Records and released their first album titled Organized Con Funk Shun, however it wasn't until their second album in the following year that the band's name was officially changed to Con Fun Shun. In 1976 the band signed to Mercury Records, and over the following 10 years they released eleven albums spawning ten Billboard Top 10 Hits, including Too Tight in 1980. Before the groups final album, Burning Love in 1986, vocalist and songwriter Felton Pilate left the group to produce MC Hammer. Pilate, who became a very successful producer, was the musical force behind the rapper and produced all of his hits including his hugely successful debut album in 1987.
HERB ALBERT - Rise
In the 1970's the hugely successful jazz trumpeter Herb Albert broke away from his Tijuana Brass Band to embark on a solo career. In 1979 topped the Billboard Hot 100 with his instrumental song Rise, which was off the album of the same name. The song was originally intended to be an uptempo song, but during the recording the session drummer pushed to have the tempo slowed down to 100. The popularity of the song got a huge boost from being prominently featured in ABC's soap opera General Hospital. The song was used for the background music in the scene where Luke Spencer rapes Laura Webber. Over the weeks that followed, the song was used on the show numerous times to flashback to that moment. In 1997 the song was sampled by Puff Daddy for rapper The Notorious B.I.G.'s smash hit Hypnotize - the fifth number one hit from the rapper post-death.
DeBARGE - All This Love
In Grand Rapids, Michigan in the mid-1970's Bobby and Tommy DeBarge were enjoying success on Motown Records with their band Switch, and at the same time they mentored their eight younger siblings who were performing as the The DeBarges. In 1981 The DeBarges got signed to Motown, and Bobby and Tommy quit Switch to join their brothers and sisters. The debut album was not particularly successful, however on the second album in 1982 they changed their name to DeBarge and became Motown's top selling artist. The second album's title track, All This Love, played a a big part in that success. The song was originally written by frontman El DeBarge for his friend and idol Marvin Gaye to record - but he ended up not using it. After it became clear that Gaye would not use the song El DeBarge decided to record it himself with his group. All This Love was the most successful song off the second album by DeBarge, and it has been covered and sampled numerous times.
In 1971 the funk band The People's Choice formed in Philadelphia and released their first single I Like To Do It. The song charted well and got the attention of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who had just formed Phliadelphia International Records (PIR). In 1975 Gamble & Huff signed the group to their label and produced their chart topping single Do It Any Way You Wanna. The song, like most of their hits, was mainly instrumental. The same year the song was featured on their debut album Boogie Down U.S.A., and it was also featured in the Fred Williamson film Death Journey in 1976. The song has been sampled numerous times such as by The Jungle Brothers in 1989's What U Waiting 4, and by 2Pac in 1993's Holler If Ya Hear Me. In 1976 reggae deejay and toaster Dillinger sampled Do It Any Way You Wanna, and used it in his crossover hit single Cokane In My Brain.
The 1968 Bollywood film Jhuk Gaya Aasman was a re-make of Hollywood's 1941 movie Here Comes Mr. Jordan. The movie was not particularly successful at the box office, but when rapper and producer Will i Am heard the soundtrack, he found the perfect intro to a song he had written - My Humps. Originally the song was written for pop princesses The Pussycat Dolls. He decided to give them the song Beep instead, and he kept My Humps for his band The Black Eyed Peas to use on their fourth album in 2006. The song was the most commercially successful song off the album, and it won a Grammy and it won MTV's Best Hip-Hop Video award despite having been called one of the worst songs of all time by many critics.
In 1974 funk and disco band Kool and The Gang had heir first number one R&B single with Hollywood Swingin'. The song appears on their Wild and Peaceful album from that year. Hollywood Swingin' has been sampled numerous times, including by DJ Kool's party rocking' classic Let Me Clear My Throat, and on rapper Mase's Puff Daddy produced number one hit Feels So Good. Kool and the Gang was originally formed in 1964 by teenage brothers Robert and Ronald Bell as The Jazziacs, performing mostly instrumental songs. In 1967 the band changed it's name to Kool & The Flames. The name caused confusion because James Brown's band was known as the Famous Flames, and when they had a record deal with De-Lite Records in 1969 they changed the name once again to Kool And The Gang.
In 1961 Mexican American rock and roll singer Domingo "Sam" Samudio formed his back-up band The Pharaohs. Apparently inspired by Yul Brynner in The 10 Commandments, group leader Sam The Sham, and his robe and turban wearing band, were known for driving to gigs in a 1952 Packard hearse. The band had a breakthrough hit in 1965 with Wolly Bully, which sold more than three million copies. By the end of that year several band members left over a financial dispute. The Pharaohs were reformed and in 1966 the band released Lil' Red Riding Hood, the song hit number one - topping Wolly Bully on the charts. Spoiler - in this video Betty Boop is Lil' Red Riding Hood.
THE ISLEY BROTHERS - Shout
It was the late 1950's in Cincinnati Ohio when the Isley brothers - Ronald, Rudolph and O'Kelly Jr. - formed to perform gospel music. By the time the brothers had moved to New York in 1957 they had recruited a fourth brother - Vernon - and lost brother O'Kelly, who had died. The Isley Brothers were playing clubs in New York City when success of their fourth single Shout landed them a first album deal. The song was the first original composition recorded by the brothers. The song was born out of a Washington DC club, where after the brothers had performed a cover of the 1958 Jackie Wilson song Lonely Teardrops, the call-and-response style Shout followed as a response. The song has since been covered countless dozens of times, and it continues to be featured prominently music & movies.
SKYY - Call Me
In Brooklyn, New York in the mid-1970's three sisters - Denise, Delores and Bonnie Dunning - formed a band to back up their vocals. The line-up of the funk and disco band was solidified after they were joined by keyboardist and record producer Randy Muller, also a member of the funk band Brass Construction. By 1979 the band was signed to Salsoul Records and they released their self-titled debut album - Skyy. By the late 1970's Salsoul Records, which was born out of the discotheque dance craze, was determined to survive the growing disco backlash. In 1979 there were numerous anti-disco incidents, including unruly record demolition events held at ballparks and stadiums. The disco-oriented labels that survived this period strayed from using the word disco, and identified themselves simply as dance music. In 1981 Skyy released their fourth album on Salsoul - Skyy Line - their most commercially successful album, which featured their best charting single Call Me.
The 1982 disco-esque hip-hop dance single Last Night A DJ Saved My Life was a one-hit wonder for New-York-based group Indeep. The international dance hit employed sound effects such as a ringing telephone and a toilet flushing. After an unsuccessful followup single, one of the female vocalists - Rejane Majloire - had better success with the Belguim techno-house group Technotronic, releasing hits like 1989's Pump Up The Jam. In 2001 Mariah Carey covered Last Night A DJ Saved My Life in her unsuccessful movie Glitter, and the song was featured on the movie's soundtrack. Following the poor reception of Glitter, Virgin Records dropped Carey from the label and rescinded their $100 million dollar five album contract after just the first record. Carey's film flop was also highlighted by her surprised promotional appearance and MTV's TRL with Carson Daley that ended in a psychotic striptease incident, which eventually lead to her two week hospitalization and lengthy disappearance from the public.
"If you like to lounge