Average White Band

The Average White Band are a Scottish soul–funk sextet that debuted with the 1973 MCA release Show Your Hand. Between 1974 and 1979, AWB released six studio albums and a live set on Atlantic, followed with 1980–82 titles on RCA. Stateside, they’re best known for the instrumental “Pick Up the Pieces,” a 1974 chart-topper from their acronymous second album.

Members: Alan Gorrie (vocals, bass, guitar), Owen “Onnie” McIntyre (guitar, vocals), Roger Ball (saxophone, keyboards, 1971-97), Malcolm Duncan (saxophone, 1971-82), Hamish Stuart (guitar, bass, vocals, 1971-82), Robbie McIntosh (drums, 1971-74), Steve Ferrone (drums, 1974-82)

Background

The Average White Band assembled in 1972 when six acquainted Scottish musicians —  bassist–singer Alan Gorrie, guitarist–singer Hamish Stuart, guitarist Owen McIntyre, tenor saxophonist Malcolm Duncan, keyboardist–alto saxist Roger Ball, and drummer Robbie McIntosh — crossed paths at a Traffic concert in London.

Gorrie and McIntyre hailed from Scottish popsters Forever More, which issued two 1970/71 albums on RCA Victor. Stuart had cut three 1970/71 Decca singles with pop-rockers the Dream Police and played on Collection, the 1972 second album by singer–songwriter Steve Tilston.

Duncan and Ball, collectively known as the Dundee Horns, were part of the brass-rock supergroup Mogul Thrash, which cut a self-titled album on RCA in 1971. McIntosh played in the 1960s R&B–beat groups The Primitives and The Senate, which backed American soul singer Garnet Mimms on a 1967 live album on UA. He then joined Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express and drummed on their first three albums.

Just prior to forming AWB, McIntyre and McIntosh (along with ex-Van der Graaf Generator bassist Nic Potter) played on “My Ding-a-Ling,” the 1972 comeback single by ’50s rock n’ roller Chuck Berry.

When the six musicians came together, a friend witnessed their first jam session and remarked “This is too much for the average white man,” which inspired their band name.[1] The Average White Band played their first high-profile gig as the opening act for Eric Clapton‘s Rainbow Concert, held on January 13, 1973, at London’s Rainbow Theatre.


Show Your Hand

The Average White Band released their debut album, Show Your Hand, in September 1973 on MCA.


AWB

The Average White Band released their second album, AWB, in August 1974 on Atlantic.


Cut the Cake

The Average White Band released their third album, Cut the Cake, on June 10, 1975, on Atlantic.


Soul Searching

The Average White Band released their fourth album, Soul Searching, on June 24, 1976, on Atlantic.


Person to Person

In December 1976, the Average White Band released the live double-album Person to Person.


Benny and Us

The Average White Band teamed with American soul singer Ben E. King on the collaborative album Benny and Us, released on June 30, 1977, on Atlantic.


Warmer Communications

The Average White Band released their sixth studio album, Warmer Communications, in June 1978 on RCA (UK) and Atlantic (US).


Feel No Fret

The Average White Band released their seventh studio album, Feel No Fret, in March 1979 on RCA and Atlantic.


Shine

The Average White Band released their eighth studio album, Shine, in July 1980 on RCA and Arista.


Cupid’s in Fashion

The Average White Band released their ninth studio album, Cupid’s in Fashion, in September 1982 on RCA.


Discography:

  • Show Your Hand (1973)
  • AWB (1974)
  • Cut the Cake (1975)
  • Soul Searching (1976)
  • Person to Person (live, 1976)
  • Benny and Us (1977 • Average White Band & Ben E. King)
  • Warmer Communications (1978)
  • Feel No Fret (1979)
  • Shine (1980)
  • Cupid’s in Fashion (1982)

Sources:


References:

  1. The Guardian: Average White Band: how we made Pick Up the Pieces

1 thought on “Average White Band

  1. When did AWB play in New Zealand?

    Thanks
    Don Lowden

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