Crown Heights Affair

Crown Heights Affair were an American soul-funk band from Brooklyn that released a self-titled album on RCA Victor in 1974, followed by seven album on De-Lite Records between 1975 and 1983.

Members: Philip Thomas (vocals), William “Bubba” Anderson (guitar), Arnold “Muki” Wilson (bass), Stan Johnson (keyboards, 1967-73), Raymond “Sugar Ray” Rock (drums), Darryl Gibbs (saxophone, 1967-73), James Baynard (trumpet, 1967-73), Julius Dilligard Jr. (trombone, 1967-73), Howie Young (keyboards, 1973-80), Tyrone Demmons (trumpet, 1973-83), Bertram Reid (saxophone, 1973-83), Raymond Reid (trombone, 1973-83), Skip Boardley (percussion, 1976-83)

They formed in 1967 in the Crown Heights district of Brooklyn as The Nue Day Express. The original lineup featured guitarist William Anderson, bassist Donnie Linton, drummer Ray Rock, keyboardist Stan Johnson, trumpeter James Baynard, trombonist Julius Dilligard Jr, saxophonist Darryl Gibbs, and singer Philip Thomas. For their first recording, they backed veteran singer Ben Iverson for the undated wah-wah ballad “I Tried My Best” (b/w the brisk soul-rocker “Look What You’re Doing to Me”) on one-press Britne.

Iverson hailed from Cleveland doo-wopsters The Hornets, which issued the 1962 single “Fools Rush In” (b/w “Love Me”) on Ohio soul-press Way Out. He co-wrote both sides of the Britne single, produced by Freida Nerangis and Vernon Britton, the team behind several early Crown Heights recordings.

In 1973, the band cut two versions of the Nerangis/Britton composition “Super Rod,” one an instrumental and one with Iverson on vocals. Britne sold the masters to RCA, which signed Crown Heights Affair on the condition they drop Iverson.[1] That August, they cut a new version with drummer Ray Rock on vocals. The song opens their debut album, Crown Heights Affair, released in 1974 on RCA.


  • Crown Heights Affair (1974)
  • Dreaming a Dream (1975)
  • Do It Your Way (1976)
  • Dream World (1978)
  • Dance Lady Dance (1979)
  • Sure Shot (1980)
  • Think Positive! (1982)
  • Struck Gold (1983)



  1. Marv Goldberg’s R&B Notebooks: The Hornets

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