Exit 9

Exit 9 were an American soul-funk band that released the album Straight Up on Brunswick-subsidiary BRC in 1975.

Members: David Lavender (rhythm/lead guitar), Enoch Jappa (congas, backing vocals), Eric Hoosier (alto saxophone, backing vocals), Hollis Googe (lead guitar, backing vocals), James “Binky” Davis (drums, backing vocals), Johnny Rios (lead vocals), Michael Pelzer (bass, backing vocals), Solomon Jappa (tenor saxophone, flute, backing vocals), William McCormick (trumpet, backing vocals)

Exit 9 evolved from a guitar-based combo that billed itself as Qualified Funk, formed circa 1973 when the members were between the ages of 16 and 20. The band gradually expanded to nine players with a three-piece brass/trumpet section, which prompted the name-change.

In 1975, Exit 9 released their singular album Straight Up on BRC. Most of the songs were written by guitarist Hollis Googe and/or vocalist Johnny Rios, including “M.F.B,” “Thoughts of You,” “Julie I Love You,” “Jive Man,” and “Miss Funky Fox.” Those last two tracks were released as 7″ a-sides. The album was produced by the band’s management team of John Jenkins and Modeste Clarke with assistance from BRC mainstay Alonzo Johnson (The Eliminators, Odyssey 5).

Exit 9 guitarists Hollis Googe and David Lavender notched a credit each over the subsequent decade: Googe on the 1981 single “Don’t Stop the Magic” by funksters Pulse; Lavender on the 1985 album Let’s Go All The Way by Sly Fox.



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