Shalamar was an American soul-funk vocal trio from N.Y.C. that debuted with an album on Don Cornelius’ Soul Train imprint in 1977, followed by 10 further albums on parent-label Solar between 1978 and 1990. Co-founder Jody Watley left the group in 1983 and scored several solo hits in the late 1980s.

Members: Gary Mumford (lead vocals, 1976-77), Jody Watley (1976-83), Jeffrey Daniel (1976-83), Gerald Brown (1976-77), Howard Hewett (1977-86), Delisa Davis (1983-91), Micki Free (1983-91), Sidney Justin (1986-91)

Shalamar was initially a studio-based project assembled by the team behind Soul Train, producer/show creator Don Cornelius and talent coordinator Dick Griffey. In March 1977, the project yielded the dance recording “Uptown Festival,” a near nine-minute disco medley of 10 Motown classics. It was recorded the prior year at Ike and Tina Turner‘s Bolic Sound studio in Inglewood, performed by session singers with instrumentation by members of Motown houseband the Funk Brothers (Eddie “Bongo” Brown, Jack Ashford) and the prolific team of Mike Lewis and Laurin Rinder.

The four-minute radio edit, “Uptown Festival (Part 1),” reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100, prompting Griffey to assemble a vocal group to perform the track on Soul Train. He hired Jody Watley (b. 1959, Chicago), Jeffrey Daniel (b. 1957), and Gary Mumford, all dancing regulars on the show.


  • Uptown Festival (1977)
  • Disco Gardens (1978)
  • Big Fun (1979)
  • Three for Love (1980)
  • Go for It (1981)
  • Friends (1982)
  • The Look (1983)
  • Heartbreak (1984)
  • Circumstantial Evidence (1987)
  • Wake Up (1990)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *