The Gap Band

The Gap Band were an American soul-funk band from Tulsa that debuted with the album Magician’s Holiday on Shelter/MCA in 1974, followed by four self-titled albums on RCA and Mercury between 1976 and 1980. Five further eponymous albums appeared on Total Experience Records between 1982 and 1986.

Members: Ronnie Wilson (vocals, trumpet, keyboards), Roscoe “Toast” Smith (drums, 1967-78), Chris Clayton (saxophone, vocals, 1967-78), Tuck Andress (guitar, 1967-73), Charlie Wilson (vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, percussion, 1972-2010), Robert Wilson (vocals, bass, 1973-2010), Tommy Lokey (trumpet, 1974-78), O’Dell Stokes (guitar, 1974-76), James Macon (guitar, 1977-78)

The band was instigated in 1967 by singing teenage keyboardist Ronnie Wilson, who grew up in a musical home in Tulsa with two younger brothers, Charlie and Robert. Their father was a Pentecostal minister who made them learn instruments. As a family, they played music during sermons with their mom on piano.

While Ronnie rehearsed with his band, Charlie Wilson (then 14) joined a completing band. After Charlie matured and impressed with his organ skills, Ronnie invited him to join the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Street Band, named after streets in Tulsa’s black business district. In the early ’70s, they brought in their youngest brother, Robert Wilson (b. 1957), to handle bass. Their name proved wordy from a billing standpoint, so they shortened it to G.A.P. Band. A subsequent bill listed them as the Gap Band due to a typographical error. The name stuck.

In 1974, Tulsa singer/songwriter Leon Russell hired the Gap Band as his backup on Stop All That Jazz, released on his own Shelter Records label. As a return favor, Shelter issued the Gap Band’s debut album, Magician’s Holiday, later that same year.


  • Magician’s Holiday (1974)
  • The Gap Band (1976)
  • The Gap Band II (1979)
  • The Gap Band (1979)
  • The Gap Band III (1980)
  • Gap Band IV (1982)
  • Strike a Groove (1983)
  • Gap Band V – Jammin’ (1983)
  • Gap Band VI (1984)
  • Gap Band VII (1985)
  • Gap Band 8 (1987)
  • Straight From the Heart (1988)
  • Round Trip (1989)


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