Black Merda

Black Merda was an American soul-funk/psych band from Detroit that released a self-titled album on Chess in 1970, followed by a second as Mer-Da on Janus in 1972. Along with Funkadelic and Purple Image, the band was pivotal in bridging R&B and psych-rock at the dawn of the 1970s. Members: Anthony “Wolf” Hawkins (guitar), VC […]

The Undisputed Truth

The Undisputed Truth were an American soul-psych group from Detroit, formed in 1970. The group released six albums on Motown’s Gordy imprint between 1971 and 1975, followed by two further albums on producer Norman Whitfield’s surnamesake label during the second half of the decade. Members: Joe Harris (lead vocals), Billie Rae Calvin (lead vocals, 1970-74), […]

The Supremes

The Supremes were an American soul-pop trio from Detroit, formed in 1961. Their classic lineup featured singers Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and frontwoman Diana Ross, who all grew up on the city’s east side. Signed to Motown, The Supremes were part of that label’s classic roster of chart-topping sixties artists, along with the Four Tops, […]

Hodges, James & Smith

Hodges, James & Smith were an American vocal trio from Detroit. The nameplate was briefly suffixed with a fourth surname, Crawford, to account for vocalist Carolyn Crawford, who recorded two singles with the group circa 1971/72. Members: Pat Hodges, Denita James, Jessica Smith, Carolyn Crawford (1971—72) Discography: “Somewhere a Valley” / “Ain’t That Right” (1969) […]

Four Tops

The Four Tops were an American soul group from Detroit, formed in 1953. Members: Abdul “Duke” Fakir (first tenor vocals), Renaldo “Obie” Benson (baritone, bass vocals, 1953-2005), Levi Stubbs (lead vocals, 1953-2000), Lawrence Payton (second tenor vocals, lead vocals, 1953-97) The Four Tops assembled in 1953 Detroit when two students at Pershing High, Levi Stubbs […]

Power of Zeus

The Power of Zeus were an American hard-rock/psych band from Detroit that released the album The Gospel According to Zeus on Motown-subsidiary Rare Earth in 1970. The band gigged for two years prior as Gangrene but changed names as a condition of their contract. Members: Joe Periano (guitar), Bill Jones (bass), Dennie Webber (Hammond organ, […]

Donald Byrd

Donald Byrd (Dec. 9, 1932 — Feb. 4, 2013) was an American trumpeter who emerged as an early member of The Jazz Messengers during the mid-1950s. He was born Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II on December 9, 1932, in Detroit. Byrd first performed behind jazz percussionist and bandleader Lionel Hampton while still a student at […]

October

October were an American symphonic-rock band from Detroit, Mich., that issued an eponymous album on local small-press Charisma Sound in 1979, followed that same year by the sophomoric self-release After the Fall. Members: Pat Carson (Drums, Percussion), Mark Krench (Electric, Acoustic And Prepared Pianos, Recorder, Synthesizer), Mark Stering (Mini Moog, Moog Sonic Six, Micro Moog, […]

707

707 were an American melodic/hard-rock band that released three albums on the PolyGram subsidiaries Casablanca and Boardwalk between 1980 and 1982. Members: Kevin Russell (vocals, guitar), Phil Bryant (vocals, bass), Duke McFadden (vocals, keyboards), Jim McClarty (drums), Kevin Chalfant (vocals), Tod Howarth (keyboards, guitar), Felix Robinson (bass), Don Bassey (bass), Denny Carmassi (drums) Discography: 707 […]

The 8th Day

The 8th Day were an American soul-funk/psych band from Detroit that released two albums with accompanying singles on Invictus between 1971 and 1973. A decade later, the nameplate was resurrected for a third album on A&M. Members: Steve Mancha (vocals), Melvin Davis (vocals, drums), Antonio ‘Tony’ Newton (bass), Carole Stallings (vocals, electric violin), Anita Sherman […]

Marcus

Marcus was an American hard-rock band from Detroit that released a self-titled album on United Artists in 1976. They were the namesake of frontman Marcus Malone. Bassist Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Beck Bogart & Appice) played bass on two tracks. Members: Marcus Malone (vocals), Gene Bloch (guitar), Randall David (guitar), Jack Weber (guitar), Tim […]

Mixed Bag

The Mixed Bag were an American jazz-funk band from Detroit that released Mixed Bag’s First Album on the local specialty label Tribe in 1976. Keyboardist Eddie Russ concurrently recorded as a solo artist. Members: Ron Brookes (bass), Geoff Dunsun [aka Eddie Russ] (keyboards), Jerry Glassel (guitar), Larry Nozero (reeds, flute, cuica), Dave Koether (percussion), Dan […]

Rodriguez

Rodriguez — aka Sixto Diaz Rodriguez (born July 10, 1942) — is an American singer/songwriter from Detroit, Mich., who released a single on Impact Records in 1967, followed by two albums on Sussex Records in 1970/71. After losing touch with the industry, his work gained a mass following in South Africa, where his popularity remained […]

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper is an American singer and performer, best known for the shock-rock antics and horror trappings of his 1970s live shows. He emerged as the frontman of namesake hard-rockers Alice Cooper, which charted with a string of 1971–73 Warner Bros. albums, including the hits “School’s Out,” “I’m Eighteen,” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” […]

The Temptations

The Temptations were an American soul group from Detroit, formed in 1961. They first charted in 1964 with “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” sung by tenor Eddie Kendricks. With baritone David Ruffin at the fore, they hit number-one with the evergreen ballad “My Girl,” co-written and produced by Smokey Robinson, who also […]

One Way

One Way were an American soul-funk band Detroit that released two eponymous albums on MCA during 1979 and 1980 with vocalist Al Hudson featured before the nameplate. During the ensuing five-year period, the band released eight further albums on the label, followed by an eleventh album on Capitol in 1988, once again with special credit […]

Rascal Reporters

The Rascal Reporters were an American avant-jazz/rock band from Oak Park, Mich., that released two cassette-albums on self-press Hebbardesque Records in 1980, followed by two proper albums on the label between 1984 and 1988. Members: Steve Gore, Steve Kretzmer Discography: Freaks Obscure (1980) We’re God (1980) Ridin’ on a Bummer (1984) Happy Accidents (1988) Purple […]

SRC

SRC was an American psych-rock band that released three albums between 1968 and 1970 on Capitol, followed by a pair of 1972 singles, including one as Blue Scepter on the Motown-subsidiary Rare Earth. Members: Gary Quackenbush (guitar, 1968-69), Glenn Quackenbush (keyboards, vocals, 1968-70), E. G. Clawson (drums, 1968-70), Scott Richardson (vocals, 1968-70), Steve Lymann (guitar, […]

Sky King

Sky King were an American jazz-funk band from Ann Arbor, Mich., that released the album Secret Sauce on CBS/Columbia in 1975. Members: Chris Brubeck (bass, trombone, piano, vocals), David Ross Mason (guitar, bass, vocals), Rick “R.J.” Jacobi (guitar, bass, vocals), Richie Morales (drums, percussion, vocals), Chris Coan (lead vocals) Discography: Secret Sauce (1975)

Frijid Pink

Frijid Pink was an American hard-rock band from Detroit that released the 1970 albums Frijid Pink and Defrosted on Parrot, scoring a No. 7 Billboard hit with a fuzzed-up cover of “House of the Rising Sun,” first made famous by The Animals. Bassist Tom Harris and drummer Rick Stevers were the only constant members through […]

Shotgun

Shotgun was an American soul-funk band from Detroit that released three albums on ABC Records between 1977 and 1979, followed by three further titles on MCA and Montage during the early 1980s. Its members hailed from the seminal Stax ensemble 24-Carat Black. Members: Ernest Latimore (vocals, guitar), Billy Talbert (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Larry Austin (bass), […]

Raydio

Raydio were an American soul-funk band from Detroit that released four albums on Arista between 1978 and 1981. The last two albums affix the nameplate with guitarist/vocalist Ray Parker Jr., who would subsequently record as an L.A.-based studio musician and solo artist. Members: Ray Parker Jr., Vincent Bohnam, Jerry Knight, Arnell Carmichael, Darren Carmichael, Charles […]

Positive Force

Positive Force were an American soul-funk band from Pennsylvania that released a self-titled album on Sugar Hill Records in 1980. The band then modified their name to Positive Express and released a second album, Changin’ Times, on Victory Records in 1982. Members: Albert Williams, Brenda Reynolds, Vickie Drayton Discography: Positive Force (1980) Changin’ Times (1982)

The Politicians

The Politicians were an American soul-funk/psych band from Detroit that released a self-titled album on Hot Wax in 1972. Members: Clay Robinson (organ, trumpet), McKinley Jackson (trombone), Melvin Griffin (piano, saxophone), Roderick “Peanut” Chandler (bass, saxophone), Zachary Slatter (drums) Discography: The Politicians featuring McKinley Jackson (1972)

Parliament

Parliament was an American R&B band that existed in two phases between 1955 and 1981. The first incarnation, as The Parliaments, yielded a string of doo-wop and soul singles on Revilot and other labels between 1959 and 1968, culminating with the 1970 album Osmium, released as Parliament on Invictus. Singer–producer George Clinton reactivated Parliament as […]

Oliver

Oliver Cheatham (born Feb. 24, 1948 — Nov. 29, 2013) was an American R&B singer from Detroit who released two albums with accompanying singles on MCA in 1982 and 1983, followed by a third album on Champion in 1987. Discography: The Boss (1982) Saturday Night (1983) Go for It (1987)

Fantastic Four

The Fantastic Four were an American soul group from Detroit. Members: “Sweet” James Epps, Ralph Pruitt, Joseph Pruitt, William Hunter, Wallace Childs, Cleveland Horne, Ernest Newsome Discography: The Fantastic Four (1967) Fantastic Four Uncover Alvin Stone: The Birth and Death of a Gangster (1975) Night People (1976) Got to Have Your Love (1977) B.Y.O.F. (Bring […]

Northwind

Northwind were an American band from Detroit, Mich., that recorded three albums between 1972 and 1977, little heard at the time but later distributed on the band’s website. Members: Roland Ernest (guitar, vocals), Jan Stepka (keyboards), Steve White (drums), Tom Iacaboni (drums), Tom Cahill (drums), Howard Wells (drums), Bob Pascoe (guitar), Rob Foster (woodwinds) Discography: […]

Parlet

Parlet were an American soul group from Detroit. Members: Mallia Franklin (1978-79), Debbie Wright (1978), Janice Evans (1979-80), Shirley Hayden, Jeanette Washington Discography: Pleasure Principle (1978) Invasion of the Booty Snatchers (1979) Play Me or Trade Me (1980)

Savage Grace

Savage Grace was an American psychedelic hard-rock band that released two self-titled albums in 1970–71 on Reprise. Members: Ron Koss (vocals, guitar), Al Jacquez (vocals, bass), John Seanor (piano, harpsichord, keyboards), Larry Zack (drums, percussion) Savage Grace formed in Detroit from the ashes of The Scarlet Letter, a garage-psych act with singer–guitarist Ron Koss, keyboardist […]

Bobbye Hall

Bobbye Hall is an American jazz-funk percussionist from Detroit who released the album Body Language for Lovers on 20th Century in 1977. As a sessionist, she played on ’70s-era albums by Grant Green, Willie Hutch, Tavares, Bill Withers, Chi Coltrane, and numerous other recording artists. Discography: Body Language for Lovers (1977)

Brides of Funkenstein

Brides of Funkenstein were an American soul-funk group from Detroit that released two albums on Atlantic in 1978/79. The group provided vocal backing for producer George Clinton in the mid-’70s iterations of Parliament and Funkadelic. Two of the members, Dawn Silva and Lynn Mabry, sang together earlier in a late-period lineup of Sly & the […]

Greg Phillinganes

Greg Phillinganes (born May 12, 1956) is an American R&B keyboardist from Detroit who served as a backup musician and occasional co-writer/arranger on albums by a range of TriMax jazz-funk/soul artists, including Harvey Mason, Stevie Wonder, Syreeta, Freda Payne, Lenny Williams, and the combos Sunbear, Arpeggio, and Tribe. As a solo artist, Phillinganes released two […]

Gene Dunlap

Gene Dunlap (born June 19, 1954) is an American R&B-funk vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer from Detroit who released two albums on Capitol in 1981, followed by a third in 1985 with backing from his namesake band. Discography: It’s Just the Way I Feel (1981 • Gene Dunlap Featuring The Ridgeways) Party in Me (1981) […]

Dreamboy

Dreamboy were an American soul-funk band from Oak Park, Mich., that released a self-titled EP on Quincy Jones’ Warner-subsidiary Qwest Records in 1983, followed by the album Contact on said label in 1984. Members: Jeff Stanton (lead vocals, backing vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Jeff Bass (lead vocals, backing vocals, lead guitar, keyboards), Jimi […]

The Counts

The Counts were an American soul-funk band from Detroit that began life as The Fabulous Counts, releasing the album Jan Jan under that name on Cotillion in 1969. After dropping “Fabulous” from the name, the band released the album What’s Up Front That Counts on Westbound in 1971. A string of singles followed under the […]

Chairmen of the Board

Chairmen of the Board were an American soul trio from Detroit that released four albums on Invictus between 1970 and 1974. After lead vocalist General Johnson broke for a solo career, the band reconvened for five further albums on Surfside Records between 1980 and 1993. Members: General Johnson (vocals, 1969-76, 1978-2010), Danny Woods (vocals, 1969-76, […]

Brainstorm

Brainstorm were an American soul-funk band from Detroit that released three albums on Tabu Records between 1977 and 1979. Members: Belita Woods (lead vocals), Charles “Chuck” Overton (alto saxophone, soprano saxophone), Jeryl Bright (trombone), Professor R J Ross [Bob Ross] (keyboards), Renell Gonsalves (drums), Larry H. “Leap” Sims, Gerald Kent (lead guitar, rhythm guitar), Bongo […]

Bootsy’s Rubber Band

Bootsy’s Rubber Band were an American funk band from Detroit that released four albums on Warner Bros. between 1976 and 1979. The band was headed by namesake bassist Bootsy Collins, a Parliament mainstay who also played with James Brown, Funkadelic, and Parlet during the 1970s. Members: Bootsy Collins (bass, vocals, guitar, percussion), Catfish Collins (guitar, […]

Black Nasty

Black Nasty were an American soul-funk band from Detroit that released the album Talking to the People on Enterprise in 1973. The band morphed into Nazty for a second album, I Got to Move, in 1976. A second name-change to the ADC Band preceded a string of albums between 1978 and 1982. Members: Johnnie Mae […]

Alice Coltrane

Alice Coltrane (Aug. 27, 1937 — Jan. 12, 2007) was an American spiritual-jazz pianist and harpist from Detroit who released seven albums on Impulse! between 1968 and 1972. Discography: A Monastic Trio (1968) Cosmic Music (1968 • John Coltrane / Alice Coltrane) Huntington Ashram Monastery (1969) Ptah, the El Daoud (1970) Journey in Satchidananda (1971 […]

Lost Nation

Lost Nation was an American post-psych band that released the 1970 album Paradise Lost on the Rare Earth division of Motown. Members: Ron Stults (vocals), Larry Zelanka (organ, keyboard), Craig Webb (guitar), Art Wolff (bass), Ron Fuller (percussion) Lost Nation formed in Detroit from the dust of The Unrelated Segments, a garage-rock band with singer […]