The Pointer Sisters

The Pointer Sisters were an American soul-pop group from Oakland, formed in 1969 by sisters Anita, June, and Bonnie Pointer. Starting life as a retro-1940s cabaret act, the sisters released four albums and a live disc on Blue Thumb/ABC between 1973 and 1977. Switching to contemporary soul-pop, the Pointer Sisters released six albums on Richard […]

Syreeta

Syreeta Wright (Aug. 3, 1946 — July 6, 2004) was an American soul singer and songwriter who debuted with a self-titled album produced and arranged by then-husband Stevie Wonder, released in 1972 on MoWest. Despite divorcing, their partnership yielded a second album on Motown in 1974, after which she released four more solo albums on […]

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is an American R&B musician, vocalist, songwriter, and producer who began recording for Tamla/Motown in 1962 at age 12. During the mid-to-late 1960s, he scored a string of pop hits for the label, culminating with the decade-ending ballad “My Cherie Amour” and 1970’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” Upon turning 21, he gained […]

Sharon Redd

Sharon Redd (Oct. 19, 1945 — May 1, 1992) was an American soul-funk singer from Norfolk, Va., who sang in Bette Midler’s backing trio The Harlettes during the 1970s and released three albums on Prelude between 1980 and 1983. Discography: Formerly of The Harlettes (1978 • Sharon Redd, Ula Hedwig & Charlotte Crossley) Sharon Redd […]

Shalamar

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 […]

Roberta Flack

Roberta Flack (born Feb. 10, 1937) is an American soul singer and pianist from Black Mountain, N.C., that released seven studio albums and two collaborative efforts with vocalist Donny Hathaway on Atlantic between 1969 and 1979. Another five albums appeared on the label over the subsequent 15-year period, including one of two collaborative efforts with […]

René & Angela

René & Angela were an American soul-funk duo from Los Angeles, formed in 1977 by René Moore and Angela Winbush, who both sang and played keyboards. The band released three albums on Capitol between 1980 and 1983, followed by a fourth on Mercury in 1985. Members: René Moore, Angela Winbush Discography: René & Angela (1980) […]

Narada Michael Walden

Narada Michael Walden is an American jazz-funk/soul musician and producer who drummed in the second lineup of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, which made the 1974/75 albums Apocalypse and Visions of the Emerald Beyond. In 1976, he played on jazz-rock albums by Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius, Jeff Beck, Allan Holdsworth, and Nova. As a solo artist, Walden […]

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye (April 2, 1939 — April 1, 1984) was an American R&B vocalist, songwriter, and producer from Washington, D.C., who was musically active for a quarter-century, achieving worldwide renown as one of Tamla/Motown’s leading performers. He first rose to fame with a string of duets, first with Kim Weston and then with Tammi Terrell, […]

Loleatta Holloway

Loleatta Holloway (1946–2011) was an American soul singer from Chicago who made the 1973–75 albums Loleatta and Cry to Me on the Atlanta-based Aware Records. She made four subsequent albums (1976–80) on Gold Mind/Salsoul and scored R&B/dance hits with “Hit and Run,” “Love Sensation,” “I May Not Be There When You Want Me (But I’m […]

Leon Ware

Leon Ware (1940–2017) was an American R&B singer, songwriter, and producer who released a 1972 self-titled album on United Artists, followed by the popular 1976 Gordy title Musical Massage. In 1979, Ware reemerged with Inside Is Love, followed by the 1981/82 Elektra titles Rockin’ You Eternally and Leon Ware. After nineteen quiet years, he released […]

Leon Haywood

Leon Haywood (Feb. 11, 1942 — April 5, 2016) was an American soul singer from Houston who initially emerged as a singles artist for Fantasy, Imperial, and Fat Fish during the mid-1960s. Early in the following decade, he re-emerged as a soul-funk album artist with four longplayers on 20th Century between 1973 and 1977, followed […]

Kashif

Kashif Saleem — aka Michael Jones (Dec. 26, 1956 — Sept. 25, 2016) — was an American R&B singer, songwriter, and keyboardist from Manhattan who first emerged as a member of B.T. Express, joining the band in 1974 at age 17 and appearing on their first five albums. After leaving the band, he served as […]

Jackson 5

The Jackson 5 was an American soul-pop act from Gary, Ind., comprising five brothers of the Jackson musical clan: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael Jackson. They formed in 1964 when the boys were between six and thirteen years old. After winning talent competitions and cutting one local single, they signed to Motown and released […]

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes were an American soul group from Philadelphia, formed in 1954 as The Blue Notes. Members: Harold Melvin (lead vocals), Roosevelt Brodie (1954-72), Jesse Gillis, Jr. (1954-72), Franklin Peaker (1954-72), Bernard Williams (1954-65), John Atkins (1965-70), Teddy Pendergrass (lead vocals, drums, 1970-76), Bernie Wilson (1972-77), Larry Brown (1972-1975), Lloyd Parks […]

Evelyn “Champagne” King

Evelyn “Champagne” King is an American soul-funk singer who released eight albums between 1977 and 1985 on RCA Victor. Background Evelyn King was born on July 1, 1960, in New York City and raised in Philadelphia. Smooth Talk Evelyn “Champagne” King released her debut album, Smooth Talk, on August 17, 1977, on RCA Victor. Music […]

Deniece Williams

Deniece Williams is an American soul singer and songwriter with a musical career that dates back to the early 1970s. Between 1976 and 1984, she released seven albums on Columbia/CBS. Distinguished by her high-octave quiver, she scored international hits with “Free,” “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle,” and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy.” Background Williams […]

Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater is an American soul and jazz singer from Memphis. After numerous sessions for noted jazz artists, she made her solo debut with the 1974 album Afro Blue, followed by a self-titled 1976 Atlantic release and the 1977–79 Elektra titles Just Family and Bad for Me. Background Bridgewater was born Denise Eileen Garrett […]

Blue Magic

Blue Magic were an American soul group from Philadelphia that released five albums on ATCO between 1974 and 1978, followed by an album apiece on Capitol and Omni during the early 1980s. Members: Keith “Duke” Beaton (tenor vocals), Ted “The Wizard” Mills (lead vocals, 1972-90, 2012-present), Wendell Sawyer (baritone vocals, tenor vocals, lead vocals, 1972-77, […]

Bloodstone

Bloodstone was an American soul-psych group from Kansas City, Mo., that released eight albums on Decca/London between 1972 and 1976, followed by a ninth on Motown and two more on the Isley‘s T-Neck label. Members: Harry Williams, Jr. (vocals, keyboards), Charles Love (vocals, guitar, 1962–2014), Willis Draffen (vocals, guitar, 1962-2002), Charles E. McCormick (vocals, bass, […]

Ashford & Simpson

Ashford & Simpson were an American soul-pop duo from N.Y.C. comprising the husband-and-wife musical team of Nickolas Ashford (May 4, 1941 – Aug. 22, 2011) and Valerie Simpson (b. Aug. 26, 1946). The pair debuted with a standalone single in 1964, followed by a half-decade behind the scenes as staff writers for Motown. The couple […]

Al Jarreau

Al Jarreau (April 12, 1940 — Feb. 12, 2017) was an American soul and jazz singer from Milwaukee. Al was born Alwyn Lopez Jarreau on April 12, 1940, in Milwaukee, Wisc., the fifth of six children. Their father was a Seventh-day Adventist Church minister and their mother played church piano. The family sang together at […]

Weather Report

Weather Report was a multinational jazz-funk/fusion ensemble that released 14 studio albums on Columbia between 1971 and 1986. Throughout its existence, the band was co-led by American saxophonist Wayne Shorter and Austrian keyboardist Joe Zawinul. Numerous rhythm players did stints with the band during its 15-year history, most notably drummers Alphonse Mouzon and Narada Michael […]

Stanley Clarke

Stanley Clarke (born June 30, 1951) is an American jazz-funk bassist from Philadelphia who played in the supergroup Return to Forever between 1972 and 1977. He was born Stanley Marvin Clarke on June 30, 1951 in Philadelphia. His mother, a church choir singer, encouraged him to take up music. He started on accordion, then played […]

Rupert Holmes

Rupert Holmes (born Feb. 24, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, producer, playwright, and screenwriter with a career in entertainment that dates to the late 1960s. Starting as a hit-writer for The Cuff Links and The Buoys, he emerged as a recording artist with a string of production-pop albums during the second half of […]

Ratt

Ratt are an American hard-rock/metal band from San Diego that released a self-titled EP on Music for Nations in 1983, followed by five albums on Atlantic between 1984 and 1990. Members: Stephen Pearcy (vocals), Robbin Crosby (guitar, vocals, 1981-91), Joey Cristofanilli (bass, 1981-82), Warren DeMartini (guitar, vocals, 1982-92), Marq Torien (guitar, vocals, 1982), Juan Croucier […]

Player

Player were an American adult-oriented rock band from Los Angeles. Members: John Friesen (drums, 1977-83), Ronn Moss (bass, vocals, 1977-81, 1995-present), J.C. Crowley (guitar, keyboards, vocals, 1977-80, Peter Beckett (vocals, guitar, 1977-79, 1980-83, 1995-present), Miles Joseph (guitar, vocals, 1980-83), Gabriel Katona (keyboards, 1980-83), Rusty Buchanan (vocals, bass, 1981-83) Discography: Player (1977) Danger Zone (1978) Room […]

Patrice Rushen

Patrice Rushen is an American keyboardist, composer, and singer who started as a sidewoman on mid-Seventies jazz albums by Alphonso Johnson, Azar Lawrence, Donald Byrd, Eddie Henderson, Harvey Mason, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Luis Gasca. As a solo artist, she made three post-bop/jazz-funk albums (1974–77) on Prestige, then transitioned to soul-funk for a five-album run (1978–84) […]

Lonnie Liston Smith

Lonnie Liston Smith is an American jazz-funk keyboardist, composer, arranger, and band-leader who has been musically active since the early 1960s. His early career included stints with Max Roach, Roland Kirk, Pharoah Sanders, and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Following an early ’70s gig with Gato Barbieri, Smith formed the Cosmic Echoes, a spiritual jazz-funk-soul ensemble […]

Lenny White

Lenny White (born Dec. 19, 1949) is an American jazz-rock drummer from N.Y.C. who played in the bands Azteca and Return to Forever during the 1970s. Discography: Venusian Summer (1975) Big City (1977) Streamline (1978) The Adventures of Astral Pirates (1978) The Griffith Park Collection (1982 • Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard […]