Narada Michael Walden

Narada Michael Walden (born April 23, 1952) is an American jazz-funk/soul musician and producer who drummed in the second lineup of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, playing on 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 […]

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 (Nov. 5, 1946 — March 21, 2011) was an American soul singer from Chicago who released two albums on GRC-division Aware between 1973 and 1975, followed by four albums on Salsoul-subsidiary Gold Mine Records between 1976 and 1980. Loleatta Holloway was born on November 5, 1946, in Chicago, where she started singing with […]

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 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 (born July 1, 1960) is an American soul-funk singer from the Bronx. Discography: Smooth Talk (1977) Music Box (1979) Call on Me (1980) I’m in Love (1981) Get Loose (1982) Face to Face (1983) So Romantic (1984) A Long Time Coming (A Change Is Gonna Come) (1985) Flirt (1988) The Girl Next […]

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.” Williams was […]

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 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 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 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 (born Sept. 30, 1954) is an American musician and composer who began her career as a jazz keyboardist in the mid-1970s, playing on albums by Alphonso Johnson, Azar Lawrence, Donald Byrd, Eddie Henderson, Harvey Mason, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Luis Gasca. She was born Patrice Louise Rushen on September 30, 1954, in Los Angeles. […]

Lonnie Liston Smith

Lonnie Liston Smith (born Dec. 28, 1940) 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, […]

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 […]

Legs Diamond

Legs Diamond was an American hard-rock band from San Francisco that released two albums on Mercury in 1977 and 1978, followed by six further studio albums over the subsequent two decades. Members: Michael Prince (keyboards, guitar, vocals), Rick Sanford (lead vocals, percussion, flute, 1975-87), Jeff Poole (drums, percussion, 1975-85), Michael “Diamond” Gargano (bass, 1975-81), Roger […]

Joe Henderson

Joe Henderson (April 24, 1937 — June 30, 2001) was an American tenor saxophonist from Lima, Ohio. Discography: Page One (1963) Our Thing (1964) In ‘n Out (1965) Inner Urge (1966) Mode for Joe (1966) The Kicker (1968 • Joe Henderson Sextet) Tetragon (1969) Power to the People (1970) In Pursuit of Blackness (1971) Black […]

Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American jazz keyboardist who has been musically active since the late 1950s. Hancock was born in Chicago on April 12, 1940, the middle child of government meat inspector Wayman Edward Hancock and secretary Winnie Belle. Herbie was named after singer and actor Herb Jeffries. At age seven, […]


Dokken are an American hard-rock/metal band from Los Angeles that released four albums on Elektra between 1984 and 1988. Members: Don Dokken (vocals, guitar), Mick Brown (drums), Greg Leon (guitar, 1977-78), George Lynch (guitar, 1978-88, 1992-98), Juan Croucier (bass, vocals, 1978-82), Jeff Pilson (bass, vocals, guitar, piano, Mellotron, 1984-99) Discography: Breakin’ the Chains (1981 • […]

Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg (Aug. 13, 1951 — Dec. 16, 2007) was an American singer/songwriter from Peoria, Ill. He was born Daniel Grayling Fogelberg on August 13, 1951, in Peoria, Illinois, the youngest of three sons born to classical pianist Margaret (née Irvine) and high school band conductor Lawrence Peter Fogelberg. At age four, his father let […]

Chick Corea

Chick Corea (June 12, 1941 – Feb. 9, 2021) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader with a six-decade career that spanned the early 1960s to the late 2010s. He emerged as a backing player for Mongo Santamaria, Sonny Stitt, Blue Mitchell, Herbie Mann, Hubert Laws, and Cal Tjader. As a solo artist, Corea […]

Blood, Sweat & Tears

Blood, Sweat & Tears were an American brass-rock/soul band from N.Y.C., formed in 1967 by Blues Project alumni Al Kooper and Steve Katz. After their 1968 Columbia debut Child Is Father to the Man, Kooper and trumpeter Randy Brecker departed for prolific solo and collaborative careers. In 1969, a revised lineup with vocalist David Clayton-Thomas […]

Billy Cobham

Billy Cobham (born May 16, 1944) is a Panamanian-American jazz-rock drummer who played in the bands Dreams, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Atmospheres during the early 1970s. Starting with his 1973 solo debut Spectrum, Cobham released eight albums on Atlantic and four on Columbia through 1979, including a live release in partnership with George Duke. He […]


Ambiance were an American jazz-funk/soul band from Los Angeles. Members: Daoud Abubakar Balewa Discography: Ebun (1979) Drift Up to Space (1980) Gida-Gida / Tight & Tidy (1981) Into a New Journey (1982) Come Touch Tomorrow (1985) Colours in Spaces (1986) Ambiance II Fusion Ensemble Featuring Daoud Aboubakar Balewa (1998 • Ambiance II Fusion Ensemble)