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On October 8th, in 1949, producer, guitarist, bassist and singer-Hamish Stuart (l) was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Stuart started his recording career as a drummer for the Dream Police while he was in college. This is the early to mid-60s. The band released a couple singles, and then in 1972, he was asked to join the recently formed Average White Band which was an all-White Funk collective from Scotland. Stuart played bass mostly for the band. He appears on their LPs from their debut-1973’s Show You Hand to 1982’s Cupids in Fashion. The band released 11 LPs from 1973 to 1982.
He started doing ‘side work’ with Chaka Khan in 1979 when she was moving away from Rufus and starting her own solo career. He can be heard writing and laying the bottom on Chaka’s self-titled 1979 LP, Naughty (1980), What Cha’ Gonna do for Me (1981), Chaka Khan (1982) and Feel For You (1984). He linked up with former Beatle-Paul McCartney in 1989 on his Flowers in the Dirt LP. Stuart (r) would record on 5 LPs in total for McCartney from 1989 to 1993 (ending with the Paul is Live LP in 1993). He also recorded for numerous others ranging from Jim Mullen to David Foster. He’s 69 today.
On October 8th, in 1945, Redbone’s 3rd drummer and little brother of Barry & Rick Rillera (standing c) who played for the Rhythm Rockers and penned the hit Louie Louie-Butch Rillera was born in California. The Left coast Native ventured to Louisiana and hooked up with the all-Native American Rock band Redbone (which means a person of mixed race in creole). Rillera played in the Fatback and Bim Bim Band (with his brothers) before joining Redbone. The band toured heavily during the early to mid-70s (1973-1975).
They (Rick 2nd l both pics) were an international sensation after their 1971 successful single: The Witch Queen of New Orleans and 1974’s Come and Get Your Love was released. Redbone opened for Marvin Gaye, shared the bill with Parliament Funkadelic in Philly, Graham Central Station at Howard University in DC & Tower of Power at various venues. The NY Smithsonian lists Redbone as the first Native American Rock-Cajun band to have a number 1 single in the UK & US. He’s 73 today.
On October 5th, in 1950, songwriter, singer, arranger, composer, bassist and co-founder of Kool & the Gang-Robert ‘Kool’ Bell (Robert Earl Bell AKA Kool AKA Muhammad Bayyan-suspended) was born in Youngstown, Ohio. He & his brother Ronald Bell migrated to Jersey City, New Jersey, and formed the band the Jazziacs in 1964. They started playing Jazz around the northeast. They were teenagers at the time. They’d change the name to Kool & the Gang in 1968, and it’s been that way ever since. They were one of the first Jazz based groups to incorporate sparse vocals, Funk and soul into their playing.
A lot of their early recordings have been sampled heavily by Hip Hop producers like Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Showbiz & AG, Jazzy Jeff, Premier and Mark the 45 King. Kool (2nd l both pics) converted to Islam in the early 70s and changed his name to Muhammad Bayyan. From 1969 to 1978, pre-lead singer J.T., they put out 8 LPs, two of which went gold Wild & Peaceful (1973) and Light of the Worlds (1974-LP with Summer Madness on it). Most of the music they made from that period is like the JB’s sound, funky-predominantly instrumental numbers. He is 68 today.
On October 8th, in 1967, innovator of the New Jack Swing sound, super producer, songwriter, singer, keyboardist, drummer, and original Guy co-founder and member-Teddy Riley (Edward Theodore Riley) was born in Harlem, NYC, NY. He’s a child prodigy: starting at age 5, Riley played several instruments in the church. His uncle owned the infamous Hip Hop club-The Rooftop. Through this family connection, Riley got to work with Kool Moe Dee on Go See the Doctor & Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick on the Show (mid-80s). He formed his first group at age 17-Kids at Work.
However, after getting his feet wet with Hip Hoppers, he formed Guy in 1987 with Aaron Hall as lead vocalist and Timmy Gatling on backup vocals (Damion Hall, Aaron’s brother, eventually would replaced Gatling). Riley produced Bobby Brown’s My Prerogative, Keith Sweat’s I Want Her, and Johnny Kemp’s Just Got Paid around the same time Guy was taking off. Groove Me was their initial hit. Riley went on to work with everyone: Usher, Dr. Dre, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, The Neptunes, Today, Hi-Five, Heavy D, basically everybody that was ever on Uptown got at least one T.R. beat on their LP. He also produced Wreckx-N-Effect and Blackstreet. He 51 today.
…‘the birth of a child on the 8th of October, a toast, but my Grandaddy came sober’…On October 8th, in 1968-Emcee and co-founder of Pete Rock & CL Smooth-:Corey Brent Penn (Caramel King, CL, The Mecca Don) was born in the Now Rule (New Rochelle, NYC, NY). CL got on via Pete Rock’s Heavy D connection (they were cousins). Early on, they had the EP All Souled Out (1991). However, a year late they followed this up with the Mecca & the Soul Brother LP which hasn’t been topped by most Emcees & Producers, before, during or after it came out (1992).
Pete started getting a lot of attention for his production work, and CL was ghost writing for several acts, most notably Shaquille O’Neal. As a result, they split shortly after they released their second LP-The Main Ingredient in 1994. This LP is mad dope, but it had more Pete Rock on it, he rhymes a lot on this one. After they split, CL continued to ghost write and make appearances on other Emcee’s LPs. He also spit a few verses on Pete Rock LPs. He released 2 solo LPs: American Me (2006) & The Outsider (2007). CL & Pete are said to be reunited and working on touring. He’s 50 today.
On October 8th, in 1977, the all-female vocal trio-The Emotions, had a top 10 R&B hit with their song: Don’t Ask My Neighbors (44th on the pop chart). This was a strong follow up to their number 1 US R&B and Pop Chart hit produced by Earth Wind & Fire’s Maurice White-Best of My Love. Th Emotions are a very underrated group, even dating back to before they worked with Maurice White as a leading act/opening act, (they were backup singers for his band and Denise Williams). The Emotions music on Stax is their best work in my opinion. It’s more gritty, and less polished the Maurice’s productions. No diss to him, Earth Wind & Fire is one of my favorite bands.
However, The Emotions sound after they left Stax became more crossover palatable. David Porter & Isaac Hayes penned a lot of their songs at Stax. While Booker T. & The MGs, The Bar-Kays, and the Mar-Keys played most of the music. The Emotions charted over 30 top 40 R&B hits from 1969 to 1984. Not many vocal groups have topped that 15-year feat. I wonder what their music would’ve sounded like if Maurice was producing it when he was more gritt- working with the Pharaohs and producing Earth Wind & Fire’s pre-1975 LPs. I’m sure it’d be dope. Maybe an idea for a Mash-Up…
Honorable Mention: On October 8th, in 1940, on of the original members of the Impressions-Fred Cash (l) was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The first group he was with-The Roosters, evolved into the Impressions. Cash left for a stint and then came back to replace Jerry Butler who was going solo in the early-60s. You can hear Cash with Curtis on all the 60s hits like Keep On Pushing, We’re A Winner, Choice of Colors, and It’s All Right. He’s 78 today.
On October 8th, in 1947, the original bassist for the band Hot Chocolate-Tony Wilson (r) was born in Trinidad & Tobago. Wilson migrated to the UK, and first recorded for Decca in the 60s. He then joined Hot Chocolate in 1968. They put out their first LP on the Apple imprint in 1970. Wilson stayed with Hot Chocolate through the 70s, and also released a couple solo LPs. He laid the basslines for over 25 top 40 hits for the band Hot Chocolate. He’s 71 today.
On October 8th, in 2009, Jazz, Soul & Blues guitarist, songwriter, composer, arranger, session musician and bandleader Abu Talib AKA Fred Leroy Robinson AKA Freddy Robinson passed away in Lancaster, California. He played with several musicians like Ray Charles (Soul) and Little Walter (Blues), while acting as a session musician at the Stax & Hi imprints during the 60s. He put out several solo LPs as well that showcase his Fusion and standard Jazz skills. He was 70 when he died.
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