Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Gap Band

The Gap Band

When Michael – DJ for Streetwise Radio (and also my hubby) asked me to write about my favorite funk artists, I immediately thought of The Gap Band. I grew up in Cleveland so many of the house parties were in the basement, with no lights – and loud wall sweating music that made the house rock. We loved The Gap Band and their funky dance songs. My all time favorites were “Burn Rubber on Me (Why You Want to Hurt Me)” – girl; “Early in the Morning” – I gotta find me someone to love, and “Outstanding”. Boy, those songs bring back memories. The other reason that I loved this band is that I understood the words as opposed to rap songs today, where I have no clue. Ok, I’m showing my age. But, here are a few things that you may not know about my all time favorite band.  The three brothers Charlie, Ronnie and Robert Wilson formed The Gap Band in 1967 in Tulsa, Oklahoma; originally they had twelve members. The name comes from the streets where they grew up Greenwood, Archer and Pine Streets that formed the African American business district of Tulsa, Oklahoma also called Black Wall Street. The Greenwood district was the site of one of the most violent racially motivated attacks in United States history. The complete destruction of the community was the result of the Tulsa Race Riots.
The group found their biggest success in the 1980s, with songs like "Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)", "Humpin' ", "Yearning For Your Love", "Outstanding", "You Dropped a Bomb on Me", "I Found My Baby", "Early In the Morning", and "Party Train" which further established the group as icons. They also found great success in the UK when their 1987 single "Big Fun" reached #4 in the UK chart ("Oops Upside Your Head" had also reached #6 there in 1980).Four of the band's albums, The Gap Band II, The Gap Band III, Gap Band IV, and Gap Band V - Jammin, achieved platinum selling status, and four of their singles ("All Of My Love", "Outstanding", "Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)", and "Early in the Morning") reached the #1 spot on the Billboard R&B charts. Raymond Calhoun (writer "Outstanding"), Oliver Scott (co-writer "Yearning For Your Love), and arranger/producer Malvin Dino Vice (co-writer "Boys Are Back in Town"), were members of the backing band and major contributors to the Gap Band's successful recordings.Ever since the 1990s, the Gap Band's most famous hits have been sampled and covered by the likes of Nas, Snoop Dogg, Warren G., Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, Notorious B.I.G., II D Extreme, Blackstreet, Shaquille O'Neal, Mia X, and Mary J. Blige. "Outstanding" was even sampled for a famous 1990s commercial for malt liquor. Among the musicians they have inspired are R. Kelly, Keith Sweat, Ruff Endz, Guy, Blackstreet, II D Extreme, Mint Condition, Jagged Edge, D'Extra Wiley, and Aaron Hall. Recently, "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" was featured in the hit videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on funk radio station Bounce FM.So, if you want to hear those great artists from your past, and stroll down memory lane, listen to Streetwise Radio for the best music on internet radio.


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