Kool & The Gang Tickets
Kool & The Gang is a highly successful R&B/soul/funk/disco group. They
originally formed in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1964. The group is one of the most sampled bands of all time with hits including "Jungle Boogie", "Ladies' Night", "Celebration", "Joanna" and "Get Down on It".
The group went through several musical phases in their career. They started out as practitioners of R&B and funk, eventually went through a phase where they were a smooth disco ensemble, and wound up the successful period of their career recording tunes that were a mixture of pop and R&B.
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Kool & The Gang's main members over the years included brothers Robert "Kool" Bell on bass (b. October 8, 1950, Youngstown, Ohio) and Ronald Bell on tenor saxophone (b. November 1, 1951, Youngstown, Ohio); George Brown on drums (b. January 5, 1949); Robert Mickens on trumpet; Dennis Thomas on alto saxophone; Claydes Charles Smith on guitar (b. September 6, 1948, d. June 20, 2006), trombonist Clifford Adams, and Rick Westfield on keyboards. The Bell brothers' father was an acquaintance of Thelonious Monk and the brothers were friends with Leon Thomas. It should be pointed out that the late guitarist Claydes Charles Smith wrote many of Kool & The Gang's biggest hits, including "Joanna", "Hollywood Swinging", and "Celebration".
In 1964, Robert Bell formed an instrumental band called the Jazziacs with five high school friends. They changed their name to Kool & The Gang and first hit the pop charts with the release of their debut, eponymous album. Though none of the three singles from the album went far on the pop charts, their R&B success was swift and massive. Several live and studio albums followed, but 1973's Wild and Peaceful broke into the mainstream with "Jungle Boogie" and "Hollywood Swinging". Many reviews see 1975 album The Spirit of the Boogie as the greatest achievement of the band. However, after that album Kool & The Gang abandoned deep funk-music and switched to disco. Generally, the albums released after 1975 have not received the same critical recognition as their early work.
The late 1970s saw a lull in Kool & the Gang's career that ended - after new lead singer James "J.T." Taylor joined the group - with 1979's Ladies' Night, the title track from which spawned a 25-year-long tradition of ladies' nights in New Jersey dance clubs and bars. Their only #1 hit was 1980's "Celebration", off Celebrate!, produced by Eumir Deodato. More international hits followed in the early 1980s, including "Big Fun", "Get Down on It" and "Joanna". Their fame quickly diminished in the later part of the decade, though they continued releasing albums throughout the 80s and 1990s. Two of their more famous songs from this period were "Fresh" and the big hit "Cherish", part of their album Emergency. Their track "Jungle Boogie" was included on the soundtrack to the 1994 film Pulp Fiction. "Hollywood Swinging" appeared on the soundtrack of the 2004 videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on the funk radio station Bounce FM. Kool & The Gang continue to record and tour to this day.