Kool and the gang

SoulfulDetroit.com FORUM: Archive - Beginning April 17, 2003: Kool and the gang
Top of pageBottom of page   By fayette ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 02:21 pm:

what ever happened to the first leader who sung
jungle boogie. and where are they now

Top of pageBottom of page   By SisDetroit ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 02:24 pm:

Kool and the Gang were performing in Detroit last summer.

Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 03:20 pm:


Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 03:49 pm:

It looks like they're still out there, according to their web site, touring away.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 04:13 pm:

The "Kool Jazz" album was reissued on CD in the late 1990s (thank you, Mr. Weinger) plus bonus tracks. Owning both LP & CD, you're right about Kool's jazz roots. Even when they had the hits "Jungle Boogie" & "Hollywood Swinging", they gave us jazz fans stuff like "N.T." and "Summer Madness" (which sounds great live).

My cousin Steve remembers seeing the Jazziacs (Kool & the Gang's original name) play around the Jersey City/Newark area in the mid to late 1960s. He said they were a smokin'jazz band (and barely out of high school!).

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By 1wicked ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 06:31 pm:

Fayette, "Kool" Bell has always been the leader...but saxophonist Dennis "D.T." Thomas was always "out front" because of his showmanship. On "Jungle Boogie" you can hears his vocals along with a non-member (Donald Boyce ?) as the voice of the "boogie-man"

Top of pageBottom of page   By stephanie ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 08:02 pm:

What the heck is JT doing? I know that he was a good lead singer but I preferred Kool and the Gang before they turned pop if you know what I mean..when JT came they had TONS of hits but they were watered down if you true soul fans know what I mean...I mean Ladies Night was good and Too Hot but remember that stuff like Jones Vs Jones and Mislead and Victory and that anthem that I cant stand called Celebrate...

Top of pageBottom of page   By Rich ( on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 08:18 am:

Another great thread folks, straight out of Soulful Northern J.

Kev Go, unbelievably, the Jazziacs were a JR High Band (Kool born 10/50, Khalis 10/51).

Ricky West, the original keyboard player who sang "Hollywood Swinging", sometimes did the "Boogie Man vocals" live (i.e. their appearance on Saturday Night Special). But more often it was their roadie Don Boyce, as Wicked1 posted, who created the sound and did the vocals in the studio. Back in the 70's they put on a tremendous live show. The horns were lined up across the front of the stage. And with most of the vocals being done by DT, Ronald (Khalis Bayyan) Bell & West it was forever confused as to exactly which one was "Kool", especially once JT joined.

Original members Kool, Khalis, Clay, DT & Funky George still tour (presently without JT), as mentioned above. The Gangland CD that came out last year had a pretty decent cut entitled "Jazziacs at the Kool Cafe", which sounded like it could have easily fit on their Live at PJ's LP. The rest of the CD was alright in parts (Bigg Thangs, Where the Boogie At, Jungle in My House), with about half the tracks featuring other groups, like Funk-Kin


Top of pageBottom of page   By Rich ( on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 08:45 am:

While were on it. I'm gonna post a list of some rare gang-related cuts for any hardcore fans to out there:

Raw Hamburgers (B-side of Kool & the Gang) the 7" version has an amusing spoken vocal track.

Can't Stop (Doin it to You) B-side of "Kool It" (and one Polygram missed)

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (B-side of Funky Man) - its the instrumental version of the A-side

Ikes Mood (B-side of "You Lost that Lovin Feelin") the edited version cuts out the middle and holds together better.

Father Father (B-side of Rhyme Tyme People) edit features a Christmas message tacked onto the end.

Sport - Lightnin' Rod (Jalil Nurriddin of the Last Poets) from the Hustlers Convemtion LP/CD - one of the funkiest cuts of all time thanks to a 2.5 minute backing track by the Gang

Wild & Peaceful (live) from the Black Caucus Benefit Concert LP (which also features War, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight & Jimmy Weatherspoon

Caribbean Festival (Disco Version) The B-side of the 7" is slightly re-mixed

Ancestral Ceremony (B-Side of Universal Sound) the track has been re-mixed and possibly improves upon the original mix.

Uncle Funk (from Deadato's otherwise lame Night Cruiser LP). Khalis smokes a little tenor over a pretty hot groove.

Don't forget the first two Kay-Gees LPs/CDs (Bumpin-Master Plan & Find a Friend) or Ricky West's solo LP (North East South West). The Kool Funk Essentials CD that came out a year ago featured an instrumental version of "Spirit of the Boogie" (The Boogie Band) & a slightly longer instrumental version of "This is You This is Me" (Power of a Dollar)


Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 04:44 pm:

My cousin was born the same year Khalis so he remembers them from when they were in Jr. High, so my timeline was off.

I agree wholeheartedly about K&TG after JT joined. Although the move was a good one for the band (adding on a lead-singer), they lost me when they released "Tonight","Misled" & "Cherish". The "funky stuff" is what I grew up with and prefer (from "Chocolate Buttermilk" to "Winter Sadness").

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By stephanie ( on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 10:04 pm:

Tonight ooooh this is your night......
Cherish the love we had ...............
Give me
"them rhyme tyme people"
"Your mind seems to be an open door"

Top of pageBottom of page   By Rich ( on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 08:44 am:

Steph, BANG ... There isn't a note from the Light of Worlds album that I haven't memorized for all eternity.

Kev, I wasn't trying to correct anything you wrote. I was just trying to express how astounded I am that these guys were so influenced & inspiried by Coltrane, Wes Montgomerry, etc. that they were actually flipping it into their own thing at such a young age ... and yes, equally astounded that they threw it all away. JT's lyrics in particular are an absolute embarrassment. Khalis' love for his midi-computer was no better and the combined affect was a full-on assault on their original fan base. Possibly worse than any other in the history of popular music because, as Steph alluded to, their style, music and attitude had been so true to themselves and their fans.

Instead of reverting to form after Ladies Night, they went for the marshmallow-fluff ring. ... however, I must say in their defense, I wasn't in their shoes, having to pay their bills. But, as folks have discussed here many times with regard to changes in the music, stay true to yourself and everything will work out for the best. Try to become something you're not and 99 times out of 100, you'll end up a joke. Mislead indeed.


Top of pageBottom of page   By Common ( on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 09:01 am:

I heard JT, "the voice of the Kool & The Gang" will be at BB Kings this friday.


Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 12:37 pm:

No sweat, amigo! Didn't think you were criticizing.
As for K&TG selling out, maybe if "Celebration" didn't become their first (and only)#1 pop single they might have reverted back to form after "Too Hot" & "Ladies Night" (the only two K&TG/JT songs I like). However, when "Celebration" went to #1 on the pop charts and was played extensively when the U.S. hostages were freed from Iran, the die was cast. De-Lite/Mercury wanted more songs like "Celebration" and by God K&TG gave them (and us) more like it (with help from producer Eumir Deodato, another jazz/fusion musician I once highly regarded).
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By HW ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 09:28 am:

If you slept on their DVD Live at the House of Blues - DON'T. It features the reunion of most of the original band still around, and they jam to most of the first album - !!!! They also do the big 80s hits (without JT) but it's great to hear them in more recent times going back to the old jams.

BTW - In the early 1990s, when I started doing catalog, there was a guy from the color separator we dealt with when printing CD booklets and the like - it was Donal Boyce. But we lost touch. Haven't seen him in years.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Rich ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 10:09 am:

KevGo, you're right - after Celebration, there was no turining back. But I have to wonder what they actually gained. If I recall correctly, they went broke in the mid-to-late 80's inspite of Joanna, Cherish & all their other generic lifeless hits. Ladies Night has actually aged well.

HW - I have slept on the HOB and maybe I shouldn't have. Whle forever thankful for the tremendous music they made in the 70's, theirs is the only group I'm actually mad at, even to this day. While I appluad your efforts with their back catalogue, I'd be curious to know if Khalis himself has even the slightest regard for their original vision and fans. Most everything they've done since 1978 has fronted on both, including their decade long effort to fuse rap & house into samples or updates of Jungle Boogie. Suburban housewives who shop at K-Mart like music too, but why did it have to be a group like the Gang who'd been so true, to catered to their tastes.

Peace to the Universe

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sly fan ( on Monday, May 05, 2003 - 07:31 pm:

I am waiting for them to put out a DVD of their 70's concerts!! Oh Boy!!! VH1 has yet to show the Midnite Special episode, I am pretty content with my Soul Train episodes...The JT stuff was cool but nothing beats the Pre JT era..But "Ladies Night" is still a hot jam!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sly fan ( on Monday, May 05, 2003 - 07:32 pm:

coming with the "Universal Sound where everybody gets down"!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Musicchef ( on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 01:33 am:

I just want to know from HW did they ever do a complete unedited version of "love the life you live" that is available on cd ? That track SMOKES !!!! I have most of the first 10 lp's on vinyl, so I'm on the lookout for more reissues

Da Chef

Top of pageBottom of page   By bman ( on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 05:20 pm:

i just want to say that despite k&G cuts during and after "celebrate" ( i cannot stand any of those tunes ) they are still in my view - a supergroup because of what they did before that sad time. I understand that they gave the paying public what they wanted to hear. In my humble opinion, you are a supergroup if you create music that stands the test of time, when you hear these k&G classics,they still sound great.
they are right up there with, the temps, miracles,
stylistics, blue magic, spinners, stevie wonder, the list goes on.

my personal favs - "Whisper Softly", "North, East, South, West"

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