It’s about to get groovy at the #LBConventionCtr! The Funk Show makes its way to the Long Beach Convention Center arena for an exciting concert on November 19. Don’t miss out as CAMEO, The Bar-Kays, The SOS Band & more bring the house down! For Tickets, visit TICKETS
Cameo topped the R&B charts for more than a decade , has sold more than 17 million albums; and Cameo is one of the most popular Funk/ Rock and Soul bands of its era. Line-ups change, styles evolve, and record labels merge, but Cameo has maintained its
core funkiness for nearly four decades. From the seventies through today, CAMEO has been churning out trailblazing hits. The group’s pivotal sounds are apart of Music History! Cameo has permanently marked major turning points in music and set the standard that many have tried to duplicate and follow.
Now, CAMEO’s creator and producer; Larry Blackmon, along with founding member Tomi Jenkins is once again ready to challenge the way the world listens to music. CAMEO is ready to introduce a new generation to their Music. The New York City-based band, led by drummer Larry Blackmon, debuted with a single called “Find My Way” on Chocolate City Records, (a label managed by Cecil Holmes through Casablanca Records.) Larry Blackmon has been synonymous with CAMEO since the beginning of his career in the music industry, growing up in New York City, and digesting the sounds of the city streets. The kind of non-stop activity that Blackmon creates has consistently propelled the across-the-board success that CAMEO has enjoyed for over three decades. Blackmon & Jenkins posses a creative determined mind, spirit and dedication to MUSIC. This team is unstoppable.
CAMEO has made their place in the archives of urban music.
As an accomplished writer/producer/director, Blackmon was one of the first to create theme based videos such as “She’s Strange and “Attack Me With Your Love” which used the acting genius of Laurence Fishburne, Debbie Morgan, and Ann Magnusum appearing in the clip.
L.B.’s abiding search for excellence is exhibited through his endeavors to constantly improve his creativity through the study of dance, acting and music. A sought-after writer/producer/director/ musician, Blackmon has produced projects for several outstanding and chart topping artists including: Bobby Brown, Chaka Kahn, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and 8 Ball & MJG, just to name a few.
Many artists have paid respect through the replication of CAMEO’s unique funk-filled sounds. A multitude of recording artists and filmmakers have re-created and/or used original recorded
versions of their favorite CAMEO music and songs in projects/films being played today. These artists include TuPac, Boys II Men, Will Smith, 8-Ball& MJG, Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey, KORN, and many more. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/CameoNation/
“Where there’s smoke there’s fire,” the saying goes. But where there’s smoke and fire, it just may be a live performance by The Bar-Kays. The funk-o-matic Memphis group has been setting audiences ablaze for the past four decades.
Originating as the Stax Records’ house band in 1966, The Bar-Kays were born from soul music and turbulent times. At the end of Jim Crow’s reign, these young Memphians were finding their musical voice and offering listeners a safe haven from the racial unrest surrounding them. In a city known for singing the blues and birthing rock n roll, the sound of soul offered a raw, and real-deal, relevance to a young African American community seeking a sound of its own. The Bar-Kays were the epicentre of this fertile creativity.
The Bar-Kays have a career total of 29 albums, including 1 platinum album, 5 gold albums, and 20 top ten singles. The Bar-Kays music has been sampled by everyone, from Coolio to Will Smith, to old schoolers like Cameo. Their career has been documented in music institutions such as The Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. The Bar-Kays recently were asked to donate iconic stage garb and musical equipment to the esteemed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Bar-Kays’ purposeful soulfulness first carried them to a chart-topping perch in 1967 with the hit, “Soulfinger.” The vibrancy of their approach landed them the plum backup spot for the legendary Otis Redding on his final worldwide tour. The tour, however, had a disastrous finale with Otis Redding and four band members perishing in a tragic plane accident.
The spirited band soldiered on, recruiting vocalist Larry Dodson and the new Bar-Kays became the premier house band for Stax Records. This edition of the Bar-Kays went on to play on records behind such artists as Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, Soul Children and Isaac Hayes. They were integral to Isaac Hayes’ landmarks such as “Hot Buttered Soul,” “Black Moses,” and the GRAMMY Award-winning album Shaft.
Though the group had many successes in the studio, they felt most at home burning it up live. “Our stage show was important because when we came back, we only had one hit with ‘Soulfinger,’” says founding member James Alexander. “However, we came up in an era where you didn’t need a record to work. If you had a great show you could work. We were a great opening band because everyone knew we would get the show started off right. We ended up opening for everyone, from the Temptations to Parliament Funkadelic.”
Throughout the 70’s the group evolved into a funk powerhouse and continued to score hits on the R&B charts throughout the ’80s. During this era, the Bar-Kays had hits with “Shake Your Rump To The Funk,” “Move Your Boogie Body,” “Sex-o-Matic,” “Anticipation,” “Freakshow On The Dance Floor,” “Hit and Run,” “She talks To Me With Her Body,” among many others. Their booty-shaking tracks were backed up by an electric live show that featured a bold sense of fashion. “Prince, Rick James, they were coming to our shows, checking out our wardrobe,” Alexander notes with a smile.
Alexander and Dodson joined forces again in 1991 with a fresh backing band. They found relevancy in the hip-hop pioneering 1990s and took their prowess back to the stage. They also broke new ground with the single, “The Slide,” which was widely accepted by enthusiastic dance fans and garnered strong chart action. A stint with Curb Records saw a hit with “Everybody Wants That Love.” In 2011 they had radio success with “Return of the Mack.” “James and I are old pros but our band is very youthful,” states Larry Dodson reflecting on the Bar-Kays recent successes. “As a result, we have always been able to bridge the gap between old and new and reach many people.”
Recently, the Bar-Kays have been producing music for their own record label, JEA Right Now Records in Memphis, Tennessee. They’ve also launched a gospel label, Testimony Records, and released music from Billy Rivers and the Angelic Voices of Faith, Perfection, and Apostle Bill Adkins. READ MORE
The S.O.S. Band hit with a two-million-selling single, “Take Your Time (Do It Right),” their first time out, before having several hit singles written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The Atlanta, GA-borne band was started in 1977, when keyboardist/vocalist Jason Bryant, saxophonists Billy Ellis andWillie “Sonny” Killebrew, guitarist Bruno Speight, bassist John Alexander Simpson, drummerJames Earl Jones III, and lead vocalist Mary Davis formed a group called Santa Monica that played at Atlanta nightclub the Regal Room.
Their manager, Bunny Jackson-Ransom (who later managed Cameo), sent a demo to Clarence Avant, head of Tabu Records. After signing the band to Tabu, Avant suggested that the band work with songwriter/producer Sigidi Abdullah. Abdullah was curious as to why an Atlanta-based band named itself Santa Monica. Keyboardist Jason Bryant replied that the band had an enjoyable concert in Santa Monica, CA. Abdullah then came up with a new band name, the S.O.S. Band, with S.O.S. standing for “Sounds of Success.”
Abdullah produced and co-wrote “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” with Harold Clayton, which went platinum, parking at number one R&B for five weeks and peaking at number three pop on Billboard’s charts in spring 1980. The debut LP, S.O.S., went gold, selling over 800,000 copies and holding the number two R&B spot for three weeks. While the band was on its world tour, trumpeter/vocalist/percussionist Abdul Ra’oofjoined them. Their second album, Too, went to number 30 R&B in summer 1981. On the band’s third LP, S.O.S. Band III, they worked with producer Leon Sylvers III and the Time‘sJimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The breaking single, “High Hopes,” hit number 25 R&B in the fall of 1982 while the album went to number 27 R&B in late 1982.
On their fourth LP, On the Rise, Jam and Lewis took over the production chores. Scoring with the slammin’ number two hit “Just Be Good to Me” and the number five beatbox ballad “Tell Me if You Still Care,” On the Rise became their second gold album hitting number seven R&B in summer 1983. The formula continued working: Just the Way You Like It (including the number six R&B single “Just the Way You Like It”) went to number six R&B in fall 1984 and Sands of Time (including the number two R&B hit “The Finest”) went gold and hit number four R&B in spring 1986. Many of these releases as well as the sound of early releases of Chicago-borne house music helped to popularize the now-classic sound of Roland drum machine the TR-808.
In 1987, vocalist Mary Davis left the S.O.S. Band to pursue a solo career. The band recorded two more albums: Diamonds in the Raw (number 43 R&B in fall 1989), produced by Eban Kelly and Jimi Randolph, and One of Many Nights, produced by Curtis Williams. In August 1994, former lead vocalistMary Davis reunited with Abdul Ra’oof and Jason Bryant, and together they reconstructed a new band with the same funky S.O.S. sound, appearing on comedian Sinbad‘s HBO concert specials and Rhino’s various-artists set United We Funk issued October 5, 1999.