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The Kay Gees

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  • Formed: Jersey City, NJ
  • Years Active: 1970s

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

A funk outfit formed in Jersey City, NJ, Kay-Gee's had some valuable mentors in Kool & the Gang -- specifically Ronald Bell, who was happy to serve as producer, arranger, and sometimes songwriter for his younger brother Kevin's band. In addition to Kevin Bell on guitar and several other instruments, Kay-Gee's featured saxophonist Peter Duarte, brass player Ray Wright, woodwind player Dennis White, keyboardist Kevin Lassiter, bassist Michael Cheek, drummer Callie Cheek, and percussionist Wilson Beckett. Signed to Kool & the Gang's own Gang imprint, Kay-Gee's issued their debut album Keep on Bumpin' & Masterplan in 1974. With Ronald Bell penning the majority of the material, Kay-Gee's' sound was highly similar to the hard, tight grooves of early Kool & the Gang; singles like "You've Got to Keep on Bumpin'," "Who's the Man? (With the Master Plan)" (yes, the source of that ubiquitous hip-hop sample), and "Get Down" gave them an enduring reputation among hardcore funk connoisseurs. Burn Me Up followed in 1975, producing the single "Hustle Wit' Every Muscle," which became the theme song for the TV series Party. By the time of 1976's Find a Friend, Ronald Bell's involvement with the group had begun to decrease, resulting in a flirtation with disco on cuts like "Find a Friend" and "Waiting at the Bus Stop." Their final album, 1978's Kilowatt, was a full-fledged disco-funk extravaganza released on New York's De-Lite label, and featured several popular club singles, including "Cheek to Cheek" and "Tango Hustle." However, they disbanded not long afterward.