Ohio Players, the

▪ American music group
 American funk and pop band from Dayton, Ohio, that put an indelible stamp on black music from the urban Midwest in the 1970s. The principal members were Clarence (“Satch”) Satchell (b. April 14, 1940, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.—d. Dec. 31, 1995), Leroy (“Sugarfoot”) Bonner (b. March 14, 1943, Hamilton, Ohio), Greg Webster (b. Jan. 4, 1938, Hamilton), James (“Diamond”) Williams (b. March 27, 1950, Dayton, Ohio), Marshall Jones (b. Jan. 1, 1941, Dayton), Ralph (“Pee Wee”) Middlebrook (b. Aug. 20, 1939, La Grange, Ga.—d. Oct. 13, 1996), Marvin (“Merv”) Pierce (b. July 13, 1951, Dayton), Walter (“Junie”) Morrison, and Billy Beck.

      Formed in 1959 as the Ohio Untouchables by singer-guitarist Robert Ward (b. Oct. 15, 1938, Luthersville, Ga.—d. Dec. 25, 2008, Dry Branch, Ga.)—who departed for a solo career some two years later—the group first recorded as a backing band for the vocal group the Falcons, featuring Wilson Pickett (Pickett, Wilson). Having changed their name, the Ohio Players signed to Westbound records in 1971 and fused rhythm and blues, rock, jazz, and eclectic album art to create a regional brand of heavy funk. The band's first national hit was the 1972 novelty song “Funky Worm,” which featured the comic vocal characters of keyboardist Morrison (who promptly left the group and later joined Parliament-Funkadelic). With Beck as Morrison's replacement on keyboards, Williams replacing Webster on drums, and guitarist-vocalist Bonner playing an expanded role, the Ohio Players fashioned a sleek yet raucous sound that appealed to fans of soul (soul music), rock, and disco. A series of five gold albums followed from 1974 to 1976: Skin Tight, Fire, Honey, Contradiction, and Gold, including two chart-topping pop hits, “Fire” (1974) and “Love Rollercoaster” (1975).

      The Ohio Players enjoyed a glittery high-fashion image and created a rock controversy with their risqué album covers. Yet their diverse, highly original music was steeped in Midwestern blues and influenced a number of contemporary funk and soul groups. They were the most successful of a series of Ohio-based soul and funk artists in the 1970s that included Lakeside, Slave, and Zapp, featuring Roger Troutman.

Rickey Vincent

Representative Works

Pain (1971)
Pleasure (1972)
Ecstasy (1973)
Fire (1974)
Skin Tight (1974)
Honey (1975)
Contradictions (1976)
Gold (1976)
Angel (1977)

Additional Reading
The Ohio Players are covered in Rickey Vincent, Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of the One (1996), pp. 195–198; Colin Larkin (ed.), The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2nd ed., vol. 4 (1995); and Patricia Romanowski, Holly George-Warren, and Jon Pareles (eds.), The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (1995), p. 726. The recording of their top singles is chronicled in Adam White and Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Rhythm & Blues Hits (1993).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ohio Players — Also known as The Ohio Untouchables Origin Dayton, Ohio, United States Genres Funk R B Soul Years active 1959– …   Wikipedia

  • Ohio Players — Datos generales Origen Dayton, Ohio, Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ohio Players — Alias The Ohio Untouchables Pays d’origine  États Unis Genre(s) Funk R B Soul …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Ohio Players — Ohio Players Surnom The Ohio Untouchables Pays d’origine  États Unis Genre musical Funk Soul …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fire (Ohio Players song) — Single infobox | Name = Fire Artist = The Ohio Players from Album = Fire Released = 1974 Recorded = Genre = R B, Funk Length = 4:33 Label = Mercury Records Writer = Billy Beck, Leroy Sugarfoot Bonner, Marshall Rock Jones, Ralph Pee Wee… …   Wikipedia

  • Pleasure (Ohio Players album) — Infobox Album | Name = Pleasure Type = Album Artist = Ohio Players Released = 1972 Recorded = Artie Fields Studios, Detroit, Michigan Genre = Soul/Funk Length = Label = Westbound Producer = Ohio Players Reviews =*Allmusic Rating|4|5… …   Wikipedia

  • Climax (Ohio Players album) — Climax Studio album by Ohio Players Released 1974 Genre Soul/Funk Label …   Wikipedia

  • Ecstasy (Ohio Players album) — Infobox Album | Name = Ecstasy Type = Album Artist = Ohio Players Released = 1973 Recorded = Genre = Soul/Funk Length = Label = Westbound Producer = Ohio Players Reviews =*Allmusic Rating|3|5 [http://wc05.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg… …   Wikipedia

  • Pain (Ohio Players album) — Infobox Album | Name = Pain Type = Album Artist = Ohio Players Released = 1971 Recorded = Genre = Soul/Funk Length = Label = Westbound Producer = Ohio Players, Herb James, Billy Pittman Reviews =*Allmusic Rating|4|5… …   Wikipedia

  • Honey (Ohio Players album) — Infobox Album | Name = Honey Type = Album Artist = Ohio Players Released = 1975 Recorded = Paragon Recording Studios, Chicago Genre = Soul/Funk Length = 31:47 Label = Mercury Producer = Ohio Players Reviews = *Allmusic Rating|4.5|5… …   Wikipedia

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