For over four decades, The Commodores have remained a force in the music industry. Formed at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1967 as The Mystics, the original group featured Lionel Richie, William King, Thomas McClary, Milan Williams, Ronald LaPread, and Walter "Clyde" Orange. The group signed by Motown in 1972 and got its start as an opening act for the Jackson 5. Although it was two years before they started recording, when they did, The Commodores quickly became Motown's best-selling male group of the '70s, selling over 60 million records and churning out hits like "Machine Gun," "Sail On," "Brick House," "Slippery When Wet," "Just to Be Close to You," "Three Times a Lady," "Still," and more.
In addition to their standout work as a group throughout the '70s, The Commodores also served as the launching pad for one of the top talents of the '80s, Lionel Richie, who sang lead vocals on several of the band's No. 1 hits, including "Three Times a Lady," "Still," and "Easy." Although Richie left the group in the early '80s to pursue his solo career, The Commodores didn't falter. Instead, they hired J.D. Nicholas to helm the group and came back with yet another No. 1 hit, "Nightshift," off the 1985 album of the same name. Despite all their success in the '70s and early '80s, this Multi-Platinum smash single was the first to win the band a Grammy Award.
The Commodores finally left Motown in 1985 and quickly signed with Polydor, releasing several additional albums and scoring another Top 10 hit with "Goin' to the Bank." Although in the '90s the group slimmed down to the core three of Orange, Nicholas, and King, the band retained an active performance schedule, giving sold-out shows to enthusiastic fans and even forming their own record label, Commodore Records. Today, The Commodores stand not only as talented and successful musicians, but as artists determined to continue their success into the future as they share their music with whole new generations of fans.
Saturday Beatles Brunch