This guest post is by Tom Cooney of a.tom.called.cooney.

The Ohio Untouchables were formed in Detroit, Michigan by original band members Robert Ward, Marshall “Rock’ Jones, Clarence “Satch” Satchell, Cornelius Johnson and Ralph “Pee Wee” Middlebrooks.  After moving to New York City they were joined by Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, Gary Webster, Joe Harris, Bobby Lee Fears, Dutch Robinson, and Edmond Weeden.  After 2 years in the Big Apple they moved to Dayton, OH where they created most of their hits under the new name, Ohio Players.  They have been recording in Dayton for over 40 years. Their first big hit was “Funky Worm” which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973.  The single went gold and sold over a million copies that spring.  They went on to produce 3 more gold singles; “Skin Tight” and “Fire” in 1974 and “Love Rollercoaster” in 1975.  In addition, the band had 3 gold albums; Skin Tight, Fire and Honey.

The Ohio Players have clearly made an impression on hip hop as they have been sampled by artists such as; N.W.A., A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, Redman and De La Soul.  The Red Hot Chili Peppers were also heavily influenced by the Ohio Players,covering “Love Rollercoaster” for the film, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.

My mom was a huge Ohio Players fan back in the day.  I can remember her hiding the album covers from me because they were too provocative, but I knew where she hid them.  “Funky Worm” is one of my all-time favorite songs.  Every time I hear the horns I get goose bumps…”ooh that’s funky, that’s funky”.

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2 Comments

  1. This post is incomplete because it fails to include Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner as an original founding member of OHIO PLAYERS. How could you forget Sugarfoot. Mr. Afro and the voice of the group?

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