The legendary group Kool and the Gang who has appeared a number of times at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
“It’s the last song my brother wrote…about world peace,” said Robert “Kool” Bell (Kool and the Gang) about the group’s new single “Pursuit of Happiness”, co-written by the late Ronald Bell, who co-founded Kool and the Gang (1964) with his brother Robert.“It’s to celebrate 40 years since the release of ‘Celebrate’ and to celebrate 50 years of Kool and the Gang.”
Ronald Bell co-wrote the single “Celebrate” that gave the Kool and the Gang their first #1 hit, solidifying their legacy in the music business.
Since then other hits that have helped make them living legends of that fresh distinct sound includes “Jungle Boogie,” “Hollywood Swinging,” “Ladies Night,” “Get Down On It,” and their #1 Pop single “Celebration.” Their hits have been sampled by the best.
“I grew up in New Jersey,” said Robert. “The group is from New Jersey though we kind of scattered. I have a place in Orlando…and another original member is in California.”
The band started while Bell was in high school. The original members included brothers Robert (bass) and Ronald (keyboard) Bell, Robert Mickens (trumpet), Dennis Thomas (saxophone), Rick West (piano), George Brown (drums), and Charles Smith (guitar). James “J.T.” Taylor came on as lead single in 1979. Kool’s other brother Kevin Bell joined the band later on.
They went on to sell 80 million “albums”, which included 25 Billboard “Top 10 R&B” hits and nine Billboard “Top 10 Pop” hits.
They garnered two Grammy Awards and seven American Music Awards. J.T. Taylor was a former teacher and nightclub singer before joining the band.
He start a solo career in 1988 after leaving the group and his most memorable release is the infamous hit single “All I Want is Forever” featuring Regina Belle. Robert Bell did his solo thing too by launching his own brand of champagne (LeKoolChampagne.com).
“The video is of different things that are going on right now. Quotes by….Martin Luther King, Jr. …Gandhi…Mandela,” said Kool about the “Pursuit of Happiness” music video.
The single is from the upcoming new Kool and the Gang album titled “Perfect Union” (Omnivore Recordings). It is to be released sometime in 2021.
“We thank God for all the blessings,” Robert Bell added. “My brother was key to ‘Celebration’. We, as a group, started in 1964 as a Jazz act called The Soul Tour Band. We backed a lot of groups…then as Soultown Review, like Motown Review.
Pursuit Of Happiness video:
Then as Kool and the Flame…then changed it cause of James Brown and The Famous Flames…to Kool and the Gang.” www.KoolandtheGang.com and www.LeKoolChampagne.com
Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year.
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